Before watching the extensive fan-curated TikTok documentaries and series, most music fans got to know the secrets of the industry and artists’ lives behind the curtains through the apt title. behind the music. The VH1 series followed the careers and personal stories of major superstars and independent icons alike.
Through interviews, video footage, and media reports, the cast of iconic music documentaries have dominated the small screen for decades. offering stimulating dissections into the lives, careers, and traumatic moments of their subject, behind the musichas been a trusted source of information for passionate music consumers.
With the series completing its two-episode revival in 2022, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at the series’ most iconic episodes. With the emergence of new stars, icons that transcend industry standards, and a greater effort to reassess the state of the entertainment industry, revisiting the most appreciated episodes of the series not only satisfies fan demands but allows consumers to assess a media cultural impact.
8 Billy Joel (1997)
At the time this episode aired, the aptly titled Piano Man had been officially retired. After the release of his latest album River of dreams Billy Joel He revealed to reporters that although he writes music for himself, he has no intention of recording or releasing said music at this time.
in the traditional behind the music costumes, the crew assesses Billy Joel’s career and legacy through the lens of Joel himself. Despite his huge career, Joel opens up that he is being taken advantage of by scheming bosses, a devious family member, as well as his experience with substance abuse. In one case, Joel reveals that ongoing financial abuse has caused him to lose an estimated $90 million.
Giving Joel the autonomy to share his story results in an episodic diary sandwiched between the platform of Piano Man and to avoid exploiting Billy Joel’s experiences for personal or financial gain.
7 The Notorious Big (2001)
Considered one of the most prolific figures in music, the prophet of hip-hop, Notorious bigand his various projects in propelling hip-hop into the mainstream. From his friendship with Diddy, his violent relationship with Lil’ Kim, or his historic rivalry with Tupac, behind the music He follows every event that led to his death in 1997.
In the episode dedicated to the Bad Boy Records fort, Biggie appeared via video footage alongside rappers Diddy and Method Man, Charli Baltimore, and R&B singer Faith Evans. Peers delved into Biggie’s life in Brooklyn prior to his historic rise along with the lasting impact he had on rap after his death.
6 George Michael (2004)
From the ’80s as a solid hit, this beloved special follows the man, the music and one’s catchphrase George Michael. Providing fans with a comprehensive look into the megastar’s life, the episode begins by framing Michael’s family life as troubling. As is the case for most queer children, safety and unconditional love were not as assured as they were for others. Besides the toxic father-son dynamic, Michael’s childhood mirrors many viewers’ childhoods with all their caveats and distinctions.
The special soon explores George’s rise to fame, both as a member of Wham and in his solo career. With classics like “Careless Whisper,” “Father Figure,” and “I Want Your Sex,” many thought George’s glittering career was a dream. However, at the moment, public awareness surrounding fame has shifted a bit for the better, with many understanding the dark clouds that hover over celebrities.
George struggles with his sexuality, and the negative effects of the huge success of Faith And the loss of many important people in his life threatens to destabilize him. The episode follows the traditional story of fame: depicting the rise, downfall, and persistence of an icon like George Michael.
5 Aliyah (2012)
High Houghton She has been immortalized as the princess of R&B. For her influential fashion choices and musical direction, the triple threat is revered by industry peers, fans, movie stars, and critics alike. behind the musicShe tells a special episode about the singer’s influential life, early death, and the singer’s long-term legacy. With albums like One In A Million and her self-titled effort, the episode focuses on the fruitful collaboration and friendship between her, Missy Elliott, and Timbaland.
Outside of the music, audiences also see the “goofy” glow of the singer, who is usually described as a sweet soul and a wonderful friend to the various people who have had the opportunity to be in her circle.
Twenty years after her death, high aesthetics blossomed into a noteworthy trend in fashion. With its roots in Tumblr in the early 2010s and Twitter in the late 2010s, its icons have been eagerly preserved by fans who have tried to spread the true history of Aaliyah. At a time behindMusic Especially, her likeness can be found all over the internet and among the latest batch of emerging R&B talent.
4 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1999)
Decades after the death of Tom Petty, fans have been given an emotional introduction to the band. on time, Tom Petty and Heartbreakers They were considered the giants of rock music due to their domination of the genre’s scene during the 1970s and 1980s.
The special documents the band’s hectic working relationship with MCA, and the impact of lineup changes, along with plenty of interesting anecdotes. The episode touches on the mysterious fire attack on Betty’s house as well as the chaotic incident that left Tom injuring his hand.
behind the musicThe Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers cover captures the quiet chaos that followed the band. Unlike the metal and grunge bands that dominated the ’90s, the controversy surrounding Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers was more concerned with Petty’s relentless fight for artistic freedom.
3 Megadeth (1999)
Examining Dave Ellefson’s turbulent childhood, audiences are quickly ensnared in an engaging narrative about an English rock band. Formed in 1983, the band has been ranked as one of the four most influential thrash metal bands and Megadeth‘s behind the music Special lays out the influential examples throughout the band’s career that paved the way for their incredible success.
Fans, newcomers, and curious viewers get an exclusive look at the band’s early days, such as Dave’s tenure as lead guitarist for Metallica, the aftermath and their influential debut album in the 1980s, as well as their success in the 1990s.
2 Motley Crue (1998)
With a great deal of sex, drugs and rock and roll, behind the musica general look at motley crow She was highly acclaimed. The tumultuous episode follows the controversial band from their inception to their contemporary status as heavy metal independents.
Following the series format, audiences revisit many of the band’s most iconic moments, including but not limited to drug use, domestic violence, and lecherous behaviour. The episode builds into bleak flashbacks to the band’s career as it touches on the fatal car accident involving lead singer Vince Neil and the late musician Razzle as well as the brilliant and terrifying marriage between drummer Tommy Lee and actress Pamela Anderson.
1 Bette Midler (1999)
It’s no surprise that the episode surrounding the legendary multi-hyphenate ranks first. The episode follows her illustrious career Bette MidlerThe birth, rise to fame, rise to icon status, and the various experiences that truly define her career.
The episode reveals important and interesting factors about Midler’s life, such as her initial stay at the Continental Baths, alongside Barry Manilow, Bette Midler impressed audiences with her engaging voice and penchant for the “soft” adult contemporary style. Midler, who was known for his LGBTQ patronage, was a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights as the world saw the devastating effects of AIDS and the toxic rhetoric that came with the disease.
Midler’s broad performing career is matched by the different people and experiences she meets along the way and vice versa. Whether it’s a short stint on Broadway or a slew of multi-platinum recordings, Bette has used a fruitful combination of her talent, connections, and ear for what audiences crave to create a phenomenal career.
while the behind the music Not only does the format cover every aspect of her life, the episode contextualizes Midler’s fame within the broad scope of American history, further cementing Midler’s inevitable icon status.