You couldn’t have gone to bed last night or woken up this morning without hearing the news of Michael Jackson’s surprising death yesterday. Jackson passed away from a heart attack at age 50. Stories flooded the internet and news channels of speculation of his death, its cause, its effects. If you haven’t read much about it yet, you might check out People magazine’s story of the mystery of Jackson’s death, Michael remembered by friends, a bio by E! Online on the King of Pop, and the original story posted by TMZ, who broke the news.
Although he hadn’t recorded an album since 2001’s Invincible, Jackson announced recently that he was considering making a return to new music, and he had already scheduled 50 sold-out concerts at London’s O2 arena, which would have seen over one million people over the next eight months — proof that despite the innumerable tabloid headlines over the last two decades, The King of Pop has earned his title by becoming and remaining one of the world’s most beloved singers and that his musical legacy will go on.
Further proof is here, in this short roundup of just some of the many videos and performances Michael Jackson has made during his long life of music:
- In 1966, at age eight, Michael Jackson joined The Jackson 5, formed with his brothers. This is their first appearance on The Sullivan Show in 1969:
- Here he is a bit older, age 13, singing “Ben” on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour:
- In fact, at age 13, Jackson released his first solo album, Got to Be There, which rose to number 14 on the U.S. pop charts. Here he performs “I Wanna Be Where You Are” from the album on American Bandstand:
- At the precipitous rise of his career, here’s Michael’s performance of “Billie Jean” at the 25th anniversary of Motown Records:
- After collaborating with Paul McCartney on Thriller, Jackson dueted with Paul on this 80’s classic, “Say Say Say”:
- Michael’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 forever changed the spectacle that those shows have become, yet it’s hard to think of anyone who’s outdone him since:
- People sometimes forget that Jackson could be politically reactive to what was going on in the world. This video and song for “They Don’t Care About Us” stirred up a bit of controversy but also showed a different, angry and aware, side to the King of Pop:
- Of course, he was always happy to perform with other celebrities, as here with Brittney Spears singing “The Way You Make Me Feel” at the 2001 Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Celebration:
- There are so many reasons to remember Michael Jackson. Hopefully what people will remember most was that Michael could thrill audiences like no other: