Michael Jackson's Best Iconic Moments

Michael Jackson's Best Iconic Moments

Michael Jackson rocketed to global stardom in the early 1980s, but his legacy as the King of Pop is based on more than the height of his career.

The album Thriller reinvented all standards of commercial pop success. Released on November 30, 1982, it debuted at No. 1, containing seven top 10 hits on Billboard Hot 100.

The video’s unison zombie dance still inspires mass groups to try the choreography, and the album continues to be the world’s best-selling album with estimated sales of at least 66 million.

On May 16, 1983, Jackson stunned the world with the moonwalk, the backward gliding step he adapted from street dance.

On May 16, 1983, Jackson stunned the world with the moonwalk, the backward gliding step he adapted from street dance.

In a shocking accident, Jackson’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial on January 27, 1984.

Before videos like “Beat It” and “Thriller,” singers rarely led fully choreographed dances.

Before videos like “Beat It” and “Thriller,” singers rarely led fully choreographed dances.

The video for “Man in the Mirror,” from his 1987 album “Bad,” features a sometimes oddly juxtaposed montage of world-historic events, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, and children in poverty.

The white sparkly socks with black shoes. The giant sunglasses. The glove. The statement jackets. Whatever Jackson wore, he caused a sensation.

He took the world stage on January 31, 1993. And he stood there - for what seemed like an outrageously long time for live television.

In 1985, Jackson used his international mega-stardom for good when he and Lionel Richie co-wrote the song “We are the World” to support African-famine relief.

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