“MTV Unplugged” co-creater killed in accident


The man who co-created MTV’s “Unplugged” was killed in New York, after he was struck by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue in Manhattan late last week.

Jim Burns, 65, was struck on Saturday when a taxi turned onto the avenue, hitting him as he was walking with his seeing-eye dog, according to police. The accident left Burns with a serious head injury, and he was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, passing away on Tuesday.

The taxi driver was at the scene when police arrived. Although they are still investigating, police still have said the accident does not appear to be criminal.

Burns was best known for his time at MTV, as he co-created “MTV Unplugged” with Robert Small.

Billboard recalls the details of the show, in their report of the incident, as follows:

In Unplugged, Burns and Small created one of the enduring and iconic legacy series in MTV’s history, with a first season that featured the likes of Aerosmith, Elton Johnand Stevie Ray Vaughan putting aside their electric instruments for stripped-down, intimate sets of some of their biggest hits in settings that fans would rarely see them perform in again. But it was in the early-to-mid 1990s that the show truly hit its stride, through legendary performances by the likes of Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Nirvana, Rod Stewart and Alice In Chains, among others, with Clapton’s Unplugged album winning six Grammy Awards, including album, record and song of the year (the latter two for “Tears In Heaven”) and Nirvana winning one for best alternative music performance.

An MTV spokeswoman responded to reports of Burns’ death, saying the network was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death, according to the Associated Press.

“As co-creator of the beloved ‘Unplugged’ franchise, his groundbreaking work continues to resonate with audiences around the world. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones,” a statement from MTV said.

“The music series returned to the air this year,” the AP reports, “with performances from locations around the country that hold meaning for the artist performing. It premiered in September with Shawn Mendes.”

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