It all started with his first solo album, Off the Wall, in 1979. “The album made Michael Jackson the first solo artist to drop four top 10 hits from a single album: “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, “Rock with You”, “Off the Wall”, and “She’s Out of My Life” (Biographies: Michael Jackson). This solo career couldn’t have started off any better. Then came the release of Thriller.
Thriller became the best selling album in history. It sold more than 45 million copies around the world. “It was at the #1 in every Western country and spent a record 37 weeks at No. 1 in the United States” (Michael Jackson). It was the first every album to hold No. 1 spots on both the Pop and R&B top charts, for there respected genres. The album also created seven top 10 singles – something that has never been done before: it included “This Girl is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “P.Y.T.” (Pretty Young Thing), “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, “Human Nature”, and “Thriller”. The album, as a whole, won a record-setting eight Grammy Awards in 1983. Thriller introduced the idea of a music video, to Michael.
Music Videos, at the time, were mainly videos of them performing it live, but Michael had a different idea. Make the video around his song, with special effects and dramatizing the song. The months, and years after the release of Thriller, Michael was at the hype of his career. In May 1983, Michael Jackson debuted the “moonwalk”. Later that year, he also received a $5 million sponsorship with Pepsi. Unfortunately a year later, while filming a commercial for Pepsi, Michael was seriously injured his head. His hair was severely burned and it was never the same for Michael. That’s when Michael Jackson turned to pain killers.
After the commercial incident, he did continue his music. In 1987, Michael Jackson dropped Bad. The album was a success. It had five No. 1 songs “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”. With all the success from the albums, Thriller, and Bad he purchased a home in California, that would later be famously known as Neverland Ranch. The home was worth $28 million, with a zoo, Ferris wheel, and a movie theater. Jackson had many parties for children that were critically ill, underprivileged, or disabled. Soon after his life would be on a downward slope; flooded in scandal and controversies.