1979 - The Jacksons perform Destiny tour in Fort Worth, Texas.
1991 - The music video for "Black Or White" was premiered simultaneously in 27 countries, with a record-breaking audience of 500+ million viewers – the largest ever global audience for a music video. The music video for racially-conscious "Black Or White" was first broadcast on MTV, BET, VH1, and Fox giving them their highest Nielsen ratings ever.
Along with Jackson, it featured actors Macaulay Culkin, Tess Harper, and George Wendt, with cameo appearances by the singer’s niece, Brandi Jackson and Wade Robson. The video was directed by John Landis, who previously directed Thriller. It premiered simultaneously in 27 countries, with an audience of 500 million viewers, the most to ever watch a music video. The video shows scenes in which Maasai tribesmen begin dancing like Jackson; so do, in sequence, Thais, Native Americans, a woman from India and a set of Russians. Jackson walks through visual collages of fire (defiantly declaring "I ain't scared of no sheets; I ain't scared of nobody"), referring to KKK torch ceremonies before a mock rap scene shared with Culkin and other children. The group collectively states, "I'm not gonna spend my life being a color." At the end of the song, different people dance as they morph into one another (shown as "talking heads").
Controversy was generated concerning the last four minutes of the original music video. Jackson walks out of the studio as a black panther and then morphs into himself. The 'panther dance’, as it was called, contains complicated dance techniques, sexually suggestive behaviour and physical aggression, which the entertainer would later say they formed an interpretation of the animal instincts of a black panther. MTV and other music video networks removed the last four minutes from subsequent broadcasts. The performer is seen smashing shop windows and car window panes reading racist graffiti "Hitler Lives", a swastika, "Nigger Go Home", "No More Wetbacks", and "KKK Rules"). The video also shares the message that “Prejudice is ignorance”. What has not been brought into discussion is the complexity of message behind this video (or other videos of Jackson). The black panther Jackson portrays in the video is a reference to “The Black Panther Party” (originally the “Black Panther Party for Self-Defense”), an African-American revolutionary left-wing organization working for the self-defense for black people aginst police brutality. It was active in the United States from the mid-1960’s into the 1970’s. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international impact through their deep involvement in the Black Power movement and in US politics of the 1960’s and 70’s, as the intense anti-racism of the time is today considered one of the most significant social, political and cultural currents in US history. The group's "provocative rhetoric, militant posture, and cultural and political flourishes permanently altered the contours of American Identity", hence Jackson’s provocative dance testimony in the video. While Jackson does not promote violence, the dance was a ‘free speech’ bodily statement, a venting off against human injustice.
Controversy was generated concerning the last four minutes of the original music video, as a result, this last part was removed. Jackson walks out of the studio as a black panther and then morphs into himself. The “panther dance” or “silent panther” performance” contained in these last few minutes was Jackson’s angrier, yet misunderstood political statement against “injustice and prejudice and racism and bigotry”, as he would state in an 1999 TV interview. “[…] Within the dance I became upset and let go”, he adds. Shortly after the video’s release, the singer issues an apology statement to those that became sensitive over the mentioned scenes: "It upsets me to think that 'Black Or White' could influence any child or adult to destructive behavior. I've always tried to be a good role model and, therefore, have made these changes to avoid any possibility of adversely affecting any individual's behavior. I deeply regret any pain or hurt that the final segment of 'Black Or White' has caused children, their parents or other viewers."
- The song reached #1 on 22 countries, including the US & UK Singles Chart, and become the 2nd-best selling single of 1991.
- The single was certified platinum in the US, selling over one million copies.
- "Black Or White" is considered one of the Greatest Rock Songs of the 1990s
- Fastest no.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the States since 1969, when Get Back by the Beatles also conquered the chart in just three weeks. No.1 for seven weeks, but stalled at no.3 on the R&B singles chart.
- RIAA Platinum Record Award (USA million seller).
- No.8 best selling single of 1991 in the States.
- First single by an American to enter the UK singles chart at no.1 since Elvis Presley’s It’s Now Or Never in 1960. Spent two weeks in pole position.
- Also no.1 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
- International Monitor Awards: Music Video with the Best Special Effects.
- NAACP Image Awards: Outstanding Music Video.
1996 - Michael perform HIStory concert at Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia attending 52,000.
Aware of his religious up-bringing and strong moral values, many of Michael’s long-term fans thought differently and sure enough, following his concert, Michael and Debbie exchanged marriage vows.
The midnight ceremony, in the Presidential Suite of the Sheraton On The Park Hotel, was attended by 30 or so guests. Best Man, reportedly, was local tour promoter Paul Dainty.
The world’s media, caught off-guard yet again, reported that Michael’s marriage to Debbie ‘stunned the world’ and ‘took his fans by surprise’ – not!
2005 - Michael attends the Dubai Desert Rally racing tournament at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel in Dubai with close friend and renowned UAE rally driver Mohammad Ben Sulayem and Saeed Hareb, managing director of the Dubai International Marine Club.
2006 - Michael drops by the Guinness Book Of Records headquarters in London, to collect his official record certificates for his 8 Guinness World Records for chart achievements, album sales, earnings, and charity donations.
Guinness World Records London Head Quarters welcomed the world’s biggest superstar, Michael Jackson, a self confessed Guinness World Records fan since childhood, through its doors for an honorary record presentation.
With a staggering eight records mapping career highlights over the last quarter of a century, Michael Jackson is one of Guinness World Records longest standing record holders. The records span from Youngest vocalist to top the US singles chart, (aged 11, fronting The Jackson Five) and First vocalist to enter the US single chart at No.1 (You Are Not Alone) to Most weeks at the top of the US album charts (non-soundtrack) (37 weeks for Thriller); Most successful music video (Thriller sold over 1 million units); First entertainer to earn more than $100 million in a year to Highest paid entertainer of all time ($125 million in 1989 Forbes list). His ultimate and latest accolade was also presented to him: Most successful entertainer of all time.
Michael arrived at Guinness World Records offices in North West London at 4pm afternoon with his entourage - a fleet of black and silver people carriers. Wearing his signature black three quarter length dinner jacket and trousers with yellow piping, he arrived amidst an army of fans who had followed him from the hotel.
He was greeted by Guinness World Records Editor, Craig Glenday, and given a whirlwind tour of the offices and shown weird and wonderful exhibits from the ‘Guinness World Records Cabinet of Curioddities’, including the world’s oldest vomit and tallest man ever’s shoes.
Michael was then presented with his record certificates, a copy of the latest edition of the book and a special edition from the year he was born (1958). Evidently delighted with the accolades he holds in high esteem, Michael said: "I’ve always been a big fan of the book. Thank you so much – it’s a great honour to visit the Guinness World Records offices."
Guinness World Records Editor Craig Glenday said: "We always expect the unexpected here at Guinness World Records. We’re used to all walks of life stopping by the office, but we haven’t been this excited since we met the Queen last year. Michael is one of the greatest superstars of all time and his unwavering success has kept him at the very top of the record breaking charts throughout his career. We’re absolutely delighted that Michael holds Guinness World Records in such high regard and honoured that he’s taken time out of his busy schedule to stop by and collect them in person."
List of Michael Jackson Guinness World Records
- Most Successful Concert Series - Michael Jackson sold out for seven nights at Wembley Stadium, London, England in the summer of 1988. A total of 504,000 people saw Michael perform July 14-16, 22-23, and August 26-27, 1988.
- Biggest Selling Album Of All Time - Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Album is the biggest selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide. Thriller is also the biggest selling U.S album with sales of 25 million copies.
- Most Grammy Awards -Michael won a record breaking 8 Grammy Awards in 1984, more than any other artist in one year.
- Largest Contracts -$890 million (Sony Music) Contract, with prospective earnings of $1 billion.
- Greatest Audience -The highest-ever viewership was 133.4 million viewers watching the NBC transmission of Super Bowl XXVII on June 31, 1993. Michael was spotlighted during the half-time peformance.
- Highest-Paid Commercial Spokesperson -Pepsi Cola paid Michael Jackson $12 million to do 4 TV commercials.
- Bad Tour -Michael Jackson's world tour brought in a record gross revenue of over $124 million during September 1987-December 1988.
- Billboard Charts -Michael Jackson is the first person in the 37 year history of the chart to enter at # 1, with his single "You Are Not Alone". Michael broke his previous redord held by his single "Earth Song" which debuted at #5.