MTV Unplugged co-creator dies after being hit by taxi
New York — The co-creator of MTV’s “Unplugged” was struck by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and later died.
Jim Burns was struck Saturday. The taxi turned onto the avenue and accidentally struck the 65-year-old who had been walking with his seeing-eye dog near his Upper East Side home, police said. He had some type of vision problem, and the dog was a seeing companion, police said.
Burns suffered a serious head injury and died from his injuries Tuesday. The taxi driver remained at the scene; police still were investigating but said it did not appear to be criminal.
An MTV spokeswoman said the network was deeply saddened to learn of the death. Burns co-created “MTV Unplugged” with Robert Small. The wildly popular show debuted in 1989 at the height of MTV’s musical and cultural influence in America. It features artists such as Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z and Bob Dylan in an intimate venue performing stripped-down versions of their songs.
“As co-creator of the beloved ‘Unplugged’ franchise, his groundbreaking work continues to resonate with audiences around the world. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones,” says a statement from MTV.
According to Billboard, Clapton’s Unplugged album sold 7.7 million copies after its 1992 debut, the most-ever for the series. Nirvana sold 5.1 million copies when it debuted in November 1994 at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was the band’s first album after Kurt Cobain’s suicide in April 1994.
The music series returned to the air this year, with performances from locations around the country that hold meaning for the artist performing. It premiered in September with Shawn Mendes.