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Motown 25: Yesterday, Today And Forever TV Special Produced By Suzanne de Passe. 25-03-'83

Motown's 25th Anniversary - Rehearses (25-03-1983)'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It' were already on heavy MTV rotation when Michael agreed to appear alongside his brothers for Motown’s 25th anniversary television special, but only on condition that he also be allowed to perform 'Billie Jean' in a solo spot.

Produced by Suzanne DePasse – who had been present at the Jackson Five’s audition nearly fifteen years earlier – 'Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever' was taped at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 25, 1983 and broadcast nearly two months later on May 16th.

After Michael and his brothers – including Jermaine – performed a medley of their Motown hits, they left the stage while he grabbed a fedora hat while the opening notes to 'Billie Jean' brought the crowd to its feet. In what would become his defining moment in show business, he performed his “moonwalk” dance for the first time during the song’s guitar break before the final chorus.

Source: Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Signs Billion-Dollar Deal. 20-03-'91

In New York City on March 20, 1991 the biggest deal in music history was announced between Michael and Sony, who bought CBS in 1988. The Japanese-owned multi-national corporation signs Michael to a 15 year, 6-album record and film contract.

Michael enters the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid entertainer in the music industry and up to today still holds his record. The Guinness Book of World Records reports that the contract is worth US$ 890 million [US$ 1 billion is estimated].

Michael received an US$ 18 million cash advance for the forthcoming album, plus a $ 5 million bonus for this and each of his next 5 albums.

Michael, now the highest-paid entertainer in the music industry, receiving a royalty rate of 25% on each album sold. He is also CEO of his own record label, Nation Records [which was renamed to MJJ Productions later], for which he will receive US$ 1 million per annum. The lucrative deal is reported in the press as setting new standards for cost and scope.

Michael and Jon Peters (20-03-1991)
On this picture you see Michael Jackson and Jon Peters (Columbia Pictures) with whom Michael Jackson his new contract signed.

Source: Billie Jean

Michael Finally Ready To Leave His Family’s Encino Home. 20-03-'88

Michael Jackson is on a 13-city concert tour, but when he comes home, it probably won't be just to Encino anymore.
He is buying a 2,700-acre ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley for about $ 28 million and a small hotel nearby, for his entourage, for $ 5 million, say several real estate sources.

The pop star was looking at Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara but needed a more rural environment for his menagerie. At last count, he had monkeys, llamas, snakes, birds and just about every kind of farmyard animal except a cow at his 1-acre Encino compound, where he and his family have lived since the '60s.
They will have plenty of room to stretch on the remote Sycamore Valley Ranch, which is being sold by William Bone, developer of the PGA West resort in Palm Springs and scores of condos in the desert.

Bone bought the place, then known as the Zaca Laderas Ranch, in 1977 from banker Robert Easton.
Bone developed a large clubhouse at Sycamore Valley Ranch and apparently had plans to turn the property into a country club but changed his mind. The ranch has been on the market for at least a year.
Besides the clubhouse, the property has a huge house on a 32-acre home site and 50,000 oak trees.
Bone was asking $32 million, and turned down Jackson's original offer of $17 million. Escrow hasn't closed yet on the $28-million sale.

There is no news yet on whether Jackson will sell his Encino home, which he expanded in 1982. He moved the original 1,570-square-foot house to the rear of the site then for use as a recording studio and built an 11,500-square-foot house in front along with a four-car garage with 850 square feet of living space overhead.

Although Michael’s tour would keep him away from his new home for most of 1988, the purchase gave him time to refurbish it into a magical space, complete with amusement rides and a petting zoo. It was a deeply symbolic move for the 29-year-old man who saw himself as a “Peter Pan” figure, a committed champion for the happiness of children.

Jackson created a child-like fantasy world where he lived with Bubbles the chimpanzee, exotic snakes, fairground rides, a candy shop and a private railway.

Sycamore Valley Ranch (1988)

Sycamore Valley Ranch as it was presented in the real estate brochure from 1988.

Source: Billie Jean

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (19-03-2001)N'Sync inducted Michael In The Rock An Roll Hall Of Fame. 19-03-'01

Michael arrives at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lance Bass of N’Sync, who had the honour of inducting Michael into the Hall of Fame, says: “Michael was always a man who inspired more questions than answers. Michael became the youngest inductee in the history of the Hall of Fame. In 1997, he also became the youngest artist to be inducted as part of a music group, namely the Jackson 5.”

Leaning in a cane Michael accepted his induction. He took the stage to one of the loudest, longest ovations of the evening and seemed genuinely moved, both by ‘N Sync’s speech and by the audience’s reception. During his acceptance speech Michael thanked his parents, his brothers and sisters, and three of his biggest influences:

“…..Berry Gordy, Berry Gordy, Berry Gordy, Berry Gordy. I just have to say thank you. He was so important in our lives, and he is really my real inspiration, and I owe him so much. Quincy Jones, thank you. We talk about a ‘Thriller,’ it’s Quincy. You’re incredible. I love you, Quincy. He is the man. The glamorous and talented and beautiful Diana Ross, who is my second mother–I thank you. […] To me, the gift of music has been a great blessing, from the time I was a child.”

And referring to a broken foot he suffered in a fall at his Neverland home lately he apologized: “As you can see, there’s not going to be any moonwalking tonight because I broke my foot dancing — I fell down the stairs in California.”

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean

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