This category contains selected mentionings pertaining to some of Michael Jackson's numberless career and show business acts, their spectacular public resonance and also relief-driven direction.
In 1963, at the age of five, Michael Jackson performs for the first time before an audience, namely a rendition of song “Climb Every Mountain” from the “Sound Of Music”, for his class at Garnett Elementary School in Gary, Indiana. The song is a hopeful ode to dreams coming to life. His performance moves many teachers to tears and he receives a standing ovation. Immediately after the performance, young Michael is invited into the Jackson brothers group as their lead singer. A lady from their neighborhood will suggest calling the group “The Jackson 5”.
Los Angeles Sentinel reports on November 22, 1973, that Chicago publishing firm, ‘Let’s Save The Children’, established in July, 1972, asserts that the Jackson 5 belong in a school textbook. The firm had brought out eight school books up until then, with rhymed stories and photographs of well known blacks such as the Jackson 5. “Most black children come to school feeling they are not going to succeed”, Helen King, the firm’s president offers. “School has almost become a place of punishment. If a first grader sees a book on The Jackson Five, he knows them. School’s not so horrible. There’s an element of trust.”, King says. A teacher’s guide, she continues, explains how to relate the text to lessons in geography, arithmetic, current events and culture, and that the textbook “wasn’t designed as a reading series, but (…) will stimulate an interest in reading.”
In a back issue of Harlem's Black newspaper, the “Amsterdam News”, a display commercial announcing a performance of the Brewery Puppet Troupe at the Space for Transnational Arts on November 29-30, 1974 is featured. ‘The Jackson 5 Meet Malcolm X’ - with puppets is “a comedy musical adventure chronicling through the art of puppetry the dancing and singing talents of the Jackson 5 and their encounter with one of the most important modern-day black leaders, Malcolm X”.
In 1980, a cheerful Michael Jackson – a huge admirer of anything Disney - appears on ‘Kraft Salutes Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary Show’, performing a medley of songs, namely “When You Wish Upon A Star” (from Walt Disney's 1940 adaptation of ‘Pinocchio’), “Ease On Down The Road” (from film ‘The Wiz) and “Follow The Yellow Brick Road” (from the soundtrack to the 1939 film, The Wizard Of Oz’), and is accompanied in song and dance by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and other Disney characters. The show also features the story of a young boy (Adam Rich) on his first ever trip to ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’, and encounters a variety of interesting characters (played by Danny Kaye) who provide him with numerous tidbits on the theme park's history. Other musical numbers for the show include Donny Osmond and Danny Kaye, with sing-alongs featuring Disneyland cast members and guests.
On September 22, 1980, “Can You Feel It”, the first track off the Jacksons’ Triumph album, written by Michael and Jackie Jackson, gets released. The song preaches against racism and xenophoby. The accompanying video, directed by Bruce Gowers and Robert Abel is noted for its remarkable special effects. Michael Jackson has created the video's concept, which features him and his brothers appearing as celestial beings or missionaries, disseminating light and positive message unto the world, a vision easily assumed to have been based upon the singers' Jehovah’s-Witnesses upbringing. Tito Jakson's sons, Taj and Taryll appear as extras among a number of people of various ages and races. Michael J. also creates and produces a short promotional film based on the single, “Can You Feel It”, entitled “The Triumph”. The video includes impressive special effects ahead of its time, as well as animated images of fire and water symbolizing the world’s genesis. One of the prime times the film will be broadcast will be on “American Bandstand”, which wouldn’t normally show films, whereas in 2001, it will be voted one of the 100 best videos of all time, in a poll to mark the 20th anniversary of MTV. Released as a single in 1981, the song will reach number 77 on the pop charts and number 30 on the R&B charts in United States, number six in the United Kingdom and number two in the Netherlands that year.
For The Jacksons' Triumph Tour, opened on July 9, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee, Michael Jackson, inspired by film “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”, designs a space-age set and also brings in magician Doug Henning to work on the show’s special effects. ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ is a 1977 American science fiction film written directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey. It tells the story of Roy Neary, an Indiana electrical lineman, whose life changes after he has an encounter with an unidentified flying object (UFO). In addition, the United States government is also aware of the UFO’s, as is a team of international scientific researchers. Jackson meant to create a special atmosphere of triumph, in celebration of brother Randy’s recuperation following a serious car accident in Hollywood the year before.
"Thriller" is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records as the follow-up to Jackson's critically and commercially successful 1979 album, Off the Wall. The album is one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, the videos for "Thriller", "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" all receiving regular rotation on MTV. Thriller sells 1 million copies weekly at its peak, according to Jay Cocks’ 1984 article, ‘Why He’s A Thriller’. The album will rank at number 20 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003, and will be listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) at number 3 in its Definitive 200 Albums of All Time. On August 21, 2009, Thriller will be certified 29 times Multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least 29 million copies in the US. The album tops the charts in many countries, sold 3.7 million copies in the UK, 2.5 million in Japan and going 15 times Platinum in Australia. Still popular today, Thriller sells an estimated 130,000 copies in the US per year; it will reach number two in the US Catalog charts in February 2003 and number 39 in the UK in March 2007. According to The Washington Post, Thriller paved the way for other African-American artists ,such as Prince. "The Girl Is Mine" is credited by Robert Christgau for getting interracial love on the radio, it being a collaboration between Jackson and Paul McCartney. In February 2008, Epic Records releases Thriller 25, a remastered collection of Thriller’s songs and a new song, ‘For All Time’, about love being the only enduring energy on earth. Jackson serves as executive producer for this album, which includes a DVD featuring three music videos, the Motown 25 "Billie Jean" performance, and a booklet with a personal message from Jackson. According to will.i.am, who collaborates with Jackson for this remix album, Jackson and him did not entertain the idea of remixes appearing on Thriller 25. Jackson also was said not to be in favor of releasing “Blood On The Dancefloor”, the 1997 album, to include remixes of some HIStory and “BOTDF” songs, however is convinced by Sony’s approach of appealing to the young generations, which is the case with Thriller 25.
“Eat It”, a parody of Beat It by “Weird Al” Yankovic is released, on February 28, 1984. The music-video spoof was blessed by a healthily amused Jackson, who will also give permission to Yankovic to release his other parody, for “Bad”, on April 12, 1988.
The entertainer’s father, Joseph Jackson, in partnership with American boxing promoter, Don King, make a multimillion-dollar deal to film a commercial for Pepsi in 1984, a product the health devotee neither drank nor liked, however, he complies with the deal as the company was sponsoring The Jacksons’ Victory Tour. The commercial will, however, prove to be ominous for the singer's well-being... in a disadvantageous way.
* Did you know that following the Jacksons’ Victory concerts (on September 7-8, 1984) in Denver, Colorado, Michael Jackson spent a week in Nederland, Colorado, climbing every mountain (the highest: 10,000 feet) on the 75,000-acre Caribou Ranch of his friend, Jim Guercio, former producer of rock group Chicago? He is later joined by his cook, Mani Khalsa, for a tour of Caribou Ranch, then flies in a hot-air balloon in Orlando, Florida, (singing “Up, Up and Away”), after which helps collect a handful of fruit from the top of an orange tree. (from November/December, 1984 issue “People Extra” magazine)
Grammy award winning effort by USA For Africa, “We Are The World” (inspired by Bob Geldoff’s Band Aid recording “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, along with British song, “Feed The World”, hits top of the charts in the Christmas of 1985, both being centerpieces at the Live Aid extravaganza in the summer of 1986.
* On February 14, 1985, the singer helps with the delivery of Valentino, a baby deer born to his pet deer, Prince and Princess at Hayvenhurst in Encino.
In March, 1985, Michael Jackson purchases ATV Music Publishing Company for 47.5 million dollars. ATV’s music catalogue includes the rights to more than 4000 songs, including 251 of The Beatles’ compositions. This purchase established Michael Jackson one of the top music publishers in the world and evidentiates his savvy businessmanship at 26 years of age, as well as his high passion for music.
On July 30, 1986, Michael Jackson attends the funeral of film director Vincent Minnelli, and is seen sympathetically holding hands with visibly mourning Liza, Minnelli’s daughter, and fourth wife, Lee Anderson. Minnelli died at age 83, after struggling with emphysema and bouts with pneumonia that caused him to be repeatedly hospitalized in his final year. He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park fro Glendale, Los Angeles.
Michael Jackson sets a new world record in 1986. In February, that year, Pepsi-Cola Corporation signs a 3-year deal with the entertainer for a staggering 15 million dollars. The endorsement deal will include two Pepsi commercials and the sponsorship of the artist’s first solo tour. It will be the largest endorsement deal of its kind in history. His first major project for the year will be a groundbreaking 3D movie called “Captain Eo”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas. Jackson writes and records two songs for the 17 minute epic: “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me”. He also helps create a “Captain Eo” ride for Disneyland. The movie will enjoy great success and run for 8 years at Disneyland and 10 years at Epcot. It will also be released at Tokyo Disneyland, where it will run for 9 years and Disneyland Park in Paris - for 6 years. The attraction, now entitled Captain EO Tribute, re-opened at Disneyland Park on February 23, 2010 and returned to Discoveryland at Disneyland Park (Paris) on June 12, to Epcot at Walt Disney World on July 2 and to Tokyo Disneyland on July 1, 2010.
At the 30th Grammy Awards held at the Radio City Music Hall, New York City, March 2, 1988, he performs “The Way You Make Me Feel”, as well as gives a powerful gospel performance of “Man In The Mirror”, chanting repeatedly exhortations. “Stand up for your brother! / Stand up for your sister! / Stand up for mother! […]”, cries he, being joined on stage by the New Hope Baptist Church Choir, all in blue gowns. His other background singers include Siedah Garret and Andre Crouch. Jackson is given a standing ovation for his performance, and many ensuing press praises, but he wins no Grammy awards. Jackson was nominated at 4 categories.
Cable channel Showtime airs a special on the entertainer, titled “Motown On Showtime: Michael Jackson… The Legend Continues” on March 12, 1988. Executive producers are former Motown’s Creative Assistant, Susanne de Passe, and Jackson. The program covers his entire career, with a focus on his earlier years at Motown. Three fans are included in the special, winners of an “Ask Michael” contest sponsored by Showtime and MTV; part of the prize was the opportunity to appear on the special, them also being invited to tour Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and meet with him during one of his concerts in Australia.
On April 27, 1988, after four years in the works, Michael Jackson’s autobiography, “Moon Walk” is finished, released and published by Doubleday, and has been edited by friend Jacqueline Onassis. It is written in a highly unpretentious style and in it, he discusses his childhood, his career beginning with the Jackson 5 era, he dispels a few persistent rumors made against him throughout the years, and shares a few details of his private life (largely speculated upon by the media), refuting the rumors of being gay, or tackling the strained relationship between him and his father. He also describes himself as being “one of the loneliest people in the world”. The first manuscript of the book has been put together by Robert Hillburn, however will be refused by Doubleday, due to its lacking in juicy details. Stephen Davis will be the next to help Jackson put the book together, however the singer will substantially edit Davis’ manuscript, due to its sensationalistic feel. In the end, Jackson will write and edit the book himself, with a little help from Shaye Ayreheart. Moon Walk will be re-released October 13, 2009 following the singer’s death, with a new foreword by Motown founder Berry Gordy and afterword by Shaye Areheart.
On May 23, 1988, the musician embarks on his European leg of the Bad World Tour, selling out shows at most venues in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Austria and other countries. Jackson breaks all existing attendance records when he plays seven sold-out shows at London’s 72,000-seat Wembley Stadium in July and August. An estimated 504,000 fans attended these concerts.
On June 16, 1988, Michael Jackson performs a concert at St. Jakob Stadium in Basel, Switzerland, which is attended by Bob Dylan and close friend Elizabeth Taylor. The following day, he pays a visit to Oona O’Neill Chaplin, the widow of Jackson’s most favorite actor, silent film legend Charlie Chaplin, who reveals to the singer that he and her late husband had a lot in common, having risen to success and distinction from poverty. After the meeting, Jackson briefly declares that “I have just fulfilled my biggest childhood dream.”
In the summer of 1988, there is a request made in Malaysia by officials there that Michael Jackson perform to raise money for the Welfare Fund, which distributes money to children’s homes and charities. The Ministry asks the cabinet, but reject their offer.
On October 5, 1988, "Smooth Criminal", is the seventh single from the BAD album, and was originally titled 'Al Capone'. ‘Smooth Criminal’ will shortly reach the number 7 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song contains a fast-paced beat intertwined with Jackson's lyrics about a girl named Annie, who has been attacked in her apartment by a "smooth" aggresor. "Smooth Criminal"s music bears resemblance to "the popcorn-chomping manner" of ‘Thriller’, and is thought of as an example to “Jackson's free-form language” that keeps people “aware that we are on the edge of several realities: the film, the dream it inspires, the waking world it illuminates”. The song was adapted into a short film which was the centerpiece of the 1988 film Moonwalker starring Michael Jackson and Joe Pesci in the lead roles. The making of ‘Smooth Criminal”, including the interlude featuring Jackson and a group of dancers growling in a salloon is Jackson’s way of “letting out what we’ve always wanted to say to the world. Passion, anger, fire!...” The music played on the jukebox in the sallon, along with Jackson's precise dance and some fight techniques thrown in to render the criminals helpless. The repeated question ‘Annie, Are You Okay?’ the singer is making in the song originally has represented the alarm code set for detecting hooligans at home. The endangered Annie could also be the prototype for deprived children living in precarious conditions. Jackson, a big fan of Broadway musical Annie, and known to have written songs with more than one theme in mind, could have also considered the mentioned character from the musical, an 11-year old orphan from the Municipal Girls Orphanage, who tries to find her parents after escaping the state home.
Around 1988, Jackson has his giraffe, Jabbar shipped to California in Encino from a breeder in Missouri, and he applies for a state permit from the Fish and Game commission to keep the giraffe – neighbors complaining of the smell from Jabbar’s pen. Years before, at Hayvenhurst, neighbors also would complain of the noise his three peacocks at the time, Winter, Spring and Summer would make when mating, as a consequence, the entertainer had to sadly give the birds away. Jabbar grows to become a movie star like Bubbles the chimpanzee, appearing in Pee Wee Herman’s “Big Top Pee Wee”. Jackson has given Herman permission to use any of his animals that he wanted to in his film after agreeing to follow all instructions for their caring. Jabbar later will get a playmate in June 1989, Mahali, for his Neverland Ranch, which he purchases from the Sedwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, for 15,000 dollars. With the help of trainer Bob Dunn, Bubbles the chimpanzee will be taught to do several tricks: going to the toilet, flushing it himself, kissing pictures of himself, playing dead, blowing bubbles, moving his lips like he is talking, joining pillow fights, sticking his tongue out, giving the high fives, riding a horse, rollerscating, imitating his owner’s famous moonwalk dance. Bubbles also appears in a film, “Back To School”, by Rodney Dangerfield. Michael Jackson will also rescue a gorilla, Ivan, having spent 25 of his 28 years in a cage at Tacoma, Washington’s B&I’s shopping mall. He adds to his collection a baby lion, who first went to a trainer before joining his fellow zoo mates; most of his animals are harmless, having been declawed and no longer having venom.
On January 27, 1989, Michael Jackson plays his final show of the Bad World Tour at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. The Tour has lasted 16 months and is the largest any entertainer has undertaken - with 123 shows in 15 countries on 4 continents and played to approximately 4,4 million fans. The Tour grossed a staggering 125 million dollars, with all proceeds going to charities around the world.
Written and composed by Michael J., “Speed Demon” is a pop-rock track, its lyrics pertaining to driving fast because of outer pressure and delay; it is released on October 12, 1989, as a promotional single for both the album (BAD) and the 1988 film Moonwalker, and is the tenth and last single to be released off BAD, although not officially. The song achieves minor commercial success, having only received minor airplay in the United States. Speed Demon symbolizes Jackson’s rebellious, allegorical statement to the media and other disparagers criticizing his lifestyle and faulting him, for his excentricities. The bridge, sung in falsetto, says: “Speed demon, / You're the very same one / Who said the future's in your hands, / The life you save could be your own. / You're preachin' 'bout my life like you're the Law, / Gonna live each day and hour like / For me there's no tomorrow!” The video for the song is directed by Will Vinton, and is an amusing display of Jackson’s not taking himself seriously. In the video, the performer, in an attempt to avoid overzealous, screaming fans and media members (even The Noid), disguises himself as a rabbit named Spike (symbol of innocent prey), this only taunting them into chasing him. During the chase, he morphs into other celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone, Tina Turner and Pee-Wee Herman. After finally losing the fans, he removes the costume, which comes to life and challenges him to a dance-off. A policeman asking him to pull over - at the end of the video the singer being asked to respect the No Moonwalking Zone and quit dancing - is representative of the obstacles the singer has met in his winding road of fame (“pull over, boy”, the appellation being an offensive one).
In 1989, Michael Jackson has teamed up with a Las Vegas Hotel in Nevada to create a new water-themed park. Jackson arrives at the Mirage Hotel to begin designing a new water and mountain attraction that will resemble Hawaii’s Diamond Head. Diamond Head is a defining feature of the view known to residents and tourists of Waikīkī alike. The volcanic tuff cone is a United States State Monument. While part of it serves as a platform for antennas used by the U.S. government and is closed to the public, the crater's proximity to Honolulu's resort hotels and beaches makes the rest of it a popular destination.
On April 12, 1990, 18-year old activist Ryan White dies from AIDS. He has been treated as an outcast in his home town in Indiana since contracting the disease through a blood transfusion at 14, it has been reported. This will result in him being banned from his school in Kokomo, Indiana as parents would protest. Over 1,500 people attend White's funeral on April 11, a standing-room-only event held at the Second Presbyterian Church on Meridian Street in Indianapolis. White's pallbearers include Elton John, football star Howie Long and television talk show host, Phil Donahue. Elton John performs "Skyline Pigeon" at the funeral and also trains the Hamilton Heights High School choir to sing with him. The funeral is also being attended by friend Michael Jackson, seated beside Ryan’s sister, Andrea, and his mother, Jeanne (whom he comforts throughout the service) and First Lady, Barbara Bush. Busloads of Ryan's schoolmates at Hamilton Heights High School in Arcadia, 25 miles north of Indianapolis, also attend the funeral, which is carried live by ‘Cable News Network’.
On June 3, 1990, he suffers from chest pains while at home in Encino, where he was doing his regular Sunday dance exercises. He is taken to St. John's Hospital and Health Center, and three days after, he is diagnosed with costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage on the front rib cage, suspectedly caused by overexertion and stress. However, the tests performed show no problems with his heart and lungs. Jackson has lost maternal grandmother Martha, Sammy Davis Jr., with whom he was a good friend, as well as young Ryan White, all deceased within weeks of each other; he also has been immersed in a variety of conflicting projects involving theme parks like Disney or the Universal Studios in Florida. Before being discharged fom the hospital, the singer visits Elizabeth Taylor recovering from a bad case of pneumonia, and after her release a few weeks later, she is invited by her good friend to recover at Neverland.
In March, 1991, Bubbles stars in an episode of “Father Dowling Mysteries”, as a murder suspect who had been framed. After this role, the chimpanzee has lost his passion for life. Jackson consults chimpanzee expert, Jane Goodall, who suggests he gets Bubbles two female companions and a kinder trainer. Bubbles later starts in a vaudeville act in TV movie, “The Entertainers”.
In March, 1991, Michael Jackson renegotiates his contract with Sony Music, which includes a 15-year 6 album deal. The royalty rates included are the largest for any artist at 25% of the retail price of every album sold. The deal also includes Jackson’s own record label, landing Jackson in the Guinness Book of World Records again, for the Largest Entertainment Contract Ever, worth 890 million dollars.
In June, 1991, the singer is co-chair at an event dedicated to Stevie Wonder, who receives the Nelson Mandela Award. The other co-chairpeople at this special dinner hosted by Bill Cosby are Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, Eddie Murphy, Lionel Richie, Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey.
The music video for racially-conscious "Black or White" is first broadcast on November 14, 1991, the single being released 3 days before. Along with Jackson, it features actors Macaulay Culkin (also Jackson’s friend), Tess Harper, and George Wendt, with cameo appearances by the singer’s niece, Brandi Jackson, and friend, dancing prodigy Wade Robson. The video is directed by John Landis, who previously directed Thriller, and it simultaneously premieres in 27 countries, with an audience of 500 million viewers, the most to ever watch a music video. The video shows scenes in which Maasai tribesmen begin dancing like Jackson; so do, in sequence, Thais, Native Americans, a woman from India and a set of Russians. Towards the end of the song, Jackson is seen dancing and singing inside the torch of the Statue of Liberty, the Roman goddess of freedom situated in New York City. The statue has become an iconic symbol of freedom and of the United States. According to the US proclaimed independence of people and nations, America would concur with Jackson (“it don’t matter if you’re black or white’). However, “don’t tell me you agree with me”, protests Jackson, adding that “I saw you (US) kicking dirt in my (and the other minorities’) eye”. During the song’s explosively dramatic bridge, Jackson boldly screams his frustrations at the injustices produced by America, in the background being shown flashes of history, such as from the race riots of the 60’s, officers beating and kicking black men, a cross burned by the Ku Klux Klan (referring to KKK’s torch ceremonies) also being featured. He cries: “I am tired of this devil, / I am tired of this stuff, I am tired of this business, / Sew (or sue?) when the going gets rough. / I ain't scared of your brother, / I ain't scared of no sheets, / I ain't scared of nobody, / Girl, when the goin' gets mean.” Therefore, Jackson calls America (its industries and political elites) hypocritical and evil while singing and dancing furiously on its key symbol. At the end of the song, different people dance as they morph into one another (shown as "talking heads"). Controversy was generated concerning the last four minutes of the original music video. Jackson walks out of the studio as a black panther and then morphs into himself. The “panther dance’, as it was called, contains complicated dance techniques, sexually suggestive behaviour and physical aggression, which the entertainer would later explain they formed an interpretation of the animal instincts of a black panther. MTV and other music video networks removed the last four minutes from subsequent broadcasts. The performer is seen smashing shop windows and car window panes, later digitally being graffittied racist slogans, namely "Hitler Lives", a swastika, "Nigger Go Home", "No More Wetbacks", and "KKK Rules"). The video shares the conclusive message that “Prejudice is ignorance”. What has not been brought into discussion is the complexity of message behind this video (or other videos of Jackson). The black panther Jackson portrays in the video is a reference to “The Black Panther Party” (originally the “Black Panther Party for Self-Defense”), an African-American revolutionary left-wing organization working for the self-defense for black people aginst police brutality. It was active in the United States from the mid-1960’s into the 1970’s. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international impact through their deep involvement in the Black Power movement and in US politics of the 1960’s and 70’s, as the intense anti-racism of the time is today considered one of the most significant social, political and cultural currents in US history. The group's "provocative rhetoric, militant posture, and cultural and political flourishes permanently altered the contours of American Identity", hence Jackson’s provocative dance testimony in the video. While Jackson does not promote violence, the dance was a ‘free speech’ bodily statement, a venting off against human injustice.
On January 14, 1992, single “Remember The Time” is released with a spectacular short film directed by John Singleton. The 9-minute clip stars actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, supermodel Iman and basketball player, Magic Johnson. Joanna Burns, Jackson spokesperson at the time, says “He’s very concerned about AIDS. He hopes the appearance of Magic Johnson [on Remember The Time video] will help raise public awareness.” In November, 1991, Magic Johnson announced that he had been contaminated with the HIV virus, shortly afterwards setting the ‘Magic Johnson Foundation’ to help combat HIV. Jackson also wished to draw attention to his African origins, the video being set in Ancient Egypt, Ira Robbins of ‘Entertainment Weekly’ describing "Remember The Time" as being a "gorgeous ancient Egyptian extravaganza" video. The short film presents elaborate dance sequences and groundbreaking visual effects, with Jackson interpreting a wizard coming to entertain the Pharaoph’s (Eddie Murphy) bored partner (Iman). The single goes to number one on the U.S. R&B chart and it becomes a top ten single in nine different countries.
Earlier in 1992, Jackson presses on with plans to perform a charity show in Pakistan to raise money for the starving, despite threats of mass stage riots from Moslem groups, who felt that American singers would “spread obscenity” in their country. The star was determined to help raise cash for the good cause and wished to demonstrate that the threats did not intimidate him. The concert would, however, not happen.
While in England, on February 22, 1992, he and friend Brett Barnes visit comedian Benny Hill at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London for a reported 35 minutes. The 67-year-old comic has been convalescing from a heart attack, but refused to undergo a heart bypass. Jackson hands him a bouquet of flowers and enthusiastically tells him: "Great to see you at long last‘, and keeps repeating You’re my hero’. Jackson is said to also have asked Hill if he wanted to appear in a video with him, to which the comic replies, "Of course, why not?" Jackson then confesses to Hill that he watches his shows every day and that he has hundreds of his videos. Benny Hill's best friend, TV producer Dennis Kirkland, reveals, "Michael has invited Benny to stay with him next time he is in L.A. [...] Michael's visit was the tonic he needed." Benny Hill passes away three months later from coronary thrombosis. Michael Jackson was a big Benny Hill fan. "I just love your Benny Hill (impression)!" the young Michael Jackson told a bemused English music-press critic during a 1970’s tour. "He's so funny!". In a ‘New Musical Express’ 1981 interview with The Jacksons, the entertainer reveals that Benny Hill makes him laugh: “Uh! Are you kidding? Every day! I love Benny Hill. I like him better than Monty Python. […] He just cracks me up. A genius.”
On June 27, 1992, Michael J. kicks off his Dangerous World Tour in Munich, Germany. The show features special effects by David Copperfield, a strategically built stage, special lighting and pyrotechnics, new and original choreography and notable costumes. It took towage of 747 jets for the stage equipment from country to country.The opening act for all of Jackson's Dangerous World Tour concerts was Rozalla, a Zimbabwe native whose 1991 single, 'Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)', was on the Top Ten charts in eight countries. The song's message is centered on human harmony.
Song “Jam” is released on July 13, 1992. The video is directed by Michael Jackson along with David Kellogg. The music video for "Jam" takes place inside an abandoned indoor basketball court, where Jackson teaches basketball legend Michael Jordan how to dance, and in return, Jordan teaches Jackson how to play basketball. Special effects have Jackson throwing a basketball from a window and scoring in the hoop at the opposite end, as well as tossing the ball behind him and kicking the ball into the hoop with his heel. The song addresses the necessity for unity between the nations of an increasingly problematic world, however, the singer restates his resilience in the midst of such chaos, confessing that 'No one seems to let me be', that 'there'll be problems, / times and tears for fears', thus 'we must live each day like it's the last'. He reveals that he is 'conditioned by the system', this inconvenience not hindering him, though, to state: 'nation to nation, / All the world must come together, / Face the problems that we see, / Then maybe somehow we can work it out.' The singer laments on an ever-changing world 'rearranging minds and thoughts' , asking rhetorically: 'What has come of all the people , / Have we lost love (...)?"
In September, 1992, during his Dangerous Tour, Jackson visits Valencia, Spain in a secret trip just to go to the Lladró factory, hosting porcelain figures. Since a young boy, Jackson appreciated their little statues. It is there where he catches site of a delicate Tinkerbell figure, which he kisses. However, the singer will lose the statue on occasion of some 2005 Neverland auctions. In the spring of 2009, Jackson will try to reobtain his beloved statue by phoning Lladró, and will be able to repurchase some statues also lost in the mentioned auctions – he will receive all of them but the Tinkerbell. 2 weeks after calling the factory again and pleading for it, Michael Jackson, unfortunately, passes away. A Facebook group of fans, touched by this story, have launched the online project, ‘Let’s Return Tinkerbell To Michael Jackson’, “to lay next to her Peter Pan” via a Pay Pal donation, the fans involved in this campaign being determined to raise the needed monies – 1,500 Euros to purchase for the entertainer’s three children. They are clarifying, however, that the coveted Disney figure is not the one kissed by the entertainer, it not being out for sale, but belongs to another company working with them and is “100 % Lladró”.
On November 15, 1992, a biographic film detailing the Jacksons' life airs on ABC. It is titled 'The Jacksons: An American Dream'. Although not a superficial representation, some real-life aspects are overlooked, such as patriarch Joseph Jackson's violent treatment towards his children, certain members of the family indicating he was more abusive than portrayed, as well as more infidel in his marriage. Other areas are also overly neglected, and certain errors are detected. The film, however, will draw very high ratings.
* At a non-accurate date (supposedly in 1992), the musician composes a background song, titled "Neverland Entrance Theme", an eerie, classical composition starring a choir of children and playing as a welcome for guests visiting his Neverland residence.
On December 6, 1993, the ninth and last single off the Dangerous album is released. “Gone Too Soon” was written and composed by Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan, produced by Jackson, and dedicated by him to his late friend, Ryan White. The song enjoys top 40 success in the United Kingdom.
On February 10, 1993, Michael Jackson is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey at his Neverland Ranch. It is his first live TV interview in 14 years. During the 90-minute special, he opens up about his personal life and career, clears up some misconceptions and rumors about himself and gives Oprah a night time tour of his ranch. He also dances live in his theatre and gives the audience a rare a-capella performance of “Who Is It”. The show becomes the fourth highest rated entertainment show in history.
In March 1993, "The Rock & Roll Cookbook", by Dick and Sandy St. John, is published, and includes recipes from various rock stars. Included in the book is a recipe for Maple Pecan Butter Cookies that Michael Jackson contributed. It does not reveal, however, how often he made these cookies.The same month, the singer wins approval from officials in Santa Barbara County to build a twenty acre breeding ground for apes, white tigers, bears, llamas, snakes and other animals on his then Neverland Ranch.
On April 14, 1993, Michael Jackson visits the Hasbro toy factory in Powtucket, Rhode Island to witness how toys are made; he checks out the production line and fun room where toys are tested, as well as visits with children and signs autographs for them.
On June 28, 1993, “Will You Be There”, the eighth single from album Dangerous is released. Also on the soundtrack for family movie, “Free Willy”, in the 2002 ITV interview with Martin Bashir, Jackson says that he wrote "Will You Be There" in his Giving Tree at Neverland Ranch. The full version of the song includes a prelude featuring the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus performing a portion of Beethoven's ninth symphony. The segment is from the fourth movement and is a lesser known portion of the famous "Ode to Joy". The German lyrics were written by Friedrich Schiller, and them translated read the following: “Do you bow down, millions? / Do you sense the Creator, world? Seek Him beyond the starry canopy! / Beyond the stars must He dwell”. This classical introduction is then followed by a chorale interlude arranged by Andrae and Sandra Crouch. The Andrae Crouch Singers are heard throughout the rest of the song as well. In the song, Jackson asks for support either from his fans, a friend/lover, God, or all of them, wondering and yearning for their love “in my deepest despair”, “in my trials and my tribulations”, ‘through our doubts and frustrations”, “in my pain, in my joy”, and makes the following vow at the end: “I’ll never let you part. / For you’re always in my heart.” The song manages to remain in the US top 10 and UK top 40 in the UK for over six weeks, and so far has sold 10,530,000 copies worldwide.
Michael Jackson was honoring his Dangerous World Tour concerts (the entire proceeds of which being donated to his Heal The World Foundation) when news about allegations of improper conduct towards a minor broke and were made public by August 24, 1993. Three days beforehand, a search warrant was issued, allowing police to search Jackson's Neverland Ranch, Santa Ynez Valley, California. August 24 was the date the third leg of the tour began in Bankok, Thailand. Jackson was preparing to perform song “Jam” when he learned about the shocking news. Regardless of it, he mustered up strength and performed the song, at the beginning of it removing a pair of dark glasses and revealing wet eyes and a tear streaking down his left cheek. The rest of the show was rescheduled for August 26, then cancelled, due to Jackson suffering from dehydration and stress pertaining to the allegations. On August 29, Jackson performs in front of 47,000 on his 35th birthday in Singapore. Several other shows would be cancelled, although Jackson managed to complete most of his scheduled September dates, as well as a few more in October and November. Michael Jackson began taking painkillers to cope with the stress of the allegations made against him. The stress of the allegations caused Jackson to stop eating, and he lost a significant amount of weight. With his health in decline, Jackson's friends and legal advisers took over his defense and finances; they called on him to settle the allegations out of court, believing that he could not endure a lengthy trial. His health deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour, it being concluded in Mexico City, Mexico on November 11, that year. In November, the entertainer, visibly in poor state and health, made a several-day deposition in Mexico for a copyright infringement suit which he had to face along with Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and father Joseph Jackson, the lawsuit coming after 3 songwriters alleging that the pop star and his fellow defendants had plagiarized the hits “The Girl Is Mine”, “Thriller” and “We Are the World”. Following the testimony, in which he explains how he writes his songs and that the other three above mentioned were written by him, a nine-member jury found the defendants innocent of plagiarism. The singer collapsed subsequently to the last deposition he made. Following his treatment, the singer overcame his dependency, managed to gain weight and a new strength to continue and demonstrate his innocence. The December 6, 1993 issue of JET magazine reveals that his attorneys, Bertram Field and Howard Weitzman, tell reporters at a LA press conference that Jackson always “hated and fought against drug use, but now is addicted to painkillers”, “not only for his body, but for his heart and mind”. Fields reminds reporters that in 1984, the singer’s hair and scalp were severely burned while filming a Pepsi commercial. Several months before these allegations broke out, the singer underwent surgery to correct that condition. “The pain was enormous.”, Fields remarks. Determined to continue his humanitarian work, the singer greets children in Bankok, where his world tour kicked off. The LA Times reports that Field fired off a letter to LA Police Chief, Willie Williams, that said: “Your officers have told frightened youngsters outrageous lies, such as, “We have nude photos of you”, to push them into making accusations against Mr. Jackson. There are, of course, no such photos of these youngsters, and they have no truthful accusations to make. But your officers appear ready to employ any device to generate potential evidence against Mr. Jackson.” Fields adds that Jackson’s decision to cancel the Dangerous Tour was expected to cost millions of dollars, but that “his health comes first.”
Below is a list of links containing very detailed research on the 1993 and 2003 allegations made against the entertainer, the 2005 trial and most of the rumors surrounding him throughout his life, in short, a silenced truth which the media will not allow you to see.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152708,00.html (with thanks to Tatiana LP)
Lois Sheldon, director of a San Diego shelter for women and children with AIDS, decides to withdraw her request to name the facility after Michael Jackson. She has been seeking permission to name the shelter the “Michael Jackson Rainbow House”, although due to the 1993 allegations made against Jackson, Sheldon held back.
Arts & Entertainment network releases a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor – her Biography. The special, filmed in the spring, airs for the first time on September 7, 1993. Michael Jackson contributes to this special, being interviewed by A&E's Cathy Griffen, in it explaining one of the things he and Taylor have in common: "We shared a quest in search of the next step of acceptance from an adoring public who never really knew our inner turmoil”.
On September 18, 1993, Michael Jackson visits Jerusalem, Israel. He arrives in Israel for his Dangerous concerts to be held the following day in Tel Aviv. Jackson visits holy sites, including the ancient Western Wall, unfortunately is met by religious protesters there, but is welcomed at Masada, another historic site, of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel. He is pictured there with open, worshipping hands. On June 16, that year, the much anticipated concert was rescheduled from a Saturday night to a Monday at the insistence of the fervently Orthodox, who feared a massive violation of the Sabbath by people traveling before sundown to the Saturday concert. The superstar's tour producer, Marcel Avram, explained at a press conference that the change was spurred by “our wish to respect the sentiments of the religious community and not to desecrate the Sabbath.”
The entertainer is searching for a new home around this year - in Florida, ten minutes from Walt Disney World in Orlando. The massive house was set on an immense piece of property and cost approximately 10 million dollars. Jackson was interested in building a park on the property for children.
Towards the end of 1993, Pepsi would sever ties with Jackson, due to the recently made allegations (not resulting in trial) against the singer, him being dropped on unsubstantiated allegations. Various other celebrity pitchmen have been dropped by Pepsi’s advertisers because of negative circumstances, including Madonna, Burt Reynolds, Magic Johnson or Mike Tyson.
In early 1994, one of Jackson’s attorneys, Johnny L. Cochran, tells reporters at a press conference in Santa Monica: “[…] As Mr. (Larry. R.) Feldman (Jordan Chandler’s lawyer) has correctly indicated, Mr. Jackson has maintained his innocence from the beginning of this matter, and now, as this matter will soon be concluded, he still maintains that innocence.” “The resolution of this case is in no way an admission of guilt by Michael Jackson. In short, he is an innocent man who does not intend to have his career and his life destroyed by rumors and innuendos. Throughout this ordeal, he has been subjected to an unprecedented media feeding frenzy, especially by the tabloid press. The tabloid press has shown an insatiable thirst for anything negative and has paid huge sums of money to people who have little or no information and who barely knew Michael Jackson. So, today, the time has come for Michael Jackson to move on to new business, to get on with his life, to start the healing process and to move his career forward to even greater heights. This he intends to do. At the appropriate time, Michael Jackson will speak publicly as to the agony, torture and pain he has had to suffer during the past six months.” Cochran continues: “They (TV tabloid show, ‘Hard Copy’, who have reportedly paid two of the Jackson family security guards and Michael Jackson’s maid to discuss what they knew and heard about him) want ratings. They pay witnesses. Any similarity between the truth and ‘Hard Copy’ is purely coincidental.” Cochran also reveals for the February 14, 1994 issue of JET magazine: “If he had gone to trial and was found not guilty, some would still say he was guilty and money got him off.”
In 1994, according to JET magazine’s February 13, 1995 issue, Jackson and then wife, Lisa Marie Presley, host at Neverland Ranch in Los Angeles, alongside King Ndoufou, the King’s representatives, Ellou Brou, first member of delegation and a school administrator, and Jean Paul Benié, 2nd member of delegation, as a thank you for his being crowned King Sanwi in the village of Krindjabo, West Africa. Jackson recently made an effort to keep connection with his ancestral home in West Africa’s Krindjabo, a gold-mining village populated by the Agni tribe, where he was crowned honorary “King of Sani”. In spite of experiencing the most difficult period in his life, Jackson recalled his promise to Krindjabo’s citizens: to build a cultural center. Having recently welcomed at his Neverland Ranch the mayor of Oboisso Etche Elleingand, representative of the King of Krindjabo, the former recounts to the African press: “I saw him (Michael) in his domain. He offered to build a cultural center in Krindjabo which he visited (…).” Soon after this visit at Neverland, Jackson throws a party therein for 100 innercity children in Los Angeles.
At the “Budapest Royal Palace” close to the Danube, he shoots a video in which he appears as a freedom fighter “helping to chase Soviet Red Army out of Eastern Europe”, according to journalist Ruki Sayid, for promotion of his new album, “HIStory”. The video's theme also remembers Hungary's communist past, with Jackson liberating East Europe from the Soviet regime/control. In the video, Jackson is leading 200 soldiers in a march against communism. He will call them his “army of love”. A huge polystiren statue of him is also erected in Heroes Square. The teaser receives harsh critics, erroneously portraying it as a promoter of dictarship and fascism. “777” is the number appearing on a band on his left arm - the number of God and divine unity, whereas the giant metal star on his right arm represents the green star, a long-time historical symbol of Esperanto, the International peaceful Language; the star also appears on the caps of the multi-ethnic soldiers, who instead of saluting, do Michael Jackson’s dance moves at the Arch of Triumph. In addition, much of the background singing in the video is in Esperanto. The opening speech and choral music in the video are in this international language. “Ni konstruas i tiun skulptaon en la nomo de iuj landoj kaj tutmonda patrineco kaj la kuracpovo de la muziko.”, it meaning, "… everyone in the world builds this sculpture [the Jackson statue] in the name of worldwide motherhood and love, and the healing power of music." The same person uttering these words (the construction foreman) later asks (translated) "Come here!" while motioning to others. Interpreting the video from this context, together with its cinematography, it proves an elaborate and profound work of an actual non-violent purpose, that of healing music conquering the world and bringing joy to it (i.e.: the exalted, fainting admirers). The massive promotional campaign for the forthcoming album, HIStory, is launched on MTV and around the world on May 22, 1995, with this teaser film. The 4-minute “HIStory Teaser” is filmed in early August 1994, and directed by Rupert Wainwright. Fans are invited to participate in the film, which features the enormous army of soldiers of peace and impressive special effects. The teaser is also an allegory of strength (the statue) standing through the vicissitudes of life, thus Jackson's statement of resilience amidst various untruthful allegations, the child molestation ones in particular. As he would emphatically state in song '2 Bad' (off HIStory): 'I'm standing though you're kicking me.'
In the final chapter of a trial that started in 1995, Michael Jackson has been totally cleared of plagiarism allegations brought against him by Italian singer-songwriter Al Bano in 1992. The Rome appeals court has ruled that Michael Jackson was not guilty of plagiarism allegations and didn't steal a part of the melody of Al Bano's 1987 song "I Cigni Di Balaka'' in composing "Will You Be There". In May 1999, a lower court in Rome found Michael Jackson guilty of plagiarism and ordered him to pay court costs. But Michael Jackson's lawyers appealed the decision. In 1999, in a separate civil case inititated by Al Bano and involving the same song, a Milan court will also find Michael Jackson not guilty of copyright infringement.
Scream", the smashing duet between Michael and Janet Jackson, is released as a lead single along with “Childhood”. It is cited primarily as an aggressive, retaliatory testiimony directed at the tabloid media and their coverage of the child sexual abuse accusations made against him in 1993. "Scream" was written, composed and produced by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Michael and Janet Jackson. Inside the “HIStory” CD album booklet, an artwork dedicated to illustrating the song features the 1981 “Das Lied” (“The Song”), a watercolor painting of a young girl screaming in the corner of a room, by Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, Gottfried Helnwein, famous for his dramatic imagery, especially of anonymous child victims. Beside the girl are Jackson’s handwritten lyrics of ‘SCREAM.’: “with such confusion, dont (sic) it make you wanna scream. Your bash abusing victimized within the scheme, you try to cope with every lie they scrutinize, somebody please have mercy, ‘cause I just can’t take it. M.J.” Towards the end of the booklet is a copy of a child's letter to then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, asking him to end war, pollution and to stop the negative press reports about Jackson. On the song, The New York Times remarks that “fear has turned to aggression. The music has polarized; it's either clipped, choppy and electronic or glossy and sumptuous, only occasionally trying to combine the two. Most of the time, Jackson sounds as if he's singing through clenched teeth, spitting out words in defiance of any and all persecutors”. At a cost of million dollars, the futuristic video for ‘Scream’ will be listed in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive music video ever made, however director Mark Romanek has refuted the claim, saying that there were two other music videos from the same era which cost "millions more" than this video. Michael and Janet Jackson are featured on a large spacecraft away from the earth, escaping via playing tennis, video games, jokes and making faces, although they have also a large TV set connected, where the news that "a man has been brutally beaten to death by Police after being wrongly identified as a robbery suspect.' The man was an 18 year old black male...” causes Jackson to scream at the injustice and burst into an aggressive dance number with his sister. The news bit focuses on police brutality towards the minorities.
On July 11, 1995, Michael Jackson makes a rare public appearance; he takes the stage in a Beverly Hills event – the opening of ‘The Magic Johnson Sony Theatre’. Following the singer’s introduction, he presents a pair of gold swords to the President of Ghana on behalf of friend and business partner, Prince Al Waleed. “My brother and friend, Prince Al Waleed asked me to present these swords to you tonight, and I’m very honored. Thank you.” Then, the entertainer receives his own award, the Diamond of Africa. Afterwards, he signs autographs and pictures for fans, and has a store closed for him for almost an hour’s time, when he purchases CD’s and takes time to watch Disney animated film, “The Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”.
On November 27, 1995, HIStory’s third single, “Earth Song”, is released worldwide, but not in the United States. The single will go to number 1 in the UK and stay at the top spot for six weeks. The song will reach the top 10 in 16 different countries and sell 3,5 million copies worldwide. The video/short film for the song was directed by Nicholas Brandt and was filmed in four separate places: The Amazon Rainforest, Warzone Croatia, Tanzania and Warwick, Orange County, New York. It presents an apocalyptic view of the Earth rebelling against man's ongoing plunders of it.
On February 16, 1996, Michael Jackson performs “Earth Song” at the Brit Awards. It is Jackson’s first TV performance in England in over 20 years. The performance is interrupted when Pulp singer, Jarvis Cocker storms the stage in protest, but is soon carried off by security and later questioned by police. Jackson later expressed his discontent over the incident, however, the controversy created by the performance has led to another rise in HIStory’s sales, putting the album back in the top 10 in Europe.
On April 1, 1996, Michael Jackson releases the fourth single from HIStory, “They Don’t Care About Us”. The single is supported by two music videos, both directed by Spike Lee. One is shot in Brazil with the cultural group, Olodum, and the other is shot in a New York prison, with Jackson performing among protesting convicts. The “prison version” surprisingly creates controversy due to the use of real news footage depicting violence, i.e. police attacking African Americans, the Ku Klux Klan performing their cult rituals, war zones populated with dismembered people, genocide, execution and other human rights forms of abuse, such as battery. This version was taken off MTV’s play list, therefore the singer released the “Olodum version” in its place. The single became a top 10 hit in nine countries, including the United States.
During the HIStory Tour in Warsaw, Poland, on September 20, 1996, Jackson, who had the big dream to build amusement parks the world over, is approached by a local businessman, Jacques Tourel, director of the World Trade Center in Warsaw, to consider Poland as one of the possible places to build amusement parks.
On October 15, 1996, superior Court Judge Reginald Dunn rules that Victor Gutierrez must pay Michael Jackson damages for refusing to identify the source that had shown him a video of Jackson allegedly in compromising instances with a 13-year-old boy. Gutierrez was associated with “NAMBLA”, (North American Man Boy Love Association), founded in the 70’s. For more information about him and the named association, visit http://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/victor-gutierrez.
On October 27 and 29, 1996, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Michael Jackson performs two HIStory concerts. A group of children are seen sitting on the floor in a supermarket and performing Heal The World to a gracious, applauding Jackson. He shakes hands with admirers and children inside the hotel he is checked in and signs autographs for them. The singer also invites a group of children in his hotel room, who are seen shooting confetti at a happy Jackson and holding colorful balloons.
In 1996, a new drink, "Mystery: fresh-cool-magic", coinciding with his worldwide HIStory Tour, hit the market. The official Michael Jackson product is described as a "healthy and vitalising isotonic mineral drink", "refreshing, fruity, with a touch of fresh peaches", contains "Vitamin C and other vital vitamins, as well as calcium and magnesium" and has a "unique pink colour".
“Stranger in Moscow”, the fifth and final single off HIStory is released November 4, 1996 worldwide, although not in the United States until August 28, 1997. The short film is directed by Nicholas Brandt, in black and white, and is a depiction of a forlorn melancholy Jackson walking a busy street in the rain, populated by people eventually running to escape it, save for Jackson and 5 other unrelated persons, left isolated and disconnected from the world around them. A man looking down at the city from his bedroom window, a woman sitting alone in a coffee shop, a homeless youth lying on the damp street, a lone figure feeding pigeons, a boy ostracized from a game of baseball, and Jackson himself is the sixth figure, and is seen walking the city streets. The track was written by him in September, 1993, at the height of the highly publicized child abuse accusations against him, while on tour in Moscow, Russia; in the song, he hauntingly asks: “How does it feel when you’re alone and you’re cold inside?”. Jackson uses elements of Russian imagery and symbolism to help promote the concept of fear and alienation in the track, i.e. the pouring rain, the young beggar’s hand catching raindrops (which are zoomed in), a window glass being broken, etc. It concludes with a narrative, spoken in Russian, by a KGB interrogator. The narrative, translated into English, says: "Why have you come from the west? Confess! To steal the great achievements of the people, the accomplishments of the workers…..?.". The "Stranger In Moscow" music video will influence the advertising campaign for International Cricket Council Champions Trophy 2004, which features "a series of smart outdoor ads and a classy TV spot". The television commercial will be inspired by the videoclip where “the maiden in black splashes about in the rain, with kids playing cricket for company”. The single becomes a top 10 hit in 8 countries and also lands on the number 1 spot on the UK Club Chart.
On January 3 to 4, 1997, Michael Jackson arrives for his only US HIStory tour stop and his last – in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the Hilton Hawaiian Village, he is greeted with what the local people there call “The Aloha Spirit”, witnessing hula dancers, smiling, watching village guards, children performers speaking, including father Joe Jackson and then publicist, Bob Jones.
On June 17, 1997, Michael Jackson, a classical music enthusiast since early childhood, attends “The Three Tenors” in Modena, Italy, the three tenors being Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, just a day before his HIStory concert in Milan. Jackson is introduced as a guest of Pavarotti's and is seated in the front row of the audience. The entertainer, checked in at Principe de Savoya Hotel, is seen outside, prior to the concert, in company of Disney characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, meeting with children gathered in front of the hotel and accepting gifts from admirers.
On November 18, 1997, Michael Jackson quietly arrives in Seoul, South Korea to discuss investment in troubled underwear maker, Ssangbangwool Ltd's Ski Resort. “Michael Jackson has come to Korea to discuss the possibility of investing in Muju Resort,” says a company spokesman. The spokesman adds that Ssangbangwool has planned to expand the resort complex to include a theme park, but says the plans had been put on hold when the company faced financial troubles.
On February 25, 1998, the megastar attends the investiture ceremony of then South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung, one of the century’s astute fighters for democracy and 2000 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He stays in Seoul, South Korea from February 20 to February 27. Kevin Sullivan, reporter of Washington Post, who met with the artist at the event, answers that the latter’s purpose for his being present at the event was because “[Jackson] praised Kim Dae-jung's commitment to children, and he said he was considering a concert to benefit starving children in North Korea and around the world. (Jackson did headline two huge concerts in June 1999, one in Seoul and one in Munich, that raised several million dollars for children's charities.)” A day after the artist’s sudden demise, former South Korean president, Kim Dae-jung, who, less than two months later will also pass on due to a multiple organ dysfunction, declares: “The world has lost a hero… and Korea also lost a beloved friend, who showed continued interest and supported unification of Korean peninsula. Korean people are sad.”
In July, 1998, Michael Jackson and business partner, Don Barden, announce plans for the creation of a billion-dollar entertainment complex, 'The Majestic Kingdom', in Detroit, Michigan, the city that launched his superstardom. The project includes a casino, a family-theme park, an acquarium and a hotel designed by Jackson himself and named "The Mansion In The Sky". The singer, who had been an anonymous partner in these kind of ventures for years, says: "My mission is to just push the envelope of technology beyond its limitation and create some of the most wonderful things as humanly possible". He also speaks to fans on microphone at Chene Park, visits Detroit's Children's Hospital and a downtown church.
On July 17, 1998, Michael Jackson visits South Africa again for then President, Nelson Mandela’s 80th birthday bash, which is held at the Gallagher outside of Johannesburg. The singer greets Mandela and joins his other friend, singer Stevie Wonder, and others on stage in a special rendition of Wonder's ‘Happy Birthday’ originally dedicated to American clergyman and activist, Martin Luther King Jr. Mandela also married his third wife that day, Graça Machel.
On December 12, 1998, Michael Jackson attends the Grand Opening of Sun International's US "Royal Towers” of the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas with friend Gerry Inzerillo, and goes on stage to give an impromptu performance of "Heal The World" with a group of children. The resort was created by South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner and Kerzner International Limited. Other performers were Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, N-Tyce, Tevin Campbell, James Ingram, Stephanie Mills and many more.
On June 10, 1999 the first "Michael Jackson Dance Studio" (previously in the media announced as the “Michael Jackson Entertainment School”) is opened in Tokyo, Japan.
On June 27, 1999, while performing “Earth Song” on top of a bridge (more than 27 feet above the ground) on occasion of the benefit concert, “MJ & Friends” in Munich, Germany, the upper part of the bridge collapses, no longer being held by engines and only stopping from falling free by the cables that were attached to it. Jackson was standing on the steel footbridge when it fell down and violently hit the ground below stage level. Most of the audience didn't notice the accident and thought it was part of the show. The singer, visibly shocked, manages to climb back on stage and carries on his performance of “Earth Song” without showing signs of pain or distress, ending the song with a usual routine, consisting of a tank being brought on stage, a soldier pointing his gun to a little girl, her offering him a flower of peace and causing the soldier to break down in tears. Michael Jackson suffers chest injuries during the accident, as reported by German newspapers the following day, as well as back strains, causing the singer pain which would become severe in times of abrupt movements or high stress (such as his 2005 trial, when he was visibly suffering from them). His longtime make-up artist, Karen Faye, later recounts the frightening experience: “[…] Backstage, there was crying and screaming, only the crew and performers knew there was something desperately wrong. From our vantage point we had lost sight of Michael, as the bridge had fallen below the front of the stage. My heart stopped beating, while in the strong arms of a perplexed security guard. Even though the show continued for everyone else, time stood still for me as I could not imagine how Michael could have survived such a fall. But slowly, and after what seemed like an eternity, as the music and applause continued, I saw one arm reach for the floor of the stage...then a long lean leg, another arm, another leg...he was up, center stage... finishing the end of Earth Song! My mouth dropped open in relieved amazement . Looking dazed, he made his way to our side of the stage. "Michael, sit down...." "No!" He demanded. “Security... please get him to the hospital!" I was begging. "No!" He grabbed the microphone and ran out to finish performing "You Are Not Alone". I could not believe what I was witnessing. He finished the song, took his final bow, and returned once again to his stage dressing room and then... collapsed. Security whisked him off to a hospital in Munich. […] Once back in the hotel... I started making the phone calls to find out how he was. I got the reports that nothing was broken, but he was badly bruised, and his back was very badly strained. It had been a miracle. Being the performer he was, he knew how to land. […] He was better. I asked him...why did you continue? I cannot believe you were able to do that. "You know […], the only thing that I heard in my head was my father's voice saying to me, ‘MIichael, don’t disappoint the audience!’”
On August 15, 1999, Michael Jackson meets the Dalai Lama for the first time at the Mark Hotel in New York City, New York. The Dalai Lama is a Buddhist leader of religious officials of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The spiritual leader and Jackson speak for about 20 minutes. While in New York City, the singer also has dined at a New York apartment with country singer, Dolly Parton and Elizabeth Taylor. According to a source, the focus of much of their talk was the death of John Kennedy Jr. and the dangers celebrities face when flying private planes.
* In late 1990’s, the superstar partners with Burbank-based ‘Landmark Entertainment Group’ — the creators of the Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure and the Jurassic Park water ride at Universal Studios Orlando — to draft a plan for ‘Peter Pan’s Neverland’ theme park. Michael Jackson dreamed of a theme park based on the J.M. Barrie story of “Peter Pan”, complete with looping roller-coasters, 3-D flight simulators, water rides, stunt shows, dinner theater, night-time spectaculars and hotels. The concept looks remarkably similar to Disneyland past and present, with all the Peter Pan parts of the park (pirate ship, dark ride, skull rock) amplified and embellished with plenty of pixie dust. ‘Peter Pan’s Neverland’ envisioned a grand entrance into Victorian London with replicas of Kensington Gardens, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. On Neverland Island, reached by boat, there were six themed lands: ‘Lost Boys Woods’, ‘Mermaid Lagoon’, ‘Indian Village’, ‘Pixie Kingdom’, ‘Pirate’s Village’ and ‘Future Zone’. No price tag or location was ever announced for the ambitious project, and the partnership dissolved after a few years.
In December, 2000, a Las Vegas relief project titled "The Way of the Unicorn/The Endangered Ones", and organized by "Big International Group of Entertainment, Inc." is approved in writing - though yet to be implemented – through the singer’s printed agreement to place his professional ability into the project.
On August 30, 2001, one day after his birthday, Michael Jackson opens NASDAQ Stock Market in Times Square, New York and kicks off his "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years" performances at Madison Square Garden scheduled for September 7, 2001 and Monday, September 10, 2001, which are being produced by David Gest. Jackson waves and blows kisses to the fans outside as he was introduced to NASDAQ's executive vice president, David Weild, and NASDAQ CEO, Wick Simmons, who presented him with a glass trophy. "It's like floating in the air," remarks the entertainer of an object encased in the trophy. Jackson then pushes the button to open the market, after which NASDAQ officials present Jackson with a 1934 Shirley Temple poster, while staffers roll out a vanilla birthday cake lined with strawberries of which he would later take a bite, and sang "Happy Birthday." "I love it, oh, my God!..." Jackson says when handed the poster. He blows out the candles, then adds, “I'm deeply moved by this very special moment for me. Thank you, David, Wick and NASDAQ. Thank you so much. I love you and all the fans. Thank you."
Michael Jackson performs at the first of two concerts in honor of his 30th anniversary as a solo artist. “Michael Jackson: The 30th Anniversary Celebration”, organised by David Gest, is held at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The two-part celebration is held on September 7 and September 10, 2001. Guest performers include: Luther Vandross, Destiny’s Child, Liza Minelli, Usher, Mya, Shaggy, Marc Anthony and more, paying tribute to Jackson by performing songs from his musical career and their current material. The concert also includes a special Jackson 5 reunion performance with a set that includes “Can You Feel It”, “I Want You Back”, 'I'll Be There' and “Shake Your Body”. Michael Jackson closes the concerts with a special performance of his greatest hits, including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Black or White” (with Slash), “You Rock My World”, and “The Way You Make Me Feel” (with Britney Spears). The show broadcasts in November to over 26 million viewers in the United States.
On September 11, 2001, upon hearing of the terrorist attacks in New York, Michael Jackson orders a bus for his family to return safely to California, as well as limousines for his close friends. He leaves New York with his children and their minder and temporarily retire to Jackson’s close friends, the Cascio family, at their house in New Jersey.
The album Invincible is released worldwide on October 30, 2001. Invincible spent two years in production and cost approximately 30 million dollars to make – it reportedly being the most expensive album ever made. The album featured 16 tracks tackling a wide range of burning topics such as couples' love, world consciousness, tabloid viciousness and innocence. Invincible went to number 1 in 13 countries, including the US, UK and Australia. The album shows incredible first week sales in the United States, selling over 300,000 copies. Invincible sold a massive 5,4 million copies in just two months of its release. On November 7, he gives his first ever in-store signing appearance at the Virgin Mega Store in Times Square, New York City to promote the album. The singer dedicates this tenth studio album to 15-year-old murdered African-Norwegian, Benjamin Hermansen, advising on the importance of not judging a person by race, but by character.
Asked by host Anthony DeCurtis during an online audio chat to describe his then new album, “Invincible”, Michael J. responds: “Well, the sound (of “Invincible”) is... sonically, we always try to make sure we have, you know, pristine, detailed, you know, the best sound, the best engineers, the best technicians available. And of course, I tried to make the album a potpourri of just wonderful melodies of any style. Because I don't believe in stylizing or branding any type of music. I think a great artist should be able to just create any style, any form, any... any thing from rock to pop to folk to gospel to spiritual to just - just wonderful music where every - anybody can sing it, from the Irish farmer to a lady who scrubs toilets in Harlem. If you can whistle it and hum it, that's the most important thing.” He adds: “’Invincible’ is something of... I think it's a proper name. It's one of the cuts on the album and I've been an artist.. not to pat myself on the back, but the Guinness Book of World Records just listed me, another time, as the artist who's had the longest stretch career, 'cause since I was a little, little kid to this point with still hit records from number one records, and I'm so proud and honored that I've been chosen from the Heavens, or whatever it is, to be invincible, and to just continue to grow and to be, you know... serve the people. It serves the people with wonderful entertainment.”
“Cry”, a world anthem from “Invincible”, is released world wide, bar the United States, on December 3, 2001. The song was written by singer-songwriter R. Kelly and produced by Kelly and Michael J. The anthem ballad features a music video showing people of various races and nationalities holding hands all across the world, the lyrics of the song promoting harmony between people and nations, as well as environmentalism. It does not feature the singer himself. The song becomes a top 10 single in four countries and peaks at number 25 in the United Kingdom.
On January 5, 2003, Michael Jackson visits Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees at a Miami hospital. Gibb eventually died January 12 of complications from a twisted intestine. On January 15, Jackson privately pays the last respects to Gibb at the Miami Chapel, along with his brother, Barry Gibb.
On June 11, 2003, Michael Jackson returns for the first time in 20 years to his hometown, Gary, Indiana, where, during a news conference with Gary Mayor Scott L. King – who presents him the key to the city, the singer announces he would partner with Mayor King to develop a performing arts center for the city - the 'Michael J. Jackson Performing Arts Center', that would be located in downtown Gary. According to Mayor King, the singer would support the project in any role he felt comfortable with, for instance helping with the design or fund-raising. The implementation of these projects fell through, though, due to the entertainer being charged with false accusations few months later, and a trial period ending with his exoneration. Jackson, then, visits his old home where he grew up, including the Roosevelt High School, where the Jackson 5 perfomed in the 60’s. There, he tells students that "with a will of iron, with perseverance and determination" they "can do anything they want.” He is given presents and made an honorary Roosevelt graduate and Later on, he participates at "Salute To The Troops”, an event open to the public with free admission, where the troops were recognized.
Michael Jackson is one of the 3000 people who attend a memorial service for actor (and good friend) Gregory Peck in Los Angeles, California, on June 16, 2003.
On November 18, 2003, Michael Jackson releases “Number Ones”, a new compilation album. Featuring 18 tracks - 16 number one hits from Jackson’s solo career with Epic / Sony, and two bonus tracks: “Break of Dawn” (from Invincible) and a new single, “One More Chance”. A DVD is released to accompany the album which features 15 short films from the singer's career. “One More Chance” gets released on November 20 in Europe and the United States. In November, 2010, 7 years later, an unfinished videoclip of the song is released, which the entertainer could not finish due to the false allegations breaking out at the time (November, 2003), followed by his abusive arrest. The brief videoclip features Jackson performing alone crying for “one more chance at love” before a group of contained admirers. The song bears an eerily prophetic feel due to some of its lyrics: “Shelter, come and rescue me out of this storm, / And out of this cold, I need someone”, “Lightning about to strike in rain only on me, / Hurts so bad sometimes it's hard to breathe.”
During the course of 2003, Michael Jackson has been working on a new studio album, initially intended for release sometime in 2004, including on song, “Wonderful World Of Candy”, planned for a children charity project. Dieter Weisner, the entertainer’s manager at the time, introduces young music artist and protégé, Nisha Kataria, to Jackson, who invites her onto his Neverland Valley Ranch at the time to record with her a few tracks in his private recording studio. Jackson wrote the mentioned song and recorded it with Kataria as a duet. Due to the late 2003 accusations and the resulting arrest of the singer on the 18th November of that year, all plans had been put on halt since. (sources: Dieter Weisner - Michael Jackson's manager, 1996-2003; www.jvillage.de, Korgnex (from www.mjjcommunity.com, www.maximumjackson.com)
On March 19, 2004, in light of the entertainer’s imminent ‘shakedown’ of a trial, The Department of Child & Family Services of Los Angeles, California, refuses to remove Jackson’s children from under his care, although more or less authorized authorities, such as Gloria Rachel Allred, a American lawyer noted for taking high-profile and often controversial cases, have strongly opposed the official ruling. Allred wrote a letter to California's Child Protective Services, asking for an investigation into the safety of Jackson's children, and also spoke on CNN about the subject. On their few public appearances following their father’s passing, his children have had only positive mentionings about him, such as him having been “the best father you could ever imagine”, “the best cook” and “just a normal dad”, and that “his message was simple: love.”, which counter all previous persistent accusations made against Jackson.
On August 15, 2004, Michael Jackson is a special guest of Reverend Cecil "Chip" Murray at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, California. The artist, his youngest brother, Randy Jackson, entertainer Steve Harvey, and attorney, Thomas Messerau have comfortably sat towards the back of the church and enjoyed the service. After Jackson has left the church, he makes his way to the Cecil F. Murray Education Center, a small school from a block away that is run by First AME Church. There, he was scheduled to greet a class room full of about 25 African-American children.
On January 18, 2006, following a recent investigation by federal authorities, it has been concluded that the animals at Michael Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch are not being mistreated, as first speculated by PETA.
In January, 2006, while living for a year in Bahrain, the singer has been in talks with Bahraini corporation, "AAJ Holdings", over a series of potential projects in the Saudi-Arabian Gulf, varying from music academies to theme parks, with hopes to achieve city and urban evolution.
On December 5, 2006, articles mention of a future scheduled relief-oriented visit of Jackson’s to Rwanda, intended for June, 2007, according to Kije Mugisha, the Deputy Director General of the Rwandan bureau of information, adding that the singer has been interested in the children’s education, health care system and the media therein. A visit to South Africa with his children around the same period of time - most likely, one outside the public eye, not receiving media coverage - is confirmed by Jackson in the November, 2007 issue of Ebony magazine, in which he expresses enthusiasm for the "simulator rides, movie theaters, wave pools", "the record stores, the candy store" therein etc. Throughout the years, the pop star has manifested interest in the continent’s welfare (during speeches, magazine interviews and such), planning to create education centers, family-themed parks, and offering personal financial support, as well as collaboratively through charity songs (i.e. "We Are The World").
On March 8, 2007, the pop star revisits Tokyo, Japan for several "fan appreciation events", where he first attends a V.I.P. gala as guest of honor, amid a total of 400 admirers, impersonators and business people, as well as over 100 orphans and challenged children and adults, the deprived being given complimentary tickets by Jackson to attend the event; he also appears on stage to read an appreciation statement to the audience and to emphasize that he would neither change his career path, nor would he nurse bitterness over his lifelong succession of difficulties, despite "deliberate attempts [of "some"] to hurt me", moreover, adds: "I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me"; he poses for pictures with the guests, and signs autographs and acknowledges the assembled children. A day later, he also attends a larger festivity directed at his main fan base and for those not affording high – priced tickets, where more than 1,000 people assembled at a popular night club. 2 days after, the singer greets approximately 3,000 U.S. forces personnel and their family members at Camp Zama, a U.S. army base in Tokyo, shakes hands with some of its members, then holds a brief speech in recognition for their sacrificial services in favor of freedom. The singer, subsequently, attends a ceremony at the respective camp in honor of a member being promoted at the time.
On April 14, 2009, a joint press release of Jackson’s manager, Dr. Tohme R. Tohme, and Darren Julien, organizer of auction house Julien’s Auctions, is released, the auction (originally reported to have taken place on April 22) being eventually cancelled, following a lawsuit filed by Jackson on March 5, with requests that that some of his personal items, mostly from his former Neverland mansion - featured at the auction’s exhibition, deemed "priceless and irreplaceable" and "never supposed to be sold" - be returned to him and his company, MJJ Productions. The press release states that the suit ended in an agreement between the two parties. Part of the agreement was that all the items were set to being stored in the future "to be shared with and enjoyed by Jackson’s fans for many years to come", as opposed to "putting the items in the hands of private collectors", in addition, the exhibition of this collection, highlighting the singer’s life and career, being allowed to continue through April 25, in Beverly Hills. The press release includes the specification that "MJJ Productions and Julien’s Auction will each be making a substantial donation to MusiCares to benefit artists in need."
~ Did You Know? ~
* Before his tragic passing, Michael Jackson had hired entertainment company, The Machine Management, with the purpose of helping him create animation companies, another company meant to be a vehicle to launch his own film projects, and the "Michael Jackson Global Warming Awareness Initiative", according to a creditor claim of the entertainment company. The singer had been expressing concerns about global warming on different known occasions, the latest having been the 2007 Ebony magazine interview, the 2008 "Good Morning, America” radio interview, or the making of the ill-fated 2009 This Is It concerts (via song "Earth Song", preceded by a special introduction on this theme).
"Jackson has sold more than 9 million albums and nearly 13 million digital tracks in the U.S. in the year since his death. [...]. He even achieved a career goal that had eluded him in his lifetime -- a hit movie. […] In the year since he died, Jackson has sold 9,023,000 albums in the U.S. This has enabled him to vault from #47 on Nielsen/SoundScan's running list of the top 200 album sellers in its history (which dates to 1991) to #18 this week. [...]
Jackson's posthumous sales are among the most impressive in the history of the music business. Nielsen/SoundScan didn't exist when Elvis Presley died in 1977 or when John Lennon was killed in 1980, so precise comparisons aren't possible, but the Billboard charts shed some light on the matter. With his smash compilation Number Ones, Jackson became only the 13th artist to have the best-selling album in the U.S. posthumously. And with the subsequent soundtrack to Michael Jackson's This Is It, he became one of only five artists to have the best-selling album in the U.S. with two albums after his death. Bandleader Glenn Miller and rappers 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. each had three posthumous #1 albums. Nirvana, featuring the late Kurt Cobain, had two.
Eight other artists had one posthumous #1 album: Presley and Lennon are joined on this list by Janis Joplin, Jim Croce, Selena, Aaliyah, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles.
Jackson long wanted to be a movie star, a sort of modern-day Fred Astaire. In death, he got at least part of his wish: a #1 box-office hit. Michael Jackson's This Is It topped the box-office in its opening weekend at the end of October with a domestic gross of more than $23 million. The soundtrack album entered The Billboard 200 at #1 that same week, with first-week sales of 373,000. (It was eligible for that chart because it was a new compilation.) That made Jackson only the sixth music star since the early ‘80’s to star in a movie that came in #1 at the box-office and also spawned a #1 soundtrack (on which the star was featured). He followed Prince (1984's Purple Rain); Whitney Houston (1995's Waiting To Exhale); Will Smith (1997's Men In Black); Eminem (2002's 8 Mile); and Miley Cyrus (2009's Hannah Montana: The Movie).
Michael Jackson's This Is It grossed more than $72 million in the U.S., which made it the top-grossing music concert film in history. (The old record was held by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus' 2008 movie Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which grossed more than $65 million.) The movie grossed an additional $180 million in foreign markets for a combined worldwide gross of $252 million. It was also a hit on DVD, with U.S. DVD sales estimated at $43 million. Beyond the box-office success, the movie helped Jackson's image, because it showed him in action and in charge. […] He was seen as being in control again.
In the weeks following his death on June 25, Jackson toppled records that had stood for decades. In the week after he died, he had the three best-selling albums in the U.S.: Number Ones, The Essential Michael Jackson, and Thriller. Since 1963, when Billboard combined its separate stereo and mono charts into one comprehensive listing, no other act had accomplished that feat. (The Beatles came closest, nailing down three of the top four spots in May 1964.) For two weeks in July, Jackson had six of the 10 best-selling albums in the U.S. This broke a record that had stood since April 1966, when Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass had four of the top 10. […] In the week after he died, Jackson became the first artist to sell more than 1 million digital tracks in one week. (He sold 2.6 million, obliterating the old record.) Combining solo hits with songs he recorded with his brothers, he had a staggering 49 of the top 200 titles on the Hot Digital Songs chart that week. He held down six of the top 10 spots. In each of the first seven weeks after he died, Jackson had three of the five best-selling albums in the U.S.: His biggest seller throughout this period was Number Ones. The hit-studded collection sold more copies in the first 16 weeks after Jackson's death than it had in the five and half years between its release in November 2003 and his death. At its peak in July, Number Ones sold 349,000 copies in one week. That constituted the biggest one-week sales tally for a non-holiday catalog album in Nielsen/SoundScan history.
Number Ones logged six weeks as the best-selling album in the U.S. That was the longest that an artist who had died had the nation's top-seller since 1980-1981, when Double Fantasy, by John Lennon and his widow, Yoko Ono, topped The Billboard 200 for eight weeks. It was the longest that a greatest hits set was the best-selling album in the U.S. since 2000-2001, when the Beatles' 1 held the top spot for eight weeks. It was the longest that Jackson had the top-seller since 1987, when Bad held the top spot for six weeks.
Jackson had seven of Nielsen/SoundScan's top 100 albums of 2009. In addition to his four albums that made the year-end top 20, Off The Wall was #66, Bad was #68 and Dangerous was #98. Jackson had nine of the top 200 digital songs of 2009. His biggest hit was "Thriller," which sold 1,096,000 copies during the calendar year. His other top-selling songs for the year were, in descending order: "Billie Jean" (938,000), "Man In The Mirror" (890,000), "Beat It" (830,000), "The Way You Make Me Feel" (671,000), "Don't Stop ‘Til You Get Enough" (611,000), "Smooth Criminal" (605,000), "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (557,000), and "Black Or White" (511,000). Since the digital era began, the song "Thriller" has sold 2,362,000 digital copies. Only one song from the ‘80’s has outsold it. That's Journey's ubiquitous 1981 smash "Don't Stop Believin'," which has sold 3,819,000 copies. But Jackson tops the arena rock band in one respect: He has a second song on Nielsen/SoundScan's running list of the 200 best-selling digital songs in its history. "Billie Jean" has sold 1,898,000 copies in the digital era.
In the past year, Thriller has surpassed Dangerous as Jackson's best-selling album of the Nielsen/SoundScan era. Thriller has sold 5,816,000 copies since 1991. Dangerous has sold 5,786,000. This is remarkable, because Thriller was released more than eight years before the start of the Nielsen/SoundScan era. By contrast, all Dangerous sales are contained in the SoundScan era.
Jackson topped charts all over the world after his death. Number Ones and The Essential Michael Jackson both reached #1 in the U.K. The latter album topped the U.K. chart for seven weeks, which was the longest run for an American artist since Justin Timberlake's Justified stayed on top for seven weeks in 2003.
Twelve years after it closed, Michael Jackson’s 3-D space adventure/music video epic, “Captain E.O”, is screening again at Disneyland Paris in June, 2010, the attraction receiving overwhelming response from Disneyland and Michael Jackson fans, all excited to experience the musical mastery of Jackson’s “E.O.” one more time. “Captain E.O.” was a collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Michael Jackson, and is directed by Francis Ford Coppola with George Lucas receiving executive producer credit. The project was initiated by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who wanted to help bring something new and relevant to the struggling Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Himself a tremendous lifelong Disney fan (Jackson often frequented Disney Parks, and visited Disneyland in California two weeks before his passing), the artist composed two original songs for the film – “We Are Here To Change the World” and “Another Part of Me”, the latter of which appearing on 1987′s album, “BAD”. The story of the film consists of E.O., played by Jackson, leading a troupe of space misfits on yet another dangerous mission to the nether regions of space. This particular mission involves traveling to a surreal, industrial-looking planet and finding the Supreme Leader (played by actress Anjelica Houston) to give her the gift of music; this gift, E.O. says, will help her unlock the beauty within. “Captain E.O.” originally opened at Disneyland Park and Epcot at Disney World in September 1986; it opened the following year at Tokyo Disneyland and was an opening-day attraction at the then-named Euro Disneyland (now Disneyland Paris) in 1992. By 1998, however, all the “Captain E.O.” attractions in the four Disney Parks were closed, and later replaced with the far less successful, “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”. Due to popular demand by guests, spurred by Jackson’s untimely passing on June 25, 2009, Disneyland offered a special engagement limited return of “Captain E.O.”. The show will also re-open later this summer at Epcot and Tokyo Disneyland. Although the run is limited, Disney has not announced a timeframe for the show’s closing.
“Though later artists dominate the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records, Michael Jackson is still the king. In fact, he could easily be the Guinness Book of World Records’ most-recognized celebrity ever.
‘Thriller’ currently remains the best-selling album of all-time. On February 7, 1984, it was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Michael Jackson holds numerous other records, including the most Grammy Awards won in a year, most hit singles in the UK charts in a year, best selling album of all time, longest span of No.1 hits by an R&B artist, best selling music video, highest annual earnings ever for a pop star, and most successful pop music family.
Here are a few of the records that are still on Jackson’s name:
Most Successful Concert Series – Guiness Book Of World Records : Michael Jackson sells out for seven nights at Wembley Stadium, London, England in the summer of 1988. A total of 504,000 people watch the entertainer perform July 14-16, 22-23, and August 26-27, 1988.
Biggest Selling Album Of All Time : Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Album is the biggest selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide. ‘Thriller’ is also the biggest selling U.S album with sales of 25 million copies.
Most Grammy Awards : The entertainer wins a record breaking 8 Grammy Awards in 1984, more than any other artist in one year.
Largest Contracts : $890 million (Sony Music) Contract, with prospective earnings of $1 billion.
Greatest Audience : The highest-ever viewership was 133.4 million viewers watching the NBC transmission of Super Bowl XXVII on June 31, 1993. Jackson is spotlighted during the half-time performance.
Bad Tour : Michael Jackson’s world tour brings in a record gross revenue of over $124 million during September 1987-December 1988.
In the new 2012 Guinness Book of World Records release, four new records carrying Michael Jackson’s name have been listed:
Highest-Earning Deceased Artist : (…) In the 2010 Forbes list, Jackson (USA) tops the survey with earnings of $275 million (£169 million) for the year, which was more than the rest of the Top 10 combined. In the first year after his death on 25 June 2009, his estate is reported to have earned $1.017 billion (£625 million) in revenue, with album sales of over nine million in the US and 24 million outside. In that period, his record sales alone accounted for $383 million (£235 million).
Most Expensive Jacket Sold At Auction : The most valuable jacket sold at auction is the black and red calf leather jacket with winged shoulders worn by US singer Michael Jackson in his renowned 1983 ‘Thriller’ video, which was sold to Milton Verret of Austin, Texas, USA, for £1.1m ($1.8m) at a sale organised by Julien’s Auction in Beverly Hills, USA, on 26 June 2011.
Longest Span Of US Top 40 Singles : Michael Jackson (USA, 1958-2009) holds the record with a span of 39 years and two months. He first charts on the Hot 100 with “Got To Be There” on 6 November 1971 and last hit with “Hold My Hand” on 1 January 2011.
Largest Poster : The largest poster measures 52.1 m (171 ft) in width by 51.8 m (170 ft) in length, giving a total area of 2,698.78 m² (29,070 ft²), and represents Michael Jackson’s ‘Michael’ album. It is unveiled at Rectory Farm, in Hounslow, UK, on 8 December 2010, and was created by painter Kadir Nelson (USA) in 2009 as a commission from Sony Music UK to promote the album. It took engineers three hours to install the poster, which is less than 3,000 m (9,842 ft) from one of Heathrow’s main runways and viewable by all planes arriving or departing.”