Nina Blackwood | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Nina Blackwood
  • Occupation Fomer VJ, Radio and Podcast Host
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace Massachusetts, USA
  • Birth Date Sep 12, 1955
  • Age 68 Years, 7 Months
  • Did You Know? Blackwood claimed that the smash single 'Missing You,' in 1984 by John Waite, was about her, and Waite has confirmed it.
One of the first five MTV VJs, Host of radio show 'The 80's on 8'

Nina Blackwood | Biography

Blackwood released her book 'VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave,' in 2013

Nina Blackwood was already doing music, acting, and studying at the Strasberg Institute, when she saw a mention about the new video music channel MTV on the Billboard Magazine. Besides several projects she was handling at that time, Blackwood's interest on music made her apply for the job. In 1981, she, along with Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and J. J. Jackson was selected for the network's inaugural video jockey lineup. Blackwood left MTV after five years on amicable terms.

Nina Blackwood is a music journalist, disc jockey, and one of the first five original MTV VJs.

Who is Nina Blackwood?

Nina Blackwood is an American music journalist, model, actor, television personality, and disc jockey. She was one among the first five original MTV VJs. Blackwood currently hosts a weekday show called The 80s on 8 on Sirius XM Radio. She also co-hosts The Big '80s Top 40 Countdown on Sirius XM Radio alongside other original MTV VJs on weekends.

When MTV first debuted in 1981, Blackwood was picked alongside Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, Alan Hunter, and J. J. Jackson for the network's inaugural video jockey team. After leaving the network, she hosted other television programs like Rock Report and Solid Gold. Blackwood had also appeared on other major networks like The Discovery Channel, VH1, and MSNBC.

Blackwood had also appeared in several television shows and films, including Vice Squad (1982), Reckless Kelly (1993), and I Crave Rock & Roll (1996). 

She divorced her husband in 1991 after a four-year-long marriage. Blackwood is currently in an alleged lesbian relationship with stage star Kelly Vincent.

Early Life and Education

Nina Blackwood was born on 12 September 12, 1955, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her father worked for the government and also taught Sunday school. However, there was false news running around at that time that her father was a minister. She was raised on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Blackwood was interested in music and acting from a very young age. She also learned acting in her childhood. At four, Blackwood began playing music, first on the piano, then on the harp. At eight, she also started acting onstage. 

She attended Rocky River High School and graduated in 1970. She covered the song 'Venus' in her high school boyfriend's band during her school days, where she sang and played keyboards. She then moved to California and studied acting at the Strasberg Institute.

Career Beginnings 

During her high school days, Blackwood worked at a couple of florists and even worked at a travel agency in the summer. She then went on to work as a model, voice-over talent, and harpist. Prior to joining the television industry, she received the spotlight when Blackwood posed as a brunette in the August 1978 Playboy pictorial "The Girls in the Office."

Career at MTV 

When MTV began in 1981, she was picked alongside Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and J. J. Jackson for the network's inaugural video jockey lineup. She was studying in Strasburg when she got the job. Blackwood had her second plan of concentrating on serious acting if the job at MTV did not go well. 

Blackwood was already doing music, acting, and handling different projects when she came across a mention about a new video music channel MTV on the Billboard Magazine. She had not initially applied for the position to be in front of the camera. But, her interest in music right from four years made her submit the material herself that landed her in a path-breaking job. 

"I went there with the intention of being a video jockey with the emphasis on music and it just happened to be on camera. It wasn't like, I'm gonna do this and become a big star," she said.

About her initial days working at MTV, Blackwood said, "When we first started, I would say the first two years, we were there I would say day and night. Sometimes we wouldn't even get home 'til midnight. We were just parked at the studio. As time went by, I guess everybody got smoother with things, so it didn't take as long."

Blackwood walked away from MTV after five years in 1986 on amicable terms.

Nina Blackwood with First Five MTV VJs
Nina Blackwood with First Five MTV VJs: Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and J. J. Jackson in 1980s (Photo: Instagram)

MTV at 40

Blackwood was featured as one of five original MTV VJs by several media outlets amidst MTV’s 40th anniversary in 2021. Yahoo Entertainment interviewed four original MTV VJs including Blackwood about their memories and experiences while working at MTV. In the interview, Blackwood said, “The channel made no money for the first few years. Advertisers are going, ‘What, we’re going to advertise on this little cable thing?’” She added, “But the first few years when we were in our original studio, I would say that that was our favorite time, because it was still really a free-for-all.”

However, she said she now doesn’t like MTV because the music television channel now features different programs like reality shows.

After MTV

Post MTV, Blackwood secured an unprecedented deal with Paramount Television to present her own weekly Rock Report on Entertainment Tonight and co-host the television's award-winning show Solid Gold from 1986 to 1988. The television personality had also featured on shows like A Current AffairAccess Hollywood, and other networks like The Discovery Channel, VH1, and MSNBC.

As a former MTV VJ, she also appeared in several documentaries such as I Was an MTV VJ (1998), The ‘80s: The Decade That Made Us (2013), Generation X (2016), and The ‘80s Greatest (2018).

Radio Career

In 1999, Blackwood and manager/producer Danny Sheridan started, Absolutely 80's, a nationally syndicated radio show on United Stations Radio Network. The duo also started another radio show, New Wave Nation, a widely syndicated show set in the 1980s. 

Blackwood currently hosts a weekday show called The 80s on 8 on Sirius XM Radio from 1 pm to 4 pm. She also co-hosts The Big '80s Top 40 Countdown on Sirius XM Radio alongside other original MTV VJs on weekends.

She was also a part of the play 'The Vagina Monologues' under a road company in 2003.

Acting Credits

Blackwood had also appeared in several television shows and movies back in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1988, she featured in an episode of the television series The New Gidget and The Magical World of Disney. 

She made her on-screen debut in 1982 with the crime-action movie Vice Squad as Ginger. In 1986, she got her second role where she portrayed MTV Vee-Jay in the comedy-crime movie Ratboy. From 1993 to 1997, she appeared in movies like Reckless KellyRoseanne, and Tom: Behind the ScenesNumber One Fan, and I Crave Rock and Roll. 

In 1997, she also appeared as Jean Sally in Season 4 Episode 13 titled ‘Sex, Lies and Videotape’ of the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Developed for television by Deborah Joy LeVine, the television series was based on the DC Comics character ‘Superman’ created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.


Blackwood is also an author. She released her book, 'VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave,' in 2013. The book gives a behind-the-scenes insight into her world and other original MTV VJs. It also speaks about MTV's early years, from 1981 to 1985, when the channel was expanding, altering culture, and spawning the MTV generation.

Emceeing a Fundraising Gala

On 18 November 2016, Blackwood hosted the XTreme 80s concert and lip-sync contest at Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda. The event was a fundraiser for the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County. 

‘Missing You’

Blackwood was a part of the inspiration behind musician John Waite’s song titled ‘Missing You,’ which peaked at No. 1 in Billboard charts in September 1984. She said in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment that the song ‘Missing You’ was partially inspired by her. She said she and Waite were good friends at the time and he said he had been thinking of her while writing the song ‘Missing You.’

In an interview with XS Rock, Waite said that ‘Missing You’ is about three different women and Blackwood was one of them. About the song, he says, “It was about my wife at the time we were breaking up, and then there was this girl called Patty in New York City, and Nina. So, it was just kind of a story about the three women in my life.” 

What is Nina Blackwood Doing Now?

In late 2020, SiriusXM announced a new podcast show called I Want My 80s with original MTV VJs, including Blackwood, Goodman, and Hunter. It is a weekly series where the hosts share their memorable stories and discuss their career-defining moments of the '80s.


In 1991, Blackwood divorced her husband of four years. Reportedly, she later started a lesbian relationship with Australian playwright and actress Kelly Vincent. Blackwood also acknowledged Vincent in her book titled ‘VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave,’ stating “Kelly Vincent, for making my life meaningful, I love you eternally.”

She currently resides in the countryside in an East Coast state with her one dog, two parrots, and six cats.

Nina Blackwood Voice

Blackwood is known for her raspy voice since her career on MTV. She used that signature voice to introduce music videos and interview musical bands on MTV in the 1980s.

Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Blackwood has a net worth of $500 thousand as of 2021.

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