Michael Jackson would have turned 60 today!
I was working at MTV when we heard the news that Michael Jackson had died. Actually, to pinpoint the exact time and date, I was on the top floor of the Hawley Arms pub in Camden, my local. Many of my friends were called into work to schedule the next day’s programming in tribute to the ‘Prince of Pop’. I spent that next day working on a campaign, which commemorated Michael Jackson’s documented history with MTV. One of the days I was very proud to be part of a great team, company and history in the making…tinged with deep sadness.
“Most of my dreams seem to come true, and I’m so thankful that they do. I don’t know over what period of time, but I have lots of dreams and they usually come true, and I’m so glad.” – Michael Jackson
I have always been a huge fan of Michael Jackson. and Billie Jean (released 1983) were two of my favourite videos when I was younger; is still one of my favourite songs today and both videos were complete masterpieces. Billie Jean was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and became the biggest-selling single for Jackson as a solo artist. Thriller soon became the best-selling album of all time. It was the first video by a black artist which was heavily played by MTV, which supported Michael’s long-standing music career.
Off The Wall
One of my favourite albums, was the album prior to Thriller, released in 1979. Jackson became the first solo artist to have four singles from the same album in the top 10. Slightly moving away from Motown, Off the Wall is such an amazing Disco album with some Jackson classics!
The album was released in 1987; a music collaboration between Jackson and Quincy Jones. It was a massive commercial success – many of the songs were released successfully as standalone singles.
Liberian Girl is so beautiful lyrically. The video itself is so typically Michael Jackson; his humour abundant with celebrity cameos from Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Brigette Nielsen, Paul Abdul and of course his pet monkey Bubbles, to name but a few! The video captured everyone on stage with Michael secretly filming. Liking to poke fun at himself, there is a mummy in the video, who people wonder if is Michael Jackson.
Remember the Time has to be one of the most incredible videos with Michael Jackson. Originally from the album Dangerous, the video is set in Ancient Greece with Eddie Murphy playing the Pharoah and Iman his Queen.
Leave Me Alone
The lyrics refer to a girl, but many saw this as a dig at the press, which always hounded him. The song was originally an extra track on ‘Bad’ but became a successful song in its own right. The tongue-in-cheek animated video music video, a dig at the tabloids’ fascination with Jackson, won the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Music Video Short Form, and the MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects. Jim Blashfield and Paul Diener directed the clip, with Blashfield doing the animation.
Janet Jackson teamed up with her brother for this song – the duet was in protest of the media who had gone after Michael following the child abuse accusations against him. The video went on to win three MTV Video Music Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.
You’re not alone
Michael’s short film for “You Are Not Alone” was released on August 15, 1995. It was the first single ever to debut and top the Billboard charts. Michael had previously worked with the short film director, Wayne Isham, on Eddie Murphy’s “Whatzupwitu.” Michael continued to innovate and was one of the most amazing visual artists of generations.
Marriage to Lisa Marie Presley
Michael married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994, the daughter of Elvis Presley. The marriage lasted a couple of years but ended amicably. Watch this interview with the couple above. Jackson went on to marry Debbie Rowe in 1996, who bore him two children, Paris and Prince. Divorcing in 1998, she handed over full custody rights to Michael. His third and final child, son Prince Michael Jackson II, was born to an unnamed surrogate mother on February 21, 2002.
The proceeds from the sales of”Man In the Mirror” went to ‘Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times’, a camp for children who suffer from cancer. Michael Jackson throughout his life championed so many causes, including the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation and the Prince’s Trust, which has proved to be his legacy apart from his music. In 1993 Michael alone, announced that he would donate $1.25 million for children who had suffered as a result of the riots in Los Angeles.
“If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”
Michael Jackson Diamond Anniversary
Posted on his official website today: Happy Birthday, Michael! On this day of the Diamond Celebration we hope all fans around the world will join in celebrating the immortal Michael Jackson and his legacy of astounding artistic achievement and his philanthropic and humanitarianism efforts wherever he went.
Happy Birthday Michael Jackson xxxx