Jackson wins the American Music Award for Award of Appreciation and Song of the Year.
Jackson releases a behind-the-scenes look at the making of We are the World. Jackson chose to write the song with a group of multi-racial popular singers to sing as an ensemble to fight the famine in Africa. The documentary is hosted by Jane Fonda.
First I’d like to thank God and I’d like to just thank you for choosing Lionel and myself to write We are the World. I thank Quincy Jones who’s the greatest producer to me. I’d also like to say when you leave here, remember the children.
Jackson performs Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) with the Jacksons in Los Angeles, California on the Victory tour. Jackson does a solo song and dance performance with a call and response from the audience where he reminds them that this is the final tour with his brothers.
Jackson performs Human Nature along with his brothers at the CNE Stadium Toronto, Ontario, as part of the Victory Tour.
Jackson wins the Billboard Music Award for Top Album for Thriller.
Jackson wins the American Video Award for Best Long Form Video for Thriller, and Best Home Video,
Jackson performs Wanna Be Starting Something, Beat It, Billie Jean and a host of other hits with his brothers in Toronto, Ontario on the Victory tour. Jackson left the group as a solo artist after this tour.
Jackson performs Billie Jean with the Jacksons during the Victory tour in New York City. This a compilation of different segments of the performance along with comments from the crowd.
Jackson wins eight Grammy awards, including three best male vocalist awards, after a record 12 nominations.
Jackson and Jones wins the Grammy for Record of the Year for Beat It, Album of the Year for Thriller, Best Recording For Children for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical).
Jackson wins the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for Thriller, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male for Beat It, and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for Billie Jean.
Jackson wins the BRIT Award for Best International Solo Artist and Best International Album for Thriller.
Jackson wins the American Music Award for Favorite Video (Soul/R&B) and Favorite Video (Pop/Rock) for Beat It, Favorite Single (Pop/Rock) for Billie Jean, Favorite Album (Soul/R&B) and Favorite Album (Pop/Rock) for Thriller, Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B), Favorite Male Artist (Pop/Rock), and Award of Merit.
This is a great honor, I’m very happy. I’d like to thank Epic Records – it’s the best record company in the world…
Jackson is interviewed by Collins. He is asked about a possible life as a movie actor.
Since I’ve done The Wiz, there’s been tons of things come in, and with a movie, you know, it’s so important to be selective, to do the right vehicle that’s perfect for you.
Jackson is interviewed by Collins. He talks about fame and how he sees himself in the industry, particularly how iconic he is.
Its pretty easy for me because so many things I block out. I see myself like you, or like the people in this room. I’m human just like you are.
Jackson releases the music video for Thriller. This 13 minute music video is about a night of terror regarding a young man who takes his date to a horror movie where the onscreen happenings somewhat mirror what is soon to happen to them. Jackson’s inspiration to create this short film is Michael Landon’s 1957 horror flick, I Was A Teenage Werewolf, as well as Director John Landis’ 1981 film An American Werewolf in London. Landis also directs Thriller.
We tried to bring back motion pictures shorts. I wanted Thriller to be a stimulant for people to make better videos and short films…I saw American Werewolf In London and I really, really liked it, because it was a different type of horror movie, it was comedy and horror, that’s the way I saw it.
Jackson wins the BMI Urban Award for Pop Songwriter of the Year.
Jackson wins the Black Gold Award for Top Male Vocalist, Best Album for Thriller, Best Single of the Year for Billie Jean, and Best Video Performance for Beat It.
I’ve very honored and very happy to win this award.
Jackson wins the Billboard Video Award for Best Performance by a Male Artist, and Best Overall Video, Best Choreography, Best Use Of Video To Enhance Artist’s Song, and Best Use Of Video To Enhance Artist’s Image for Beat It.
Jackson wins the Billboard Music Awards for Best Performance by a Male Artist, Pop Artist of the Year, Black Artist of the Year, Pop Album Artist, Pop Male Album Artist, Pop Male Singles Artist, Black Album Artist, Black Singles Artist, Pop Singles Artist, and Dance/Disco Artist.
He wins Best Overall Video, Best Performance by a Male Artist Best Choreography, Best Use Of Video To Enhance Artist’s Song, Best Use Of Video To Enhance Artist’s Image, and Dance/Disco 12” LP for Beat It.
He wins the Pop Album of the Year, and Black Album for Thriller, and Dance/Disco 12” LP for Billie Jean.
Jackson is interviewed during the Making of Beat It the Music video. He discusses what inspired him to create the song, his inclusion of real gang members in the music video, who he considers his real personal friends. He also talks about how the gang world is nothing like what he is used to and how it scares him.
I get afraid of people. I don’t really know people sometimes. It’s a whole ‘nother life that I…I haven’t really experienced that. Like friendship is thing I’m just beginning to learn about. I was raised on the stage and that’s where I’m comfortable and everything else is like foreign to me. I’m just beginning to learn about people, friendship, things like that.
Jackson performs Off the wall with the Jacksons during a reunion tour performance in Pasadena, California.
Jackson does an interview and talks about his llama, Louie, in his mother’s home in Encino, California. He also talks about his inspiration for writing his songs, the spirituality that children, animals and God have given to his success and the time of the day that he chooses to create. There are a few moments where Jackson sings acapella in the spirit of the moment.
I’ve always said I don’t write my own songs, because I feel I’m just a source, I’m just a tunnel, tube through which they come. I feel somewhere in space they’ve all been written before. I mean Billie Jean and Beat It and all those songs have been up there somewhere they just came through to me. That’s how I really feel. So even though I did it, I just can’t always take credit.
Jackson does an interview with his sister Latoya Jackson in his mother’s home in Encino, California. They talk about what inspires them creatively, focusing on ultimate goals and Jackson’s pet peeve. He also talks about his love for east Indian features and the dark color of their skin.
I think with any type of creation you create what’s inside of you. Subconsciously what influences you. I’m a fantasy fanatic and anything that will take you off into another world escapism, that’s what I like. I’m not so crazy about the reality of everything I like a lot of fantasy and that’s what I try to create.
Jackson interviews with ET about the success of his platinum album Thriller.
Every-time I get a platinum album it is never taken lightly on my behalf I’m always honored.
Jackson releases Beat It, the third single from Thriller. The lyrics portray gang life on the streets which Jackson has mentioned he is not directly familiar with. The song talks about two gangs who come together to fight but are challenged to work together and settle their differences in peaceful manner.
Every song is different. The gestation process for BEAT IT was so fast, it was amazing. I thought about what I’d do in that situation… A confrontation with a gang… I wouldn’t do what these people would do. The way I was raised I would turn the other cheek without creating a war or being a coward either.
Jackson’s parents, Joe and Katherine and his brothers are interviewed by Sylvia Chase. They talk about how Jackson and his brothers intensely rehearsed everyday after school, how Jackson became shy over time and the energy that is felt from their growing fans which keeps them constantly motivated. Michael:
On stage means the greatest place in the world. You just light up on stage – it’s magic.
Jackson releases Billie Jean, the second single from Thriller. The song is based on a true account where a girl would stalk Jackson and begin writing him letters claiming he was the father of her child. Jackson expressed is discomfort with the false claim indirectly with this song.
There is a girl named Billie Jean, but it’s not about that Billie Jean, Billie Jean is kind of anonymous. It represents a lot of girls. They used to call them groupies in the ’60s. They would hang around backstage doors, and any band that would come to town they would have a relationship with, and I think I wrote this out of experience with my brothers when I was little.There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there. Every girl claimed that their son was related to one of my brothers.
Jackson releases his sixth album Thriller with Epic Records and Co-producer Jones. Hit singles include, The Girl Is Mine, Billie Jean, Beat It, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Human Nature, P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing), and Thriller. Jones:
He was always up for trying new things. I remember Michael sang through these long cardboard tubes to get a particular sound — that’s something Michael came up with, I believe.
Jackson wins the British Phonographic Industry Awards for BPI Award for Off The Wall.
Jackson performs The Things I Do for you along with the Jacksons during the Triumph concert in Los Angeles, California.
Jackson performs Upside Down with Diana Ross whom he joins on the stage in Los Angeles, California.
Jackson performs Can You Feel It with the Jacksons on the Triumph tour in Los Angeles. This is the highest grossing tour that the Jackson’s have done thus far in over 50 states and four sold out concerts.
Jackson performs Rock With You after being introduced by Diana Ross on the Diana Ross Show in Los Angeles, California.
Jackson wins the American Music Award for Favorite Album (Soul/R&B) for Off The Wall, and Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B).
Jackson wins the Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album for Off The Wall.
Jackson wins the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough.
Jackson wins the American Music Award for Favorite Single (Soul/R&B) for Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough, Favorite Album (Soul/R&B) for Off The Wall, and Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B).
This makes me very happy.
Jackson performs Ben with his brothers as background singers during the Moving Violations tour in Mexico.
Jackson releases Off The Wall with Epic Records. Hit singles include, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Rock With You, Off The Wall, She’s Out Of My Life, and Girlfriend.
I’m most comfortable on stage than any place in the world.
Jackson performs I Want You Back along with his brothers during the Destiny tour in London, England.
Jackson talks to WBLS, Frankie Crocker about how it feels selling 90,000,000 records.
It’s a wonderful feeling to know the whole world accept are sounds and I’m very thankful.
Jackson and his brothers are interviewed by WBLS and he is asked about his group and his writing venture.
That’s one of the most exciting things that we’ve done, is writing our own material. Its been a great challenge.
Jackson performs Dancing Machine with the Jacksons in New Orleans, Louisiana during the Destiny Tour.
Jackson performs Show You The Way to go along with the Jacksons live in London, England during their Destiny tour. This event is a series of tours in Great Britain.
Jackson performs I’ll be there, Give Me One More Chance along with other hits along with the Jacksons in Breman, Germany while promoting their new album on the Destiny tour. The tour is planned to be in over eighty countries nationally and internationally.
Jackson is interviewed by Don Cornelius after the making of The Wiz, a film by Quincy Jones. They talk about Jackson’s experience with working with Diane Ross, the inspiration from the original script the Wizard of Oz and there is a snippet of a musical scene with Jackson who plays the Scarecrow and Diane Ross, playing Dorothy singing Ease on down the road.
When I was real small I saw the original Wizard of Oz, the Judy Garland version. I always fell in love with the scarecrow I think most kids do ’cause you feel sorry for him and everything and his character, and I always watched him. Matter fact I had the step down they did when I was around six. Follow the yellow brick road!
Jackson performs Blame It On The Boogie with his brothers—the Jacksons—during their Destiny tour in London, England.
Jackson performs three consecutive shows in Trinidad West Indies. One show was at Skinner Park in the city of San Fernando and two at the Queen’s Park Savannah in the country’s capital city of Port of Spain.
The newly renamed group the Jacksons sing Enjoy Yourself. The single reaches the Top 10 on the billboard charts. This is Jackson’s brother Marlon’s debut performance playing the bongos in the background.