Tomorrow (November 30) marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson‘s landmark album Thriller. Produced by Jackson and the great Quincy Jones, the album accelerated the King of Pop’s already sky rocketing career and exposed him and his music to an even greater audience.
From the start of his career in the mid 1960s with the Jackson 5 to his solo career and untimely death in 2009, Jackson’s life saw unimaginable highs coupled with crippling lows. Here are Michael Jackson’s 11 Most Thrilling Moments, both good and bad, for better or worse.
11. “I Want You Back”
“I Want You Back” was the featured single from the Jackson 5’s debut album in 1969. The song became a huge hit thanks to the then 11-year-old Jackson and was his introduction to the masses.
Jackson’s first solo hit and #1. While also being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1973, the song about a rat was just a prelude of things to come.
9. Jackson Gets Burned
Michael Jackson was on fire in 1984, figuratively and literally. Jackson was treated for second-degree burns after his hair caught fire on the set of a Pepsi ad.
8. “We Are The World”
Jackson co-wrote “We Are The World” with Lionel Richie to raise awareness of poverty in Africa in 1985. It won three GRAMMY Awards, sold over 20 million copies and helped raise $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
7. Hold On, Prince!
Jackson dangles 9-month-old baby Prince Michael II over a balcony while staying at a hotel in Berlin in 2002 to the amusement of himself and no one else.
6. “Off The Wall”
Jackson’s fifth solo record was his transition from child sensation to bona fide pop star with hits like “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and “Rock With You.” It also earned Jackson his first GRAMMY since the early ’70s.
5. Marriage to Lisa Marie Presley
Jackson idolized Elvis Presley, so much so that The King of Pop decided to wed The King’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. They then shared a kiss, which can only be described as awkward, at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.
The marriage lasted just two years, ending in 1996.
Five years after Thriller, Jackson released Bad. While not as successful as its predecessor, Bad introduced Jackson’s edgier look and more aggressive pop sound with hits like “Bad,” “Dirty Diana,” and “Smooth Criminal.”
3. “Thriller” Music Video
Jackson’s 13-minute-and-43-second “mini movie” for “Thriller” is regarded as the most influential of all time and revolutionized the music video. The video won two GRAMMY Awards and four MTV VMAs, including the title of Greatest Music Video Of All Time in 1999.
2. The People v. Jackson
The People v. Jackson trial in 2005 brought seven accounts of child sexual abuse against Jackson. After five months, The King of Pop would be acquitted of all charges, but his reputation was forever tarnished.
1. The Moonwalk
Michael Jackson introduces the world to the “moonwalk” at the Motown 25th Anniversary TV Special in 1983. During his performance of “Billie Jean,” Jackson appears to defy the laws of physics and steals the show. The move becomes synonymous with the Jackson name.
What moment or event of Jackson’s life is the most thrilling? Let us know in the comments section below.
– @ejjudge, WCBSFM.com
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