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Michael Jackson


1958

Michael Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana.

1971

Michael Jackson’s first solo single, “Got to Be There” (#4 pop, #4 R&B), is released. Already he’s had eight Top Forty hits with the Jackson 5, including four consecutive chart-toppers.

1972

“Ben,” the title song from a film about a beloved rat, becomes 14-year-old Michael Jackson’s first #1 single.

1979

‘Off the Wall,’ the first album by the “adult” Michael Jackson (who turned 21 this very month), is released. It produces four hit singles and spends eight months in the Top Ten.

1982

Diana Ross’ single “Muscles,” written and produced by Michael Jackson, enters the Top Forty. Inspired by Jackson’s snake of the same name, the song peaks at #10.

1982

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ is released.

1983

‘Thriller’ tops the album charts for the first of 37 weeks.

1983

“Billie Jean,” the second single from Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller,’ tops the singles charts for the first of seven weeks.

1983

“Beat It,” by Michael Jackson - which features a blistering Eddie Van Halen guitar solo - is premiered on MTV. Its high-energy fusion of rock and soul drives it to the top of the charts.

1983

MTV debuts Michael Jackson’s 14-minute “Thriller” film. ‘The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller,’ released in time for Christmas, becomes the largest-selling music home video ever.

1984

MTV world premieres the Jackson’s Pepsi commercial and presents an interview with director Bob Giraldi.

1987

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” a duet between Michael Jackson and Siedah Garret, is released in advance of the album ‘Bad.’ It is the seventh #1 single of his solo career.

1987

‘Bad,’ by Michael Jackson - the followup to Thriller and therefore the most hotly anticipated album in history - is released. It tops the charts for eight weeks and yields seven hit singles.

1989

MTV CEO Tom Freston and MTV VJ Adam Curry present Michael Jackson with “Video Vanguard Artist of the Decade” award in Los Angeles.

1991

Michael Jackson’s controversial 11-minute “Black or White” video debuts on television. It is a teaser for ‘Dangerous,’ his third #1 album in a row and the source of seven more hit singles.

1992

MTV kicks-off its first global sweepstakes with “My Dinner with Michael.” Winners from around the world attended a dinner party hosted by Michael Jackson on the set of his music video “In the Closet.”

1993

Michael Jackson’s halftime performance at Superbowl XXVII draws the largest viewing audience in the history of American television.

1993

Michael Jackson receives the Living Legend Award at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, and 1.2 million people worldwide view his performance and acceptance.

1993

Lawyers for a 13-year-old boy file a civil suit against Michael Jackson for seduction and sexual abuse. On December 22, Jackson responds to the allegations via satellite from his Neverland compound

1995

“The 1995 MTV Video Music Awards” is held live from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. The show is hosted by Dennis Miller. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson win three awards for “Scream” and TLC win three awards for “Waterfalls.”

2000

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ receives its 26th platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), representing 26 million copies sold in the U.S. It remains the second best-selling album in music history.

2001

Michael Jackson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the sixteenth annual induction dinner. N’Sync are his presenters.

2001

“Rock My World,” the premiere single from Michael Jackson’s forthcoming album ‘Invincible,’ is debuted.

2001

‘Invincible,’ Michael Jackson’s first album in four years, is released. Featured guests include Carlos Santana, Will Smith and Missy Elliott.

2009

Michael Jackson dies in Los Angeles after suffering from cardiac arrest.

2009

A memorial for Michael Jackson at Los Angeles’ Staples Center is attended by 20,000 mourners and viewed around the world.

2009

SoundScan figures reveal that Number Ones, by Michael Jackson – a six-year-old collection of to charting hits – is the top-selling album. It will top the charts for five weeks and become the third best-selling album of 2009.

2009

Michael Jackson is laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, in a private ceremony attended by family and friends.

2010

This Is It, a nearly two-hour video of rehearsal footage for the late Michael Jackson’s aborted 50-date retirement stand in London, is released on DVD.

Michael Jackson