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History / Today In History / January

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Michael Named Artist Of The Century At The American Music Awards. 09-01-'02

American Music Awards (09-01-2002)Pop superstar Michael Jackson was named the “Artist of the Century” on January 9th, 2002 during the 29th Annual American Music Awards.

The event took place at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles and was co-hosted by music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and MTV personality Jenny McCarthy.

Comedian Chris Tucker presented Michael Jackson with the award, which gave the legendary pop singer a grand total of 26 American Music Awards throughout his career.

But, the show was controversial, because Dick Clark, who produced the American Music Awards, wanted Michael Jackson to perform.

But then Grammy chief Michael Green had insisted that artists who had performed at the American Music Awards would not allow to be performed on the Grammy stage.

Jackson had originally agreed to take part in the AMA ceremonies, but backed out, allegedly because of what Clark claims is Greene’s policy that artists who appear on the AMA's are not allowed to participate in the Grammy's telecast. Clark specifically cited Jackson’s original change of plans in announcing his lawsuit. “Mr. Greene has caused me a lot of pain and a lot of stress,” he said at the time. “I’ve known Michael Jackson since he was a kid … To have another party interfere in that relationship makes me very, very angry.”

The dispute led to a $10 million lawsuit against the Grammy’s.

Other notables that were in attendance during 29th Annual American Music Awards included Master P, Lil Romeo, Nelly, Luther Vandross, Destiny’s Child, and Alicia Keys.

Source: Soul / Billboard / Billie Jean


Michael, Quincy Jones & Bruce Swedien Start Recording The 'Bad' Album At The Westlake Studio In Los Angeles. 05-01-'87

Michael, Quincy Jones & Bruce Swedien start recording the 'Bad' album at the Westlake Studio in Los Angeles.

How do you follow the world’s most successful album – ever?

Even thinking about following 'Thriller' must have been daunting which may explain, at least in part, why Michael took so long to do so. Certainly Michael felt if he didn't top 'Thriller', he would be perceived by many as a failure. So not only did he want the follow-up to be 'as perfect as humanely possibly', he set his sights on an impossible sales target: 100 million.

'Bad' was the first studio album Jackson released after leaving The Jackson 5 and the first in an almost five-year period following 'Thriller'. 'Bad' was the third consecutive solo project (fifth, if 'The Wiz' and the 'E.T'. storybook are included), and final, musical collaboration between Jackson and Quincy Jones. The album was produced by Jones, with co-production credit given to Jackson.

Bad Recording Session Westlake Studios (1987)
Michael Jackson 'Bad' recording session with Quincy Jones and Bruce Swedien at the Westlake Studios in Los Angeles, California. Recording took place between January 5th, 1987, and July 9th, 1987.

Michael began recording demos for the anticipated follow-up to 'Thriller' a few months after the 1984 Victory Tour with The Jacksons. Work on the new album started in August 1986, and recording took place between January 5, 1987, and July 9, 1987.

They began by sifting through the 60 or so songs Michael had written himself for the new album and recorded thirty, wanting to use them all on a three-disc set. Jones had suggested that the album be cut down to a ten-track single LP. 'Fifty percent of the battle is trying to figure out which songs to record,' Quincy admitted, 'it's total instinct.' When the album was released on CD, a bonus 11th track, 'Leave Me Alone' was included. It was later released as a single. Michael was credited for writing nine out of eleven of the songs (including the CD-only bonus track) made the final selection on the album – easily the largest contribution he had made to any of his solo albums. Other writing credits included Terry Britten and Graham Lyle for 'Just Good Friends' and Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard for 'Man In The Mirror'.

Source: The Visual Documentary / Billie Jean


MTV Premieres The Video Of 'Leave Me Alone' Although The Single Is Only Released In Europe.
02-01-'89

Leave Me Alone Video Clip (02-01-1989)MTV premieres the video for ‘Leave Me Alone’. The music video for ‘Leave Me Alone’, was directed by Jim Blashfield and Paul Diener and also featured in the 1988 film ‘Moonwalker’. The song is not officially released as a single in America, although it, and the video, do receive considerable airplay.

The video features a unique blend of animation and live action and shows Michael’s humorous side while addressing some of the ridiculous rumours still being circulated about him.

The amusement park in the video, consists of stylistically crude images based around Michael’s successful career since 1982’s ‘Thriller’, with emphasis on the tabloid view of Michael’s personal life and public image, referring to the nickname “Wacko Jacko” given to him by the press, and the various headlines associated with him in the 1980’s. Lampooning rumours that he tried to purchase Joseph Merrick’s bones, Michael dances with stop motion “Elephant Man” bones in the video. This particular segment (without the image of the bones) was used for the single’s cover art, and the boneless video segment was featured in the ‘Moonwalker’ trailer.

In the video, there are images of shrines to actress Elizabeth Taylor, a real life close friend of Michael. Throughout the video newspaper headlines, published by “National Intruder”, with bizarre titles are shown, such as “Michael’s Space-Age Diet” and “Michael Proposes to Liz”. Another notable scene in the music video was a nose being chased by a surgical scalpel, which was reference to Michael’s plastic surgery being criticized by the media. At the end of the video, it is revealed that a gigantic Michael himself is the amusement park. He breaks free, tearing the park to pieces. That scene is a somewhat reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels, where Gulliver eventually breaks free from the Lilliputians’ grasp from Lilliput.

Source: Billie Jean


Michael Arrives In Hawaii Where He Is Welcomed By 150 Local Dancers + 200 Fans. 02-01-'97

Michael arrives in Hawaii where he is greeted by a keiki hula troupe of 150 dancers, two dozen Tahitian dancers, and about 200 fans. He soon joins Joe and Katherine who came especially for him.

Michael is greeted with what the local people there call “The Aloha Spirit”, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, where he stayed for four nights. witnessing hula dancers, smiling, watching village guards, and children performers speaking.

“His plane came in for him and his immediate party then there was a plane just for his crew, then there were two — those the Russian cargo planes, biggest planes in the world. Carrying his equipment” said Concert Promoter Tom Moffatt.

Michael spent most of his time in his hotel suite on the 14th floor, ‘Alii’ tower suite 1402. Fans camped out underneath his room day and night.

Wherever Michael went while in the islands he created frenzy, with the crowds being star-struck. “He came out on the lanai and waved,” Lani Bjork, the head of hotel security said. “You could hear that wave of ‘Michael! Michael!’ throughout the evening.”

Michael arrives in Hawaii (02-01-1997)
Michael Jackson makes a stop in Hawaii during his 'HIStory' world tour, where he is greeted by a keiki hula troupe of 150 dancers, he makes a stop in Honolulu, Hawaii during his 'HIStory' world tour.

Source: Billie Jean

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