Skip to content Skip to footer

MTV to bring back ‘Unplugged’ series, will premier with… Shawn Mendes?

MTV is set to revive one of the network’s most popular and iconic series Unplugged, in which musicians perform a no-frills set without electric instruments or big stage regalia.

The network is bringing back Unplugged with a performance from Shawn Mendes, who apparently sits atop the radio charts with his single “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” a song I have never heard before and will not be listening to.

Mendes’ performance will take place at the Theater at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, according to Variety. The pop star told Variety that he’s intent on recreating the classic Unplugged vibe.

“We’ve been working our asses off just trying to figure out the most beautiful way to play these songs in a smaller, stripped-down way that still feels as impactful. I feel like if I can do this right, then it will be a moment for me — where people can really understand and see me as a musician and a singer, and where I’m coming from.”

Amani Duncan, MTV SVP of Music and Executive In Charge of Music for Unplugged, spoke to Variety about the network’s goals with the new project:

“’Let’s take it to cool locations’ was the thought. Like where the artist played their first major show, or maybe they choose a location to make a pro-social statement, or it’s, ‘I always wanted to play Carnegie Hall.’”

And Duncan isn’t worried that the younger generation may not have the same attachment to Unplugged as older music fans because the MTV brand still holds a lot of weight.

“At MTV, the brand equity is still so strong. 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.”

Unplugged was definitely a pretty dope series with some of the most legendary televised life performances in music history.

Nirvana’s 1993 Unplugged set is probably the most well known performance in the series.

The sweater Kurt Cobain wore during Unplugged just sold for a reported $137,500.

Lil Wayne had one of the last Unplugged sets and it will be interesting to see how MTV works hip-hop into the series as there may be a shortage of rock bands to choose from.

We’re all for bringing back Unplugged, we just hope they find some more interesting talent than whoever Shawn Mendes is.