What Life Was Like When E! First Started 30 Years Ago

This June, E! turns 30! To celebrate we're looking back at the most monumental moments in pop culture.

By Jess Cohen Jun 20, 2020 7:00 AMTags
What Life Was Like in 1990E! Illustration

This June, E! turns 30! To celebrate we're looking back at the most monumental moments in pop culture.

A lot has changed in pop culture since the E!: Entertainment Television network officially launched on June 1, 1990. Looking back, the last 30 years have provided us with major entertainment moments from the world's most beloved celebrities. 

The late '90s saw the launch of superstars such as Britney Spears, Destiny's ChildChristina AguileraNSYNC and more. The next decade delighted us all with the sound of Beyoncé's Dangerously in Love and Taylor Swift's self-titled debut album, while also introducing us to Miley Cyrus on Disney's Hannah Montana and the Kardashian-Jenner squad on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

In 2009, the world watched as Adele took home the award for Best New Artist at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, beating out the Jonas Brothers and more artists. Later that year, Justin Bieber dropped his debut My World, officially kicking off "Bieber Fever." The next decade brought the world even more pop culture moments, including 2011's royal wedding with Prince William and Kate Middleton, followed seven years later by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ceremony in 2018.

What Life Was Like When E! First Started 30 Years Ago

At the very end of the decade, filmmaker Bong Joon-ho released Parasite, which went on to make history. The film, released in Oct. 2019, won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars, making Parasite the first non-English language film to win the category. Parasite also won Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director at the ceremony.


Now, at the start of a new decade, we're looking back at the year in which the E! Network launched. What was top song in June 1990? The top movie?

To take a look back at the major pop culture moments happening just as E! made its debut, click here!

Top Song

"Vogue" by Madonna: For the first week of June 1990, Madonna's "Vogue" was the top song on Billboard's "Hot 100" chart. The following week, Madonna was dethroned by Wilson Phillips' track "Hold On." 

Top TV Shows

CheersRoseanneThe Cosby Show60 MinutesA Different WorldMurphy Brown and America's Funniest Home Videos were among the most popular shows in the year 1990, according to Nielsen ratings. This was also the year that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and In Living Color premiered.

Top Movie

Total Recall: The Arnold Schwarzenegger film took the top spot at the box office for the first weekend in June, raking in $25 million. It went on to have the highest weekend debut of the year.

Celeb Couples

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder: After meeting in 1989, Johnny and Winona became one of the most popular celebrity couples of all time. After a few years together, the couple got engaged in July 1990 but ultimately ended up calling it quits in 1993.

Iman and David Bowie: 1990 is the year that supermodel Iman first met music icon Bowie. The superstars tied the knot two years later and Iman would later give birth to their daughter Alexandria in 2000. The couple remained together until Bowie's death in 2016.


1990 Academy Awards: Denzel Washington took home his first-ever Oscar at the ceremony, winning Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film Glory. That year, Daniel Day Lewis won Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in My Left Foot and Brenda Fricker won Best Supporting Actress for her work in the same film. Jessica Tandy won Best Actress in Leading Role for Driving Miss Daisy, while the movie also won Best Picture at the ceremony.


Football: At Super Bowl XXIV, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos with a score of 55 to 10. Following the game, 49ers quarterback Joe Montana was named the MVP. That same year, Montana was also named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year."

Basketball: Magic Johnson was named the NBA's MVP for the 1989-1990 season, while Michael Jordan was given the honor for the 1990-1991 season.

Tennis: Pete Sampras won the 1990 US Open in the men's division, while Gabriela Sabatini won the women's title.

Soccer: In July of that year, West Germany won the 1990 FIFA World Cup, defeating Argentina.

World Wide Web

While engineer and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in 1989, it was the following year, in December 1990, that Berners-Lee published the world's first website.

Out of This World

Hubble Space Telescope: The Hubble Space Telescope was launched and deployed in April 1990, marking the "most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo's telescope," according to NASA. The name of the telescope is a tribute to astronomer Edwin Hubble.

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