The 25th anniversary of the MuchMusic Video awards will be celebrated this Sunday night in Toronto. It’s pretty crazy to think that the MMVAs have officially been around for a quarter century. Where does the time go?
For 30 years this September, Much and their ever-changing roster of VJs from Erica Ehm and Steve Anthony to Sook-Yin Lee and Strombo to Bradford How and Hannah Simone have brought us the latest music videos, news and interviews. But whatever happened to all these our beloved VJs after they left Much HQ? Well, some have stayed on TV or gone into radio, others run successful business or got into politics. One is even a U.S. sitcom star.
So to celebrate 25 years of the MMVAs, here’s a look at some of our favourite MuchMusic VJs then and now.
Erica Ehm (THEN)
Erica Miechowsky, better known to MuchMusic fans as Erica Ehm was the first female VJ at the nations music video station. Ehm and her always up-to-date fashion sense served as a Much personality for a decade from 1984 - 1994. Following her VJ years, Ehm dabbled in song writing, and then started an online magazine-slash-empire for young mothers called the Yummy Mummy Club that she still runs today.
Erica Ehm (NOW)
Steve Anthony (THEN)
The man, the myth, the mullet. When you think of classic Much VJs, Steve Anthony has to be at the top of the list. Anthony was a Much personality from 1987 - 1995. Following his VJ stint, Anthony hosted Breakfast Television in Toronto, as well as some radio gigs at CHOM FM in Montreal and Mix 99.9 in Toronto. Anthony is now the host of CP24 Breakfast in Toronto.
Steve Anthony (NOW)
Rachel Perry (THEN)
Rachel Perry was a MuchMusic VJ from 1998 - 2001. Following the bombshell's stint at Much, she went on to host at VH1 in the US for shows like All Access and VH1 News. Perry has also hosted The Stash on Playboy TV and currently hosts Very Funny News on TBS, & The Morning After on HULU.
Rachel Perry (NOW)
Master T (THEN)
Tony Young, who MuchMusic fans know as the station’s iconic VJ Master T, was a personality on the network for 11 years, from 1990 - 2001. T is best known for hosting shows like Da Mix and Rap City. After Much, T worked with Virgin Music Canada to curate and release various rap, R&B and reggae compilations, and he also wrote an autobiography called "Much Master T: One VJ's Journey." It's said that T now works on various independent music and multimedia projects.
Master T (NOW)
George Stroumboulopoulos (THEN)
Perhaps the most popular Much Music VJ of all time, Strombo was with Much from 2000 - 2004. Following Much, Strombo went to CBC for his show The Hour that was later rebranded as Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. He also hosted the short-run CNN series Stroumboulopoulos. This year Strombo was named as the new host of Hockey Night in Canada which will start this fall.
George Stroumboulopoulos (NOW)
Amanda Walsh (THEN)
Peppy blonde VJ Amanda Walsh was with MuchMusic from 2001 - 2004. After leaving the nation's music video station she moved on to an acting career in the US with roles on "Veronica Mars," "Disturbia" and "Sons & Daughters." She was also first cast as Penny on "The Big Bang Theory" pilot before Kaley Cuoco claimed the role. Last we heard she was cast in a Fox show "WTF America," though it has yet to air.
Amanda Walsh (NOW)
Christopher Ward (THEN)
Christopher Ward was one of the original VJs, having started out hosting CITY-TV's "City Limits" before Much even launched. As you can see in the clip, Mike Meyers debuted his Wayne's World character on Much as Ward's "cousin Wayne." (He was also in Ming Tea, Meyer's faux band from Austin Powers.") After Ward left Much, he went onto a lucrative songwriting career. He wrote Alannah Myle's "Black Velvet" as songs for Hillary Duff, Diana Ross, Backstreet Boys and Anne Murray. He hosted YTV's "The Next Star" from 2008 - 2011 and recently released two books.
Christopher Ward (NOW)
Rick Campanelli (THEN)
Known best as “Rick the Temp” for his entire tenure at MuchMusic, Campanelli was a VJ between 1994 and 2005. Rick is now a long-running host at Entertainment Tonight Canada.
Rick Campanelli (NOW)
Bradford How (THEN)
Bradford How was one of the most popular Much Music VJs of all time. He won the Much VJ contest back in 2000 and stayed on until 2003. Following his stint at Much, How left to host at VH1 in the US as well as Nick at Night. How is still a TV personality as well as commercial actor and spokesperson for Nationwide Insurance.
Bradford How (NOW)
Sook Yin Lee (THEN)
Lee was a VJ on MuchMusic from 1995 - 2001, most famous for hosting The Wedge. Since leaving Much, she has acted in several movies, including the controversial and very naked "Shortbus" and has been the host of CBC Radio One's Definitely Not the Opera since 2002. Last year she starred as Olivia Chow in CBC's Jack Layton biopic "Jack."
Sook-Yin Lee (NOW)
As a television and radio broadcaster, musician, filmmaker and actor, CBC Radio host Sook-Yin Lee speaks about her multidisciplinary career for World Radio Day.
Kim Clarke Champniss (THEN)
Kim Clarke Champniss was a legendary MuchMusic VJ and producer in the 80s. The British-turned-Canadian Much personality was with the network for 14 years, from 1986 – June 2001, hosting shows like City Limits. After leaving Much, Champniss went on to start his own production company called Invisible Republic. He has also hosted radio shows on Edge 102 and boom 97.3 in Toronto, released music and recently wrote an ebook called "The Republic of Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Roaring ’80s from Curtis to Cobain." He has also taught at The Harris Institute in Toronto.
Kim Clark Champniss (NOW)
Ed the Sock (THEN)
Ed the Sock was a staple on Much throughout most of the 90s and 2000s. The angry sock puppet created by Steven Kerzner hosted a variety of shows on the music channel, including his popular yearly music video roast called Formage. Since leaving Much, Ed can still be seen weekly on "I Hate Hollywood" on Hamilton's CHCH TV.
Ed the Sock (NOW)
Nam Kiwanuka (THEN)
Namugenyi Kiwanuka, or Nam as she went by on air, was a Much Music VJ from 1999 - 2003. After four years at Much, Nam and her iconic hair went on to host various football and basketball shows on Rogers Sportsnet. Nam is now a freelance journalist.
Namugenyi Kiwanuka (NOW)
Rainbow Sun Francks (THEN)
The VJ with the most memorable name in MuchMusic history is Rainbow Sun Francks. Rainbow was a Much VJ for a little over three years, from 1999 - 2002. Following his VJ adventures, Francks got into acting, starring in various shows like "Stargate: Atlantis." He is now a regular on The Listener.
Rainbow Sun Francks (NOW)
Jennifer Hollett (THEN)
Signature red head Jennifer Hollett was a Much VJ from 2002 - 2005. Following her time at Much, Jen turned towards pursuing politics and world issues. She volunteered for CARE Canada, went back to school for her Masters of Public Administration at Harvard. Last year she unsuccessfully ran to be the NDP candidate in a federal byelection and is now Toronto Mayor hopeful Olivia Chow's Digital Director.
Jennifer Hollett (NOW)
Hannah Sung (THEN)
The brainy pop culture guru Hannah Sung was a Much VJ for four years from 2002 - 2006, hosting shows like The New Music and Much News. Following Much, Sung went on to host and produce on CBC Radio, was a columnist for Flare Magazine, and is now a host and producer of The Globe and Mail's video content.
Hannah Sung (NOW)
Globe and Mail columnist and former MuchMusic VJ Hannah Sung is daring to write a novel in one month for the Stephen Lewis Foundation's A Dare to Remember ca...
J.D. Roberts (THEN)
J.D. Roberts was one of the first popular VJs at MuchMusic and one of the first to greet viewers when the station launched. Roberts was a personality on Much from 1984 - 1989, hosting shows like The New Music. Following Much, Roberts hosted Canada AM, and then got a gig in the US with CBS as their chief White House correspondent from 1999 - 2006. He then went to CNN to host American Morning, and is now a national correspondent for FOX News. Pretty impressive.
J.D. Roberts (NOW)
Hannah Simone (THEN)
Simone was a Much VJ for a few years in the mid 2000s, hosting shows like The New Music and Much News Weekly. Following her VJ career in 2008, Simone moved to LA to host a game show and then got into acting. She now has a major role on the hit FOX show New Girl. She plays Cece.
Hannah Simone (NOW)
Bill Welychka (THEN)
Bill Welychka had an eight-year run as a popular MuchMusic VJ from 1992 - 2000, as well as a personality on MuchMore Music from 2000 – 2005. Since then, Welychka has hosted Breakfast Television in Edmonton and has been a weatherman in Ottawa. He currently hosts and afternoon show in Kingston on CKWS-TV.
Bill Welychka (NOW)
Bill Welychka from CKWS Television's Live@5, tells us his Staycation Tips!
Michael Williams (THEN)
Michael Williams was one of Much's first VJs, and worked on the station from 1984 - 1993. He's best known as the host of Soul in the City and Rap City, and was an important figure in Canada's early hip-hop and R&B scenes and interviewed pretty much every artist of note from those genres during his tenure. More recently he's worked at various radio stations and currently teaches radio broadcasting and music distribution in the digital age at the Trebas Institute.
Michael Williams (NOW)
Denise Donlon (THEN)
Denise Donlon, another of MuchMusic's iconic original VJs, is the most successful of the lot. In the 90s she went on to be MuchMusic's vice-president and general manager before leaving to run Sony Canada from 2000 - 2004. In 2008 she took over CBC Radio's english language services until 2011. Donlon currently co-hosts The Zoomer with Conrad Black and has also been named to the Order of Canada, among many, many other honours.
Denise Donlon (NOW)
Following theZoomer's broadcast on Medical Marijuana (here: http://thezoomertv.com/videos/medical-marijuana/), Conrad Black and Denise Donlon, along with pro...
Juliette Powell (THEN)
Juliette Powell became a VJ at MuchMusic in 1996 after being a VJ at Musique Plus in Montreal. The former Miss Canada hosted Much shows like Electric Circus and French Kiss. Following her VJ career, Powell went on to be a business reporter on CP24 in Toronto, then started her own media and consulting company called Powell International Entertainment Inc.
Juliette Powell (NOW)
Keller Williams Mega Camp Keynote by Juliette Powell. Austin. How will social media be used to create social and economic value?
More Classic MuchMusic Clips
Steve Anthony's first day at Much
Much @ Woodstock '99: Canadian Party
The only example I can think of where Canadians are bossing around Americans. As you might expect, it isn't real haha. This is another clip from the glory da...
Alanis Morissette - The New Music Interview (1995)
Alanis Morissette's 1995 Canadian TV interview with Kim Clarke Champniss for The New Music to promote Jagged Little Pill. The video clips from JLP have been ...
J. D. Roberts
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Moxy Fruvous - MuchMusic Spotlight (1995)
Videos; King of Spain 0:39 Stuck in the 90s 3:38 My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors 7:52 Fell in Love 10:48 Tall New Buildings 15:09 Down From Above 17:44.
Avril Lavigne, 2003
Behold: the most 2003 photo in the world. In addition to Avril’s token pop-punk aesthetic, her flat-ironed hair represents the beauty regimens of countless teens in the early 2000s (especially mine). Add her super low-rise capris pants, skate shoes, tank top, and wristbands to the mix, and it’s official: as far back as 2003, the MMVAs were considered relatively casual (meaning you could moon the audience…).
Hilary Duff, 2004
Now <i>here’s</i> a look that’s so yesterday. (High fives self over bad joke, begs you to keep reading.) Like the rest of us, Ms. Duff also took to the cropped shrug of 2004, using it to dress up a simple tank top-and-black pant combo. Also helping to add a little depth was an almost spiked belt, which proved the former Disney star was ready to flaunt a little edge -- or provide proof of her impending adulthood.
Ashley Simpson, 2005
And so the red carpet game officially gets upped. But while Ashlee Simpson’s sparkly black dress is more formal than the fashion choices of yesteryears’, it’s arguably still “fun” enough to be more appropriate for the MMVAs than say, the Golden Globes.
Yes, it’s a far cry from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/03/rihanna-cfda-fashion-awards-2014_n_5437037.html" target="_blank">this year’s CFDAs crystal dress</a>, (I’ll tell you that much for free), but like everyone else in 2006, Rihanna also embraced dress shorts – though instead of pairing hers with a tank top or band t-shirt wore them with a crop-top and sandals, paving the way for more of red carpet risks, and “I’ll wear what I want, thanks” attitude. Which is exactly why we don’t question Rihanna.
Hilary Duff, 2007
What a difference two years makes: reflecting both her personal style evolution and that of the MMVAs’, Hilary Duff opted for a colourful strapless dress to go with her (then) brunette hair. Obviously, the singer was officially growing up, and as such, dressed for a ceremony that was also starting to become a little more fashion-centric in its age. Or at the very least, meant to appeal to more than just the teen audience.
Kim Kardashian, 2009
We think it’s safe to assume that Kim Kardashian has nothing like this dress in her closet today (but then again, who knows?). The reality star was just popping up on our cultural radar and officially beginning her rise as TV’s most controversial figure (as well as bona fide businesswoman.) As for how her red carpet choice reflected the MMVAs? Simple: she was there. Kardashian's appearance reflects not just the larger net Much Music was (and still is) casting (since they'd obviously begun reaching out to the socialite pool), but that the red carpet boasted more style clout. Or at least it does now that we know how much fashion influence Kim K has.
Miley Cyrus, 2010
Three years before her shocking VMA performance, Miley Cyrus began hinting at a break from her child star self with red carpet pieces like this. But in addition to her several costume changes throughout the night, it was this leather dress that graduated her from the school of Hannah Montana to up-and-coming fashion force. Because love her or hate her, the fashion choices of Miley Cyrus are saying something (Specifically that she knows how to dress).
Selena Gomez, 2011
Then, a year later, Selena Gomez also cemented the MMVAs as a coming out event for actors who once played it safe for Disney. And while she didn’t rock a neckline as plunging as Cyrus’, she did use the red carpet to prove she was capable of carrying off more mature (albeit interesting) formal pieces – like her textured neutral mini-dress, paired with purple pumps.
Carly Rae Jepsen, 2012
Jepsen’s floor-length, black, liquid-like gown put the red carpet of ‘03 to shame – seeing someone so dressed up for the MMVAs was now relatively typical. However, though the dress is long, Carly didn't look like she was headed to prom; high slits and a tighter fit kept it looking modern and fresh (which is ideal, since this is a music show, after all).
Taylor Swift, 2013
And when Taylor Swift shows up, you know you’ve made it. Last year, the country-pop all-star showed up in a simple black and white piece which solidified the MMVA red carpet as one worth watching. In the words of Montell Jordan, this is how we do it.