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Wednesday, 1 August, 2001, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Fatboy tops MTV birthday vote
Fatboy Slim,  real name Norman Cook
Fatboy Slim - with wife Zoe Ball - also set to triumph at the MTV music video awards
Fatboy Slim's Praise You video has been voted the best of all time by viewers of MTV, on the 20th anniversary on the cable music channel's launch.

Michael Jackson's groundbreaking 14-minute Thriller video came a close second in the poll carried out through MTV's website.

MTV was launched on 1 August 1981 as a small venture run by Warner Communications and American Express.

Then it had only one million viewers whereas now it reaches 342 million homes worldwide.

MTV's top 10 videos
1. Fatboy Slim - Praise You
2. Michael Jackson -Thriller
3. Eminem - The Real Slim Shady
4. Madonna - Ray Of Light
5. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
6. Weezer - Buddy Holly
7. Blur - Coffee & TV
8. Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be
9. Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
10. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

The Top 100 Videos Of All Time is being broadcast on MTV in three parts, having started on Wednesday, and is just one event organised to celebrate the channel's birthday.

Fatboy Slim - otherwise known as DJ Norman Cook - made his video with Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze.

It starred a group of formation dancers performing to crowds outside a US theatre.

Last week, Cook also won nine nominations for this year's MTV Video Music Awards for Weapon Of Choice.

Jackson's Thriller video broke new ground because of its length and the quality and ambition of its special effects.

But it also opened the door for black artists to appear on MTV, which had largely ignored anything but white rock and pop until then.

Overall, Jackson had three entries in the top 100 videos list. Madonna - a heroine of the MTV generation - had the most with four entries. They included the videos for Material Girl and Like a Prayer.

Jackson 's Thriller
Jackson 's Thriller made it to number two

Bjork and U2 had three tracks. George Michael had two as a solo artist and a third with Club Tropicana from Wham.

Eminem was one of many acts which achieved two entries, one of which, The Real Slim Shady, came in at number three.

Queen's classic 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody was at number 10 and Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer was in the number 17 slot.

The first video to be shown on MTV was The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. But in the poll it came last, in the 100th position.

But its importance in the history of music broadcasting is undisputed. It began a channel that changed the way pop music was consumed and produced.

MTV - which has channels in Europe, the UK and Ireland - estimates that, in 20 years, it has shown more than 30,000 videos in the US alone.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey will not take part

Many of the stars of these videos featured in a three-hour concert, MTV20: Live and Almost Legal, being put on for the anniversary.

Acts such as Run DMC, Puff Daddy, Bon Jovi and Depeche Mode were part of the event at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on Wednesday night and shown on MTV UK.

The BBC's Robert Nisbet
"For thirty years now artists have used videos to sell their wares to a global audience"
See also:

31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Big Brother winner 'in talks' with MTV
03 Jun 01 | Film
Gladiator gets MTV thumbs up
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