On February 12, 1983 Michael Jackson released Thriller, his much-anticipated followup to Off the Wall (another terrific album). Thriller was a run away success, sitting atop the Billboard Album chart for 37 weeks and staying in the top 100 for 122 weeks. It produced 7 top 10 songs and eventually won 8 Grammys (out of 12 nominations). That same here he debuted the famous "Moonwalk" dance will performing at the Motown anniversary show on national TV.
In Kansas City, there was a show on local TV called "Friday Night Videos" where callers would vote all week on their favorite videos. The 13-minute, cinematic video for the album's title track, "Thriller" was #1 on that show for over a year, and strangely I never got tired of watching it.
After Thriller, Michael Jackson continued to produce albums and have some hits, but never on the scale of Thriller. The first concert I ever attended was the Jackson 5 "Victory Tour", and at that time he was the undisputed "Biggest Star in the World."
Since then, Michael Jackson's troubles have been well-documented. Today he's nearly broke and lives some weird life of hermit-like obscurity, hiding his bizarrely disfigured face and seldom making headlines. There was a rumor that Trump was trying to get him to do a show in Vegas, which seems unlikely as his health is a disaster and he's a total flake. The guy is only 52 years old (same age as Madonna, who still fills arenas at $300 a ticket).
For me, I prefer to remember the Michael Jackson of the 80's. Back when he was good; back when he was black; and back when he had something that looked like a human nose.