If you're not yet convinced that everyone is trying to bring the '90s back, you might not be able to deny it anymore. We already told you about all the fashion statements making a comeback, we all watched the Twin Peaks reboot and I feel fairly certain we've been scrolling through the 'Nostalgia TV' section on Hulu endlessly the past few months. 2017 has been the worst — who can blame us, really?
Well, another '90s relic is coming back to small screens next month. It was recently revealed that Unplugged is coming back to MTV — which aired regularly on MTV from 1989 to 1999 and has spent the past 18-odd years being released as Unplugged TV specials for important musical artists. The premise of the show, in the '90s at least, was that notable musicians and bands of the time would perform stripped down and switched up versions of their most popular hits. MTV has confirmed that 19-year-old heartthrob, Shawn Mendes, who sings and plays guitar will be taking center-stage for the September 8 premiere of the newly rebooted show.
But so far the "There's Nothin' Holding Me Back" singer is the only musician confirmed to appear on Unplugged, leaving our minds racing over which one of our other fave musical artists and bands we can expect to see performing acoustic variations of their OG tunes (and maybe a cover or two). While execs at MTV can't really go wrong in choosing who will perform — there are a couple people we'd love to see showing off their live singing skills. Keep readings to see the 16 artists who, in our humble opinion, must appear in MTV's Unplugged 2.0 version this fall.
Swifty has been M.I.A. from the public for the past year or so — save her very public sexual assault trial that wrapped up earlier this week — but we can think of no better way for Taylor to reenter the public sphere than with a performance on this nostalgic TV show. We already know that T. Swizzle knows her stuff when it comes to the guitar — and if her acoustic version of "Forever & Always" in 2009 is any indicator, her stripped down covers can really eff you up... in a good way, ofc.
Kesha Rose Sebert's third album, Rainbow dropped last weekend and it's got a wide range of musical styles included from country-inspired tunes featuring Dolly Parton, slowed down sentimental ballads like "Spaceship" and "Praying" and more upbeat songs like "Hymn" and "Woman" — and we'd love to see every single one performed live by the songstress herself before she heads out on tour this fall. Considering the sentiments expressed on this album, it would be an *emotional* episode, to say the least.
Carly Rae Jepson
Did anyone else miss CRJ's live performance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra last June? While you can stream YouTube videos leaked of her collaborating with the TSO for songs like "Call Me Maybe,"All That" and "Your Type" — not gonna lie, the audio and visual quality for these leaked vids are sub par. We can't expect the whole symphony to come on for Unplugged, but her performance with this group shows that she's totally comfortable switching up her songs to do something different. Her episode would be iconic!
While Unplugged started as a show geared towards rock fans, there was a clear departure from this when the show started having the most influential rappers and hip-hop artists of the time prove their chops on the show. In fact, it inspired a lot of rock-rap collabs like Jay-Z and Linkin Park's Collision Course. Considering that Kendrick is one of the most well-respected rappers in the industry right now, there is no better time for him to make an appearance on the MTV show and spit some truth about what's happening in the world right now.
We obviously couldn't leave this singer-songwriter off the list! Honestly, Ed seems like the ideal performer on Unplugged. If you don't really feel something *deep* every time you watch this "Thinking Outloud" session then you must be dead inside because it's truly that beautiful.
Watching SZA's live performances on YouTube is almost better than listening to her album on Apple Music. While she doesn't have any stripped down versions of her tunes out there yet, it's genuinely exciting thinking about how she could switch up some of her jams like "Love Galore" and "The Weekend" to fit in with MTV's Unplugged show format.
If RiRi's "Stay" taught us nothing else, it's that she's got ~the range.~ Rihanna can do it all — from slower ballads like "Love on the Brain" to more upbeat electro-R&B hits like "Needed Me." Her acoustic version of "Diamonds" is A+, and we can only imagine what she could do with some of her other fan-favorite songs.
How many of us were completely heartbroken when the former One Direction singer's tour sold out immediately? Seeing the "Sign of the Times" musician on Unplugged would basically be the second best thing to getting to watch the guy IRL in concert. Plus, his soulful tunes would fit the Unplugged format so well. Our fingers are most certainly crossed.
Back in the 1D days, Niall was known for strumming on his guitar, a talent none of his bandmates shared with the Irishman at the time. We would all basically freak out to see an acoustic cover of his hit "Slow Hands" get played live on MTV. I would be shocked if they didn't nail this guy's performance down early because he'd be perfect for Unplugged and his Flicker sessions tour will have him traveling all around the world for the 10 dates announced.
Young the Giant
Considering that this group of guys has released acoustic sessions of most of their music already — it doesn't take too much imagination to picture how great their performances would be on Unplugged. Plus, most of the musical artists on this list are solo acts — but this MTV show (and tbh, all live performances IMO) are a bit more exciting with a stage full of popular musicians.
This has been the summer of SelGo. "Bad Liar" and "Fetish" have been blasting on our headphones so it seems fairly obvious that she should be someone coming on Unplugged when it revs back up this fall. She's been performing live since her Disney days — including covers — and with the 50+ songs she's recorded under her own name and Selena Gomez and the Scene, it would be a jam-packed episode.
Can't talk about Selena's kick-ass summer without talking about this guy. The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) performed a stripped-down cover of "Nothing Without You" for H&M earlier this year and it's left us wanting more sexy, slow tunes from this guy. Unplugged is just the place for that.
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane has completely blown up. While initially the singer was best known for being a featured artist on songs like Justin Bieber's "The Feeling" on Purpose and The Chainsmokers "Closer," her newest album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom proved her to be a force to be reckoned. Along with having a voice that seems almost made for slow, acoustic songs, she's also proved her stripped down music chops with this performance of "Eyes Closed" that she posted on her Vevo account. The comments section for this one song (which has over 3.3 million views BTW) is basically begging Halsey to put the stripped version on Spotify — proving that she definitely has the fan base who would love to see all her songs in a stripped down fashion.
Kehlani Ashley Parrish's albums You Should Be Here and Sweet Sexy Savage show that she's got the vocal talent and versatility to carry an episode of Unplugged on her own. Kehlani has been vocal about her struggles in life, including having a mother who struggles with drug addiction and an attempted suicide attempt after being villainized by Kyrie Irving fans who thought she'd cheated on him. A show like Unplugged could give Kehlani an even bigger platform to discuss her view on life and speak to younger audiences who may be struggling in similar ways.
It's almost shocking that John Mayer hasn't performed on Unplugged yet — especially because he was slated to in 2007 but it fell through. Katy Perry's ex, along with Mary J. Blige and Kenny Chesney were scheduled for a Country Music Television special of Unplugged — but it appears that only Bon Jovi got the chance. Thus, we're way overdue for John to come on the show!
Lorde's new album is fire and we already know that the singer is ~versatile~ at the very least. Hey — perhaps she and Taylor Swift could do a collab seeing as they are BFFs and all. She's already filmed six stripped-down renditions of songs from Melodrama for Vevo and they were just as good as the original tunes. We would be stoked to see the entire album (and some of her older stuff, too) performed live on Unplugged.
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