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MTV turns 40 on Sunday

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MTV turns 40 on Sunday
Kendrick Lamar -- winner of Video of the Year, Best Hip Hop, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects -- at the 34th annual MTV Video Music Awards in Inglewood, California, in 2017. MTV turns 40 Sunday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 31 (UPI) -- American cable television network MTV is turning 40 Sunday.

To celebrate the milestone, a large-scale Moon Person, inspired by a 2021 special edition Moon Person designed by American Artist Kehinde Wiley, will be unveiled at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.

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"Since MTV first launched at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 1981, and debuted with footage of NASA's Apollo 11 mission, the Moon Person has symbolized the brand's spirit of adventure and foray into new worlds," a news release said.

"Wiley reimagined the iconic Moon Person for MTV's 40th anniversary and the special award will be given to the winners at the 2021 MTV VMAs. The large-scale MTV Moon Person that will live at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is inspired by his design."

Wiley is the first African American artist to paint an official portrait of a U.S. president, Barack Obama.

MTV started out as a channel that showed round-the-clock music videos, with blocks hosted by video jockeys or VJs.

The channel later morphed into a destination for reality series, game shows and scripted young-adult dramas. It also hands out annual music, film and TV awards in televised broadcasts, previously known as the Moon Man, now known as a Moon Person.

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Several former MTV VJs -- including Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood and Alan Hunter -- host programs on SiriusXM's '80son8 pop music channel. Another MTV alum, Kennedy, is now a Fox Business/Fox News personality.

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