Behind the Music

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Behind the Music
Behind the music.gif
Also known as VH1's Behind the Music
Format Documentary
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 208
Running time 60-90 minutes
Production company(s) Gay Rosenthal Productions
Paramount Television (select episodes)
Viacom International
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original channel VH1
Original run August 17, 1997 – present
External links

Behind the Music is a television series on VH1. The series places its generality on documentation of musical artists or groups who are interviewed and profiled, and discuss how their careers became successful and what hardships they undertook. On September 6, 2012, VH1 announced that the show's fifteenth season would premiere on Sunday, September 16 with an episode profiling band Train. Other new subjects include Toni Braxton, Carrie Underwood, Gym Class Heroes, Nicole Scherzinger, and Ne-Yo. T.I. and Pink will have their specials updated.[1]


Each show focuses on a musician or musical group, documenting both the successes of the musicians and the problems they faced during their careers. Except for the first two episodes (which focused on Milli Vanilli and M.C. Hammer), all programs are narrated by Jim Forbes. Forbes was later used to narrate the Milli Vanilli episode when it was modified to include the death of Rob Pilatus. The UK airings of the episodes focusing on Thin Lizzy and Genesis were narrated by Mary Anne Hobbs while Forbes narrated the US airings.

VH1's criterion for choosing the musicians who appear on the show is, in many cases, to profile those who are no longer in the music industry, or were moderately significant in rock history. This is as opposed to VH1's other biography show, VH1's Legends, which profiles musicians that have been very significant to the industry. However, there are some artists that were profiled on both Behind The Music and Legends, including Tina Turner, Elton John, The Who (although their Behind the Music exclusively focused on their drummer Keith Moon), John Lennon (although Behind The Music exclusively focused on the months and days leading to his murder in 1980) and Pink Floyd (although their Behind the Music was the U.S. airing of the BBC produced documentary Behind the Wall in June 2000). The Pink Floyd: Behind the Wall documentary focused mainly on the making of the band's 1979 album The Wall, the concert shows that went with it and the making of the Pink Floyd—The Wall movie and features no narrator.

Another episode of Behind the Music on KISS was re-christened KISS: Beyond the Makeup in July 2001 (which was 2 hours in length). This featured Matt Pinfield, formerly of MTV's 120 Minutes, as narrator instead of Jim Forbes.

Behind the Music came to be after Paul Gallagher and George Moll produced a one-hour special entitled Dying in Vein which first aired on VH1 in December 1996. While Dying in Vein was a magazine style show, its approach to storytelling served as the prototype for Behind the Music.

A short-lived half-hour spin-off series titled BTM2 (short for Behind the Music 2), chronicled the careers of newer upcoming artists.

Rap musician Vanilla Ice's episode is the highest rated to date.

A spin-off titled Behind the Music: Remastered on VH1 Classic airs the updated original episodes with new interviews, footage and the later half of the artist's career. Motörhead and Deep Purple are the only all-original Remastered episodes despite not having a Behind the Music episode.


The following is a list of artists who have appeared in episodes of the series:

Other features[edit]

Other than musicians, some episodes were documentaries on musical events, films, and non-musicians who were influential on the music world. The following appeared in episodes of the series:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]