Afraid you’ll jump, even though you don’t want to? High Places Phenomenon explained.
In reality, many people experience this feeling at one time or another, according to Jennifer Hames, who led the study, “An urge to jump affirms the urge to live,” for the Journal of Affective Disorders. Hames called it the “High Places Phenomenon." Hames first got the idea for the study while she was a graduate student at Florida State University. One day, she and her colleagues were talking in the lab when they realized that several of them experienced a fear that they would jump in front of trains, steer their cars into oncoming traffic, or jump off of tall buildings—despite not wanting to die or thinking about suicide. They knew from previous research that almost 1 in 7 people do think about suicide at some point in their life, but this kind of experience seemed different. So Hames and her colleagues spoke to 431 undergraduate students at Florida State University about the High Places Phenomenon (HPP). Their research led them to a counter-intuitive conclusion: most participants’ brains were actually trying to keep them safe—it only felt like they wanted to jump. “What we found is that people were misinterpreting a safety signal from their brains, which are always firing so fast,” Hames said. “In that situation (when you're on a cliff, or a bridge, or driving past an oncoming car), your mind is actually saying, ‘You’re in an unsafe situation—back up from the ledge.’ People usually obey that signal and back up. But we can misinterpret that and think, ‘I must have reacted that way because I wanted to jump.’"
People who are more sensitive to symptoms of anxiety—a racing pulse or feeling short of breath—are more likely to experience HPP than those who are less sensitive (though this only applies if they’ve never thought about suicide), Hames said. They’re the ones who are most likely to feel their body reacting to a dangerous situation. Some researchers think there may be more to this phenomenon, though. One psychologist said she believes people think about jumping from high places because it gives us a thrill, and challenges us not to freeze up when we feel afraid. Despite various interpretations, it's a phenomenon that has emerged over and over again in language, art, and psychology around the world. The French, who seem to always eloquently capture unique concepts, call it, "L’appel du vide,” which means, “the call of the void.” In Italian, the pop song by Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini, “Mi fido di Te”, proclaims, “La vertigine non é paura di cadere, ma voglia di volare,” which means, “Vertigo isn’t the fear of falling, it’s the desire to fly." Even the 19th-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard spoke about this concept in his book “The Concept of Anxiety”. “He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy. But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eyes and in the abyss … Hence, anxiety is the dizziness of freedom,” he wrote.
I asked a few people who experience HPP to tell me how it feels to them. Here are some explanations I gathered: "I moved to NYC from the suburbs and suddenly found myself in a lot of situations where I could just very easily die: crossing the street, standing on a subway platform, standing on terraces in tall buildings, etc.," a woman named Katharine wrote to me. "I found myself gravitating towards the backs of train platforms (where trains are moving the quickest as they pull into the station). I had to start consciously standing with my back to the wall, away from the platform edge, out of the fear that I might actually do it,” she said. Another woman named Jeanne told me that she was perplexed by her own HPP thoughts until she was standing on a hotel terrace and mentioned it to friends who were with her and they shared similar stories. She believed her HPP was related to other boundary-crossing ideas that sometimes pop into her head. “It might have something to do with how easy it would be to do something so irreversible and absurd, that the mere thought that it’s possible exerts some weird fascination,” Jeanne said. “I [also] don’t like to sit in emergency aisles in planes because of that big red lever that looks so easy to pull. It probably isn’t, but I start obsessing over ... what would happen if my hands just pulled it before I realized what I was doing? I would never actually pull the damn thing, but the obsessive thoughts are no fun,” she said. According to Hames, HPP is similar to, but not the same as “intrusive thoughts.” Intrusive thoughts are those that keep popping up and interrupting daily task-related thoughts, despite a person’s desire to avoid them. They’re a common symptom of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress, Hames said. Intrusive thoughts happen when people are going about their everyday life and are usually related to a past trauma, Hames said. But for HPP to occur, a person usually has to be the particular setting, like a cliffside or ledge. Hames said she’s glad that many people who read her study came away with more peace of mind about their own thoughts. “Since this study was published, a number of folks have sent me emails saying, ‘I’ve experienced this my whole life and I was afraid to talk about it, I’ve been wondering if I’m nuts,’” she said. “I’m glad we were able to normalize it and find that it may be even more life-affirming that your body is trying to keep you safe."
Listen:Róisín Murphy, “Incapable”
Jay Som: “Superbike”
Nothing symbolizes freedom quite like the pairing of a motorcycle and open road. It’s a staple of American mythos; it’s the central conceit of Jay Som’s “Superbike.” Melina Duterte, who helms the project, is sparing with her imagery, piecing together the story as if from glimpses out a moving vehicle: hurt followed by hope, a two-wheeled escape, a painful memory. What she can’t fit into words plays out in the song’s swirl of major-key jangle, shoegaze fuzz, and tambourine, all churning like air currents. Betrayal may be the song’s fuel, but the overarching feeling is one of ease, unburdening, and independence regained. –Philip Sherburne
Listen:Jay Som, “Superbike”
Hand Habits: “placeholder”
Love and loss are twin pillars of songwriting, but there’s far less attention paid to the space in between: the relationships that last for three dates, the regrettable one-night stands, the rebound flings that never really had a chance. On the title track of their stellar second album, L.A.-via-Albany indie guitar hero Meg Duffy—a.k.a. Hand Habits—gives voice to the lovers left behind by non-committal types on the hunt for something better, as the song’s slow, Neil Young gait sets the pace for their fellow walking wounded. “I was just a placeholder, a lesson never learned,” they sing and sigh, like someone who’s grown all too accustomed to getting that “I think we should just be friends” text. For a remedy, they delve deeper into Youngian psychology, unleashing a series of pained fretboard squeals that sound like the guitar-solo equivalent of screaming into your pillow. –Stuart Berman
Listen:Hand Habits, “placeholder”
Control Top: “Office Rage”
In the 1997 film Clockwatchers, an office temp pontificates on what work life has in store for her: “When I look ahead, I imagine infinite possible futures repeated like countless photocopies, a thousand blank pages.” In “Office Rage,” Philadelphia’s Control Top storm the cubicles and find that although the blank pages have been replaced by screens, the lethal ennui remains.
“Staring at a screen/Makes me itch and scream,” Ali Carter yells. “Click click click click click/Makes me fucking sick.” A highlight of their Covert Contracts album on Get Better Records—company slogan: “for the queers, by the queers”—“Office Rage” employs a network of guitar lines more tangled than a messy router and drums like someone kicking a vending machine to liberate a trapped bag of chips. But in this economy, it’s worker liberation Control Top is after. “Service with a smile? EAT SHIT!” Carter screams. It’s a sentiment all of us can believe in. –Jesse Dorris
Listen:Control Top, “Office Rage”
Saweetie: “My Type”
Invoking 2000s nostalgia in a bid to create her own rap hit, Saweetie samples from a crunk classic: Petey Pablo’s Lil Jon-produced “Freek-a-Leek.” But instead of adopting Petey’s suave, come-hither vibe, Saweetie delivers “My Type” with bite: “That’s my type!” she yells, as if she’s just spotted a man at the other end of the club and she’s ready to take a swipe at any woman who dares approach him.
Saweetie’s raucous energy falls in line with another generation of women in rap: Three 6 Mafia’s Gangsta Boo and Crime Mob’s Diamond and Princess, who were exhilarating to listen to because they weren’t meek, pleasant, or well-mannered. Against the throwback beat’s rumbling synthesizers that could get anyone on the dancefloor, Saweetie turns “My Type” into an anthem for women who want to be unabashedly loud. –Michelle Kim
Listen:Saweetie, “My Type”
Taylor Swift: “Lover”
There’s room in Taylor Swift’s galaxy for celebrity warfare, veiled political commentary, and enthusiastic allyship, but her work is finest when it’s laser-focused on flawed, hopeful people making a connection. “Lover,” the title track from her most recent blockbuster LP, is a reminder of how effortlessly she can translate specific gestures and moments into universal expressions of romance. With its rustic arrangement and domestic imagery, it sounds like a spiritual sequel to “New Year’s Day,” the acoustic cleansing that closes 2017’s divisive Reputation. Both songs are tributes to the dirty work that goes into keeping a relationship healthy, and they’re spiked with the fear and doubt people feel even when that work is paying off. How can you make sure a good thing lasts forever?
Engineers Found Florida Condo Had 'Major Structural Damage' Before It Collapsed
In this photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, search-and-rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., on Friday. AP hide caption
In this photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, search-and-rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., on Friday.AP
A structural engineering report provided to the Champlain Towers condominium association in 2018 found widespread problems that required extensive repairs "in the near future."
The consulting group that wrote the report noted Saturday that the document "detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete, which required repairs to ensure the safety of the residents and the public."
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told NPR's Weekend Edition that the engineering report was likely not read at the time.
"I'm under the impression that it is something that nobody had seen until yesterday when we started looking back into the records to try to understand if there was anything in the record that would indicate why this building fell down," he said.
"We did not know about this report," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters Saturday morning. "We are obviously very interested in all of the evidence that's coming to light."
Parts of Champlain Towers South, a 12-story condominium in Surfside, Fla., partiallycollapsed early Thursday morning. Four people are confirmed dead and 159 others are missing. Rescue crews continue to comb through the rubble, but officials say they aren't hearing any signs of life.
Susana Alvarez, a resident of the building, was in bed when she heard a tremor. Within a minute, her bed started to shake, "like I was on a ride," she told NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro. "The bed was shaking, my balcony doors opened, and it felt like the longest thunder I had ever heard in my life."
Alvarez grabbed her phone and ran out the front door of her apartment, which was in the front of the building and right across from the elevators. But the elevators were gone. "There were no elevators," she said. "Just open holes."
Through the plumes of dust, Alvarez turned the corner. "And that's when I saw that the building was missing," she said. Along with other residents, she ran down the stairs, which were full of rubble. "When we got outside again, all I could hear were the people screaming," she said. "They were screaming, 'Help, someone help us.' "
Surfside mayor worries a second building may need to be evacuated
Burkett said he's "concerned" about "an identical building built by the same builder, maybe with the same materials, maybe with the same plans, just one building away."
Town officials are considering "potentially evacuating that building so we can get in there and do a forensic investigation on the status of that particular structure," Burkett said.
Speaking to reporters, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the decision of whether to evacuate that building would be left up to the Surfside mayor.
The engineering report, dated Oct. 8, 2018, includes pictures of cracks in the concrete columns of Champlain Towers South. The report found "major structural damage" to the concrete structural slab below the pool deck, caused by waterproofing that was "beyond its useful life" and needed a complete replacement.
It warned that "failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially."
The nine-page report, authored by Morabito Consultants, listed several areas of concern with the now 40-year-old building. The main issue was that the concrete slab was flat, rather than sloped in order to drain off water. That means any water simply sits on the waterproofing until it evaporates.
"This a major error" that doesn't allow water runoff and instead relies on evaporation, affecting the structural integrity of the concrete at ground level, the report said.
The report noted that the installation of waterproofing on a flat structure "is a systemic issue" throughout the building and would be "extremely expensive" to fix.
A 2018 structural engineering report listed several areas of concern with the now 40-year-old building. Those included concrete slab edges that were "experiencing concrete spalling or cracking." Morabito Consultants report hide caption
A 2018 structural engineering report listed several areas of concern with the now 40-year-old building. Those included concrete slab edges that were "experiencing concrete spalling or cracking."Morabito Consultants report
The report also warned of "abundant cracking and spalling" observed in the concrete columns, beams and walls. Earlier attempts to repair concrete in the garage had been done improperly, the report found. "Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion," it said.
Morabito Consultants released a statement Saturday adding that the condo association "engaged our firm again in June 2020 to prepare a '40-year Building Repair and Restoration' plan with detailed specifications for completing the necessary repairs and restoration work. At the time of the building collapse, roof repairs were underway, but concrete restoration had not yet begun. Our firm exclusively provides engineering consulting services. We do not provide construction-related services, such as building repair and restoration contracting."
Gregg Schlesinger, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., contractor and attorney who handles structural failure cases, told NPR that the report doesn't show why the building collapsed but it offered warnings of serious danger.
"They gave warnings. You've got a problem. What exactly is the problem? How bad is it? Why didn't you find out more?" Schlesinger said.
The search effort is being hampered by fire and smoke
"We're continuing our search and rescue because our first responders believe there is still a possibility" that there are survivors, Levine Cava said.
But that search is being hampered by a fire that is smoldering deep within the structure, and smoke has spread laterally throughout the pile. It's "extremely difficult" to locate the source of the fire, she said.
No further victims have been found since at least Friday, and rescuers haven't heard any sounds in the rubble that would indicate people remain alive within the wreckage. But "we continue to have hope," Levine Cava said.
Miami-Dade County requires that all buildings at least 40 years old be inspected and recertified and then recertified every 10 years after that. Levine Cava said the county will immediately begin an audit for the next 30 days of residential buildings of five stories or higher that are due for recertification.
With so much that sounds the same on the radio and popular Hot100 playlists on Spotify, I naturally gravitate towards sounds that are unique and bring an interesting perspective to the sonic palette. And Tame Impala brings that something different to the table - a unique electronic-driven alternative rock sound that blends together in a truly inventive way. The sounds they are exploring on their upcoming album, "Currents", and their previous explorations on their breakout album, "Lonerism", mix together sounds of the 70s, 80s, current electronica, and the lead frontman Kevin Parker's voice, and bring out the colors of sound in an exciting way.
I was curious though to see if the sounds that come across through their albums could be replicated live. They were playing at Echostage - not my favorite DC venue. But as the show got going, it was easy to see why they were at Echostage. The lights dropped, the crowd cheered, and the psychedelic sounds began, coupled with an incredible light show - much like Alt-J's performance in November, in which the show is just as much about the lighting as it is about the musical performance (hence why I suspect they choose Echostage).
As the first songs kicked off ("Let It Happen" was the opener, one of my fav tracks off of "Currents") and Kevin Parker sang his first notes, my suspicion deepened as to if they could match the sound off of their albums. But I think it took Parker a couple of songs to get that falsetto range he sings in warmed up, because as the night went on, he sounded much better and much like the production of their albums (which I think is the hallmark of good, authentic artists - if their sound can match the production of their albums live). There were a lot of groovy jams throughout the night, and as the band continued playing through a solid two hour set, all the favorites were played - "Elephant", "Be Above It", "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards", etc. - plus material on their upcoming album - "Let It Happen", "Cause I'm a Man".
It was a great set list, solid light show (though I did think I was going to have a seizure from the constant strobe lights at one point), and endearing performance. They're fun to listen to, bop around a bit, and enjoy the psychedelic grooves of their sound. Very much worth seeing live.
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Officials said they hoped that noise in the wreckage could be survivors.
Search teams burrowing beneath the rubble of a collapsed condo building in the oceanfront town of Surfside, Fla., detected sounds of banging on Thursday, but no human voices, as an increasingly desperate search for survivors pressed into the evening.
The hunt for anyone who lived through the early-morning collapse shifted late on Thursday to an underground parking structure beneath an unstable heap of rubble just north of Miami Beach, the site of the 12-story building.
As families of the missing grew increasingly desperate for answers, search crews were trying to tunnel to different floors and find spaces where survivors might be, setting up cameras and sonar devices to detect any signs of life. At each turn, they were confronted by danger as pieces of the wreckage fell and a fire broke out.
“This process is slow and methodical,” Ray Jadallah, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistant fire chief, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. “Anytime we started breaching parts of the structure, we get rubble falling on us.”
Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the building, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by midafternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County.
At least one person was killed in the collapse that survivors described as being “hit like a missile,” the authorities said. With so many people unaccounted for on Thursday, many more fatalities were feared.
Erika Benitez, a public-information officer for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said that officials hoped the noises they heard in the wreckage could be signs of life.
“This is what you’ll typically hear when doing search and rescue,” she said. “People who are trapped, and they may be too tired to speak. Falling asleep could also be a coping mechanism.”
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida said after touring the wreckage of the 12-story Champlain Towers South that search-and-rescue teams had “made contact” with some people and still hoped to identify survivors caught in the dusty jumble of concrete and steel.
The collapse transformed the picturesque town of Surfside, population 5,600, with its Art Deco hotels and mid-rise residential buildings, into a dazed scene of disaster and grief. Families flocked to a community center for news about missing loved ones. Survivors recalled being jolted awake about 1:30 a.m. to fire alarms, falling debris and the feeling of the ground trembling.
Rescue teams, some with dogs, picked through an unstable mountain of wreckage on Thursday amid concerns about the stability of the remaining part of the condo building. At one point, clouds of dust and smoke swirled through the scene as a fire broke out at the site, according to a Miami-Dade Police spokesman.
Surveillance video from nearby buildings showed part of the residential tower shearing away in a cloud of dust, but the cause of the collapse was one of many urgent unanswered questions on Thursday. It was also unclear exactly how many people — alive or dead — might remain in the rubble.
Commissioner Sally Heyman of Miami-Dade County said on Thursday morning that county officials informed her that 51 people who own units in the building had not been accounted for. That did not mean they were missing, she said, just that the authorities had not been able to reach them.
She added that not all of the units may have been occupied by full-time residents.
Raysa Rodriguez, 59, who lives in the part of the building that remained standing, said she was awakened by what she thought was an earthquake. She then escaped down an emergency stairwell and off a second-floor balcony onto a rescue ladder.
“I lost a lot of friends,” said Ms. Rodriguez, who has owned a unit in the building since 2003. “They are not going to be able to find those people.”
The center portion of the building collapsed first.
the east structure fell.
The center portion of the building collapsed first.
the east structure fell.
This portion collapsed first.
Moments later, this portion fell.
Mayor Cava said that about half of the 136 units in the 12-story tower had collapsed.
Charles W. Burkett, the mayor of Surfside, told NBC’s “Today” show that dogs had been searching for people trapped under the rubble since 2 a.m.
“Just tragically, there haven’t been any hits from the dogs, and that’s a great disappointment,” he said. “Apparently, when the building came down, it pancaked. So there’s just not a lot of voids that they’re finding or seeing from the outside.”
The area has a robust Jewish community and longtime ties to South America from decades past when families kept beach apartments there, and many Jewish and South American residents were reported to be among the missing.
Not far from the collapsed building is a stretch of beloved businesses that include an Argentine bakery, a Venezuelan bakery and a Cuban restaurant. Further north are the ritzier municipalities of Sunny Isles Beach and Bal Harbour.
The beachside building at 8777 Collins Avenue was built in 1981, according to county property records.
Mr. Burkett, the mayor of Surfside, said it was unclear how stable the rest of the building was. He said 15 families were being relocated to hotels. “We don’t know if the rest of that building is going to come down.”
He said the scale of the collapse was overwhelming: “There’s not a lot that little Surfside can do but ring the alarm bell,” he said at a news briefing on Thursday afternoon.
— Jenny Gross, Patricia Mazzei, William P. Davis, Daniel Politi, Ernesto Londoño, Giulia Heyward and Michael Majchrowicz
‘Like it had been hit by a missile’: Residents who survived the collapse describe being inside.
Raysa Rodriguez, 59, was asleep in her apartment at Champlain Towers South when the building began to shake in the early hours of Thursday morning — as if there had been an earthquake. On the balcony, she saw a plume of white smoke. Ms. Rodriguez rushed to her front door.“When I opened the door, I’m like, ‘There’s no more building,’” she said.
Her unit, 907, is on the west side of the building, which stayed intact. But a few doors down, from unit 904 and onward on the building’s north side, everything was flattened, she said. She ran inside to put on shorts and shoes and to grab her purse.
Along with some neighbors, including an older neighbor with a walker and a child, Ms. Rodriguez used the emergency stairwell, which was dark and littered with debris, to get to the second floor. A neighbor on that floor had left her apartment door open, and Ms. Rodriguez and the others ran in and onto the balcony, where rescuers were able to reach them with a ladder.
“I lost a lot of friends,” Ms. Rodriguez, who has owned a unit in the building for nearly 20 years, said. “They are not going to be able to find those people.”
Another resident, Barry Cohen, a 63-year-old lawyer, said that he and his wife were asleep when he heard something that sounded like a loud thunderclap. “But it never stopped — it lasted for almost a minute,” he said. They went out onto the balcony of their third-floor apartment and saw rubble and plumes of smoke. When they tried to exit through their balcony, the staircase was blocked by rubble.
“Everything was just decimated,” said Mr. Cohen, a former Surfside vice mayor. “It looked like it had been hit by a missile.” They went down to the garage, but were again blocked from leaving. Pipes had broken and there was so much water that it went up to his shins. They raced back to their apartment and yelled to rescuers, “Get us out of here!” he said. “We were just freaking out.”
He and his wife were eventually rescued by fire fighters using a ladder to reach them.
He said that there had been constant construction around the building since he moved there in 2018. “Everyone was constantly being shaken,” he said.
Residents said that a mix of people lived there, including retirees and affluent professionals with young families. The building is three blocks down from the Four Seasons. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are leasing a condominium a few buildings away, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
— Alexandra E. Petri and Jenny Gross
What we know about the building collapse so far.
When did it happen?
Survivors said they were jolted awake at about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday by fire alarms, falling debris and the feeling of the ground trembling.
How many people have died?
At least 12 people were killed. The authorities fear many more fatalities.
How many are unaccounted for?
Some 149 people remained unaccounted for as of Monday, officials said.
How many have been rescued?
About 35 people were rescued from the intact part of the building, and two were pulled from the rubble, said Ray Jadallah, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistant fire chief.
How tall was the building?
The tower was 13 stories tall; about half of the 135 units collapsed.
When was it built?
It was constructed in 1981, according to county property records.
How many people live in Surfside, Fla.?
The town, just north of Miami Beach, has about 5,600 residents. It is a mostly residential community, with several multistory condominium buildings along Surfside Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The town has an Orthodox Jewish community and is also home to many retirees as well as immigrants from South America.
— Adeel Hassan
The collapsed condo was about to begin corrosion repairs.
The 13-story condo building that partially collapsed near Miami early Thursday morning was about to undergo extensive repairs for rusted steel and damaged concrete, an attorney involved in the project said Thursday.
Kenneth S. Direktor, a lawyer who represents the resident-led association that operates the Champlain Towers South building, said an engineer had identified the needed repairs in order for the building to meet structural standards as part of a recertification process for buildings that are 40 years old.
“They were just about to get started on it,” Mr. Direktor said in an interview.
Mr. Direktor said he has seen nothing to suggest that Thursday’s collapse had anything to do with the issues identified in the engineering review. He said any waterfront building of that age would have some level of corrosion and concrete deterioration from exposure to ocean salts that can penetrate structures and begin rusting steel components.
If there had been anything to suggest that a collapse was possible, Mr. Direktor said, the process would have been handled much differently.
“What everyone is going to have to wait for is the results of a thorough engineering investigation,” said Mr. Direktor, who emphasized that the building association was focusing now on helping find survivors and on supporting families.
Government requirements in many parts of South Florida require recertification reviews after 40 years in order to ensure the integrity of older buildings. Anticipating the recertification process at the Champlain Towers South building, which opened 40 years ago, managers had been preparing over the past year for possible repairs, Mr. Direktor said. In recent weeks, he said, the building had started undergoing roof repairs.
Mr. Direktor said engineers had a good idea of where the building needed restoration, but the extent of corrosion is often not clear until crews begin the work.
Charlie Danger, who retired as Miami-Dade County’s building chief seven years ago and helped strengthen Florida’s building codes after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, said that the county began requiring that structural engineers recertify buildings at the 40-year mark after a federal building collapsed in downtown Miami in 1974, killing at least six people.
With buildings close to the ocean, one of the concerns is that improperly protected rebar may rust and lead to concrete spalling, Mr. Danger said.
“If it was a structural failure, what you want is for the inspection to turn up those issues in time to do the work,” he said.
Building inspectors also tend to worry about unpermitted remodeling inside a high-rise unit that might result in the elimination of a structural support column. “If you cut a structural column, your building is coming down,” Mr. Danger said.
One resident at the Champlain Towers complex, Raysa Rodriguez, said tenants have also been wondering about whether impacts from construction on a neighboring complex could have played a role in the collapse. Ms. Rodriguez said the Champlain Towers complex had been shaking from tremors during the construction that was completed last year.
There have been other signs of concern at the complex. In 2015, a resident filed a lawsuit against the condo association, alleging that poor maintenance of the building allowed water to damage her unit after entering cracks through the outside wall. Daniel Wagner, an attorney for the resident, declined an interview but said in an email that the lawsuit related to the “structural integrity and serious disrepair” of the building.
The complex also showed signs of land subsidence in the 1990s, according to an analysis of space-based radar by a Florida International University professor. The 2020 study found subsidence in other areas of the region, but the condo complex was the only place on the east side of the barrier island where the issue was detected.
Kobi Karp, an architect whose firm has worked on a series of prominent buildings in Surfside and Miami Beach, said the way the building collapsed — and the fact that it was only 40 years old — suggested a possible internal failure. He said that might have been caused by deterioration at the point where a horizontal slab of the building meets a vertical support wall, which could lead one of the building’s floors to suddenly fall, bringing the rest of the building with it.
That deterioration, Mr. Karp said, could have either happened slowly, such as over the last few years, or more suddenly if someone unintentionally damaged the structure of the building, such as while remodeling. He said there would have been signs of the structural weakening, like a crack in a wall or floor tiles, but residents may have missed or dismissed the signs, particularly in a condo where many people spend part of the year elsewhere.
Inspectors carrying out the recertification process would be looking for those kinds of flaws as well as rust and other signs of damage, he said.
“The 40-year certification is like a checkup,” he said. “But this is like if I’m 40 years old and in good shape and suddenly I have a massive heart attack and die. We need to find out what happened to cause that heart attack.”
When the Champlain Towers project was proposed in the late 1970s, people were flocking to South Florida and developers were looking to build larger complexes to accommodate demand, said Daniel Ciraldo, the executive director of the Miami Design Preservation League.
Advertisements in The Miami Herald in 1980 touted the Champlain Towers as “elegant condominium residences” that could be had for as little as $148,000.
“Your ultimate comfort has been anticipated: saunas, heated pool, television security system, valet parking and much more,” one ad said. Some of the building’s more than 135 units have recently sold for more than $1 million.
Patricia Mazzei and Alexandra E. Petri contributed reporting.
— Mike Baker and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
The scene on the ground in Surfside.
Search-and-rescue crews worked throughout the day at the site of a partial building collapse that killed at least one person at the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla. Emergency workers arrived in the early hours of Thursday morning and eventually tunneled into the rubble to look for possible survivors.
— The New York Times
- Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel, via Associated Press
- Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/via Reuters
- David Santiago/Miami Herald, via Associated Press
- Scott McIntyre for The New York Times
- Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
‘We don’t know anything’: Family members wait for news.
More than a hundred people gathered at the Surfside Community Center on Thursday morning, awaiting information on their loved ones who lived in Champlain Towers South.
Among them was Sergio Barth of Miami, whose brother Luis Barth, 51, was visiting town from Colombia with his wife and daughter and staying at a friend’s apartment in the building, on the collapsed side.
Sergio Barth tried all morning to reach his brother by phone. No response.
“We don’t know anything about him or his family,” Mr. Barth said as he clutched a cup of coffee. “Just keep your fingers crossed.”
People who were evacuated from a hotel next to the collapsed building also gathered at the center, including Aaron Miles and Abigail Crosby of Charlottesville, Va., both 20. They said they were woken by fire alarms and a commotion.
“It sounded like a hurricane,” Mr. Miles said. He heard debris hitting their hotel room windows as the building came down.
They were staying on the second floor of the hotel and were evacuated because of fears the hotel would also collapse. When they got downstairs, people were screaming, trying to find their loved ones in the collapsed building.
“We gave everybody hugs, and kept telling them it would be all right,” Mr. Miles said.
— Neil Reisner
Relatives of Paraguay’s first lady and other South Americans are among the missing.
Relatives of Paraguay’s first lady and an Argentine couple with a 6-year-old daughter were among the people missing in the rubble of the residential tower in Surfside, Fla., according to South American officials, news reports and relatives.
Paraguay’s foreign minister, Euclides Acevedo, said in a radio interview that among the Paraguayans who are unaccounted for are relatives of President Mario Abdo Benítez’s family. He identified them as Luis Pettengill, a cattle rancher, and his wife, Sophia López Moreira — a sister of the first lady, Silvana López Moreira. An employee of the family and the couple’s three children are also missing, he said.
Mr. Acevedo said Paraguay’s consulate in Miami had been searching for information about the family. “Our consul and his team are making the rounds at hospitals in Miami,” he said.
Lisandro Sabanés, a spokesman for Argentina’s foreign ministry, said Thursday morning that at least nine Argentines who were believed to have been in the building are unaccounted for. The Argentine newspaper La Nación has identified a few of them. They include Andrés Galfrascoli, his husband, Fabián Núñez, and their daughter, Sofía, who is 6.
La Nación reported that Dr. Galfrascoli is a plastic surgeon who has practices in Argentina and South Florida. Mr. Nuñez is a theater director, the newspaper reported.
A Chilean man, Claudio Bonnefoy, is also among those missing, according to his daughter, Pascale Bonnefoy. Ms. Bonnefoy, a Chilean journalist who writes for The New York Times, said her father, who is 85, lives in an apartment on the side of the building that collapsed. He lives with his wife, María Obias-Bonnefoy.
“Their apartment is in the rubble,” Ms. Bonnefoy said.
— Ernesto Londoño, Daniel Politi and Santi Carneri
‘I’m at a loss for words’: Loved ones in search of survivors reach out on social media.
A young college-age couple. A father and a son. A beloved teacher.
As rescuers continued to comb through debris and rubble for survivors, the friends and family members of those missing in the Surfside building collapse turned to social media in appeals for help.
“Please share we are trying to locate our beloved Lorenzo and his dad Alfredo,” wrote Valerie Pettersen, who described herself as a friend of Lorenzo and Alfredo Leone’s wife.
Arnie Notkin, a former physical education teacher at a nearby elementary school, was remembered as “a great man who devoted his life to Miami Beach” and “a mensch.”
“I’m at a loss for words,” a former student wrote.
Joey Feldman wrote that there was no cellphone signal when he tried to reach David and Bonnie Epstein. Louis Berk asked for prayers for Judy Spiegel.
“She’s an incredible woman and she will be found! Not giving up hope!”
The University of Chicago chapter of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish movement said Ilan Naibryf, a student there and the president of the group’s student board, and his girlfriend, Deborah Berezdivin, were missing.
“They are dear friends, gems whom we love dearly,” the group wrote, adding, “They are both family.”
— Remy Tumin
A family awaits news of a devoted grandmother.
The last time Rachel Spiegel had been in contact with her mother was on Wednesday night. Judy Spiegel, 66, had texted her to say that she had finally found the Disney dress that Rachel’s 4-year-old daughter, Scarlett, had asked for as a gift.
“Hopefully my mom can give it to her,” Ms. Spiegel said. But she still has had no word of her mother, who had lived for the past four-and-a-half years in an apartment on the sixth floor of the building.
On Thursday, Ms. Spiegel was among hundreds of other families waiting anxiously in the Surfside community center for any word about their missing loved ones. Officials told them that they were searching pockets of openings within the rubble. Ms. Spiegel said she has been waiting there since 5:30 a.m., after she had learned from her father, Kevin, who was in California on business, that he had received a message about the building’s collapse.
Ms. Spiegel and her husband jumped into their car and drove to Surfside. Her father returned home, and her brothers, who live in Orlando, Fla., and North Carolina, also traveled to the site. They were distraught but hopeful for good news.
Judy Spiegel is a devoted grandmother, who had been helping with picking up the children at school, always getting there early, her daughter said. “I am hopefully waiting,” she said.
— Christine Hauser
Witnesses watched the 12-story building fall in a matter of seconds.
Several witnesses described the scene of the collapse on Thursday.
Nicholas Balboa, 31, said he was outside at about 1:30 a.m. when he heard a rumble. He thought it was thunder at first — and then felt the ground shake.
“I went up the street and saw the dust cloud going through the corridor of buildings,” said Mr. Balboa, who lives in Phoenix but was visiting his father in Surfside. He raced toward the sound and saw the partially collapsed building.
Emergency crews had started to arrive. Mr. Balboa walked toward the site to get a better look. That’s when he heard a boy call out for help.
“We could see his arms sticking out and his fingers wiggling,” Mr. Balboa said. “He was just saying, ‘Please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.’” Mr. Balboa and another bystander climbed through the rubble and tried getting closer.
The boy said his mother had been with him, but Mr. Balboa heard no other voices. Using the flashlight on his cellphone, Mr. Balboa flagged a police officer, who rushed toward them with a rescue crew.
The crew dug through debris and used a saw to get the boy out, Mr. Balboa said. “It was surreal. I can’t believe that a building that’s made out of concrete and supposed to stand up to hurricanes and weather just one night decided to collapse,” he said. “To be completely honest, the comparison, the stark image that I had in my mind, was 9/11, just seeing all that debris and rubble.”
Fiorella Terenzi, an associate professor at Florida International University who lives in a neighboring building, Champlain Towers East, said she was woken up by a loud noise.
The sound “was like a big thump all of a sudden,” she said. At first she thought it was thunder but then started to hear sirens. When she left the building, dust was everywhere.
“I could see that half of the building of the Champlain Towers South was collapsed like a sandwich,” said Ms. Terenzi, 59, who has lived in the east tower since 2000. “It really was a shocking view.” Ms. Terenzi said she had seen heavy equipment on the roof of the south tower for the past two weeks.
Lizie Brito, 41, said she was on her balcony at a nearby building when she saw a swirling white cloud of dust come toward her. At first, she said, she thought it was a tornado. Then she heard an explosion and screams as people ran from the next-door hotel. She couldn’t sleep after that.
“Imagine thinking about the people that were struggling, dying there, and then thinking that maybe this could happen to us in our building,” Ms. Brito said.
Allen Rosenbach, 62, one of Ms. Brito’s neighbors, came to the beach Thursday to see the rubble. He received a text from his wife with names of people who were still missing, some of whom they knew. One of his son’s classmates, he said, lived on the side of the building that collapsed.
— Patricia Mazzei, Jenny Gross and Amanda Rosa
A hotline is set up for people searching for family members.
People seeking information about family members who are unaccounted for after the collapse of an oceanfront condominium in Surfside, Fla., can use the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue hotline and a reunification center a few blocks north of the site of the building.
To report to officials a person who is either missing or who has been found, family members are asked to call 305-614-1819 or go to miamidade.gov/emergency.
“Chaplains and victim advocates are on site, ready to support the survivors and family members who will be in need of resources,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a news conference Thursday morning. “Our social service agencies, as well, are coming in — they are going to be here to assist in the hours and the days ahead.”
The American Red Cross is providing food and mental health support at the family reception center and helping residents find a safe place to stay.
“We appreciate the outpouring of support and community members reaching out to the Red Cross to offer their help during this challenging moment,” a Red Cross spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “At this time, we have all the resources and assistance we need.”
A family reunification center has been set up at the Surfside Community Center at 9301 Collins Ave.
— Sophie Kasakove
Photo and video of the building’s collapse emerge on social media.
Hours after the building’s collapse on Thursday, photos and videos captured by witnesses and surveillance cameras were posted on social media:
Elected officials offer prayers for the victims.
Public officials in Florida expressed shock at the news of the condominium collapse in Surfside on Thursday morning and offered prayers for the residents of the building and for emergency workers on the scene.
“Horrible images emerging the partial collapse of a condo building in #Surfside#Florida last night,” tweeted Senator Marco Rubio.
Representative Charlie Crist shared his prayers for the “residents of Champlain Towers, their families, and the first responders at this tragic scene who are saving lives,” in a tweet.
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County tweeted that she had spoken with President Biden about the collapse: “He offered the full support of the federal gov. to help our community during this difficult time. We continue to work with local, state, & federal agencies as we respond to this tragedy and do everything we can to support the impacted families.”
Mayor Charles W. Burkett of Surfside, the town in Miami-Dade County where the building is located, spoke to reporters Thursday morning: “Nothing like this has happened to us,” he said. “And I’ve lived here my whole life.”
Representative Maria Elvira Salazar tweeted that the incident was “devastating” and that her “prayers are with all of the families & our brave @MiamiBeachPD & @MiamiDadeFire who are fighting around the clock to save lives,” sharing the same message in Spanish.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, “While details are still emerging, we pray that the casualties are limited and first responders are safe as they address this horrific collapse.”
Local county commissioners shared their prayers for the victims, too. The chairman of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, tweeted from the site of the building collapse: “My deepest prayers are with the residents and their families on this tragic morning. Thank you to all the brave first responders who quickly responded to help the victims.”
— Sophie Kasakove
Photos take you inside the absurd world of influencer conventions, where teen fans mob their favorite creators and physically fight for merch
- The tenth anniversary Playlist Live convention gathered more than 13,000 attendees at a Marriott hotel and convention center in Orlando, Florida this past weekend.
- From February 28 through March 1, YouTubers, TikTokers, and other social media creators joined thousands of their fans, along with aspiring content creators and industry professionals.
- Here are some of the sights to behold when influencers meet massive crowds of their fans at a convention known (in part) for having looser security than its California cousin, VidCon.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Many of the top YouTubers, TikTokers, and influencers are recovering from Playlist Live right now.
The social media convention in Orlando, Florida had one of its biggest weekends yet from February 28 through March 1, when more than 13,000 attendees and hundreds of staffers gathered for panels, meet-and-greets, performances, and more.
The vast number of attendees made for a tricky WiFi and data situation throughout the weekend, to the point where WiFi completely crashed in multiple hotels – including the Marriott that Playlist was held in – on Sunday.
"I don't have service" was a refrain heard repeatedly throughout the halls, especially since Playlist Live presents a major opportunity to make viral content. Playlist, which used to focus primarily on YouTubers but fully embraced the short-form video platform TikTok this year, is similar to California's VidCon.
But Playlist has a reputation for having looser rules than VidCon, which has taken more steps to tighten security in recent years. In Orlando, both featured creators and popular but non-featured creators mingled with fans out in the open, which led to some massive mobs. And the premises were completely overrun by teens making TikToks.
Playlist Live takes place at the Orlando World Center Marriott – a massive, upscale hotel connected to a convention center, just minutes away from Disney World.
The convention kicked off Sunday morning with long registration lines that foretold a packed convention.
Depending on what kind of ticket they purchased, some fans got to see beauty YouTuber James Charles right away at the first Friday panel.
Tickets ranged from $130 to a $220 "Insight & Industry" pass, and the most expensive option was a $500 "Premium" pass.
Fans could use their badges to get access to all the main events, which included performances from influencers who double as musicians, as well as food trucks.
Playlist staffers urged convention-goers to stay inside the lines taped to the floor (VidCon uses barricades), but some fans were able to get away with spontaneous meet-ups with their favorite internet stars.
Once past the human barricade to the creator lounge, there's a pseudo-hidden speakeasy where Playlist's guests of honor could get free mimosas throughout the day.
There was also a "TikTok Motel," one of the convention's many efforts to be inclusive to the new generation of TikTok stars.
The more secluded hallways that were kept private for creators gave them opportunities to mingle and make content without fans interrupting.
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Music program aired by MTV
For a more comprehensive list of artists featured on MTV Unplugged, see List of artists featured on MTV Unplugged. For a list of live albums recorded with the MTV brand, see List of MTV series albums.
MTV Unplugged is an American television series on MTV showcasing musical artists usually playing acoustic instruments. The show aired regularly from 1989 to 1999 and less frequently from 2000 to 2009, when it was usually billed as MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Since 2009, MTV Unplugged specials have aired occasionally, sometimes online only. Episodes and specials have tended to showcase one artist or group, playing a combination of their hit songs and covers.
Many of the artists who appeared on the show in the 1990s released their Unplugged session as an album, and some of these albums were commercial and critical hits. Eric Clapton's Unplugged (1992) sold 26 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling live album of all time. Other Unplugged albums that went platinum include Mariah Carey's MTV Unplugged (1992), Rod Stewart's Unplugged...and Seated (1993), 10,000 Maniacs' MTV Unplugged (1993), Tony Bennett's MTV Unplugged (1994), Page and Plant's No Quarter (1994), Nirvana's MTV Unplugged in New York (1994), Alice in Chains's Unplugged (1996), Shakira's MTV Unplugged (1999), La Ley's MTV Unplugged (2001), Ricky Martin's MTV Unplugged (2006), Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 (2001) and Alicia Keys' Unplugged (2005). Some of these albums produced successful singles as well, including Mariah Carey's No. 1 hit cover of "I'll Be There".
The show received the George Foster Peabody Award and three Primetime Emmy nominations, in its original form.
A limited-run reboot of MTV Unplugged came in 2009, featuring six acts, which won the Emmy Award for Best New Approach.
As of 2021, several episodes are available to watch on Paramount+.
The term "unplugged" has come to refer to music that would usually be played on electrified instruments (such as an electric guitar or synthesizer) but is rendered instead on instruments that can be played without electricity, for example acoustic guitar or traditional piano, although a microphone is still used. In most cases, the bass (or bass guitar) is amplified, and a Hammond organ is sometimes used.
MTV launched MTV Unplugged in 1989. The show featured musicians performing unplugged versions of their electric repertoire. Many of these performances were subsequently released as albums, often featuring the title Unplugged.
Launch of Unplugged
The MTV show titled Unplugged, drawing on this phenomenon, was created by producers Robert Small and Jim Burns, Songwriter Jules Shear hosted the first 13 episodes. The pilot and first seven episodes were produced by Bruce Leddy, after which Associate Producer Alex Coletti took over for the remainder of the series. After the first 13 episodes, the role of host was eliminated. The show was produced by Viacom and RSE Inc and was most frequently directed by Milton Lage and Beth McCarthy.
The first episode of MTV Unplugged aired on November 26, 1989.
Selected list of artists
For a full list of performers sorted by date, please see this article.
- The series first aired November 26, 1989, featuring Squeeze, Syd Straw and Elliot Easton. The first 13 episodes were hosted by American singer-songwriter Jules Shear and featured Aerosmith, Elton John, Sinéad O'Connor, Poison, Joe Satriani and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others.
- Paul McCartney's 1991 appearance was later released on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album. Show producer Alex Coletti went on to say that had McCartney not released it, the concept would have never gained the cult status that it went on to enjoy.
- Joe Walsh appeared on the show in 1990 with Dr. John. According to the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks, Joe Walsh wanted to perform the Eagles classic, "Desperado" but Joel Gallen received a three-page fax from Don Henley denying the use of the song. MTV invited Henley to perform on the show, but Henley wanted to have a show featuring only himself. At that point, MTV was sharing the time between different artists. Dr. John was not originally scheduled to be part of the episode. With only Walsh booked, producers went next door where a VH1 morning show was being taped with Dr. John, and asked if he would be willing to join Walsh on Unplugged.
- On March 5, 1991, Sting performed a set mostly centered around songs by The Police or from his album The Soul Cages. Sting enjoyed the experience to the extent that the following month he did a similar set in his home town of Newcastle at the tiny Buddle Arts Centre.
- On April 10, 1991, Unplugged aired its first ever acoustic rap show. The special kicked off with individual performances by LL Cool J along with MC Lyte (Cappucino), De La Soul (Ring Ring Ring), and A Tribe Called Quest ("Can I Kick It?") and a five piece back-up band, Pop's Cool Love. The highlight of the show was LL Cool J's energetic renditions of "Jingling Baby" and "Mama Said Knock You Out".
- In 1992, Mariah Carey performed a cover version of The Jackson 5's hit "I'll Be There" along with backup singer Trey Lorenz. That live version was released as a single and went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as in Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, and became a hit elsewhere. Due to high demand, the performance was released as an EP, MTV Unplugged, which eventually sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The performance was released in a video form as well, achieving success particularly in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia.
- In 1992, Eric Clapton recorded an Unplugged performance at Bray Studios in London. He rearranged many of his classic songs for the acoustic context, and the resulting Unplugged album went on to become the best selling Unplugged album in the U.S. and worldwide with sales of 10 million in the U.S. and 26 million worldwide. Clapton earned six Grammy Awards for the album, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year ("Tears in Heaven"), Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Rock Male Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song.
- While MTV has filmed over 101 Unplugged performances, fewer than 30 of them have been released as albums. Pearl Jam's March 1992 set was not released until 2009 as a DVD for their reissue of their debut album, Ten. This has been referred to as a breakout moment for the band during a time where the Seattle grunge scene was in high demand. Intense performances of the songs "Black" and "Porch" highlight this show with the latter featuring lead singer Eddie Vedder writing PRO CHOICE on his arm with a sharpie.
- On April 27, 1992, Seattle-based heavy metal band Queensrÿche filmed their Unplugged performance, playing such songs as "Silent Lucidity", "The Lady Wore Black", "I Will Remember", "The Killing Words", and a very well received cover of "Scarborough Fair".
- On July 3, 1992, Annie Lennox played an Unplugged show at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Nine of the twelve songs performed were released as part of the single series "Cold. Colder. Coldest." Each CD featured the studio version of Lennox's "Cold" as well as three songs from the MTV Unplugged show. Cold consisting of songs from Diva, Colder songs Lennox has recorded with the Eurythmics and Coldest cover versions of songs originally by Ike & Tina Turner, The Detroit Emeralds and The Beatles.
- On January 9, 1993, Swedish duo Roxette recorded the show at Stockholm Circus. During the show they covered songs from other artists such as Aretha Franklin, Neil Young and The Byrds.
- On April 20, 1993, Midnight Oil recorded an episode at Sony Music Studios in New York City. They recorded a 17-song set which included many of their hits and an encore cover of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" originally recorded by Eric Burdon and the Animals. The set was broadcast in the U.S. edited while Australia received a longer 9 song set. The full set was finally released on DVD in 2017. "One Country" was attempted in their session but was not finished and not released.
- On April 21, 1993, Soul Asylum performed their set two months before the release of "Runaway Train" music video. Lulu was the special guest who sang "To Sir With Love" in a duet with Dave Pirner, who was introduced to actress Winona Ryder backstage and they dated for the next three years.
- Rod Stewart performed a session with Ronnie Wood on February 5, 1993, at Universal Studios, Los Angeles, CA. Selections from this recording aired in May and were released on the album Unplugged...and Seated.
- On November 17, 1993, British rock group Duran Duran filmed their acoustic performance after a brief hiatus from their world tour due to lead singer Simon Le Bon's vocal straining after 11 months on the road. They played many of their classic hits as well as their 1990 single "Serious".
- Nirvana's performance on Unplugged was one of the last televised performances by Kurt Cobain, recorded on November 18, 1993, about five months before Cobain's death. Nirvana's set list consisted of some of their lesser known originals, and covers of songs by the Meat Puppets, Lead Belly, David Bowie and The Vaselines. The only real "hits" played during this performance were "Come as You Are", "Polly" and "All Apologies". This contrasts with other Unplugged performances, where artists largely perform their hit singles and other original material. Nirvana's performance was released a year later as MTV Unplugged in New York, about seven months after Cobain's death. It sold over 5 million copies and won Best Alternative Music Performance at the 38th Grammy Awards in 1996. It was also released on DVD in 2007.
- In 1993, Stone Temple Pilots filmed a 26-minute episode of MTV Unplugged, where they debuted the song "Big Empty" prior to the release of the "Purple" album. Other songs included "Creep", "Plush", and a unique acoustic rendition of "Wicked Garden". This performance was never released as an official album release.
- Bruce Springsteen's 1993 performance included a twist in where most of his set was performed with amplified instruments. The show was released later on album and video as In Concert/MTV Plugged.
- 10,000 Maniacs performed their last televised concert with vocalist Natalie Merchant in 1993. The performance was released as the album MTV Unplugged. Their cover of the Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen song "Because the Night" was released as a single. David Byrne was a guest vocalist.
- Bob Dylan recorded an Unplugged concert in 1994 over two nights that was combined into one show.
- The Eagles' 1994 acoustic reunion concert was broadcast on MTV as a one-off special called Hell Freezes Over. Nevertheless, the show, which was produced by the Unplugged team, is generally regarded as part of the MTV Unplugged series. The concert was released on CD (with four new studio tracks), VHS, and DVD, as Hell Freezes Over.
- On September 29, 1994, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs performed the first Latin/Spanish show at MTVMiami studios. The playlist included covers of The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton" and reggae artist Keith & Tex's "Stop That Train".
- On October 14, 1994 (recorded in August 1994), the long-awaited reunion between Jimmy Page and Robert Plant occurred on a 90-minute "UnLedded" MTV project, recorded in Morocco, Wales, and London, which rated highly on network television. It was not a reunion of Led Zeppelin, however, as former bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones was not present. In fact, Jones was not even told about the reunion by his former bandmates. In addition to acoustic numbers, the album features a reworking of Led Zeppelin classics, along with four Middle Eastern- and Moroccan-influenced songs: "City Don't Cry," "Yallah" (or "The Truth Explodes"), "Wonderful One," and "Wah Wah". The resulting album, No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, was certified Platinum in the U.S. and elsewhere.
- On October 21, 1994 Phil CollinsUnplugged aired. Because of his diminishing popularity in the U.S. it only aired in Europe.
- In 1994, a compilation album was released called The Unplugged Collection, Volume One.
- On February 14, 1995, Hole recorded a live acoustic performance in front of an audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. Along with a string ensemble, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Patty Schemel and Melissa Auf der Maur played 13 songs, a mix of hits off Live Through This, new material, covers by Duran Duran and Donovan, and the unreleased Nirvana track "You Know You're Right." The show first aired on April 18, 1995.
- On February 14, 1995, the Cranberries recorded a nine song-set accompanied by Electra Strings quartet, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The performance aired on April 18, 1995.
- On February 15, 1995, Live performed a nine-song set of their own material and a cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Supernatural".
- On May 4, 1995, Argentine musician Charly Garcia appeared at the MTV studios, bringing together his "Cassandra Lange" band for his third live album. Garcia included some of his classics and the result was issued as a live album, after Garcia re-recorded some of the material.
- On August 9, 1995, Kiss performed on an episode that would lead to the reunion of the original members. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons invited former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley to participate in the show. Fan reaction was so positive that the following year the original Kiss lineup officially reunited, together for the first time since 1979. The recording of the episode was released as the album Kiss Unplugged.
- On August 10, 1995, Chris Isaak performed a set including his hit song "Wicked Game".
- On September 14, 1995, Chilean band Los Tres recorded in Miami Beach, Florida. It was attended by Chilean musician friends of the band: Antonio Restucci and Cuti Aste. This was the first unplugged album of a Chilean group for MTV and, according to MTV technicians, is the only truly unplugged concert which has been performed, as only analog microphones dynamic range were used, at some distance from each instrument. The resulting album, MTV Unplugged, went quadruple platinum, and was the most popular album in Chile in 1995. The recording was made just a few months after the death of Chilean musician Roberto Parra, an important inspiration for the band. Because of this, the group dedicated the concert and album to the memory of "Uncle Robert" and played two cuecas: "el arrepentido" and "La vida que yo he pasado", as well as popular Foxtrot "Quien es la que viene alli". The latter song became a success of great proportions, possibly the most important in the career of the band. The new song on the album, "traje desastre", was also touted as a single from the album, and featured a video directed by Chilean film director German Bobe. The album contains 15 songs, of which 12 are their own compositions and three of Roberto Parra.
- On March 12, 1996, Soda Stereo was invited to Miami to record a session for MTV Unplugged. After a few refusals by the band, Soda convinced the network to accept an offer where the band would play plugged in, but with modifications such as orchestration including new arrangements of some of their classic songs. The result was an eclectic mix of music, some electric, some acoustic, but all bearing the Soda signature style. A highlight of the album was a soaring rendition of "En la Ciudad de la Furia," where the chorus was sung by Andrea Echeverri of the Colombian rock band Aterciopelados. The recording of the MTV show was partially released on the album Comfort y Música Para Volar (Comfort and Music to Fly By) (1996), and in its entirety on a new version of Comfort released in 2007. The album contained four new tracks from the Sueño Stereo sessions as well as an interactive CD-ROM with pictures and videos from the show.
- On April 10, 1996, Alice in Chains gave their first performance in three years and one of their last concerts as a group for nine years. During the show, lead singer Layne Staley looked visibly weak due to his ongoing drug addictions, but was able to deliver a strong performance. As one of Staley's last performances, this is considered to be one of the most popular and most memorable Unplugged sessions.
- Oasis were due to tape the show at the Royal Festival Hall on August 23, 1996, when lead singer Liam Gallagher pulled out at the last minute, citing a sore throat. The band performed despite this, with songwriter and guitarist Noel Gallagher handling the vocals, earning much critical praise. Liam watched the performance and heckled the group from a balcony. Their performance of "Round Are Way" later appeared on the 20th anniversary edition of their album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
- In 1996, pop artist George Michael gave an Unplugged performance for a crowd of 200-300 people. He performed a few select tracks from his album Older and a few from his earlier recordings (including one from his Wham! days). He also did a cover of "I Can't Make You Love Me". The performance was critically acclaimed and was the last performance his mother saw, as she died the following year.
- In 1997, neo-soul singer Maxwell performed Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" and Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" to high acclaim.
- On September 26, 1997, Bryan Adams performed on Unplugged at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and released an album. Adams was joined by Irish piper Davy Spillane and Michael Kamen who wrote orchestrations for many of the songs and brought students from the Juilliard School to play them. Three new songs were included; "Back To You", "When You Love Someone", and "A Little Love". The song "If Ya Wanna Be Bad – Ya Gotta Be Good" made its debut on an album. The record sold over 5 million units worldwide.
- On March 10, 1998, Mexican rock group Maná recorded their MTV Unplugged performance at MTV-Miami studios. The concert was released on CD and DVD on June 22, 1999, in the Americas and Spain. It includes exclusive covers of the José Alfredo Jiménez song "Te Solte La Rienda", the Rubén Blades song "Desapariciones", and "Se Me Olvidó Otra Vez" by Juan Gabriel. The recording received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album.
- In 1997, Argentine musician Luis Alberto Spinetta performed on MTV Unplugged with his band Los Socios del Desierto (with some invited musicians like Juan "Mono" Fontana on keyboard). This performance was atypical, as Spinetta performed longer that an hour, playing seven new songs and mostly ignoring his past hits. This was released as Estrelicia MTV Unplugged later that year.
- On September 8, 1999, Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette performed on MTV Unplugged, later released in November as Alanis Unplugged. Twelve tracks were included on the album, but Morissette performed several others, including "Baba", "Thank U" (both from 1998's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie) and "Your House" (the hidden track on 1995's Jagged Little Pill). In addition to material from Morissette's first two U.S. albums, MTV Unplugged featured performances of "No Pressure over Cappuccino" and "Princes Familiar", two previously unreleased songs from her tours, a cover of The Police song "King of Pain", and "These R the Thoughts", a previously released B-side.
- In 1999, Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira's concert became the first episode of the program to be broadcast entirely in another language – her native Spanish. Her MTV Unplugged release was particularly successful in introducing Shakira into the English speaking world. As well as charting at number one in the Billboard Latin Charts, and being the first Latin Unplugged album to win a Grammy Award.
- In October 1999, Irish band The Corrs performed live on MTV Unplugged, recorded in Wicklow, Ireland.
Since 2000, the Unplugged format has been revived on a number of occasions for specials.
- In 2001, Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz performed on MTV Unplugged and released the album of the performance on November 20, 2001.
- In 2001, Hikaru Utada became the youngest singer and the third Japanese, the first and second being Chage and Aska, to be featured on MTV Unplugged.
- Lauryn Hill unveiled her much-anticipated new material on a 2002 MTV Unplugged special, and later released it on the album MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. It had been three years since the release of Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Hill appeared with her hair cut off and performed in a stripped-down, minimalist style. Her set included her playing an acoustic guitar, spoken word segments, and occasionally breaking down in tears.
- Chilean rock band La Ley performed on MTV Unplugged in 2001, and released an album of the performance, which went on to win a Grammy award. This is the band's best selling album. After the album's success, La Ley was finally able to internationalize themselves and they make their way to foreign countries such as the United States. The album contains older songs from previous albums plus three new songs.
- Jay-Z recorded a performance of Unplugged on November 18, 2001, with The Roots serving as his backing band. The subsequent album sold over 600,000 copies and made it to No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart.
- Dashboard Confessional recorded an Unplugged show in New York in 2002, and became the first band without a platinum record to do so.
- MTV Unplugged was first introduced in Italy on June 16, 2005, with Italian singer Giorgia's own successful Unplugged experiment.
- Queens of the Stone Age participated in their first Unplugged special in Berlin in June 2005 and performed a number of tracks from their album Lullabies to Paralyze.
- Alicia Keys' Unplugged special aired on MTV on September 23, 2005. It was the first Unplugged for MTV in nearly three years, and special guests for Keys' performance included Mos Def, Common, Damian Marley and Maroon 5's Adam Levine. The show was released on CD and DVD in October 2005. The album debuted at No. 1 (see Unplugged).
- On August 17, 2006, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin performed on MTV Unplugged, and released the album of the performance on November 7, 2006, as MTV Unplugged . The album had a brilliant success, it reached number 1 of the Billboard Latin Charts, it sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and won several awards, including two Latin Grammy.
- On December 9, 2006, Korn performed on Unplugged with guests Amy Lee, Robert Smith, and Simon Gallup (the former of Evanescence and the latter duo of The Cure) on some of their well-known songs, along with others. The performance was released on a CD entitled MTV Unplugged: Korn on March 6, 2007, where it debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at #9.
- In 2009, Nagase Tomoya, of the idol group TOKIO, performed on MTV Unplugged as the sixth Japanese performer to hold a performance on the program, after artists such as Chage and Aska and Hikaru Utada
- During the summer of 2009, MTV.com officially revived the Unplugged franchise with a 6-episode season produced and directed by Matthew C. Mills of Spacestation. This particular season won an Emmy award for Best New Approach, was nominated for another Emmy (Sound Recording), and was a Webby Award Honoree. Artists in this incarnation were Adele, Silversun Pickups, All Time Low, Paramore, Vampire Weekend and Katy Perry. Both Katy Perry and All Time Low released albums of their performances. The shows debuted on unplugged.mtv.com while single song excerpts appear on MTV and Palladia/MTV Live in video rotation. AdeleUnplugged premiered on Palladia June 26 and Silversun Pickups August 1.
- The MTV Unplugged with the German rapper Sido was recorded on January 28, 2010, in Berlin.
- MTV revived the show on March 10, 2010, with Adam Lambert.
- In 2010, American musician B.o.B recorded an Unplugged performance
- In October of 2010, Mexican rock band PXNDX recorded their MTV Unplugged performance in Mexico City. It aired on November 23rd, 2010.
- In March 2011, K-os performed an MTV Unplugged in Toronto recorded for a future album and DVD.
- On March 4, 2011, 'MTV Unplugged with Lykke Li debuted on MTV.com
- In May 2011, Los Tigres del NorteMTV Unplugged was aired on MTV Tr3s. They became the first Regional Mexican group to ever record an Unplugged.
- On May 13, 2011, Thirty Seconds to Mars recorded an Unplugged performance at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The band's set list consisted of songs extracted from their third studio album, This Is War (2009) and cover versions of songs by U2 and The Police. The performance was later released as a four-track extended play with a video accompaniment package. The Unplugged version of "Hurricane" won the MTV Award for Best Live Performance.
- In April 2012, popular band Florence and the Machine starred in an MTV Unplugged special.
- In May 2012, 9mm Parabellum Bullet performed at Billboard Live in Tokyo. A DVD was released with unbroadcasted songs.
- In September 2013, Scorpions performed and taped three nights in Athens, Greece for a future MTV Unplugged episode.
- On January 28, 2014, American actress and recording artist Miley Cyrus performed an Unplugged show in Los Angeles. The show aired the next day on MTV. Cyrus performed several songs from her album Bangerz. She also performed a duet with Madonna, performing a mash-up of "We Can't Stop" and "Don't Tell Me".
- On November 7, 2014, German reggae artist Gentleman released his album MTV Unplugged which included 28 songs featuring Ky-Mani Marley, Milky Chance, Shaggy, Christopher Martin and more. This was the first time MTV Unplugged had a reggae artist after 25 years.
- In 2015 Revolverheld recorded an MTV Unplugged album, with guests Annett Louisan, Rea Garvey, Heinz Strunk, Das Bo, Marta Jandova, Mark Forster, Johannes Oerding and Michael Van Diek.
- On September 15, 2017, Bleachers recorded 11 tracks for MTV Unplugged. The album was released on November 11, 2017, and features additional vocals from Carly Rae Jepsen and Lorde.
- In 2016, former MTV president Sean Atkins announced the show would return reimagined to the flagship network. In 2017, MTV announced the program would return on September 8, with Shawn Mendes performing in the season premiere.
- In 2017, the Norwegian band a-ha recorded the MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice album and DVD / BluRay. The album and DVD / BluRay were released on 6 October 2017. It was recorded live at the Harbour Hall at Ocean Sound Recordings in Giske, Norway on 22 and 23 June 2017. MTV had first approached a-ha 10 years earlier, but the band had put it off several times until 2017. The performance includes a selection of guest artists, including Lissie, Alison Moyet, Ian McCulloch and Ingrid Helene Håvik.
- In April 2018, a "SaMTV Unplugged" was recorded on the ship MS Bleichen in Hamburg Harbor by German rapper Samy Deluxe.
- In 2018, MTV produced MTV Unplugged Melbourne featuring weekly episodes filmed in Australia with local Australian artists including Courtney Barnett, Amy Shark, The Rubens and Gang of Youths to name a few.
- In 2017, Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro recorded an MTV Unplugged performance in London which aired in 2018.
- In 2019, MTV Unplugged recorded a special show in Warsaw featuring Polish artist Brodka. The show was recorded on February 19, 2019.
- In 2019 MTV Unplugged returned to the UK with an August 2019 performance by Liam Gallagher at Hull City Hall. This aired in September 2019. The performance was also later released on CD, vinyl and digital download on 12 June 2020 as MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall).
- In 2020, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, MTV launched MTV Unplugged At Home; the series featured 14 online episodes.
- On February 23rd, 2021, MTV released a performance by BTS, the first South Korean band to appear on Unplugged.
Performances using the "Unplugged" format
MTV's sister channel VH1 airs VH1 Storytellers, interspersing mostly acoustic performances with the artists discussing the history, meaning and memories of the songs.
Bon Jovi performed unplugged in 2007 on CMT. The Police, Mary J. Blige, Kenny Chesney and John Mayer were scheduled to perform.
The fourth season of Canadian Idol featured an Unplugged night which was held at Toronto's Masonic Temple. This episode of Canadian Idol was a tribute to MTV in two ways: a direct tribute to the Unplugged format, and to celebrate the recent licensing of the new MTV Canada which was located in the Masonic Hall until 2012.
On July 30, 2020, Code Orange performed a livestreamed acoustic set on Twitch spoofing MTV Unplugged under the title of "MUDTV Mudbanger's Ball" during the COVID-19 pandemic. The band described it as "conceptually akin to classic MTV Unplugged performances, but with nightmarish digital twists and turns." The performance was later remastered and released on September 4, 2020, as their album Under The Skin.
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