Awards & Recognitions PDF Print E-mail


This category showcases honors which the entertainer -- both as a Jackson 5 member and solo artist -- received for special  and cultural contributions made to the world of music, dance and film.


The Early Years:

In late 1970, The Jackson 5 begin their first national tour in Boston, Massachussets; they play in 16 cities, finishing with a special "homecoming" performance in their hometown, Gary, Indiana - consisting in 2 sold-out concerts at Westside Highschool. Each member of The Jackson 5 is presented with a Key to the City of Gary by Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher.

In 1970, at the 2nd edition of NAACP Image Awards, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 receive the NAACP Image award for Best Singing Group of the Year from the National Association For The Advancement Of Black People, a distinction they will also win the following year, as well as in 1972, 1980 and 1981.

On January 28, 1973, Michael Jackson wins "Best Original Song" in a movie for his song, "Ben", at the 30th Golden Globe Awards, which were held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The song is also nominated for an Academy Award in 1973, where Michael would perform the song two months after. The theme song of the 1972 horror film of the same name, is a melancholy ballad about the friendship between an ill boy and a rat, Ben protecting him from bullying and keeping his spirits up in the face of a heart condition.

On July 1, 1979, Mayor Tom Bradley declares "Jackson Day" in Los Angeles, California, in honor of the group and their achievements. An estimated 300 guests attend the festivity at the City National Bank Vault in Beverly Hills, California, where Michael Jackson and The Jacksons also are awarded a Platinum Record for album "Destiny".

The 1980's:

On September 3, 1980, in recognition of their contribution to music, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce  in California honor The Jacksons with a Star on Hollywood Boulevard’s “Walk Of Fame”.

Michael Jackson ‘Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever’ historic performance from March 25, 1983, is later nominated for an Emmy award for “Best Individual Performance on a Variety or Music Program”, circa 47 million viewers tuning into the show to watch the many other Motown acts, including Michael Jackson’s medley with his six brothers. Cash Box magazine dubs him ‘the saviour of the record business”, Jackson being credited for increasing interest in music, particularly black music. He is also mentioned for increasing CBS record sales profits by a staggering 101% in 1983 alone.

In 1983, he wins four awards on occasion of Black Gold Music Awards, among which the Best Video Performance for "Beat It". At the Billboard Movie Awards of the mentioned year, "Beat It" earns two more awards, one for "Best Overall Video" and the other for "Best Choreography".

In 1983, according to the Rolling Stone magazine's Critic's Poll and Reader's Poll,"Beat It" is top choice for "Video of the Year' as part of the Rolling Stone Awards. "Rolling Stone" is an American magazine/tabloid devoted to music, politics and popular culture.

At the 11th Annual American Music Awards, held on January 16, 1984, Jackson receives a series of awards, including the Favorite Pop Video Award and the Favorite Soul/R&B Video Award for "Beat It".

In 1984, Michael Jackson is the first recipient of the "Neil Bogart Memorial Award" (the Neil Bogart Memorial being a fund), presented by Bobby Poe at the annual Bobby Poe Convention. The Bobby Poe Convention was put on for 25 years by Bobby Poe's "Pop Music Survey", a radio and record industry tipsheet.

During breaks in the Victory Tour of 1984, Jackson spends a good amount of time at one of his favorite places: Disney World. As a consequence, Disney’s Hotel Royal Plaza has renamed a set of rooms, “The Michael Jackson Suite”.

In 1984, he dominates the ‘Annual Gift of Music Awards’ presented by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), becoming the first solo artist to take honors for both ‘Best-Selling Album’ and ‘Best-Selling Single’. He is also the first black artist to win the key NARM award for Best-Selling Album, and earns the first NARM award for Best-Selling Music Video with Vestron Video release “Making of Michael Jackson Thriller”.

In mid September, 1987, on a halt from performing in Osaka, Japan as part of the Bad World Tour, Jackson meets with then Mayor, Yasushi Oshima to be handed over the Key to the City. The singer also brings along his pet chimpanzee who accompanied him throughout the whole tour, Bubbles, the first animal allowed inside the Osaka Town Hall. "Key To The City" is an award descended from "Freedom of the City", made in several countries, but more prevalent in the United States. The Key is presented to esteemed visitors, residents or others the city wishes to honor and it symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city's residents.

The special “Motown On Showtime: Michael Jackson… The Legend Continues”, executive produced by Motown’s Susanne de Passe and Michael Jackson, and aired by cable channel Showtime on March 12, 1988, is awarded the ACE for ‘Outstanding Editing in a Musical Special’, Ted Levy and Glenn A. Morgan receiving the award.

Upon performing three sold-out concerts at the Metropolitan Chicago’s Rosemont Horizon in April, 1988, Michael Jackson receives the Key to the City from Mayor Eugene Sawyer, who cites the entertainer for his onstage performance and humanitarian philanthropy. Michael shares his honor backstage with internationally renowned singer/dancer/actress Lola Falana, her waging also a courageous battle against multiple sclerosis.

On June 20, 1988, Michael Jackson arrives in Paris, France with young friend, Jimmy Safechuck, P.R.-ist Bob Jones and bodyguard Wayne Nagin. The city’s mayor at the time, Jacques Chirac, presents Jackson with ‘La Grande Medaille de la Ville’ de Paris, equivalent to the Keys to the City.

On July 22, 1988, Disney characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, present an elated star with a pair of specially engraved ice skates backstage before his concert in Wembley, England.

In November, 1988, "Ebony", an American monthly magazine dedicated to the African-American market, rewards Michael Jackson with the special American Black Achievement Award. That same year, his autobiography, "Moon Walk", makes The New York Time's publication Best Seller List as the number 1 Best Seller of the year.

In an 1988 issue of"Billboard" magazine, Jackson is named the third most successful songwriter of the year.

The Video Software Dealers Association names Moonwalker: ‘Favorite Musical Video’ in 1988. Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) was organized in 1981 to help video retail stores fight against federal legislation that would have changed the first-sale doctrine. VSDA was initiated under the auspices of NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers).

At the 3rd Annual Soul Train Music Awards from January 30, 1989, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and comedy actor, Eddie Murphy, present Michael Jackson with the first Annual Heritage Award for Career Achievement, and the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year. In addition, on this occasion, Jackson is called for the first time, "in my estimation, the true king of pop, rock and soul" by Taylor. She also makes the following introductory speech about her friend: "I'd like to say a few words about a wonderful human being, who is also one of my dearest friends. I would adore Michael Jackson, whether he was the world's biggest, greatest star or not. But it so happens that he is the greatest and, perhaps, one of the most gifted gifted music makers the world has ever known. What makes Michael even more unique may be the fact that all of his accomplishments, his rewards have not altered his sensitivity and concern for the welfare of others or his intense caring and love for his family and friends and fans, and, especially, all the children all the world over. Michael Jackson is, indeed, an international favorite for all ages, an incredible force of incredible energy, the art in music, a pace-setter for quality of production, a vanguard for highest standards of entertainment. What is a genius? What is a living legend? What is a megastar? Michael Jackson, that's all. And just when you think you know him, he gives you more [...]"

On February 22, 1989, on occasion of the 31st Grammy Awards from Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, Michael Jackson wins the Record Of The Year for his socially-aware song, "Man In The Mirror".

On April 12, 1989, Michael Jackson receives the awards for Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Music Video, and Best R&B Single for "Man In The Mirror" at the 3rd Annual Soul Train Music Awards in the United States.

In 1989, April 14, on occasion of the 1st ever World Music Awards show in Monaco, he receives the ‘Philips Hall Of Fame Award For Special Achievement in Video’, presented to by singer Whitney Houston at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, for his "enormous contribution on the state of the art of video", and his “consistent artistic and technical excellence in all forms of video, and for raising the standard of the art form to new horizons”. He also wins the World Music Video Award for number 1 Video In The World, “Dirty Diana”.

The 1990's:

On February 21, 1990, Michael Jackson's "good vs. evil" science-fiction spectacular,"Moonwalker", wins the award for "Best Long Form Music Video" at the 32nd Grammy Awards from Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California.

At the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, it is announced that the Video Vanguard Award has been given a new name - the "Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award". The award is also known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, and is given to musicians who have created a profound impact on the MTV culture, and also to acclaimed music video directors. Jackson wins this award in 1988, while he was filming for film "Moonwalker", for having changed the music video from a mere promotional tool to a piece of art with a storyline or a short film.

On November 16, 1991, after the MTV 10 taping, Janis DaSilva offers Jackson the “Off The Wall Appreciation Award” ‘on behalf of the staff and the readers of Off The Wall (magazine).”

In 1992, during rehearsals for his video performance of song "Give In To Me", MTV CEO, Tom Freston presents Jackson with a six-foot version of the network's music video award: an astronaut statue. "We've made you this statue to show our appreciation for all you have done for music and MTV, and here it is. And it's rather large.", declares Freston, to which the entertainer quietly replies "Thank you" and shakes the CEO's hand.

At the 3rd Annual Billboard Music Awards, held at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California, in 1992, Michael Jackson wins 3 awards, among which the Number 1 World Single for "Black Or White", and the Number 1 World Album for "Dangerous". The singer accepts his awards from his Neverland home. The singer's socially-conscious, "Black Or White" also wins the Video Of The Year Award at the Pro-Set Los Angeles Music Awards.

The July issue of "Billboard" magazine announces that the Second Annual Music Video Producers Association adds "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" to their Hall of Fame.

At the 25th "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People" event (the NAACP Image Awards) in Pasadena, California, Michael Jackson is presented with the 'Outstanding Music Video Award' for the socially conscious song, "Black Or White", on January 16, 1993. He wins the same award for his video of 'You Rock My World' in 2002, as well as the "Outstanding Performance Variety Series/Special" for the 2001 "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special", an occasion where The Jackson 5 reunited on stage marking 17 years of absence. At the said NAACP Image Awards, he also receives the '25th Silver Anniversary Entertainer Of The Year Award'.

On January 25, 1993, Michael Jackson receives the first "International Artist Award" at the 20th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, California and is introduced via a taped message by Eddie Murphy: "Hi, Michael. Knowing how uncomfortable you feel when someone says something nice to you right up in your face, I went 3,000 miles away to do this. Now, the inscription on your award says: "In recognition of his record-breaking international concert tours, and his album sales, and his heartfelt efforts to make this world a better place, the American Music Awards presents its first 'International Artist Award' to Michael Jackson, January 25, 1993". In addition, the American Music Awards are proud to announce that when the award is given in the future, it will be known as "The Michael Jackson International Artist Award". [...]" At the event, he also wins 'Favorite Soul/R&B Single' for "Remember The Time" and 'Favorite Pop/Rock Album' for "Dangerous", an award, he says, "I really wasn't expecting to win."

At the 1993 35th Grammy Awards edition from Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California on February 24, Michael Jackson is honored with "Best Male Vocal Performance" for his racially-aware song, "Black Or White", as well as "Best R&B Song" for his world-issue piece, "Jam".

In 1993, Michael Jackson is featured on the June cover of "Disney's Adventure" magazine with one of his favorite animated characters, Pinocchio. In return for posing for their cover, he asks for a subscription to the magazine - given his adoration of anything Disney - and will also receive a Disney Adventures jacket.

In July, 1993, The American Friends of Hebrew University presents him with the "Scopus Award", an award which he  officially declines on November 17, 1993.

Michael and Janet Jackson win three awards for “Scream”, including “Best Dance Video”, “Best Art Direction” and “Best Choreography”, at the MTV Video Music Awards in the United States on September 7, 1995. Michael opens the show with a performance, which includes “Black or White”, when he is joined on stage by Slash on guitar, “Billie Jean”, “Dangerous” and “You Are Not Alone”.

At Soul Train’s 25th Anniversary Show in 1995, Jackson is inducted into the Soul Train Hall of Fame. He performs songs “Dangerous” and ‘You Are Not Alone” for the event. The music special is released on November 22, 1995. Soul Train was an American musical variety show that aired in syndication from October 1971 to March 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists have also appeared.

At the 38th Grammy Awards from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Ca., on February 28, 1996, Michael and Janet Jackson take home the “Best Music Video, Short Film” Award for “Scream”, alongside producer Cean Chaffin and director Mark Romanek.

On May 8, Michael Jackson attends the 1996 World Music Awards and receives a record five awards: “Best Selling Artist Ever”, “Best Selling Record of All Time” (for Thriller), “Best Selling Male Artist of 1996”, “Best Selling American Artist” and “Best Selling R&B Artist”. No other artist has won five WMA’s in a single year, save for Whitney Houston two years before.

On November 11, 1996, "Sisterella", the musical stage production of a black version of "Cinderella", which Michael Jackson co-produced, wins a staggering 8 NAACP Theater Awards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in the U.S. The show was a huge success in the Pasadena Playhouse earlier that year, and is in preparation for New York showings. Jackson was a renowned fairytale fanatic, and also has a song named "Cinderella" on his 1975 "Forever Michael" studio album.

On February 26, 1997, at the 39th Grammy Awards edition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, "Earth Song" is established as being the "Best Short Form Music Video".

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on May 6, 1997. He soon will receive another honor, when Soul Train renames their ‘Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video Award’ to the "Michael Jackson Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap music Video".

The New Millennium:

On December 21, 2001, Jackson makes a surprise visit on stage at KIIS Jingle Ball in Staples Center, Los Angeles, Ca., to receive a "Lifetime Achievement Award", for which he says “I love you very much” and wishes “Merry Christmas” to the audience.

On February 13, 2002, is is announced that Michael Jackson, Sting, Barry Manilow and Randy Newman are amongst the latest names to be inducted into the "Songwriters Hall Of Fame". The songwriters would be honored during the 33rd Annual Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction ceremony and dinner in June, at Manhattan's Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers. A songwriter must have been a "professional" for over 20 years and penned a significant canon of music to be included in the list.

On March 3, 2002, the short film for “You Rock My World” wins the NAACP Image Award for ‘Best Music Video’. The show is held at Universal Theatre in California and hosted by American actor and comedian, Chris Tucker, who stars in Jackson’s mentioned video. The NAACP Image Awards are awards presented annually by the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music and literature.

In June, 2002, Michael Jackson is inducted into the Songwriter’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his achievements as a songwriter. Also in June, the singer is presented with a special “30th Anniversary Award” by designer Nijel for his 2 concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.y. Fans the world over have helped to create the award.

* The Thriller video is preserved by the Library Of Congress to the National Recording Registry, having been deemed "culturally significant."

* The Beat It video has been inducted into the Music Video Producer's Hall Of Fame.


On June 15, 2010, almost a year after his passing, Michael Jackson was inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame on occasion of The Apollo Theater Spring Benefit Concert and Award Ceremony in Harlem, New York. Aretha Franklin was honored there as well. Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 performed at the Apollo Theatre in the late 1960’s during its Amateur Night, which launched their music careers. Comedy actor Chris Tucker accepts the award on his friend's and family's behalf.

Michael Jackson is inducted into the National Museum of Dance's C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame on August 15, 2010 in Saratoga Springs, New York. He is recognized for for his unique talent and many contributions to the Art of Dance. Other C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame honorees include Fred Astaire, George Balanchine and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Marlon Jackson attends the event and shares some of his treasured experiences with his younger brother.

On January 26, 2012, at the first annual “Michael Jackson Immortalized Day” event, coupled with the Los Angeles debut of Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour, Jackson’s three children, Prince, Paris and “Blanket” used their father’s shoes and sequined glove to make impressions in the cement in the famous forecourt of Gauman’s Chinese Theater. The children also added their own handprints during the ceremony, as explained on short notice by several organizers. Daughter Paris also wrote her father’s name in cement in between his name and surname scrawling a heart shape. Paris then introduced Justin Bieber, a star who found fame at an early age like Jackson. Other live appearances at the event included Jackie and Tito Jackson, Chris Tucker, producer Quincy Jones, singer-songwriter-producer Smokey Robinson, teen pop star Justin Bieber, Cirque du Soleil, The Cast of Glee, Melanie Fiona, Debbie Allen and her Dance Company, and host Billy Bush. Show biz legends who left their handprints and footprints in Grauman's concrete courtyard on Hollywood Boulevard include Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Sidney Poitier, Clark Gable and Mary Pickford. The tradition started in 1928, a year after the historic theater opened.