In the music
- MTV debuted on cable TV in the USA and over 79 million viewers tuned in. Music lovers were finally able to watch a channel dedicated to music 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.
- Janet Jackson joined the cast of Diff'rent Strokes and stayed for a year.
- Sugar Hill Records released The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel. This groundbreaking record showcased Flash's groundbreaking DJ skills, seamlessly mixing segments of different records together to create a new track.
- American label Heatbeat Records launched with exclusive rights to the legendary Studio One catalogue. Pioneer Clement Coxsone Dodd, who passed away in 2004, set up Studio One in Jamaica back in 1963 where it became an invaluable training ground for a whole generation of reggae talent including Lee Scratch Perry, Alton Ellis and King Tubby. It became synonymous with the sound of Jamaica.