1969 - The Jackson 5's debut single for Motown, I Want You Back, was officially released on October 7, 1969, and would become the first of four number one hit singles in a row. A lively and deceptively sophisticated pop tune, Michael's performance was strong and memorable, guaranteed to charm the most reluctant audience.
I Want You Back was produced and written by Berry Gordy’s new writing team, The Corporation™ (made up of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell and Deke Richards). It was The Jackson 5’s first song recorded at Motown’s L.A. studios and originally intended for Gladys Knight.
The song became a massive hit — thanks in large part to the quintet's pint-sized dynamo of a lead singer, then 11 years old Michael. the song hit #1 spot on both Hot 100 & R&B charts as the group's first of four #1 hit singles in a row. It peaked #2 in the UK, earning the J5 their first Platinum record as well the Silver Award. The single sold over 6 million copies globally, a key force in driving their total worldwide sales past 90 million.
- In 1999, I Want You Back became the first Jackson 5 single inducted into the "Grammy Hall of Fame".
- In MTV’s millennium poll, I Want You Back was voted the #9 'Greatest Pop Song of all time'.
- In 1999, I Want You Back ranks #9 on Rolling Stone's list of the '100 Greatest Pop Songs since 1963'
- In 2006, I Want You Back ranked at #2 on Pitchfork Media's list of the '200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s'
- In June 2009, The Daily Telegraph named I Want You Back as the Greatest Pop Record of all time.
1971 - Michael’s first ever solo single, Got To Be There, was released on October 7, 1971, in advance of his debut solo album of the same name, which would come out early the following year.
The single made #4 on both the Hot 100 and R&B chart, and sold an impressive 1.6 million copies in U.S. It also hit #3 in neighbouring Canada and #5 in the UK. By this time, Michael had eight chart topping singles and six albums with his brothers.
Got To Be There was originally intended for the Supremes, then was planned as a Jackson 5 release. Indeed, Michael’s brothers do feature on backing vocals, as they would continue to do on
many songs credited to Michael alone. It was a soulful love song that showed off thirteen year old Michael’s amazing vocal ability.
Got To Be There: The album had a beautiful mix of ballads and up tempo numbers perfectly suited to Michael’s range and style. Young Michael had shown that he could carry a full album all on his own. The album charted at number 14 in the US and number 37 in the UK. “Got To Be There” generated 3 more singles. “Rockin’ Robin” hit number 2 in the US and number 3 in the UK. “I Wanna Be Where You Are” hit number 16 in the US and “Ain’t No Sunshine” was a European only release that reached number 8 in the UK.
In releasing it, Michael broke a Motown tradition, as he became the first Motown artist to go solo whilst still an active member of a group (Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and David Ruffin all had to leave their respective groups before becoming solo artists).
1979 - The Jacksons perform Destiny tour in Louisville [US].
1984 - The Jacksons perform Victory tour at Canadian National Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Ontario [Canada] attending 35,000.
1993 - Michel arrives in Buenos Aires with Frank & Eddie.
1995 - Michael graced the popular German Game show Wetten Dass? (Wanna Bet?) with his live appearance.
In addition to his immaculate Dangerous routine, executed with the same precision and finesse as at the MTV Music Video Awards in September, Michael also performed Earth Song in public for the first time, a real coup for Wetten Dass?
When aired on November 04th, the show attracted 18 million viewers, breaking German viewing records with 25 million tuning in to watch Michael’s guest spot – far and away the highest German TV audience of 1995.
1996 Michael played a historic concert at El Menzah Stadium before 60,000 people in Tunis, capital of Tunisia. The performance marked the first time Jackson performed in the continent of Africa. Four days prior to the concert, speaking via Kingdom International, Michael said:
This concert will be of special significance for me because it will be my first in Africa and the Arab world. The people and nations of both regions have always held a special place in my heart and I always wanted to perform for them.
Michael further announced all proceeds from the concert would be donated to The National Solidarity Fund, a Tunisian charity dedicated to fighting poverty.
This concert was aired on September 18, 2010 by the Nessma TV channel in Tunisia. Before then, only parts of this concert were shown on television as well as a very poor quality amateur-filmed far from the stage. The broadcast ended at "Heal The World", cutting off the final number, "HIStory". The quality of the broadcast was rather average as the entire concert was on a VHS, and a red ball (Nessma TV's logo) occasionally rolled across the screen as a means of copyright protection. The concert broadcasted twice, with the red ball appearing in different places in both broadcasts.
2005 - Michael is at The Power House Studios, working on a charity song, From The Bottom Of My Heart, to help the victims of hurricane Katrina.
The working title of the Hurricane relief song penned by Michael is, "From the Bottom of My Heart," which was supposed to be released on 2 Seas Records, owned by Prince Abdullah Hamad Alkhalifa of Bahrain.
Fundraising Project titled: "From the Gulf to the Gulf" is in response to the widespread devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina, and because of the human suffering taking place in the Gulf Region of his country.
"It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf Region of my country. My heart and prayers go out to every individual who has had to endure the pain and suffering caused by this tragedy. I will be reaching out to others within the music industry, to join me in helping to bring relief and hope to these resilient people who have lost everything." Michael said.