The Year of Michael’s “Thriller” – 1983
- Early January:
Michael hired Marlon Brando’s son, Miko Brando
The single “Billie Jean” was released by Epic.
Michael went to London to work on songs with Paul Mac Cartney.
While in London , he attended the British Awards to accept an award on behalf of Barbara Streisand and he also visited his friend Mark Lester.
- February 8:
Michael & Paul Mac Cartney were on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine
- February 17:
- February 25:
At a CBS Records press conference, Jane Fonda presented Michael with a Platinum certification for “Thriller”.
- Late February:
The single “Beat It” was released by Epic.
The video of “Billie Jean” was added to MTV’s playlist
Michael was on the cover of Rock & Soul magazine.
- March 9:
On Skid Row, east of Hollywood , Michael began filming the video for “Beat It”, directed by Bob Giraldi & choreographed by Michael Peters with 25 dancers and 50 actual Los Angeles gang members. The video was $ 150,000 to make.
- March 20:
Michael attended the opening night party of the stage show Dreamgirls with Latoya.
- March 25:
Michael & The Jacksons rehearsed for ‘Motown 25th Anniversary Show’ at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
“Beat It” was added to MTV’s playlist.
- April 6:
- April 9:
All the Jackson brothers (including Jermaine) rehearsed and recorded their segment of the Motown 25th Special at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
- April 16:
Michael & Samir Kamoun wore Charlie Chaplin outfits to pay tribute to him on his birthday.
- April 25:
The single “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” was relased by Motown.
- May 16:
NBC broadcasts the two hour special ‘Motown 25th: Yesterday, Today & Forever’ featuring for the first time since 1975, a performance of the six Jackson brothers for a medley of the Jackson 5 hits followed by a solo performance of “Billie Jean” during which Michael performed his first ever public performance of the ‘Moonwalk’.
At the end of the show, Michael joined Diana Ross and all the Motown stars on stage to pay tribute to Berry Gordy.
The show was watched by 47 millions Americans and Michael’s dancing talents are recognized when legends such as Fred Astaire & Gene Kelly call him and congratulate his performance.
Michael was on the cover of Cream magazine.
- June 22 :
Michael decided not to renew his managing contract with Joe, Weisner & DeMann.
Michael worked with Steven Spielberg on a new adapatation of the children fairy tale Peter Pan.
The single “Human Nature” was released by Epic.
- July 9:
Michael appeared on the cover of the teenage magazine Top.
- August 20 :
Pre-production begins on the “Thriller” short film directed by John Landis & choreographed by Michael Peters.
It was announced that The Jacksons would tour in 1984.
Michael was on the cover of Black Beat magazine.
- September 6 :
Michael signed an agreement through his production company Optimum Productions, that will pay John Landis 50 per cent of net profits from both the “Thriller” video and the documentary.
- September 25:
Michael’s performance at the Motown 25th was shown at the Emmy Awards Ceremony where it was nominated but does not win.
- September 30:
The Jacksons signed Don King, as the promoter of their forthcoming tour.
Michael was on the cover of People, Interview, Globe & Rock & Soul magazines.
- October 4:
A new duet between Michael & Paul Mac Cartney named “Say Say Say” was released by Columbia Records.
Michael & Paul recorded the video in Santa Ynez Valley, California
- October 11-20:
Michael recorded the “Thriller” short film in Los Angeles. Jackie Kennedy Onassis visited him on the set and has dinner at Hayvenhurst.
Michael & Diana Ross were on the cover of Ebony.
Michael attended a James Brown’s concert at the Roxy and went on stage to sing and dance
Michael & Quincy returned to the Westlake studios to interview about “Thriller”.
- November 11:
A $5 million endorsement contract was signed between The Jacksons & Pepsi Cola involving sponsorship of the Victory Tour & two TV commercials.
- November 30:
Michael attended a press conference at New York ’s Tavern On The Green to announce plans for the Victory Tour. He is accompanied by his parents, sisters, his brothers, and Emanual Lewis.
- December 2:
The 14 minutes short film of “Thriller” premiered on MTV.
- December 8:
Michael left for New York to promote the “Thriller” video.
- December 14:
“The Making Of Thriller” was released on VHS and it became the most biggest selling music video of all time!