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Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson
Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns

In 1988, Michael Jackson gave himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for setting a new attendance record, when he played the first of seven nights at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The shows on his Bad World Tour were attended by a total of 504,000 fans, beating the record previously held by Genesis. Ticket demand for the dates exceeded 1.5 million, enough to fill the 72,000 capacity venue 20 times over.

Jackson could do no wrong. Sponsored by Pepsi and spanning 16 months, his Bad World Tour saw the singer play 123 concerts to 4.4 million fans across 15 countries. When the tour concluded it had grossed a total of $125 million, adding two new entries in the Guinness World Records for the largest grossing tour in history and the tour with the largest attended audience.

Jackson’s then-manager Frank DiLeo had announced the singer’s plan to embark on a solo world tour in June 1987, with the first dates in Japan, marking Jackson’s first performances in the country since 1973 as part of The Jackson 5.

When Jackson arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport over 600 journalists, cameramen and fans greeted him. A chartered jumbo jet was used to carry 22 truckloads of equipment, along with Jackson’s entourage of 132 for the tour. The stage set used 700 lights, 100 speakers, 40 lasers, three mirrors and two 24-by-18 foot screens.

Every night on the tour the then unknown Sheryl Crow (who was working as a backup singer) would join Michael for a duet on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”.

But enough of the boring facts, lets talk about Bubbles. Yes, his pet chimpanzee Bubbles, Jackson’s constant companion. Jackson had adopted the young primate from a Texas research facility in the early 1980s. He lived with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch, where he slept in a crib in Jackson’s bedroom, would eat at the dining table, wore a diaper, ate candy in the Neverland movie theater and relieved himself in Jackson’s personal toilet. Jackson and Bubbles often wore matching outfits.

At the start of the Bad tour, Bubbles took a separate flight from the US and upon arriving at Narita International Airport was greeted by more than 300 people. During his stay in Japan, Jackson surprised people by taking the animal to tea with a Japanese mayor. And why not.

But there’s more: Bubbles had sat in for the recording of the Bad album (along with Jackson’s pet snake), and had his own bodyguard and agent. According to some reports, the singer had taught the chimpanzee how to moonwalk. Now that I would like to see!

Unfortunately, Bubbles matured into an aggressive adult chimp unsuitable as a companion animal and was sent to a California animal sanctuary where he attempted suicide. (Why didn’t the guards remove his laces and belt?).

But I read that Michael kept in touch with his ex-best friend. On his birthday, (Bubbles’ that is), Michael arranged a party and invited some ‘celebrity animals’ including Cheetah, the chimp from Tarzan, and movie star dogs Benji and Lassie.

Sadly Bubbles, now in his late twenties, resides at the Centre for Great Apes in Florida, unaware that his former owner has gone for a long moonwalk in the sky. He spends his time hanging out with a group of six other chimps. Among his favourite things to do are eating sweet potatoes, painting and teaching all the other inmates the moonwalk. Apparently, Bubbles is often heard regaling them with tales of his adventures on that Bad tour from 1986, and publishers have reputedly offered the chimp a lifetime supply of bananas to publish a “tell-all memoir” about his times with Michael Jackson. Or did I make that last bit up?

With Michael Jackson, it’s often hard to separate the myth from reality…

Important Dates In The Life Of Michael Jackson:

On this day in music
15 Jan 2023
British television director and producer Bruce Gowers died age 82. His music video for Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' brought him international recognition, leading to his relocation to the United States in the late 1970s. He also directed musical specials for Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, and Britney Spears.
30 Oct 2019
The top-earning dead celebrities revealed by Forbes showed that Michael Jackson's earnings dwarfed others in the list for a seventh year in a row - he earned $60m (£46m) as streams of his music rose to 2.1 billion and money continued to pour in from his back catalogue. Elvis Presley was said to have made $39m (£30m), George Harrison an estimated $9m (£7m) in the last 12 months, while John Lennon made $14m (£10.8m).
3 Sep 2019
US songwriter LaShawn Daniels, who co-wrote such hits as Destiny's Child's Grammy-winning ‘Say My Name’ and Lady Gaga's ‘Telephone’ died in a car crash in South Carolina aged 41. He had also worked with artists including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Brandy and Toni Braxton.
24 Oct 2018
American guitarist and session musician Wah Wah Watson, (Melvin Ragin) died aged 67. He was famed for his skills with a wah-wah pedal and became a member of the Motown Records studio band, The Funk Brothers, where he recorded with The Temptations (his guitar work on 'Papa Was A Rollin' Stone'), The Jackson 5, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes. He also appeared on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album.
3 Feb 2018
American pop, funk and jazz drummer Leon Chancler died in Los Angeles, California of prostate cancer, at the age of 65. He worked with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson's (on 'Billie Jean'), Donna Summer, Carlos Santana, The Crusaders, Frank Sinatra, Weather Report, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and John Lee Hooker.
26 Jul 2017
A jury awarded Quincy Jones $9.4 million in royalties for the use of Michael Jackson songs he produced in two Cirque du Soleil shows and the This Is It documentary. Jones filed suit in 2013, asking for $30 million.
23 Feb 2017
Jay Z was set to become first rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson. But no rapper had ever made the cut before. Jay Z would be inducted as part of the hall's class of 2017 alongside Max Martin, who has written songs for Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande.
6 Feb 2017
US Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes had always been puzzled by the rap at the end of Michael Jackson's Thriller, so when the star's former lawyer John Branca appeared in front of him, he took the opportunity to settle the matter. "What exactly does 'the funk of 40,000 years' mean?" "Karma," answered Branca. The exchange came during the first day of a trial looking into Michael Jackson's debts to the taxman. The IRS claimed that Jackson's estate owed it over $700 million (£566 million) in taxes and penalties, a massive chunk of the star's estimated $1bn fortune. It put Jackson's team in the strange position of arguing the star was worth much less, after his image was tarnished by accusations of child molestation, skin bleaching and drug use.
20 Jan 2017
Sir Paul McCartney was suing Sony over control of The Beatles' back catalogue. McCartney had gone to a US court, seeking to regain the publishing rights to 267 of the band's classic songs. He had been trying to get them back since the 1980s, when Michael Jackson famously out-bid him for the rights. Jackson's debt-ridden estate sold the songs to Sony in 2016.
12 Oct 2016
David Bowie and Prince were both new entries in the latest list of top-earning dead celebrities compiled by Forbes. Prince's pre-tax income from 1 October 2015 to 1 October 2016 was estimated at $25m (£20.5m) by the business magazine, putting him fifth in the list. Bowie, meanwhile, was ranked at 11th for an estimated income of $10.5m (£8.5m). Both, however, are dwarfed by Michael Jackson who topped the list once again with a record-breaking estimated income of $825m (£672.8m).
6 Oct 2016
The death of English songwriter, record producer, and musician Rod Temperton was announced. He initially made his mark as the keyboardist and main songwriter for the R&B funk/disco band Heatwave. Temperton was recruited by Quincy Jones to write songs for Michael Jackson, including 'Thriller', 'Off the Wall', and 'Rock with You'.
27 Jul 2016
Three of Michael Jackson's nephews, Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, filed a $100 million libel lawsuit against Radar Online over stories published last June that alleged they were sexually abused by their uncle and accepted gifts to cover it up. Radaronline.com is a website that focuses on celebrity news, fashion and pop culture.
6 Jul 2016
Drake equalled Michael Jackson's 1983 US chart record after he had the No.1 album and song in the American charts for seven consecutive weeks. 'Views' and 'One Dance' remained unbeaten on the Billboard charts respectively. In the UK 'One Dance' scored its twelfth week atop the UK charts, overtaking the Rihanna song 'Umbrella' which was the millennium's previous longest-running No.1.
29 Jun 2016
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie filed for divorce from her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood, just months after the couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last January. Lisa Marie had previously been wed to Danny Keough from 1988 until 1994, Michael Jackson from 1994 to 1999 and to actor Nicolas Cage from 2002 to 2004.
22 May 2016
A guitar that Elvis Presley was given by his father sold for $334,000 (£230,000) at an auction in New York. It was thought that Vernon Presley changed the finish on the Gibson Dove to black after his son earned a black belt in karate. Presley later gave the guitar to a fan during a concert in North Carolina in 1975. Auctioneers Julien's also sold John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for The Beatles' 'Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite!' for $354,400 (£244,000) and a red neoprene vinyl jacket which Michael Jackson wore for his 1996-97 HIStory world tour which sold for $256,000.
14 Mar 2016
Sony ATV Music Publishing announced that it would buy out Michael Jackson's share of a joint music publishing venture for $750m. The purchase gave Sony the rights to about three million songs, including works by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift, but did not include Jackson's master recordings.
19 Dec 2015
Thirty-three years after it was released, Michael Jackson's classic album Thriller became the first to sell more than 30 million copies in the US. The Recording Industry Association of America reported latest sales figures showing the Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-75 had now sold 29m and Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II, 23m copies.
25 Oct 2015
American guitarist and saxophonist Marlo Henderson died aged 67. As a session musician he played on albums such as Off the Wall by Michael Jackson and worked with Paul McCartney and Minnie Riperton.
29 May 2015
Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch went up for sale with a price tag of $100m (£65m). Jackson bought the Santa Barbara development in 1987 for $19.5m but struggled to pay for it, until an investment company stepped in to help him save it from auction.
28 May 2015
Michael Jackson's former home, Neverland Ranch, was listed for sale for one hundred million dollars. The 2,700-acre ranch in Santa Ynez Valley, California included a train station, a six-bedroom house, a 50-seat movie theater and two lakes.
21 May 2015
American bass guitarist Louis Johnson died aged 60. He was a member of Brothers Johnson, (1980 US No.4 & UK No.6 single 'Stomp'). Johnson played on the Michael Jackson albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous, and hit songs 'Billie Jean' and 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough'.
11 Sep 2014
American songwriter, singer, manager, and record producer Bob Crewe died aged 83. Crewe wrote a string of Top 10 singles for the Four Seasons, including 'Big Girls Don't Cry', 'Walk Like a Man', and 'Rag Doll'. He also had hit recordings with Lesley Gore, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle, Barry Manilow and others.
19 Jan 2014
Bruce Springsteen scored his 10th UK No.1 album with High Hopes, putting him ahead of the likes of Abba, David Bowie and Michael Jackson. The achievement puts him on level pegging with The Rolling Stones and U2, who also have 10 UK No.1's. The Beatles lead the way, with 15, followed by Madonna on 12, while Elvis Presley and Robbie Williams both had 11 each.
26 Oct 2013
Producer Quincy Jones was suing the estate of the late Michael Jackson for millions of dollars. He said the singer's estate and Sony Music Entertainment improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees. Mr Jones stated that they also broke an agreement giving him the right to remix master recordings for albums released after Jackson's death in 2009.
3 Oct 2013
The family of Michael Jackson lost a negligence case against concert promoters AEG Live over the death of the 50-year-old pop star. A jury concluded the doctor looking after Jackson ahead of his concert tour was not unfit for his job - and so AEG had not been negligent in hiring him. Jackson died in 2009 after taking an overdose of a surgical anaesthetic.
5 Aug 2013
American musician, composer, singer and producer George Duke died from chronic lymphocytic leukemia aged 67. He released over thirty solo albums, of which A Brazilian Love Affair from 1980 was his most popular. Duke worked with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa and also appeared on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album.
19 Jun 2013
Slim Whitman the American country music and western music singer/songwriter and instrumentalist died aged 90. Known for his yodeling abilities and his smooth high octave falsetto, he sold in excess of 120 million records during his career. Michael Jackson cited Whitman as one of his ten favorite vocalists and Beatle George Harrison cited Whitman as an early influence. Paul McCartney credited a poster of Whitman with giving him the idea of playing his guitar left-handed with his guitar strung the opposite way to a right-handed player's.
21 Apr 2013
Calvin Harris made chart history by becoming the first artist to have eight top 10 hits from one studio album. His track 'I Need Your Love', featuring singer Ellie Goulding, climbed to No.7 on the Official UK Chart. The DJ and producer from Dumfries, Scotland had overtaken Michael Jackson, who previously held the record with seven top 10 hits from both his 1987 album Bad and his 1991 record Dangerous.
25 Oct 2012
Forbes magazine reported that Michael Jackson topped their list of highest-earning dead musical celebrities by earning $145 million in the past year. Elvis Presley ranked No.2 with $55 million in earnings, and Bob Marley No.3 with $17 million.
3 Sep 2012
Internal emails sent by the promoters of Michael Jackson's planned 2009 comeback concerts saw them voice concerns over his stability and health. In one email, sent the day the singer appeared in London to announce his This Is It shows, he was described as "an emotionally paralysed mess". The singer had locked him-self in his room and was said to be drunk and despondent.
16 Jul 2012
Queen's 1975 classic Bohemian Rhapsody was voted as the UK's "Favorite No. 1 Single," narrowly beating out Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' for the top spot. The poll conducted by the Official Charts Company had The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ at No.5, with Adele's hit 'Someone Like You' at No.3.
5 Mar 2012
Sony admitted that a number of Michael Jackson tracks had been stolen after its website was hacked. The singer, who died in June 2009 at the age of 50, had recorded unreleased duets with artists ranging from the late Freddie Mercury and Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am.
19 Oct 2011
At the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr Conrad Murray, Dr Steven Shafer testified that it would have been impossible for Michael Jackson to have self-administered a lethal dose of the sedative propofol. He later said of Dr Murray's delay in calling 911: "I almost don't know what to say. That is so completely and utterly inexcusable."
8 Sep 2011
Jury selection began for the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. Prospective jurors were asked to fill out a 30-page questionnaire to determining their level of knowledge of the case and any strong views about Jackson or Murray.
26 Oct 2010
Forbes Magazine released its annual list of the Top Earning Dead Celebrities. Michael Jackson led the way at $275 million, Elvis Presley was second at $60 million and John Lennon was fifth at $17 million.
10 May 2010
New York City's Apollo Theatre began installing bronze plaques on the sidewalk outside the building of legends who had close ties to the theater. Among the first to be honored were James Brown, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Ella Fitzgerald.
15 Mar 2010
Sony Music announced the biggest recording deal in history with the estate of Michael Jackson worth more than $200m (£133m). The deal involved 10 album projects over seven year's including one of previously unreleased material. Sony had sold about 31 million copies of Jackson's albums worldwide since his death on 25 June, 2009.
7 Jan 2010
According to Nielsen SoundScan's final 2009 figures, Michael Jackson was the best selling artist of the year, moving 8,286,000 units. Forty years after their break-up, The Beatles were still the best selling group, thanks to their remastered catalog which sold 3,282,000 copies. Digital downloads however, were a different story. Lady Gaga was the queen of the downloads, selling 15,297,000 digital tracks. The Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift all finished in the vicinity of 12 million digital units.
22 Dec 2009
The FBI released 333 pages of documents compiled about Michael Jackson between 1992 to 2005. The files revealed that they made several investigations into death threats against him made by obsessed fans, alleged inappropriate involvement between Jackson and an underage male, as well as fears that he may have become the target for terrorists.
29 Oct 2009
Forbes Magazine reported that Michael Jackson had earned about 72 million dollars since his death on June 25th. That was good enough for third place on their list of dead celebrities making the most money. Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent came in first at $350 million, songwriters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were second with $235 million and Elvis Presley was fourth, earning $55 million.
3 Sep 2009
Friends and family of Michael Jackson paid their last respects to the singer at a funeral held at Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles. Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Quincy Jones, Macaulay Culkin, Berry Gordy and Lisa Marie Presley were among the 200 invited guests. The singer's family arrived in a motorcade of 31 vehicles, Jackson's brothers - Randy, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon - acted as pallbearers carrying Jackson’s gold-plated coffin.
29 Aug 2009
The Los Angeles coroner confirmed Michael Jackson's death was homicide, primarily caused by the powerful anaesthetic Propofol. The singer suffered a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home in June, aged 50. The report said Propofol and the sedative Lorazepam were the "primary drugs responsible for Jackson's death", but four further drugs were also found.
24 Aug 2009
The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide caused by a mix of drugs meant to treat insomnia. On February 8, 2010, Dr. Conrad Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Dr. Murray pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $75,000 bail, but would be found guilty in November, 2011 and was sentenced to four years in a Los Angeles County jail.
14 Jul 2009
Michael Jackson fans from all over the world congregated at London's O2 arena, where the star had been due to begin his run of 50 concerts. Fans who left messages to a wall of tributes and conducted Jackson sing-a-longs, held a minute's silence at 1830 BST to mark the time when the doors to the concert would have opened.
7 Jul 2009
Michael Jackson's family and fans said farewell to the pop superstar at an emotional memorial service. The singer's coffin was placed in front of the stage during the event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles after an earlier private funeral. Jackson's daughter Paris, 11, fought back tears to describe him as "the best father you could ever imagine". Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey paid tribute before the family joined a sombre finale on stage. Motown boss Berry Gordy, who signed the Jackson Five, ended his tribute with the words: "Michael, thank you for the joy, thank you for the love. You will live in my heart forever."
5 Jul 2009
Michael Jackson started a seven week run at No.1 on the UK album charts with The Essential Michael Jackson and was one of eight Jackson albums in the top twenty after the singers death on 25th June.
1 Jul 2009
The week after Michael Jackson's death, the singer dominated the Top Ten of Billboard's album chart. Leading the pack was Number Ones, followed by The Essential Michael Jackson at No.2, Thriller was No.3 and Off The Wall was No.4. The Jackson 5's Ultimate Collection held the No.5 spot, Bad was No.6, Dangerous was No.7, Greatest Hits - HIStory - Vol. 1 came in at No.8 and Michael's Ultimate Collection occupied the No.9 position. Collectively, Jackson's solo albums sold 415,000 copies for the week, 58% of which were digital downloads. The week before his death, his titles sold a combined 10,000 units.
28 Jun 2009
Three days after his death Michael Jackson was at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Number Ones'. The Essential Michael Jackson went to No.1 the following week for seven weeks.
25 Jun 2009
Michael Jackson died at the age of 50, after suffering heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. Jackson is credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool, four of his solo albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), while his 1982 Thriller is the world's best-selling record of all time with sales of over 50 million.
20 May 2009
Michael Jackson delayed the opening four nights of his 'This Is It' UK tour at London's O2 arena. Concert promoters AEG Live said the delay was necessary because the singer needed more time for dress rehearsals. The first show, on 8 July, was pushed back by five nights. Three other July dates would now not take place until March 2010.
6 May 2009
A former publicist for Michael Jackson was suing the singer for $44m (£29m) for his alleged failure to pay her for her services. Raymone Bain said Mr Jackson had agreed to give her 10% of any business deals arranged with her assistance. Ms Bain acted as Mr Jackson's publicist during his 2005 trial for child abuse.
14 Apr 2009
A planned auction of nearly 1,400 items from the former home of Michael Jackson was cancelled. A public preview of the collection had already begun in Los Angeles and the exhibition of Jackson's possessions would stay open until the end of next week. A last-minute settlement meant Jackson's belongings would now be returned to him. In response, he had dropped a lawsuit against Juliens Auctions.
12 Mar 2009
Hundreds of fans queued at the O2 arena in London as Michael Jackson tickets went on sale to the public. The 50-year-old pop veteran had confirmed he would be playing a 50-date residency at the venue, beginning on 8 July 2009. Some 360,000 pre-sale tickets had already sold. Organisers said the This Is It tour had become the fastest-selling in history, with 33 seats sold each minute. Prices ranged from £170 to £10,000, but tickets bought directly from the singer's website cost up to £75. Jackson had said this would be the last time he would perform in the UK.
6 Mar 2009
American singer, songwriter, musician David Williams died of cardiac arrest aged 58. He was best known for his work as a prolific session rhythm guitarist, working with artists including Earth, Wind & Fire, The Jacksons, Boz Scaggs, Michael Jackson, (on the Thriller album), Madonna, Bryan Ferry, Herbie Hancock and the Temptations.
6 Mar 2009
Michael Jackson was mobbed by screaming fans as he took his two youngest children to see Oliver! at Drury Lane. The youngest two of Jackson's three children - seven-year-old Prince Michael II (known as Blanket) and 11-year-old Paris, hid their faces as they were escorted through the crowd. Jackson was in London, England to announce his series of summer concerts at the O2. Jackson died three weeks before the shows were to start.
18 Feb 2009
Michael Jackson's management team announced that The King Of Pop was set to auction off his American Music Award for Thriller, his Gold and Platinum records, a Rolls Royce limousine, a customized Harley Davidson, a velvet cape given to him by his children for Father's Day in 1998, a pair of rhinestone-trimmed socks from 1981, a basketball signed by Michael Jordan and his own original artwork.
23 Dec 2008
A spokesman for Michael Jackson denied reports the singer was suffering from a rare respiratory disease and was in need of a lung transplant. Dr Tohme Tohme said in a statement issued to Reuters that stories claiming the singer was unwell were not true. He added that author Ian Halperin had made the claims to promote his unauthorised biography of the 50-year-old singer.
25 Nov 2008
The legal dispute over a music contract between Michael Jackson and an Arab sheik, ended with an "amicable settlement." Jackson had been due to fly in to the UK to give evidence at the High Court before an agreement in principle was reached. The King of Bahrain's son, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, was suing Jackson for £4.7m, claiming he reneged on a music contract.
13 Mar 2008
Michael Jackson refinanced his Neverland ranch to save it from being auctioned off, after being told that if he failed to pay $25m (£12.5m) he owed on the California property, it would be auctioned within a week. Jackson bought Neverland in 1987 intending to create a fantasy land for children naming it after an island in the story Peter Pan, where children never grow up.
28 Sep 2007
Michael Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, denied that the Pop star had married his children's nanny, Grace Rwaramba. A statement issued to the press read: "Wide-spreading reports regarding Michael Jackson being married are not true. Documents stating otherwise are a hoax." Jackson had already been married twice and had three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.
19 May 2007
Lawyers for Michael Jackson dropped an effort to block an auction of the star's personal belongings and other Jackson family items. An agreement was reached with representatives of an auctioneer, who was the current owner of the materials, and a New Jersey man who claimed to own a warehouse full of Jackson memorabilia after a failed business venture wound up in bankruptcy court.
26 Dec 2006
Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit against his former accountants, claiming they withdrew $2.5 million a year from his bank accounts but did not properly pay his bills. Jackson hired the Los Angeles-based firm in 2003 for book-keeping, opening bank accounts and filing personal, corporate and real estate taxes.
20 Dec 2006
Ian Halperin claimed that Michael Jackson was close to death. The Rolling Stone magazine writer said Jackson was suffering from a rare lung condition and needed a lung transplant. He also claimed that the singer had lost 95% vision in one eye and was so ill he could hardly speak.
5 Oct 2006
Jeffrey Borer, who admitted secretly videotaping Michael Jackson on a private jet, was sentenced to six months of home detention and fined $10,000. Borer, who was the owner of private jet firm XtraJet, had instructed an employee to buy and install two video recorders on the plane.
26 Jul 2006
Jeffrey Borer and Arvel Jett Reeves pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping Michael Jackson as he flew to Santa Barbara, California, to surrender in a child-molestation investigation. The two men admitted they installed two digital video recorders to record Jackson and his lawyer as the pair was traveling on a private jet from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara in November 2003.
18 Jan 2006
Animals in Michael Jackson's private zoo were declared to be in good health after officials paid a surprise visit to the singer's Neverland ranch. A medical officer from the US department of agriculture inspected the property following concerns voiced by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Jackson had earlier moved out of Neverland and had taken up residence in Bahrain in the Middle East.
20 Oct 2005
Michael Jackson received a jury summons at his Neverland ranch in California four months after he was acquitted on child molestation charges. A spokesperson said it was likely he would be excused from serving due to the fact that he has lived in Bahrain since the trial.
13 Jun 2005
Michael Jackson was cleared of all charges of child abuse by a jury of eight women and four men at the end of a 16-week hearing in Santa Maria, California. Jackson was found not guilty of all 10 charges including abusing a 13-year-old boy, conspiracy to kidnap and supplying alcohol to a minor to assist with a felony.
27 May 2005
Robbie Williams was voted into first place beating Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie to be named the best live solo artist. A UK nation-wide survey of 5,000 people saw the former Take That star beat music icons including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan. U2 were named best live band, ahead of Queen and Oasis, in a poll by Carling to celebrate the UK's live music scene.
14 Mar 2005
Michael Jackson was blasted by British Army veterans for wearing military badges while on trail for child abuse. The singer had appeared in court on most days with either an Army motif on his breast pocket or a cap badge tied around his neck.
10 Mar 2005
Michael Jackson arrived in a Santa Barbara court an hour late dressed in his pyjamas after being treated for a back injury. Jackson was attending the Santa Moria court for his child abuse trial.
7 Feb 2005
Michael Jackson's Thriller was named the top pop video in a poll of Channel 4 viewers in the UK. The 1983 video, which depicts the singer as a werewolf and a zombie, beat videos by Madonna and Robbie Williams. Animated videos for Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer and A-Ha's Take On Me were in second and third place respectively. 4th was Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody, 5th, Madonna Like a Prayer, 6th, Robbie Williams, Rock DJ, 7th, Michael Jackson, Billie Jean, 8th, The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony, 9th, Madonna Vogue and 10th Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.
11 Nov 2004
Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones and Queen were inducted into the UK's first music Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London. One act had been chosen by TV viewers of a Channel 4 program to represent each decade since the 1950s. Williams represented the 1990s, Michael Jackson the 1980s, Queen the 1970s, the Rolling Stones the 1960s, and Cliff Richard the 1950s.
17 Oct 2004
Michael Jackson's long-time lawyer, Steve Cochran, left the star's defence team. Jackson who was fighting child abuse charges, said in a statement that the lawyer had taken a "temporary leave of absence" but would still "collaborate".
29 Sep 2004
The Sun reported that Michael Jackson had a secret fourth child who was now 19. The story claimed that Norwegian Omar Bhatti was born after a one night stand and had stayed with Jackson at his Neverland home in California.
30 Apr 2004
New child abuse charges were made against Michael Jackson including a count of conspiracy, covering allegations of child abduction, extortion and false imprisonment. A new court date of May 28th 2004 was set.
1 Mar 2004
Michael Jackson unveiled a new website, www.mjjsource.com. The site featured a celebration of his music career plus news on his current criminal trial, including short biographies of his attorneys and a calendar listing upcoming court dates.
27 Feb 2004
A worker in a supermarket in Aspen, Colorado alerted the police-after seeing a man shopping with his face covered by a mask. Police arrived on the scene and identified the man as Michael Jackson who was in town on holiday with his children.
16 Jan 2004
Michael Jackson appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to seven charges of child molestation. The singer who arrived 21 minutes late was told off by the Santa Barbara judge saying 'Mr Jackson, you have started out on the wrong foot here, it is an insult to the court.'
25 Dec 2003
Michael Jackson recorded his first interview since news of the allegations of sexual abuse with a 12-year old boy. He told the CBS TV network he would 'slit his wrists' before he would hurt a child. He also claimed he suffered a dislocated shoulder after police 'manhandled' him and treated him 'very roughly' during his arrest.
22 Dec 2003
The annual list of all-time music greats by the Guinness book of hit singles was again topped by Elvis Presley. The list based on the number of weeks spent on the UK singles chart looked like this; 1. Elvis Presley (1193), 2. Cliff Richard (1152), 3. The Shadows (771), 4. Elton John (623), 5. Madonna (606), 6. Diana Ross (560), 7. Michael Jackson (509), 8. Rod Stewart (477), 9. The Beatles (456) and 10. David Bowie (452).
18 Dec 2003
Out on bail, Michael Jackson was formally charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a minor with the intent of committing a crime. The abuse was claimed to have taken place between 7 February and 10 March 2003 and the alleged victim was identified only as 'John Doe'. Jackson's lawyer said the entertainer was 'unequivocally and absolutely innocent' and would fight the charges 'with every fibre of his soul.'
16 Dec 2003
Michael Jackson was out on police bail of $3m after being arrested following allegations of child abuse. The 45-year-old singer strenuously denied the allegations, calling them a big lie. Following the allegations of child abuse a special information web site was set up by the District Attorney's office because of the level of media interest in the case. Mr Jackson, who was arrested, cited and released after surrendering to police on 20th November, was due to appear in court on 9 January.
25 Nov 2003
Michael Jackson launched a website to defend himself following allegations of sexual abuse of a 12-year old boy. The singer posted a message saying the charges were based on 'a big lie' and he wanted to end 'this horrible time' by proving they were false in court.
20 Nov 2003
Michael Jackson flew to Santa Barbara to be arrested by police. He was seen in handcuffs being taken into the police station. The singer had his mug shot and fingerprints taken before being freed on $3m bail.
19 Nov 2003
Police issued an arrest warrant for Michael Jackson following allegations of sexual abuse of a 12-year old boy. Jackson who was in Las Vegas filming a video, negotiated with police to arrange a time and place to hand himself in.
18 Nov 2003
Following allegations of sexual abuse of a 12-year old boy, police raided Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch. Jackson denied the allegations, the search came on the day that his latest greatest hits album, 'Number Ones' was released in the US.
13 May 2003
Michael Jackson launched a court case suing Motown Records. Jacko filed the lawsuit in LA, saying he hadn't been paid royalties due for the music he did with the Jackson Five in the 60s and 70s. The singer also claimed his music has been used in TV ads without his permission.
23 Feb 2003
The News Of The World reported that Michael Jackson had undergone scores of painful operations to strip his body of black skin until he appeared white. And that surgeons at a Santa Monica clinic eventually refused him any more treatment. An insider told the paper that Jackson had been anaesthetised on a weekly basis to have his skin peeled and bleached.
19 Nov 2002
Safety experts blasted Michael Jackson after dangling his baby from a third-floor hotel balcony. Jacko was in Berlin for an awards ceremony and was showing his nine-month old baby to his fans outside the hotel.
10 Aug 2002
Lisa Marie Presley married actor Nicolas Cage at a resort in Hawaii. The marriage was Presley's third. She was married previously to musician Danny Keough and pop star Michael Jackson. Cage filed for divorce four months later.
8 Jul 2002
Michael Jackson spoke out against the music industry's treatment of artists, alleging that the business was rife with racism. Speaking at a civil rights meeting in New York, Jackson claimed there was a 'conspiracy' among record companies, especially towards black artists. A spokesman for Jackson's record label said the remarks were 'ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful.'
14 Jun 2002
During an UK visit Michael Jackson made a tour of Parliament and was shown the monarch's throne in the House of Lords. Whenever Jackson went outside he called for an umbrella to shield his face from the sun.
11 May 2002
Over 500 Michael Jackson fans held a demonstration outside the Sony records building in Berlin complaining that the label hadn't promoted the singer's latest album 'Invincible'.
2 Feb 2002
The Phonographic Performance Ltd launched performersmoney.com for artists to check if they were owed any of the £10 million ($17 million) in unclaimed money. It showed that Michael Jackson was owed over £100,000 ($170,000) for 'Say, Say, Say', Stevie Wonder had money owing for 'Ebony And Ivory' and Ray Davies of The Kinks was owed a six-figure fee for 'You Really Got Me'. Director Dominic McGonigal said "If anyone has seen Rick Astley please let him know, he is still earning money for his hits."
21 Oct 2001
Concerts at Madison Square Garden and the RFK stadium in Washington were expected to raise millions in funds for the victims of the Sept 11th attacks. Stars who appeared included Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, and The Who.
7 Sep 2001
Michael Jackson was reunited onstage with the Jackson Five at his 30th Anniversary Celebration in New York City's Madison Square Garden. It ended Jackson's 11-year hiatus from performing in the U.S. Jackson was joined by Eminem, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, Britney Spears and Destiny's Child to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his singing career.
21 Mar 2001
Michael Jackson's interior decorator told The Times newspaper that the singer kept 17 life size dolls, adult and child sizes, all fully dressed in his bedroom for 'company.'
17 Oct 1999
It was reported that Michael Jackson had played a secret gig at a martial arts exhibition in Barnstaple, England. The man who had arrived in the white stretch limo was Navi, a Londoner who claims to be the world's number one Jako impersonator.
29 Jun 1999
Michael Jackson suffered severe bruising after falling over 50 feet when a bridge collapsed during a concert at Munich's Olympic stadium. Jacko was singing 'Earth Song' at the time of the accident.
15 Oct 1997
Michael Jackson played the last date on the HIStory Tour at King's Park Rugby Stadium, Durban, South Africa. During the tour, Jackson performed 82 concerts in 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans, visiting 5 continents and 35 countries.
25 Aug 1997
A deranged man who had escaped from a mental institution near Helsinki Finland was arrested. The man had planned to set fire to the stage that Michael Jackson was performing from was arrested before he was able to light the gasoline he had put on the stage.
30 Jul 1997
A judge in Los Angeles ruled that Michael Jackson and members of his family were not liable for losses incurred by the producers of the failed 1994 Jackson Family Honors TV special. The show was delayed for several weeks because Jackson was ill and could not perform solo as expected.
19 Apr 1997
Michael Jackson attended an unveiling of a wax statue of himself at the Grevin Museum of Wax in Paris, France. Jackson provided one of his own outfits to dress the figure.
14 Nov 1996
Michael Jackson married Debbie Rowe in Sydney Australia. The couple had met when he was diagnosed with vitiligo in the mid-1980s, and she was working as his dermatologist's assistant. The couple divorced on October 8, 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Jackson with Rowe receiving an $8-million settlement.
7 Sep 1996
Michael Jackson played the first date on the HIStory World Tour, his third solo world concert tour, at Letna Park, Prague in the Czech Republic. The tour consisted of 82 concerts and was attended by approximately 4.5 million fans, beating his previous Bad Tour with 4.4 million and grossing a total of over $163.5 million.
11 Mar 1996
Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker walked free from Kensington police station after police failed to charge him with any criminal offence following his 'stage invasion', during Michael Jackson's performance at the Brit Awards on 19th February 1996.
19 Feb 1996
Winners at this year's Brit Awards included Paul Weller who won British Male Solo Artist, British Female Solo Artist went to Annie Lennox, Oasis won British Group, Best Album for ‘(What's The Story) Morning Glory' and Best British Video for ‘Wonderwall. British Breakthrough Act went to Supergrass, International Group was Bon Jovi, International Breakthrough Act went to Alanis Morissette and David Bowie was awarded Outstanding Contribution to music. Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker was arrested after a stage invasion during Michael Jackson's appearance, (who won Artist of a Generation). Cocker was accused of attacking children who were performing with Jackson; all charges against Cocker were dropped on March 11th of this year.
9 Dec 1995
Michael Jackson scored his 6th solo UK No.1 single when 'Earth Song' started a 6-week run at the top of the charts. It gave Jackson the UK Christmas No.1 of 1995 and his best-selling UK single ever. The song kept the first single released by The Beatles in 25 years, 'Free as a Bird', off the No.1 position.
2 Sep 1995
Michael Jackson went to No.1 on the US singles chart with a song written by R. Kelly 'You Are Not Alone'. It holds a Guinness World Record as the first song in the 37 year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to debut at No.1.
21 Jul 1995
A judge in Los Angeles threw out a lawsuit against Michael Jackson by five of his former security guards. The guards had claimed they were fired for knowing too much about night-time visits by young boys to Jackson's estate. The singer denied any improprieties.
14 Jun 1995
ABC's Diane Sawyer interviewed Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley on ABC-TV's Prime Time Live. It was the couple's first interview since their surprise marriage a year earlier and was part of the publicity push for Jackson's album 'HIStory - Past, Present and Future: Book One'. Jackson and Presley declared they were a "normal married couple who hoped to have a baby". When asked if they had sex, they replied "yes, yes, yes!" They also confirmed that a prenuptial agreement had been signed.
1 Oct 1994
The Daily Mirror in the UK printed a photo of Michael Jackson in a scoutmaster's uniform along with five young Boy Scouts. A Boy Scouts leader later made a statement saying that Jackson had no association with the organization.
26 May 1994
Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley. The couple divorced in 1995. They had first met when the seven-year-old Presley attended several of Jackson's concerts in Las Vegas.
10 Feb 1993
On a special edition of the Oprah Winfrey show, Michael Jackson gave his first TV interview for 14 years, live from his Neverland Valley Ranch.
31 Jul 1992
Michael Jackson made an unscheduled appearance on his hotel balcony in London after a man had threatened to jump from an apartment building across the street. 28 year-old Eric Herminie told police he would leap to his death if he didn't see Jackson, who was in Britain for a series of concerts. Jackson spent a couple of minutes waving to Herminie, who then climbed back into the building.
27 Jul 1992
Michael Jackson sued the British paper The Daily Mirror over photos and an article that said he was left a "scar face" from numerous plastic surgeries. The suit was later settled out of court.
27 Jun 1992
Michael Jackson played the first night on his Dangerous World tour at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany. The tour consisted of 69 concerts to approximately 3.9 million fans across three continents. All profits made from the tour were donated to various charities including the Heal the World Foundation, Jackson's main reason for conducting the tour.
14 Dec 1991
Michael Jackson started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with his eighth studio album 'Dangerous'. The album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide making it one of the best selling albums of all time. Nine singles were released from the album spanning two years (1991–1993).
30 Nov 1991
Michael Jackson scored his fourth UK No.1 album with his eighth studio album Dangerous. The album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
23 Nov 1991
Michael Jackson had his fourth UK No.1 single with 'Black or White' which featured Slash on guitar. Also a No.1 hit in the US.
6 Oct 1991
Michael Jackson gave away the bride at Elizabeth Taylor's seventh wedding, held at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. The Groom was construction worker Larry Fortensky, whom Taylor would divorce in 1997.
3 Oct 1991
M.C. Hammer offered a $50000 reward for the return of Michael Jackson's white glove, which had been stolen from the Motown Museum. This was part of an on-going battle between Hammer and Michael Jackson.
20 Mar 1991
Michael Jackson signed a $1 billion (£0.6 billion) contract with Sony, the richest deal in recording history.
16 Feb 1991
The Simpsons were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Do The Bartman'. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Bryan Lorenand, The Simpsons became the first cartoon characters to make No.1 since the Archies hit 'Sugar Sugar' in 1969. Jackson was a massive fan of The Simpsons and had called the producers one night offering to write Bart a number one single and do a guest spot on the show.
28 Oct 1989
Janet Jackson started a four week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814'. Only one of three albums to produce seven Top-ten US singles, (the other two being Thriller by Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA).
11 Oct 1989
Michael Jackson attended the opening ceremony of the Michael Jackson Auditorium at his former school, Gardner Street Elementary in Hollywood, California. In November, 2003, school officials covered over Jackson's name with painted plywood, leaving only the word "Auditorium" showing, after receiving requests from angry parents when Jackson was booked on suspicion of child molestation.
2 May 1989
A security guard alerted the police after a man wearing a wig, fake moustache and false teeth walked into Zales Jewellers, California. Three squad cars arrived and police detained the man, who turned out to be Michael Jackson in disguise.
13 Feb 1989
This years Brit Awards was hosted by Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood in which just about everything went wrong - lines were fluffed and bands mis-cued onto the stage. Winners included Phil Collins who won British Male Solo Artist, British Female Solo Artist was Annie Lennox, Erasure won Best British Group, Best British Album went to Fairground Attraction for 'First Of A Million Kisses', British Breakthrough Act was Bros, Michael Jackson won International Male, International Female went to Tracey Chapman and U2 won Best International Group. This was the last year the show was broadcast live.
16 Jan 1989
Michael Jackson played the first of five nights at the Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. These were the last shows on the singers Bad World Tour. Jackson donated more than $1m of the final concert's takings to an organisation fighting child cruelty.
11 Sep 1988
Michael Jackson appeared at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England on his Bad World Tour. Over 3,000 fans were treated by the St. John Ambulance service for passing out, hysteria and being crushed amongst the crowd of 125,000 fans, the largest concert of the 123-date world tour.
27 Aug 1988
'Monkey' gave George Michael his eighth US No.1 single of the 1980s, a record only beaten by Michael Jackson.
14 Jul 1988
Michael Jackson gave himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for setting a new attendance record, when he played the first of seven nights at Wembley Stadium in London. The shows on his Bad World Tour were attended by a total of 504,000 fans beating the record previously held by Genesis, with four sold out nights.
12 Jul 1988
Michael Jackson arrived in the UK for his first ever-solo appearances. He performed a total of eight nights to 794,000 people.
2 Jul 1988
Michael Jackson became the first artist to have five number one singles from one album when ‘Dirty Diana’ went to the top of the US charts. The other four chart-toppers from the LP ‘Bad’ were the title track, ‘I Just Can't Stop Loving You’, ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ and ‘Man in the Mirror’.
19 Mar 1988
Michael Jackson began construction on his 2,800-acre ranch and private amusement park in Santa Barbara, California, which he named "Neverland" after a fantasy location in his favorite book, Peter Pan, a place where children never grow up.
23 Jan 1988
Michael Jackson went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. It was the third single from Jackson's seventh studio album Bad for which Jackson had written over sixty songs for the album, with plans of releasing a three disc album, but producer Quincy Jones convinced Jackson to make Bad a one disc LP.
7 Nov 1987
Tiffany became the youngest act to score a US No.1 since Michael Jackson ('Ben', in 1972) with 'I Think we're Alone Now'. The song written by Ritchie Cordell was initially a 1967 hit for Tommy James & the Shondells.
24 Oct 1987
Michael Jackson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Bad', a No.3 hit in the UK. A music video for 'Bad', directed by Martin Scorsese and co-starring one of the first appearances of yet-undiscovered Wesley Snipes, was released in late 1987.
26 Sep 1987
Michael Jackson started a six-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Bad'. Released nearly five years after Jackson's previous studio album, Thriller, Bad, went on to become the world's best-selling album having sold between 30 to 45 million copies worldwide. The album produced five US No.1's, the first album to do so.
13 Sep 1987
Michael Jackson started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Bad', his follow up to the Thriller album It stayed at No.1 on the US chart for six weeks.
12 Sep 1987
Michael Jackson kicked of his Bad World Tour by playing the first of three sold-out nights at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. By the end of the 123-date tour, Jackson had played to over 4million fans across fifteen countries.
31 Aug 1987
The largest pre-order of albums in the history of CBS Records occurred as 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson's ‘Bad’ album were shipped to record stores in the US. The LP followed the Jackson album, Thriller the biggest Jackson-seller of all time (over 35 million copies sold). ‘Bad’ went on to sell over 13 million copies.
15 Aug 1987
Michael Jackson had his third UK No.1 with the single 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You', a duet with Siedah Garrett. It was originally intended to be a duet between Jackson and either Barbra Streisand or Whitney Houston. Session singer Siedah Garrett also worked with Madonna.
13 Jul 1987
Representatives of fifty of America's largest record retailers were guests at Michael Jackson's home in Encino, California to preview his new album, ‘Bad’. The LP would go on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide.
6 Jun 1987
Michael Jackson announced that he was breaking all ties with the Jehovah's Witnesses. Jackson had been raised as a Jehovah's Witness and would don disguises and go door to door with the Watchtower message in cities where he was performing.
25 Apr 1987
Madonna went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'La Isla Bonita.' The fifth and final single from her third studio album, True Blue, made her the only female artist to score four UK No.1 singles. The song had been offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album.
21 Sep 1986
The National Inquirer Magazine featured a picture of Michael Jackson in an oxygen chamber with a story claiming that Jackson had a bizarre plan to live until he was 150 years old.
21 Dec 1985
Bruce Springsteen's album, Born in the USA passed Michael Jackson's Thriller to become the second longest-lasting LP on the Billboard US Top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews lasted longer at 109 weeks.
14 Aug 1985
Michael Jackson won a bid over Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney to secure the ATV Music Publishing catalogue. At $47.5m he gained the rights to more than 250 songs written by Lennon and McCartney. McCartney had been negotiating with Yoko Ono, who had decided to withdraw her side of the deal because of 'astrological' reasons.
27 Apr 1985
USA For Africa started a three-week run at No.1 on the US chart with 'We Are The World'. The US artists' answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer's of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
20 Apr 1985
The charity record 'We Are The World' by USA For Africa was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. The US artists' answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer's of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
19 Apr 1985
Bryan Adams was on the UK album chart with Reckelss. His fourth studio album was the first Canadian album to sell more than one million units within Canada. Six singles were released from the album: ‘Run to You,’ ‘Somebody,’ ‘Heaven,’ ‘Summer of '69,’ ‘One Night Love Affair,’ and ‘It's Only Love.’ All six singles made the top 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100, a feat that at the time had been accomplished previously only by Michael Jackson's Thriller.
28 Jan 1985
The recording took place for We Are The World the US equivalent of Band Aid at A&M Studios in Hollywood. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie the all star cast included Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Perry and Bob Geldof.
20 Nov 1984
A large crowd of fans watched the unveiling of a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Michael Jackson in front of Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Jackson became star number 1,793 on the famed walk.
7 Jul 1984
Bruce Springsteen went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'Born In The USA'. The album went on to spend a total of 139 weeks on the US chart. Its also one of three albums (Michael Jackson's Thriller and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814) to produce seven Top-ten US singles.
6 Jul 1984
The Jacksons kicked off their North American Victory tour at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City. Over 2 million people attended the 55 concerts which grossed over $75 million. Michael Jackson donated $5 million to various charities.
4 Jun 1984
Bruce Springsteen released the album, 'Born In The USA', which became the best-selling album of 1985 in the United States (and also Springsteen's most successful album ever). The album produced a record-tying string of seven Top 10 singles (tied with Michael Jackson's Thriller and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814).
18 Apr 1984
Michael Jackson underwent surgery in a Los Angeles hospital to repair damage done after his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.
28 Feb 1984
Michael Jackson won a record eight Grammy awards including: Album of the year for Thriller; Record of the year and Best rock vocal performance for 'Beat It'; Best pop vocal performance, Best R&B performance and Best R&B song for 'Billie Jean', and Best Recording For Children for E.T The Extra Terrestrial.
10 Dec 1983
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Say Say Say'. It was Jackson's 10th No.1 (solo & The Jackson's) and McCartney's 29th, (solo and The Beatles).
2 Dec 1983
MTV aired the full 14-minute version of Michael Jackson's Thriller video for the first time. Now regarded as the most influential pop music video of all time, in 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.
21 Nov 1983
Michael Jackson's 14-minute video for Thriller was premiered in Los Angeles. Directed by John Landis and co-starring former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. The video was filmed at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, the zombie dance sequence at the junction of Union Pacific Avenue and South Calzona Street in East Los Angeles and the final house scene in the Angeleno Heights neighborhood at 1345 Carroll Avenue.
30 Apr 1983
Michael Jackson started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Beat It', his fifth solo US No.1. The third single from the singer's Thriller album featured Eddie Van Halen on the song's distinctive overdriven guitar solo, but Halen was prevented by his record label from appearing in the music video.
5 Mar 1983
Michael Jackson started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Billie Jean', his fourth solo US No.1, also No.1 in the UK. And on this day Jacksons album Thriller went to No.1 for the first time on the UK album chart, it went on to become the biggest selling album of all time with sales over 65 million.
28 Feb 1983
U2 released their third studio album War. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album has come to be regarded as U2's first overtly political album, in part because of songs like 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'New Year's Day.' War became the band's first No.1 album in the UK (knocking Michael Jackson's Thriller from the top of the charts). The boy on the cover of the album is Peter Rowen (the brother of Bono's friend, Guggi from The Virgin Prunes).
26 Feb 1983
Michael Jackson's Thriller went to No.1 on the US album chart. Thriller broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson's appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs 'Thriller', 'Billie Jean', and 'Beat It' all received regular rotation on MTV. Thriller became the most successful album of all time with sales over 65 million copies.
30 Nov 1982
Michael Jackson's Thriller album was released. It spent 190 weeks on the UK album chart became the biggest selling pop album of all time, with sales over 66 million copies. Seven singles were released from the album, including 'Beat It', which featured guitarists Eddie Van Halen and Steve Lukather on 'Billie Jean'.
25 Dec 1981
Michael Jackson phoned Paul McCartney and suggested they write and record together, the first result being ‘The Girl Is Mine’. The song was a US No.2 & UK No.8 in 1982.
27 Jun 1981
Michael Jackson had his first solo UK No.1 with 'One Day In Your Life' a song recorded by Jackson for his 1975 album, Forever, Michael.
19 Jan 1980
Pink Floyd's The Wall started a 15-week run at No.1 on the US album chart. The group’s third US No.1, it went on to sell over 23 million copies in the US alone. The Wall is still the third largest grossing album in the US, behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Eagles’ 'Greatest Hits'.
13 Oct 1979
Michael Jackson went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough', his second US solo No.1, a No.3 hit in the UK.
14 Oct 1972
Michael Jackson went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Ben', his first solo No.1. which was also a a No.7 hit in the UK.
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