'MTV Unplugged' Co-Creator Jim Burns Dies at 65

Jim Burns, the co-creator of the longrunning acoustic performance show MTV Unplugged, has died, Billboard reports. He was 65.

Burns, who also served as a writer and executive producer throughout his long career, had been in the hospital since Saturday, after he was hit by a yellow taxi cab while walking his dog on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, the New York Post reports. He was taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition. That afternoon, the person confirmed that Burns had passed.

In Unplugged, Burns and co-creator Robert Small created one of the enduring and iconic legacy series in MTV's history, with a first season in 1989 that featured Aerosmith, Elton John and Stevie Ray Vaughan putting aside their electric instruments for stripped-down, intimate sets.

But it was the 1990s when the show began to hit its stride, with performances from the likes of Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Nirvana, Rod Stewart and Alice In Chains and more. In fact, Clapton's Unplugged album won six Grammy Awards, including album, record and song of the year (the latter two for "Tears In Heaven") and Nirvana won one for best alternative music performance.


Later, the series was revived in different incarnations, most notably with performances by Jay-Z and the Roots (2001), Lauryn Hill (2002) and Alicia Keys (2005). This September, the series was brought back once again, with Shawn Mendes serving as its first artist.