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History / Today In History / February

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Michael Wins An Unprecedented 8 Awards At The Grammy Awards. 28-02-'84

Just one month after the accident, Michael had recovered well enough to enjoy his big win at that year’s Grammy Awards on February 28, 1984, taking away a total of eight trophies for the 'Thriller', including the coveted Record of the Year that had eluded 'Off The Wall'.

Michael attended the ceremony with two dates: Brooke Shields, a close friend who had also been his date at the American Music Awards a month earlier, and child actor Emmanuel Lewis, star of the sitcom Webster, who was a few weeks shy of thirteen, but looked much younger.

Grammy Awards (28-02-1984)
Michael Jackson wins a total of 8 awards at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California.

8 Grammy's in ten categories: Album Of The Year ('Thriller'), Best Pop Male Vocal ('Thriller' LP), Record Of The Year ('Beat It'), Best Rock Male Vocal ('Beat It'), Best R&B Male Vocal ('Billie Jean'), Best New Song Of The Year ('Billie Jean'), Producer Of The Year [with Quincy Jones] and Best Children's Recording ('E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial' with narration by Michael Jackson).

It is the most ever won in a single year and entered The Guinness Book of World Records.

Michael Jackson wins a total of 8 awards at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California.

Source: Billie Jean


Thriller Album Cover'Thriller' Album Goes To Number One. 26-02-'83

On February 26, 1983, Michael Jackson’s album 'Thriller' hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The 1982 release was revolutionary, a watershed moment in the history of rock and roll. It earned a record-breaking number of Grammy awards, sold in record numbers, resulted in music videos that changed promotional possibilities, broke down racial barriers and left a legacy of influence that continues to this day.

'Thriller' was recorded with a production budget of $750,000 in 1982 and was produced by 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee Quincy Jones. Jackson and Jones combed through more than 700 demos – some Jackson had committed to a voice recorder – to find songs for his new album, eventually settling on a handful of tracks that included Jackson originals 'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,' 'The Girl is Mine', 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It'. All four of the songs that Jackson composed were reflections of both personal and social issues surrounding the “King of Pop”: In 'Billie Jean',” Jackson speaks about an obsessive fan who alleges that Jackson has fathered a child with her; 'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ was a rebuttal against gossip surrounding his life and the media; “The Girl is Mine,”was a song about interracial love; and 'Beat It' was an anti–gang violence masterpiece that was Jackson’s first successful rock-cross over. All four songs reached the Top 10 on the Billboard charts.

The album remained in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart for a full year, and it spent 37 weeks at the Number One spot – more than any other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours spent 31 weeks). Thriller was released on November 30, 1982, and in a little over a year had become – and still remains – the best-selling album of all time. It is estimated that 'Thriller' has sold between 65 and 110 million copies****, worldwide. Thriller also won eight Grammy's in 1984, including Best Pop Male Performance, Best Rock Male Performance, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The album also won Jackson eight American Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards.

The video created for the title track, written by Rod Temperton, is among the most influential music videos of all time. The idea to create a music video for this song came in the summer of 1983, when the album’s sales began to decline.

Jackson’s manager at the time, Frank DiLeo came up the idea to create a video for the title track of the album to reinvigorate sales, telling Jackson, “It’s simple – all you’ve got to do is dance, sing and make it scary.” The nearly 14-minute video was directed by John Landis (who had previously directed such films as Animal House and The Blues Brothers), who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jackson. “My idea was to make this short film with conversation… in the beginning – I like having a beginning and a middle and an ending, which would follow a story,” explained Jackson. “I’m very much involved in the complete making and creating of the piece. It has to be, you know, my soul.” The video starred Jackson, actress Ola Ray, noted actor Vincent Price (who supplied voiceover for the album recording) and a host of dancing zombies.

In addition to 'Thriller', videos for 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It' received regular rotation on MTV. At the time, Jackson’s blending of film and music to create an entertaining story helped usher in more MTV airplay featuring African-American artists. Jackson effectively shifted the perspective of the video channel, broadening the mix from a more straightforward focus on pop music and opening the doors for other black artists to utilize music videos as a wildly effective promotional tool.

In 1984, 'Thriller' had sold over 25 million copies according to the Guinness Book of World Records only two years after it was released.

At the 2006 World Music Awards, it was announced that 'Thriller' had sold 104 million copies worldwide.

Source: Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame / Billie Jean


Launch Of Neverland Pictures. 25-02-'86

Michael Jackson's Neverland Entertainment has invested $15 million-$20 million in Mark Damon's production and distribution company MDP Worldwide, making Jackson and his new producing partner Raju Patel major shareholders in the company. As part of the deal, MDP will operate a new division, Neverland Pictures, headed by Jackson and Patel along with key executive Lawrence Mortoff. The company plans to produce a range of projects with a focus on family films and reimaginations of classics, some of which might be directed by and/or star Jackson.

The venture was announced Sunday night during a private dinner reception at Damon's hillside Benedict Canyon home, attended by 250 guests. Making a rare appearance, Jackson showed up along with longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor and "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner to tout the deal.

Until his arrival, it was not clear whether Jackson would show up at the event, but suddenly he appeared from a nearby dining room and entered the dinner tent to a standing ovation, arm in arm with Taylor. After making it to their thronelike chairs onstage, Jackson took to the microphone and explained his decision to invest in MDP and enter the indie film business.

"I dream great dreams," Jackson said. "Everything I've achieved started with a dream, and of all the dreams, this is the one I am most passionate about. The painter paints, the sculptor sculpts, but they just capture a glimpse of life -- of the subject. And film, this medium, you live with the protagonist, you suffer with the protagonist, you laugh with the protagonist, you despair with the protagonist. It's the most artistic, influential medium of all. I am very proud of what we're doing, and I promise you wonderful and fantastical things to come."

After his onstage appearance, the notoriously shy King of Pop elaborated in an interview about his plans for Neverland Pictures. He said he will be involved in all aspects of the company, such as reading scripts, plucking talent and directing. "I have a lot to express in film," Jackson said, revealing that his favorite movie is "To Kill a Mockingbird." "I'll be doing the whole thing, behind and in front [of the camera]. I love it."

Another movie Jackson is fond of is 1994's 'The Jungle Book', which Patel produced and Damon executive produced, marking the duo's first collaboration. After seeing the movie, Jackson called Patel, who also produced 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' and 'The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo', to compliment him on his work, and the two became friends.

That brought Jackson and Patel to Damon's MDP. Patel said he and Jackson chose to invest in MDP and launch Neverland under their banner to gain creative freedom outside the studio system. "Michael wants control, and that's hard to get at a studio level," he said. "He wants to be able to go straight from an idea into the marketing."

Neverland already has a slate of projects, with three of them expected to be announced shortly. Whether any of those include Jackson-directed projects is unclear, but if he's not willing to hop behind the camera so soon, his close friend Taylor is.

"I wanted to direct for quite a while," Taylor said in an interview. "I've observed and picked up so much from other directors and other actors and learned just by osmosis. I'd like to take the knowledge I've learned from them and have a go at it."

Jackson has had several previous forays into film production, more notable for their ambitious announcements than their actual output: in 1991, he signed a nonexclusive first-look deal with Columbia Pictures through his Nation Films banner. In 1993, he announced a second feature film company, Michael Jackson Productions Inc., promising to deliver movies with positive and uplifting themes.

Launch of Neverland Pictures (25-02-2002)
Michael Jackson and Ragu Patel signing Neverland Pictures deal. Michael Jackson's Neverland Entertainment has invested $15 million-$20 million in Mark Damon's production and distribution company MDP Worldwide, making Jackson and his new producing partner Raju Patel major shareholders in the company.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones & Stevie Wonder Attend The Grammy Awards Where 'We Are The World' Receives Four Awards. 25-02-'86

Songwriters Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie are honored with the "Best Song of the Year" award for 'We Are The World', the relief single they wrote for the 'USA For Africa' project in 1985, at the 28th Grammy Awards from Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

The song is also voted as the "Record of the Year", an award accepted by producer Quincy Jones, joined on stage by Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick.

Michael and Lionel accepted the award for the Song of the Year together. On accepting the award he makes a brief speech
Michael stepped to the podium, dressed in black uniform jacket and red shirt, with several gold pins:

"First, I’d like to thank God, and I’d like to say thank you for choosing Lionel and myself to write 'We Are The World'. I thank Quincy Jones, who was the greatest producer to me. And I also like to say, when you leave here, remember the children. Thank you."

At an ensuing press conference, he is asked about how he creates songs and to comment a little on 'We Are The World'.
“That’s one of the hardest questions to answer, because it’s a – it just comes, songs just kinda create themselves, so I don’t wanna dissect it really, just I let it happen. […] I wanted something that the whole world could sing.”

After the speech, Michael Jackson exits the stage happily and tightly holding mentor and friend Stevie Wonder's hand. The other honors for 'We Are The World' are the "Best Pop Performance By Duo or Group" and "Best Short Form Video".

Grammy Awards (25-02-1986)
Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie receives a Grammy Award for 'We Are The World' at the 28th annual Grammy Awards.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Receives Two Nominations At The 35th Annual Grammy Awards. 24-02-'93

Grammy Awards (24-02-1993)35th Grammy Awards edition from Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, Michael Jackson received the Grammy Living Legend Award from his sister Janet.

Michael and his date, Brooke Shields, attended the 35th Annual Grammy Award ceremony. During the ceremony, Michael was honored with the Grammy Legend Award.

The Grammy Legend Award is the most important award in the music business! It's the top honor in the recording industry, given for ongoing contributions and influence in the recording field.

The award was presented to Michael by his sister Janet, who sported a long brown braids. After narrating a lengthy "How To Become A Legend" video scrapbook, showing how her brother became a legend, Janet brought Michael on stage from his front seat at the auditorium.

Looking dashing in black jeans and boots, and a white beaded jacket, Michael embrace Janet. Clearly elated, Michael was in sparkling form, and he was inspired to give his longest ever acceptance speech, poking fun at himself and showing his sense of humor that many haven't had an opportunity to see. One arm hugging Janet close, Michael began on a humorous note:

I hope this puts to rest, I hope this finally puts to rest another rumour that has been in the press for too many years – me and Janet really are two different people!

Michael expressed gratitude to and concern for the world’s children, including the health and economically deprived, then raises consciousness and suggests solutions on urgent global issues, such as the inner city crimes, wars and terrorist attacks, or the overloaded prisons, increasingly entered by young people that were devoid of a proper childhood.
In the past month, I've gone from "where is he?" to "Here he is again," but I must confess, it feels good to be thought of as a person, not as a personality. Because I don't read all the things written about me, I wasn't aware that the world thought I was so weird and bizarre. But when you grow up as I did, in front of one hundred million people since the age of five, you're automatically different. The last few weeks, I have been cleansing myself and it's been a rebirth for myself. It's like a cleansing spirit.

My childhood was completely taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there were no birthdays, it was not a normal childhood, nor the normal pleasures of childhood - those were exchanged for hard work, struggle, and pain, and eventually material and professional success. But as an awful price, I cannot re-create that part of my life. However, today, when I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature. I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our God-given talents. The sound... of approval rolls across the universe, and the whole world abounds in magic. Wonder fills our hearts, for what we have glimpsed, for an instant, the playfulness of life.

And that's why I love children and learn so much from being around them. I realise that many of our world's problems today - from the inner city crime, to large scale wars and terrorism, and our overcrowded prisons - are a result of the fact that children have had their childhood stolen from them. The magic, the wonder, the mystery, and the innocence of a child's heart, are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world. I really believe that.

What, what we need to learn, what we need to learn from children isn't childish. Being with them connects us to the deeper wisdom of life which is ever present, and only asks to be lived. They know the solutions that lie waiting to be recognised within our own hearts. Today, I would like to thank all the children of the world, including the sick and deprived... I am so sensitive to your pain.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Kicks Off His First Ever Solo Tour Of America In Kansis City. 23-02-'88

Bad Tour (23-02-1988)The U.S. leg of the Bad World Tour began at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena in front of 16,960 fans.

Michael performed his first ever U.S. solo concert in Kansas City. The newly revised shows included more songs from the 'Bad' album than did the shows in Japan. Michael left the sold out house of about 17,000 spellbound with moves that weren't around until he invented them. When not dumbfounded the fans cheered and waved their arms in response to the Gifted One's world-class talent and showmanship.

For the first few shows, there were also surprise appearances by Tatiana Thumbtzen for the performance of 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. It was also a surprise for Tatiana, who was contacted by Michael's secretary only one week before the tour's opening. She was glad to be a part of the show, describing it as being like Christmas in February.

A month into the tour, Michael – finally ready to leave his family’s Encino home – bought a property he had been looking at for some time, a 2,700-acre ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara that he would christen “Neverland”.

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.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Visits Comedian Benny Hill At The Royal Brompton Hospital. 22-02-'92

While in England, Michael and his young friend Brett Barnes visit comedian Benny Hill at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London for a reported 35 minutes.

The 67-year-old comic has been convalescing from a heart attack, but refused to undergo a heart bypass. Jackson hands him a bouquet of flowers and enthusiastically tells him: "Great to see you at long last", and keeps repeating "You’re my hero". Jackson is said to also have asked Hill if he wanted to appear in a video with him, to which the comic replies, "Of course, why not?" Jackson then confesses to Hill that he watches his shows every day and that he has hundreds of his videos.

Benny Hill's best friend, TV producer Dennis Kirkland, reveals, "Michael has invited Benny to stay with him next time he is in L.A. [...] Michael's visit was the tonic he needed." Benny Hill passes away three months later from coronary thrombosis.

Michael Jackson was a big Benny Hill fan. "I just love your Benny Hill (impression)!" the young Michael Jackson told a bemused English music-press critic during a 1970’s tour. "He's so funny!". In a ‘New Musical Express’ 1981 interview with The Jacksons, the entertainer reveals that Benny Hill makes him laugh: “Uh! Are you kidding? Every day! I love Benny Hill. I like him better than Monty Python. […] He just cracks me up. A genius.”

Royal Brompton Hill Hospital (22-02-1992)
Michael Jackson visits comedian Benny Hill at the Royal Brompton Hospital.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Is Honoured By Sony With An Award As The Top Selling Artist Of The Decade. 20-02-'90

Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Michael was honored with the "Top Selling Artist Of The Decade" award by CBS Records for selling 110 million records during the 80's.

CBS Records' Tommy Mattola presented Michael with the award, a figure of Michael in a pose from the "Smooth Criminal" video against a large disk reading "100 Million". Mattola reads a list of Michael's accomplishments and states, "If I stood here 10 years ago and told you any artist would accomplish what Michael Jackson accomplished, you would have probably laughed me off the stage."

Michael attended the press conference dressed in red and black sequined military jacket, black gloves, and sunglasses.

CBS Records - Top Selling Artist Of The Decade (20-02-1990)
Michael Jackson is honoured by Sony with an award as the Top Selling Artist Of The Decade at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

As usual, his thank yous were brief: "Thank you Tommy, and thank you ladies and gentlemen. I'm sure it won't surprise you that I'm gonna make this one short again, but I have to say, however, that no album sells itself. It's up to the people out there to buy it, and so, I not only want to thank CBS Records and Epic Records, but I especially want to thank everyone everywhere who helped make this award what it is, first a possibility, and now a reality. Thank you Quincy Jones, thank you Dave Glew, thank you Bruce Swedien, John Branca, Mother and Joseph, Walter Yetnikoff and Hank Caldwell. And all of the children of the world. I love you Goodbye."

Among those in attendance were Michael's parents, Berry Gordy, Little Richard, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Siedah Garrett.

Source: Billie Jean


The Footage You Were Never Meant To SeeJackson Fights Back With Footage. 20-02-'03

Fox aired outtakes from the controversial interview with Martin Bashir titled "Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You." The outtakes, coming from Michael's private camera man, will later be shown all around the world and showing closely how things really were and how much Martin Bashir commented Michael on his abilities as a father, Neverland etc... opposite to what was shown during his interview.

"The film shows extraordinary scenes of Martin Bashir praising the way Michael treats children and commenting on how good a father he is," a statement said.

"The Jackson footage clearly shows that Bashir was actually continuing to praise Michael's abilities as a father and [shows] Bashir making statements about how he feels it is a pity that the world is so quick to criticize Michael."

"On the face of it, either Martin Bashir was lying to Michael or was misleading his audience on the voiceovers on the film," a statement said, adding that Bashir had been aware he was being filmed during his interviews.

A verbal disclaimer repeatedly made known on behalf of the presenter of this rebuttal film, Maury Povich states that the singer had no control whatsoever upon the directing and producing of it. Part of the footage was not aired, because the videographer Hamid Moslehi refused to hand it over, owing to a financial dispute with Jackson. It was found by police in a search of Moslehi's home in November 2003, when the false allegations against Jackson rose, and showed the accuser's family praising Jackson for saving his life.

Michael leaves for Miami with his children and they stay at Al Malnik's mansion. Three social workers come to Jay Jackson's to interview Gavin & his family. Once again they defend Michael and say nothing inappropriate ever happened.

Chris Tucker's girlfriend Azja Pryor is there to support the family and after the interview she takes the children to Neverland while Vinnie takes Janet to a federal office in LA in order to obtain birth certificates of the family that they will need to get visas & passports for a planned trip.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Receives The Special Artist Of A Generation Award At The Brit Awards. 19-02-'96

Brit Awards (19-02-1996)Michael Jackson performs 'Earth Song' at the Brit Awards. It is Jackson’s first TV performance in England in over 20 years.

Unbeknown to Michael, however, while he was swinging out over the 4,000 strong celebrity audience on the end of a 30 foot crane, one Jarvis Cocker – frontman of the Britpop band Pulp – was up on stage, creating havoc.
Cocker was, it later emerged, protesting at the supposed ‘quasireligious’ nature of Michael’s performance. At the time, 25 children from two London schools were on stage, and allegedly as a result of Cocker’s actions four of them were hurt.

Michael later expressed his discontent over the incident, however, the controversy created by the performance has led to another rise in 'HIStory’s' sales, putting the album back in the top 10 in Europe.

And following the performance, he informs the audience on the gravity of forest depletion, children deaths and famine, including alarming statistics such as areas of tropical forests being burned every minute, 3 million children dying every minute, or 300 children dying from hunger every minute, the singer requesting for unified involvement on behalf of people, joining him in these relief efforts. He reiterates this speech after performing the mentioned song at the 1996 World Music Awards in Monaco, Monte-Carlo.

Then, as he disappeared into a corridor of glowing white light, Irish singer, songwriter, author and political activist Bob Geldoff appears to presents Michael Jackson with a special Artist of a Generation Award at the 16th edition of Brit Awards, for which he reads the following introductory speech:

"Any words one speaks or writes are sort of reduntant in the face of what we've just seen and heard. He is probably the most famous person in the planet, God help him. He has also sold more records than anybody in the planet. And he has also written, recorded and performed some of the most glorious music in the pop canon. So, along with all the goff written about him, it is probably one such justification that he's continually referred to as the King of Pop. [...] They came up with the Artist of a Generation [award to give to him]. But Michael Jackson has been making music literally since he was baby. So, what generation? At least three had been listening to him already. And who will they give it to next year? Or is it the award in itself a one-off like the man himself? Because childhood prodigy to adult genius, when Michael Jackson sings, it is with the voice of angels, and when his feet move, you can see God dancing. So, tonight, the Brit's Artist of a Generation is: Michael Jackson."

On receiving the special award, Michael declares the following:
"I love you. Thank you – thank you Brit's Awards and Sir Bob (Geldoff). I’m humbled by this award. It is especially important coming from my wonderful family in the United Kingdom. You provided me with so much love and you’ve given me your loyalty and your support throughout my entire career, and a special thanks to Paul Russell… [To chanting fans] I love you.. I love you.. I love you all and especially, I love all my fans very much. Thank you.”

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Performs At A Tribute To Elizabeth Taylor For Her AIDS Benefit Concert. 16-02-'97

Michael Jackson performs at a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor for her AIDS benefit concert titled "Happy Birthday, Elizabeth" in Los Angeles, California.

Elizabeth Taylor, who is facing surgery soon for a bening brain tumour, celebrated her 65th birthday in her characteristic glamour at a black-tie gala "Happy Birthday Elizabeth - A Celebration Of Life" at Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, with a star-studded cast of well-wishers. Michael, arrived as Liz's escort for the evening and sat by her side throughout. Michael was making his first appearance since the recent birth of his first son, whose godmother is Taylor. Michael sang 'Elizabeth, I Love You', which he wrote especially for the occasion.

Jackson's lyrics proclaimed: 'They wanted you to fall / It's very said / People can be very bad... / But you were the victor...'

Michael gave a markedly sparse performance with out his usual pyrotechnics, props or supporting cast, with the exception of a child actress appearing at the beginning of the number who was representing Taylor as a girl.

The tribute aired on February 27, 1997 by ABC – TV.

Elizabeth Taylor's - 65th Birthday Party Gala (16-02-1997)
Michael Jackson performance 'Elizabeth I Love You' especially for her 65th birthday at the star-studded gala, 'Happy Birthday Elizabeth - A Celebration Of Life' at Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Visit Gabon (Africa). 11/18-02-'92

Michael is welcomed by 100,000 people when he arrives in Libreville in Gabon. President Omar Bongo presents him with a Medal of Honour at the Ambassador’s Hall in the Presidential Palace.

The town of Oyen welcomes Michael with children carrying banners ‘Welcome Home Michael’. In the West African gold mining village of Krindjabo on the Ivory Coast, populated by the Agni tribe, Michael is crowned ‘King of Sani’ by tribal chief Amon N’Djafolk.

In Dar-Es-Salaam, Michael is the guest of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Tanzania issues a special postage stamp bearing Michael’s image.

Michael travels 30,000 miles in eleven days, but his excursions to hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches and institutions for mentally challenged children receive little positive coverage by the media.

Michael visit Gabon (Africa) (11/18-02-1992)
On occasion of one of his goodwill trips to Africa, Michael Jackson is crowned King Sanwi by King Nana Amon Ndoufou IV - ruler of Sanwi on the Ivory Coast - during vast ceremonies held in the Village of Krindjabo.

While Michael tours the African nations, he becomes the centre of a negative media campaign. Robert E. Johnson, publisher of ‘Ebony’ and ‘Jet’ magazines, one of the 26 specially invited guests accompanying him, reports as follows on the malicious Michael-bashing by the media:

- The trip was a ‘public relations disaster for Michael.’ Truth: It was a triumph in which he drew more spectators in Gabon than Nelson Mandela and more in the Ivory Coast than the Pope.

- The singer cut short an African tour after a stopover generated the wrong kind of excitement. Truth: The sponsors wanted him to extend his tour to meet the demand for his appearances everywhere.

- He held his hand to his nose because the African nations smelled. Truth: He sometimes touches his nose, an old nervous habit.

- He collapsed from the heat and he went to London for a medical appointment. Truth: He was never bothered by the heat. His personal physician, Dr. R. Chalmers, accompanied Michael on the trip.

- He refused to shake hands with Africans. Truth: He shook the hands of hundreds of people, hugged and kissed children in hospitals and institutions for the mentally challenged.

- He is ‘neither Black nor White’ and is not a good role model for children: Truth: After Michael read a prayer in the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace on the Ivory Coast, a 9 year-old boy exclaimed: “Michael is love, love, love! I want to be like him.”

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Is Interviewed By Oprah Winfrey At His Neverland Ranch. 10-02-'93

It is his first live TV interview in 14 years. During the 90-minute special, he opens up about his personal life and career, clears up some misconceptions and rumors about himself and gives Oprah a night time tour of his ranch.

In the interview, Jackson claims that he has a disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. He also claims he's had very little plastic surgery. Elizabeth Taylor made a surprise appearance during Oprah Winfrey’s primetime interview with Michael Jackson. Elizabeth, who at first didn’t intend to appear on the program, set the record straight about her friendship with her friend Jackson and the controversy surrounding him.

Michael Jackson talks to... Oprah (10-02-1993)
Michael Jackson's first TV interview in 10 years, was telecast LIVE from Neverland Valley with Oprah Winfrey.

He also dances live in his theater and gives the audience a special an a capella performance of “Who Is It”. The live telecast attracted about 85 million viewers in US alone, and was the 4th most watched TV event in history. It was the most successful ABC entertainment special ever.

The World première of 'Give In To Me' video took place on February 10, 1993 during the worldwide live telecast from Neverland Valley of "Michael Jackson Talks... To Oprah". The video clip is starring Michael Jackson and Slash. Shooting of the video clip took place in Munich, Germany. Video clip produced by Phil Rose and Warren Hewlett. Staging Michael Jackson. Directed by Andy Moharan.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael & Elizabeth Taylor Attend The Fund-Raiser Art For Aids: A Tribute To Rock Hudson. 09-02-'02

Michael Jackson escorted Elizabeth Taylor to the first Art for AIDS fundraiser held at Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California (Orange County, USA) in a tribute to Rock Hudson.

Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., professionally known as Rock Hudson, was an American film and television actor, and also one of the first major Hollywood celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness.

At the beginning of the event commemorative t-shirts signed by various stars including Michael, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Ringo Starr, Sharon Stone, Halle Berry and others were auctioned. Michael's, which was signed twice, went for an amazing $ 700, well above the average. The gala was expected to raise $150,000.

Michael was wearing a black suit with white trim and Elizabeth was adorned with jewels. They arrived late, to the strains of "Elizabeth, I Love You". He held Taylor’s bejeweled hand throughout the press conference, his slender, costumed body curved protectively around her.

Both stars appeared briefly at a subsequent Art for AIDS fundraisers, a private $ 2,500 per plate private dinner at the St. Regis in Dana Point, CA.

Art for AIDS - A Tribute To Rock Hudson (09-02-2002)
Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor attends the fund raiser 'Art for AIDS:A Tribute To Rock Hudson' in Laguna Beach, California, USA.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Visits The Cleveland Elementary School In Scockton (California). 07-02-'89

Michael Jackson paid a visit to Cleveland Elementary School to see the children and families effected by the massacre occurred on January 17, 1989, at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California, United States.

Michael had just returned from his Bad World Tour. He arrived at the school to comfort the surviving children by giving them confidence to view the world more positively after such a traumatic experience. Michael visited two children who were still hospitalized and met with the other children at a nearby church.

Fans gathered outside the hospital, church and school never saw Michael. He entered through back entrances accompanied by bodyguards. He wore black pants with multiple zippers and buckles, a black & red military jacket. He handed out gifts to each child, an autographed photo, a 'Bad' tour t-shirt, and a 'Bad' cassette.

Patrick Purdy may have destroyed many lives that day, but Michael Jackson's presence helped bring more attention and compassion to the victims than anybody else on planet Earth could have done in a hundred years.

Michael visits the Cleveland Elementary School In Scockton (07-02-1989)
Michael visits the Cleveland Elementary School In Scockton.

Michael Jackson visits each classroom from the "Cleveland Elementary School" in Stockton, California, the parents of the children at the nearby Central United Methodist Church, as well as the children checked in the hospital, 3 weeks after a gunman had fired 100 bullets into a playground, then committing suicide. 5 children were murdered and 39 injured during the attack.

The pop star arrives to comfort the surviving children by giving them the confidence to view the world more positively subsequently to the traumatic experience. 8 year-old Thahn Tran, who had lost his younger brother during the massacre, speaks about the effect Jackson’s visit had on him:

"I didn’t want to go back to school, but Michael made it all right again. If he goes there, it must be safe. Michael is my friend and I’m very glad.", sharing the sentiments of other children there, according to Diane Batres, a counselor from the district support unit. In addition to making another visit to the nearby church hosting the injured ones from the attack and the parents of the dead – to whom he offers words of sympathy, signs plaster casts on the wounded youngsters’ legs, while chatting and joking to them.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Receive Awards From CBS & The Guinness Book Of World Records To Celebrates 'Thriller'.
07-02-'84

Michael had been inducted into the Guinness book of Records, in recognition of 'Thriller' having broken all album sales records at twenty-five million copies sold.

Michael, dressed in naval jacket and Calvin Klein blue jeans, attends a "Celebrate Michael" party, together with actress and friend, Brooke Shields, 11 days after he suffered hair and scalp burns filming a Pepsi Cola commercial. That evening, he is honored for his entry in the Guinness Book of World Records - selling the most popular album in history, 'Thriller'.

Braving sub-freezing weather, hundreds of excited fans stood shivering behind the police barricades outside the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Natural History on a cold February night in 1984 hoping for a glimpse of a famous face. Inside, CBS Records hosted a party at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Natural History to honor Michael Jackson. There were 1500 invitations mailed out on white cloth gloves, which were required to gain admittance into the museum. Michael specifically asked that the party be held there because he was interested in animals and natural history.

At the party, CBS Records president Walter Yetnikoff presented Michael with presented with the first edition of the 1984 paperback version of the Guinness Book of World Records, who had stopped their presses to include the new record holder for the biggest selling album of all time, Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'.

'Thriller' had surpassed the 25 million mark in sales, making it the most successful album in history. It had outsold the soundtrack album for 'Saturday Night Fever' to take over the top spot.

Guinness Book Of World Records (07-02-1984)
Michael Jackson attends the New York Metropolitan Museum of Natural History to recieve awards from CBS and Guinness Book of World Records.

Allen Davis, president of CBS Records International, read from a long, impressive list of awards and record breaking sales figures of his label's biggest selling artist, presented Michael with the honor:

Tonight, Michael, your international milestones for the album, 'Thriller' are a total of 67 gold awards, 58 platinum awards in 28 countries on 6 continents. And the singles with 9 million in sales have earned 15 more awards, bringing the total to 140 gold and platinum awards.
To date, 'Thriller' has sold over 25 million copies worldwide - more then any other album in recording history.

Confetti falls everywhere as dance girls surround during Michael receives one of many tributes. In the longest public speech that close associates could recall during his two-decade career, 25 year old Michael, the shy and sensitive singer, told the invitation-only audience of 1,500 how he felt about epic $1.4 million party staged to salute him. Clutching the wireless microphone in his sequined-gloved right hand, the child star who became a grown-up superstar smiled and said softly:

"I’ve been performing for twenty years. I started at 5 years old touring with my brothers, The Jackson 5, and still I haven’t – you know, I feel like I’ve just begun, you know...
And I’ve always wanted to do great things and achieve many things, but for the first time in my entire career I feel like I’ve accomplished this, because I’m in the Guinness Book Of World Records.
I'm so honored and deeply touched by it and thank you all.

And I also thank CBS Records, which is the best record company in the world and Walter Yetnikoff, who is the best record company president in the world. And thank you all. You are all wonderful people. I'm very embarrassed but thank you."
As modest Michael relinquished the mike, Yetnikoff grabbed it, beaming and blushing. "We have a little surprise," he began. "I don't know if I'm the best record company president in the world but Michael is sure the best artist in the world." He continued:

"Michael just got a presentation for the best solo performer of all times. I'm reading from The Guinness Book of Records. The best-selling album of all time is 'Saturday Night Fever' with 25 million copies globally. I have news for you. Today, we surpassed 25 million copies for 'Thriller'! Michael Jackson - the number one artist in the world!" Yetnikoff shouted.

Then, with the recording of Michael's hot-selling 'Billie Jean' blaring through the loudspeakers, Brooke Shields bounced onto the stage and hugged the handsome hero to millions and the superstar with whom she shares a special friendship. As the guests shifted from the VIP reception area to the area of the museum where collection of stuffed elephants and other animals are on exhibit, holding Brook's gloved hand, Michael, an unabashed animal lover, sled the tour and mingled with celebrity guests. He carried with him the special bound copy of the Guinness Book of World Records, which had been presented him earlier by Norris McWhirter, editor of the Guinness Book, who said: "We stopped the presses for Michael at 23 million. But now he is already on 24 million."

Source: Billie Jean


Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary TV Special (30-11-1989ABC Airs Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary TV Special. 04-02-'90

On November 13th, 1989 – Michael Jackson perform the song 'You Were There' (he wrote with Buz Kohan) at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood for singer-entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

The first and only time, at the Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary TV Special, musical gala honouring Davis Jr. and broadcast on ABC and Channel 13 on February 4th, 1990 with all proceeds, $250,000 being donated to the UNC Fund.

The night before the tribute show, Michael and Buz Kohan, who wrote the script, went in the rehearsal hall and wrote a song. They arranged it overnight, and the night of the show was the first time he'd ever sung it. He wanted to sing something that really related to Sammy.

Sammy Davis Jr. had helped to ease racial tensions and break down the walls separating the different races. This lead directly to Michael's tribute.

Michael stepped from the glare of several spotlights to perform, 'Your Were There', dressed in black pants and red shirt with white strips tied at his waist and wrist, and white tape covering three fingertips.

Michael's touching tribute brought tears to his idol, who was then battling throat cancer. It was certainly one of the more stationery performances Michael has ever given. With very few of his customary moves, Michael stood relatively still behind the microphone stand delivering the song only a few feet away from Davis.

After Michael finished the performance with one hand raised in the air, he walked over to Sammy and hugged him warmly.

Other performers included Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Ella Fitzgerald.

Source: Billie Jean


'Living With Michael Jackson' Documentary First Aired In The United Kingdom On ITV1. 03-02-'03

The controversial 'Living With Michael Jackson' documentary conducted by British journalist, Martin Bashir first aired in the United Kingdom on ITV. The interview will air later all around the world... and a storm began.

He interviewed Jackson over a span of eight months, from May, 2002 to January, 2003, the documentary containing much commentary by Bashir, which was very critical and judgmental of Jackson. Jackson's decision to make the documentary was made on a suggestion by his then friend, Uri Geller.

Michael spoke openly about money, plastic surgery, his childhood, Prince Michael II and much more.

But instead of portraying Michael in a fair way, Bashir tried all he could to twist things in the wrong way.

However, most of the viewers did not fall for Bashir... after the interview viewers all around the world expressed their support for Michael.

Living With Michael Jackson (03-02-2003)
Living With Michael Jackson a documentary and interview by Martin Bashir airs on ITV television in the UK.

The interview was a rare occasion for Jackson to allow such access to his personal life, thus felt all the more betrayed by Bashir’s negative portrayal of him. As a consequence, he soon issues the following statement:

"I trusted Martin Bashir to come into my life and that of my family because I wanted the truth to be told. Martin Bashir persuaded me to trust him that his would be an honest and fair portrayal of my life and told me that he was `the man that turned Diana's life around'. I am surprised that a professional journalist would compromise his integrity by deceiving me in this way. Today I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before; that someone, who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could then sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair program.

Everyone who knows me will know the truth which is that my children come first in my life and that I would never harm any child. I also want to thank my fans around the world for the overwhelming number of messages of support that I have received, particularly from Great Britain, where people have e-mailed me and said how appalled they were by the Bashir film. Their love and support has touched me greatly."

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Holds A Press Conference At Radio City Music Hall In New York. 03-02-'92

Pepsi, Dangerous Tour Press Conference (03-02-1992)Michael held a press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York to announce plans for a new world tour to raise money for his newly-formed "Heal The World" Foundation - which, beside "Camp Ronald McDonald" and "Make A Wish Foundation", battles against AIDS and Juvenile Diabetes.

Dressed in black leather and a red armband, he informs on the creation of "Heal The World Foundation", the mission of the foundation being that to provide rescue to world-wide children; protection against abuse; caregiving; to deliver medicines for children and fight world hunger, as well as to convey awareness on children’s rights and necessities, and improve world’s life standards.

Before the kick-off of his Dangerous World Tour, Michael signed a Pepsi endorsement deal in front of the media.

At the press conference, he issues a statement in appreciation for the sponsor of this new tour - the Pepsi-Cola Corporation:

"Good afternoon. I like to thank the Pepsi-Cola Corporation for sponsoring the Dangerous Tour, which we plan to kick off in June. The only reason I’m going on tour is to raise for the newly formed, 'Heal The World', an international children’s charity, that I’m spearheading to assist children and the ecology. My goal is to gross one hundred million dollars by Christmas, 1993. I urge every corporation and individual who cares about this planet and the future of the children, to help raise money for the HTW charity. The Heal The World Foundation will contribute funds to pediatric aids in honor of my friend, Ryan White.

The "Heal The World Foundation" will also offer support to such worthwhile organizations as Camp Ronald McDonald, Make A Wish Foundation, Children Diabetes, Minority Aids Foundation and other charities. I’m looking forward to this tour, because it will allow me to devote time to visiting children all around the world, as well as to spread the message of the global love, in the hopes that others too will be moved to do their share to heal the world. Thank you for coming. I love you very much. Thank you, all."

After his speech, The St. Thomas Boys' Choir sing 'Heal The World', which touches the singer: "When I composed the song, it was my dream to hear it performed the way they just performed it, with such innocence and beauty. It took everything to keep me from crying", declares Jackson.

Source: Billie Jean


Video Clip 'Remember The Time' Was Premiered On MTV, Fox And BET. 02-02-'92

Remember The Time Video Clip (02-02-1992)The 9-minute clip stars actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, supermodel Iman and basketball player, Magic Johnson. Joanna Burns, Jackson spokesperson at the time, says "He's very concerned about AIDS. He hopes the appearance of Magic Johnson [on 'Remember The Time' video] will help raise public awareness."

In November, 1991, Magic Johnson announced that he had been contaminated with the HIV virus, shortly afterwards setting the ‘Magic Johnson Foundation’ to help combat HIV. Jackson also wished to draw attention to the African origins, the video being set in Ancient Egypt, Ira Robbins of ‘Entertainment Weekly’ describing 'Remember The Time' as being a "gorgeous ancient Egyptian extravaganza" video. The short film presents elaborate dance sequences and groundbreaking visual effects, with Jackson interpreting a wizard coming to entertain the Pharaoh’s (Eddie Murphy) bored partner (Iman).

The video had an Egyptian theme with Eddie Murphy as Pharaoh Ramsess and model Iman as Queen Nefertiti. When the queen becomes bored and wants to be entertained, a string of performers, announced by Magic Jonhson, are led in front of the queen. With each being found unsatisfactory, she orders them to be thrown to the lions, or to be decapitated. A robed figure is next to be led out in front of the queen.

Through some tricky special effects, the figure vanishes and reappears in a clear liquid and finally transforms into Michael in Egyptian garb. The queen become enchanted with him which angers Ramses, who immediately sends his guards after him. After eluding the guards and engaging in a Egyptian flavoured dance routine, Michael meets up with Nefertiti. They embrace and kiss, Michael's first on screen kiss. Michael finally eludes Ramses by vanishing once again into a golden powder.

Source: Billie Jean

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