Sources: AXS – By Jack Dennis| All Things Michael
During the 18,502 days Michael Jackson lived, he became the King of Pop as one of the greatest performers in history. Born on Aug. 29, 1958 as the eighth child of the family, Michael Joseph Jackson debuted as an artist in 1964 as part of the Jackson 5. He remained on stage and in studio sessions with brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon until his solo career started in 1971.
At the time the three biggest television moments in music history were Elvis Presley and The Beatles appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the March 25, 1983 performance at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Then Jackson performed solo for the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” television special. When the show was broadcast on May 16, 1983, Jackson performed “Billie Jean” and introduced his classic dance, The Moonwalk, and blew fans away.
“Thriller,” his 1982 release, became the all-time biggest selling album in history. His record breaking achievements are numerous, as are his awards. These include being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two times, 26 American Music Awards (the most, including Artist of the Century), 13 Grammy Awards, 13 No. 1 hits for his solo records, and was the first artist to have a top single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five separate decades. Jackson was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame.
The turning point to being a legend in music history took off in 1979 with the Quincy Jones-Michael Jackson produced Off the Wall album. Major hits, including “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” “Rock with You,” and “She’s Out of My Life,” helped the album sell over 20 million copies worldwide
Thriller sold over 100 million copies with “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.”
Following are the five all-time best lyrics of Michael Jackson:
5. SHE’S OUT OF MY LIFE
So, I’ve learned that love’s not possession
And I’ve learned that love won’t wait
Now, I’ve learned that love needs expression
But, I’ve learned too late
And she’s out of my life
She’s out of my life
Damned indecision and cursed pride
Kept my love for her locked deep inside
And it cuts like a knife
She’s out of my life
“She’s Out of My Life” was a result of the collaboration between Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson production of Off the Wall album. The 1979 hit not only helped the album sell more than 20 million copies, it proved to the world Jackson was a bona fide solo artist.
4. MAN IN THE MIRROR
A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
All profits from this song went to charity. From the Bad album, “Man in the Mirror” was one of five singles that made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. There were seven hits from the album in all. Bad broke the record for the most No. 1 Hot 100 singles from an album in history.
3. BEAT IT
You have to show them that you’re really not scared
You’re playin’ with your life, this ain’t no truth or dare
They’ll kick you, then they beat you,
Then they’ll tell you it’s fair
So beat it, but you wanna be bad
Just beat it, beat it,
No one wants to be defeated
Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight
It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right
Just beat it, beat it
“Beat It” won Record of the Year in 1983. Co-produced with Quincy Jackson on the Thriller album, Jackson also won Best Rock Vocal Performance (Male). For the “Beat It” music video Jackson received AMAs for Favorite Video, Soul/R&B, Favorite Video, Pop/Rock, and Favorite Single, Pop/Rock.
2. BILLIE JEAN
People always told me be careful what you do
Don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts
And mother always told me be careful who you love
Be careful what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth
Billie Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son
“Billie Jean” earned two Grammy Awards for Michael Jackson, including Best R&B Song (songwriter) and Best R&B Vocal Performance (Male) in 1983. During one of the most viewed televised events in music history Jackson introduced his Moonwalk dance by performing “Billie Jean” on “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” television special on May 16, 1983. He also performed it at the half time of the 1993 Super Bowl XXVII, earning the distinction of being the first performer to score higher viewership than the actual football game.
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller
Not only is the song a mega-hit it is the most successful music video of all time, according to the Guinness World Record books. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the 14-minute video directed by John Landis that radically changed the video music world. Historians note that it was a major catalyst to a fledging video television market and helped Jackson break through the “racial barriers” of MTV in 1983.
“Thriller” is the first music video to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
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