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Top 10 Musical Moments on The Arsenio Hall Show

Top 10 Musical Moments on The Arsenio Hall Show
Photo by Flickr user Alan Light

One of the greatest late-night talk show hosts of all time was Arsenio Hall. He was the quintessential Ed Sullivan for the '80s and early '90s. He featured all kinds of musical artists, but most importantly, he helped introduce rap music into the mainstream.

Hall, who won Donald Trump's most recent Celebrity Apprentice this past spring, is reportedly returning to television this fall with another syndicated talk show, so here's hoping it will be a lot like the original show. Here are some of the greatest moments from that one.

10. Madonna's controversial 1990 interview

It's a known fact that, at least in the '80s and '90s, Madonna was pretty controversial. Her appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show was no exception. However, what makes this interview interesting is the fact that she and Arsenio talk about why she is so controversial. Some of the other subjects they cover such as her boobs, debating if Letoya Jackson had a boob job, and other key moments that make Arsenio a little... uneasy. Classic interview.

9. Eazy-E disses Dr. Dre

When Eazy-E appeared on the show with his post-N.W.A group, the Real Compton G's, he decided to throw out some verbal punches at a certain member of his former group: Dr. Dre.

8. Bill Clinton plays "Heartbreak Hotel" on saxophone

Former President Bill Clinton showed off his musical chops when he played the Elvis Presley classic "Heartbreak Hotel." However, it was during the interview segment where he appeared with his wife, First Lady Hillary Clinton, and stated his case why Americans should choose him for the election. When the Clintons appeared on the show, it gave them a new platform to talk to a younger audience which, in turn, voted for him.

  7. James Brown performs "Sex Machine"

Ahhh....the Godfather of Soul himself. One thing that still makes the late James Brown great is the fact that his music is still funky and timeless. He proved that when he performed "Sex Machine" on this episode.

6. Pat Benatar performs her 1993 single "Everybody Lay Down" and "Promises In the Dark"

In 1993, Pat Benatar and her husband-guitarist Neil Giraldo stopped by to promote her latest album, Gravity's Rainbow. One of the coolest things to see in this clip is how Pat is dressed -- not her usual rocker-chic (or spandex). She has a really nice updated look with a hint of '60s. But the thing that makes this clip out-of-this-world cool is her vocals on her latest single "Everybody Lay Down."

5. Whitney Houston and BeBe & CeCe Winans perform "Hold Up the Light"

Once upon a time, one of the greatest gospel duos teamed up with vocal powerhouse Whitney Houston. It was a moment to behold because, even though contemporary Christian music's commercial popularity was burgeoning back in the late '80s and early '90s, it still had good talent.

  4. Taylor Dayne performs "Don't Rush Me"

Though she did not remain popular long after the late '80s and early '90s, one thing is true: Dance-pop artist Taylor Dayne can sing and sing well. She has an amazing voice.

3. Michael Jackson stops by and gives Eddie Murphy an award

Talk about a surprise guest! The King of Pop himself dropped by The Arsenio Hall Show to present an award from MTV to his friend, comedian Eddie Murphy. In turn, Murphy presented an award from MTV to Michael. Nevertheless, it was a major surprise for the audience members.

2. Mariah Carey's national television debut

Mariah Carey is one of the greatest singers of all time. She has a powerful voice and can go into a vocal register that very few singers can reach. However, it was during the '90s when she truly shined.

  1. DC Talk performs "Free at Last"

If you were raised in a Christian household in the '90s, DC Talk was your own little version of the Beatles -- albeit with a little rap and hip-hop thrown into the mix. Nevertheless it is still pretty cool to see DC Talk because they are still fun to listen to. Hopefully one day we will see a DC Talk reunion tour. Unfortunately, I was too young to see this clip when it actually came out -- I was only six.

Honorable mentions include Radiohead performing "Creep" and the New Kids on the Block performing "Have a Funky Funky Christmas."

If I missed any, please tell me about them in the comments section.


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