10 iconic moments that made Michael Jackson the icon that he was

Published: June 25, 2019
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

When it comes to global stardom, it doesn’t get any bigger than Michael Jackson.

To say that MJ was a legendary performer would be an understatement. The late King of Pop captivated fans all over the world for years with his unmistakable vocals, slick dance moves one-of-a-kind charisma on-stage, making him an icon many still miss watching dearly.

June 25 marks MJ’s 10th death anniversary. To commemorate the musical genius, here are 10 iconic moments from MJ’s life, as compiled from Biography.com, that made him the best-selling recording artist of all time.

1. ‘Thriller’

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

This iconic album debuted in November 1983 and included some of MJ’s biggest singles to date, like Billie Jean and Beat It. As of 2018, Thriller had sold at least 66 million albums around the world.

2. The Jackson 5 years

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

This was actually how he kicked off his music career: as part of a band with his siblings. The Jackson 5 are Hall of Fame-rs, credited with shaping rock n’ roll history forever.

3. Dangling his son from a balcony 

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

Whilst on a visit to Berlin, MJ drew ire when dangled his child Blanket out of his hotel window. He was holding the child with an arm around his neck. Later on, he called it a “terrible mistake.”

4. The moonwalk and glove

PHOTOS: FILE

PHOTOS: FILE

The Black or White hit maker’s signature move was revealed to the world on the 1983 television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. It was a moonwalk followed by a one-handed pelvic thrust.

5. All the headlines

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

No one could command a headline like MJ, even if those headlines claimed that he bought the Elephant Man’s bones and slept in an oxygen chamber to stay young. Or accused him of being a child molester, for that matter.

6. Record eight Grammy wins

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

His solo breakthrough, Off the Wall, has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and netted eight Grammy Awards, including the elusive Album of the Year.

7. The relationship with Lisa Marie Presley

PHOTO: BRYAN STEFFY

PHOTO: BRYAN STEFFY

The couple announced their relationship at the MTV VMAs and got fans reeling with their public lip-lock. MJ’s legacy long outlasted the actual marriage, of course, which stuck around for a mere two years.

8. All the fashion

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Few other artists have made fashion such an iconic part of their music and stardom. The fedora. The white socks. The statement sparkling  jackets. MJ’s defining fashion moments continue to dominate clothing today.

9. Bubble, his pet chimp

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

Bubbles was MJ’s favourite pet chimpanzee who lived with him at the Neverland ranch. A statue of Bubbles and MJ can be found at the Alstrup Fearney Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, Norway.

10. “We Are the World”

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

As part of his humanitarian efforts, MJ created a unifying single for the ‘USA For Africa’ campaign to end famine in African countries. He composed the track with Lionel Richie, which went on to become the fastest selling pop single in history. The promotion and sales from We Are the World are over $140 million today.

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