VH1 (VH-1: Video Hits One until 1994) is an American cable television channel that was created in January 1985 by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and owners of MTV. VH1 and sister channel MTV are currently part of the MTV Networks division of Viacom.
With then four-year-old MTV's popularity rising drastically among teens, VH1 began capitalizing on the success of the music video. However, VH1's aim was to focus on the lighter, softer side of popular music, including such musicians as Elton John, Sting, Diana Ross, Kenny G, and Anita Baker, in hopes of appealing to people aged 18 to 35, and possibly older.
It has also historically played more adult R&B than its sister channel, and has rarely played any rap or hip-hop videos. Also frequently featured in the network's early years were "videos" for Motown and other 1960s oldies consisting of newsreel and concert footage.
While VH1 still occasionally plays videos and has "video countdown shows", its more recent claim to fame has been much like that of MTV's, in the area of music-related reality programming, such as the signature show Behind the Music, and its focus on pop culture.