June 25, 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. The late singer died at the age of 50 in his rented L.A mansion. He was rushed to the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest, which as brought on by a number of prescription drugs that were administered by his physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
Jackson was known as the King of Pop, and with four decades worth of smash-hit pop music, he made an incredibly positive impact on the world of music.
Between 1979 and 1991, Jackson released hit after hit on each of his album, from Off the Wall to Dangerous, and was nothing short of a worldwide musical sensation. With record-defying success and an untouchable music career, Jackson was practically invincible during the height of his career.
He may have been on the top of the world for a time, but his favorable public reputation began to go downhill once the first sexual abuse allegation was made against him in 1993, and his personal life and career began to derail. To this day, his fans and followers remain divided on their opinions of the singer and the sexual allegations against him, and Jackson’s legacy continues to be at stake, most notably with HBO’s recent and highly controversial four-hour documentary, Leaving Neverland, which aimed to expose the allegations against him.
Ahead of his sudden death and after years of hiatus, Jackson was gearing up for a global comeback, the This Is It residency, which was scheduled for 50 dates between 2009 and 2010 at London’s O2 Arena. He made the announcement on March 9, 2009 at a televised press conference in front of more than 3,000 fans, with hundreds of thousands more watching around the world. The This Is It residency was revealed to be his final series of concert dates, and while they never took place, Jackson’s announcement proved that he was missed by a lot of people.
Here are some of his most iconic moments throughout his career:
The John Landis-directed music video for the song Thriller was 12-minute-long, but it was incredibly choreographed, slightly terrifying and unforgettable, and the album itself, Thriller, defined a whole generation. It was Jackson’s sixth solo album overall and was released through Columbia/Epic Records on November 30, 1982. It was the first album to be certified 30 times platinum.
It has nine tracks, and seven of them became monster hit singles and all reached the Top 10 in the U.S, including Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ and The Girl is Mine, which featured former Beatles bassist and singer Paul McCartney.
From the roaring guitar solo of Eddie Van Halen on Beat It to narration from late American horror legend Vincent Price, Thriller had it all. It became the bestselling record of all time a little more than a year after its release. As of the writing, Thriller is estimated to have sold more than 66 million copies worldwide. It is the second-highest selling album in the United States, after The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) compilation.
Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever
On May 16, 1983, Jackson changed the course of dancing and music choreography altogether. During his appearance on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, the singer reunited with his older brothers for an energetic Jackson 5 medley. It was their first time performing together in more than eight years. The comeback performance was followed by a hot rendition of his timeless classic, Billie Jean.
At the time of the performance, Billie Jean was brand new, and Jackson was at the height of his career. But once he debuted the legendary moonwalk, it skyrocketed even further. His slick and seemingly unreal dance moves wowed the entire world and became a staple in his live performances for the rest of his life.
Black or White music video premier
On November 11, 1991, Black or White dropped. It was the first and lead single for Jackson’s then-upcoming eighth studio album, Dangerous (1991). It was one of Jackson’s more rock and roll- influenced songs and it tackles the issue of discrimination by blending music genres. Its lyrical content promotes racial harmony and coming together as one, rather than profiling and dividing people based on religion or race. It also has a killer music video. Only three days after its release, the epic music video premiered on hundreds of channels around the world.
It was also Landis’ second video cut with Jackson and the first of many short films made for the Dangerous record. The video also promotes diversity and equality and featured Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin as a misunderstood and youthful rocker. More than 500 million viewers tuned in from nearly 30 different countries, making it the biggest music video debut of all time.