ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

The word controversy might as well have been invented for Michael Jackson. He may be the biggest selling musical artist of all-time and the reigning King of Pop even six years after his death, but Jackson remains as famous for his antics out-side of music as he is for his legendary music videos, Thriller, and changing the face of pop music. Let's take a look back at five truly insane moments from MJ's unparalleled career and astonishing life in the spotlight.

1. The time he played to over 4 million people during one concert tour

In 1987, Jackson was faced with the daunting task of following up Thriller - the best selling album of all time, in case you'd forgotten - with a new record. He holed up in the studio for six months with the legendary Quincy Jones and the result was Bad.

Bad sold way north of 20 million copies and spawned a record-breaking five number one singles in the US, including The Way You Make Me Feel, a joyous throwback to the sound of the Jackson Five, and Man in the Mirror - but none of these stats are as impressive as the fact that during the Bad world tour, Jackson played 127 dates on four continents to an audience of 4.4 million fans, selling out Wembley stadium six times and playing 9 dates straight at the Tokyo Dome.

This is widely considered to make the Bad the most attended tour in history - which is not bad for a tour in support of an album that, somehow, was considered "disappointing" for not selling as many copies as Thriller.

2. The time the King of Pop married the King of Rock and Roll's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley

When you're the most famous musical artist in history, it's probably hard to date outside of the music industry - who can you really trust? In May 1994, Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, who just happened to be the daughter of Elvis, the other most famous musical artist in history.

Unfortunately for Jackson, the timing - mere months after his child abuse court case was settled - made the marriage look like a cynical attempt to repair his image, especially as MJ (timid) and Lisa Marie (gorgeous and intimidating) were kind of a visual mismatch.

And then this catastrophic interview happened, in which Jackson and Presley told Diane Sawyer they were in love, whilst Lisa Marie's body language told a very different story. Basically, the press and the public were skeptical and the marriage turned out to be doomed - they divorced not long after. But in 2010, Lisa Marie gave an interview to Oprah firmly stating the marriage had been genuine and they had been in love.

3. The time he made the single most expensive music video of all-time

The average music video costs less than a quarter of a million dollars to make. In 1995, Jackson collaborated with director Mark Romanek on a black and white clip for Scream, and somehow managed to spend an incredible 7 million dollars.

That makes Scream easily the most expensive music video ever made, breaking the previous record held by Madonna's Express Yourself (directed by David Fincher). The truth is that Scream is a horribly dated video which looks like it cost a lot less than it actually did, but it's still pretty iconic, particularly as, in 1995, Janet Jackson's music was actually more successful than Michael's, and seeing them both in one video was a coming together of possibly the two biggest stars in the world - who just happened to be brother and sisters.

Still, it may have been surpassed by Scream, but the Metropolis-homaging Express Yourself remains the far better video - the Queen of Pop won this round.

4. The time he influenced every male popstar of the 21st century

He may have married the daughter of Elvis, sold hundreds of millions of records and pretty much single-handedly been responsible for making the music video into an art form, but possibly the most insane thing to happen in MJ's career is still happening today, because no other artist in history has been as influential to the generations of artists and popstars who followed than Michael Jackson.

Without him, Justin Timberlake would simply not have been a thing. His influence is everywhere, from pop (Nick Jonas) to R&B (Ne-Yo, The Weeknd) - and it's not just in the music and the falsetto vocals, but also the heightened drama of the videos, like JT's steamy visual for Cry Me a River.

His life may have come to overshadow his music, but we should remember Michael Jackson as he deserves to be remembered - as the King of Pop.


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