pop music icon michael jackson would have turned 64 today, and in honor of the King of Pop’s belated birthday, the shadow room is breaking down five of his most iconic moments.
Michael Jackson receives the 1984 Presidential Special Achievement Award
After lending his hit song “Beat It” to an anti-drunk driving campaign, Jackson was rewarded with a Special Presidential Achievement Award from President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
The photos show the King of Pop receiving the prestigious award, which was presented to him by then-President Reagan and his wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan.
“Beat It” received the 1984 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, as well as two American Music Awards.
Iconic dance moves define the MTV generation
When he wasn’t busy singing, Jackson was a prolific dancer in his own right, and his proprietary dance moves have since come to define those of the MTV generation.
Whether it was the lean, the moonwalk, or even the crotch grab, MJ wowed and dazzled audiences with his well-timed and well-executed choreography, much of which undoubtedly evokes the late pop star every time it’s performed.
Take a look at The Shade Room’s breakdown of their six most iconic dance moves below!
“Thriller” cements Jackson’s legacy and remains the best-selling album worldwide
Their “Thriller” album basically reinvented the standards of commercial pop success after its release 40 years ago on November 30, 1982.
It debuted at number one and contained a whopping seven top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, led by tracks like Billie Jean, “Beat It” and the title track. The album cemented Jackson’s legacy as an artist and made him the first artist to win eight Grammy Awards in a single night.
Thriller would stay at the top of the charts for nearly 40 weeks, which was another first, before shooting back to number one after its infamous music video was released a year later.
The record remains the world’s best-selling album, with conservative estimates of around 66 million according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The King of Pop’s hair catches fire during the infamous 1984 Pepsi commercial
Jackson’s hair caught fire in an infamous accident while filming a Pepsi commercial in January 1984, and he was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with second- and third-degree burns.
The incident ultimately gained worldwide attention and remains a pivotal moment in the King of Pop’s career.
Jackson went on to receive a massive compensation payout from the soda company, and several years later, in 1988, then-Pepsi chairman Roger Enrico and Jackson attended a press conference where the two donated a check for $600,000 to The United Negro College Fund, per Jackson’s request reportedly at the time.m
Michael Jackson at the 1994 and 1995 MTV Video Music Awards
Michael Jackson and his then-Lisa Marie Presley opened the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards show with Michael saying, “I’m so happy to be here, and I don’t think anyone thought this would last,” followed by an awkward kiss onstage.
A year later, at the 1995 VMAs, Michael and his sister Janet Jackson took home three awards for their “Scream” video. Additionally, Michael performed a fifteen-minute medley of his title songs.
To honor her brother’s birthday, LaToya Jackson posted a clip of her classic 1995 VMA performance to her Twitter on Monday.
I remember you sitting in front of your TV crying saying I didn’t win the Not 1 award.
And then you said “Look at me” I’m going to win all the neighborhoods and they’ll all come begging for me! And they did!#VMA 1995 What a stellar performance! Happy Birthday #MichaelJackson #King of Pop #FKOP #GOAT𓃵 pic.twitter.com/HllFWCsEMU
— LaToya Jackson (@latoyajackson) August 29, 2022
Jackson would ultimately pass away at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009 at his home in California, after going into cardiac arrest caused by a tragic and fatal combination of medications given to him by his personal physician.
Roommates, what are some of your favorite Michael Jackson moments?
The publication Happy birthday to the king of pop! Michael Jackson would have turned 64 today: here are five of the most iconic moments from him first appearing in The Shade Room.