*It’s been 11 years since the death of Michael Jackson screeched the world to a halt and sent fans into a lengthy haze of disbelief. To honor the King of Pop’s impact on music, here’s an EUR Video Throwback celebrating some of his most memorable moments.
We’re talking strictly music, though. Yes, there are the numerous awards, the cringy on-stage kiss with his newlywed Lisa Marie Presley, that time he stood on top of an SUV outside the courthouse, his hair going up in flames, dangling Blanket from a balcony, the molestation accusations, coming to court in pajamas, the unsettling Martin Bashir interview… While those were indeed memorable pitstops in his career, we’re focusing 100 percent on the music, and narrowing it down to just a handful of moments from the countless throughout his career.
It has to start with this pivotal July 3, 1968 audition for Motown founder Berry Gordy, Without this performance, his future iconic moments would cease to exist.
“You Can’t Win,” from The Wiz (1978)
His first hit and video after leaving his brothers and going solo, “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” (1979)
His introduction of the one glove, glittered socks and moonwalk on “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” – NBC (May 16, 1983)
That time James Brown called MJ to the stage at the Beverly Theatre in Hollywood, and then MJ, in turn, told JB to call Prince up, too. As the story goes, The Godfather had no idea The Purple One was also in the crowd. (Aug. 20, 1983)
Crafting “Thriller” (1983). It would become (and still is) the biggest selling album of all time. The 13-minute short film for the title track pushed the envelope for music videos. It revolutionized the production values, choreography and storylines, and established MTV as a cultural staple when the channel aired the Dec. 2, 1983 premiere.
Co-writing the all-star charity single, and fastest selling single of all time, “We Are The World” (1985)
Performing the Super Bowl 27 Halftime Show (1993)
Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Twice.
With the Jackson 5 (1997)
As a Solo Act (2001)
His final performance, rehearsing “Earth Song” in Los Angeles for the upcoming “This Is It” tour on June 24, 2009, less than 24 hours before his death at age 50.