MTV's reboot and revival streak continues: the network is bringing back its iconic '90s musical performance series MTV Unplugged. The first episode of the new series premieres Sept. 8 with pop-rock singer Shawn Mendes. More performers will be announced at a later date.
MTV Unplugged, where artists perform stripped-down, acoustic versions of their songs and others', is one of the network's signature programs, and has featured memorable performances from Nirvana, Lauryn Hill and Alice in Chains, among many others. Eric Clapton won the Grammy triple crown of Album, Record and Song of the Year in 1993 for the album version of his Unplugged performance. The series premiered in 1989 and aired regularly until 1999, semi-regularly until 2009, and occasionally as a special since then. The last Unplugged performance was in 2014 and featured Miley Cyrus.
Mendes, the chart-topping 19-year-old singer-songwriter who is also performing at the MTV VMAs on Aug. 27, will give his fans the opportunity to hear his songs differently than ever before while introducing them to the Unplugged brand. "At MTV, the brand equity is still so strong," said MTV Senior Vice President Amani Duncan told Variety. "It gives us an opportunity to bring back nostalgia and also recruit an entirely new consumer who may not know what Unplugged was because they weren't born."
"I'm so thrilled and honored to be able to help bring the Unplugged series back," Mendes said in a statement. "It's a show that truly highlights artistry and brings unique performances to fans that they can't see anywhere else."
MTV Unplugged returns Sept. 8 at 8/7c.