On December 18, 1989 reports confirmed that Michael's planned
greatest hits album, "Decade", was shelved due to an avalanche
of new material, prompting thoughts of a brand new album
instead, much to the delight of his fans.
In spring of 1990, movie theatres began airing commercials
for "L.A. Gear" using Michael Jackson's music, "Wanna Be
Startin' Something", but Michael himself did not appear
in the commercials. The teaser ads were later aired on TV.
In July of 1990, the first publicity pictures of Michael
Jackson's "L.A. Gear" campaign began to circulate in
magazines. His eight year old niece, Brandi, daughter
of elder brother Jackie, was featured in the promotion
and appears in the TV ads. Michael's first TV commercial in nearly 4 years was
heralded a creative breakthrough by the industry. A
month later, in August, commercials for "L.A. Gear"
with Michael began airing in movie theatres.
August 18, 1990 it was announced that Michael had hired
Sandy Gallin as his new personal manager.
On March 20, 1991 in New York City, the biggest deal
in music history was announced between Michael and Sony,
who bought CBS in 1988. The Japanese-owned multi-national
corporation signs Michael to a 15 year, 6-album record
and film contract.
Michael enters the Guinness Book of World Records as
the highest paid entertainer in the music industry and
up to today still holds his record. The Guinness Book
of World Records reports that the contract is worth
US$ 890 million (US$ 1 billion is estimated).
Michael received an US$ 18 million cash advance for
the forthcoming album, plus a $ 5 million bonus for
this and each of his next 5 albums.
Michael, now the highest-paid entertainer in the music
industry, receiving a royalty rate of 25% on each album
sold. He is also CEO of his own record label, Nation
Records (which was renamed to MJJ Productions later),
for which he will receive US$ 1 million per annum. The
lucrative deal is reported in the press as setting new
standards for cost and scope.
On April 17, 1991 a tiny Indie dance label, Nation Records,
threatened to see Michael in court if he uses their
name for his own record label. Katherine Canoville says
that they have been trading under the name for 3 years
and have developed an international reputation. Michael
changed the name of his record label to MJJ Productions.
At the MTV Video Music Awards in September of 1991,
it was announced that MTV's most important award, the
"Video Vanguard Award" has been renamed "The Michael
Jackson Video Vanguard Award". Bon Jovi were the first
In November of 1991, 30 second ads directed by David
Lynch began airing on TV to promote the long-awaited,
forthcoming release of Michael Jackson's new album that
came to be titled "Dangerous".
on November 14, 1991 "Black Or White", the first music
video from Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" album was
broadcast simultaneously in 27 countries with an estimated
audience of 500 million people. It was the largest
audience ever to view a music video! The video features Macauley Culkin, Michael's niece
Brandi, Bart Simpson, George Wendt (who played Norm
in "Cheers") and rapper Heavy D, director was once
again John Landis ("Thriller"). After the première of Michael's new video, the press
went crazy. The new Michael Jackson video was an event
in itself! After 4 years of waiting, Michael was back
with a bang!
hours after its première, "Black Or White" was in the
TV News around the world. The première of the video
was immediately followed by uproar regarding the video's
somewhat violent final segment (Panther Scene), which
caused widespread controversy. Parents
in particular were disturbed by the violence and sex
enacted by Michael breaking windows and simulating
masturbation. Michael's publicist said that Michael's
dance sequence is meant to portray Jackson's interpretation
of the panther's wild and animalistic behavior. Michael
agreed to edit out the final 4 minutes of the video,
and issued a statement.
Michael: "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."
But "Black Or White" was not only a spectacle because
of the "Panther Scenes" but also because it was the
first music video ever to use the so called "Morphing"
Special Effects. This revolutionary technique was
used in only 2 movies ("Willow", "Terminator 2"),
but NEVER before in music videos. Michael is again
single rose to the number one position - a tremendous
success! "Black Or White" which features Guns N' Roses
guitarist, Slash, is developed from a track which was
intended for the "Bad" album (the beginning part that
Slash plays). In 1989, when Michael began to work on
"Dangerous", he asked Bill Bottrell, who wrote the rap
lyrics and co-produced the track, to dig it out of the
What the music world had been waiting for for 4 years,
happened on November 21, 1991: For the first time in
20 years, an album was released on a Thursday instead
of the traditional Monday - Michael Jackson's "Dangerous".
Threats of parallel imports lead to the decision for
a Thursday release date, after it was learned that US
rack-jobbers and wholesalers were to receive copies
of "Dangerous" on November 21, 5 days before the scheduled
official release date.
"Dangerous" entered the Top 75 album chart in Britain
at number one holding its position for 1 week and remained
on the charts for 96 weeks. "Dangerous" is the fastest
selling number one album of all time (Michael will later
break his own record) and makes history by entering
the charts at number one just 3 shopping days after
"Dangerous" debuted on the US Pop album chart at number
one, holding its position for 6 weeks. "Dangerous" debuted
at number 11 on the US Black album chart, reaching number
one in its 4th week and holding its position for 12
weeks. In America, Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard opened
at midnight (November 24) to sell copies of "Dangerous"
and also unveiled a giant 25-foot, roof-top display.
The "Dangerous" sleeve, which took 6 months to complete,
is the creation of Mark Ryden who worked with both Sony
Music Senior Art Director, Nancy Donald, and Michael
to develop the very symbolic, acrylic glaze painting. Michael wanted the cover to be mysterious and for people
to interpret the images for themselves.
first time since "Off The Wall", Michael did not work with
Quincy Jones as producer. Instead he worked with the industry's
hottest producers and technical innovators of the 90's: Teddy
Riley, Bryan Loren, and again Bruce Swedien. With Teddy Riley,
the godfather of "New Jack Swing", which merges hip-hop beats
with soul crooning and had dominated the R&B charts in recent
years, Michael followed the trend. "Dangerous" becomes a tremendous
success all over the world!
On February 3, 1992 Michael held a press conference
at Radio City Music Hall in New York to announce plans
for a new world tour to raise money for his newly-formed
"Heal The World" Foundation. "I have founded the 'Heal The World' Foundation
to be the voice of the voiceless: the children," Michael said on June 23, 1992 during the press conference
about his "Heal The World" Foundation.
Further to this, Michael signed a Pepsi endorsement
deal in front of the media.
June 18, "Dancing The Dream" by Michael, a book of
poetry and essays, was published by Doubleday.
June 27, 1992 the "Dangerous World Tour" kicked off
at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany. Michael
played to a sell-out crowd of 72'000 ecstatic fans,
who saw him perform 18 numbers, including 4 songs
from his new album. The end of the show hit headlines
all over the world when "Michael" jet-packs out of
the stadium and over the heads of his fans.
August, Michael sold the film rights to his "Dangerous"
tour concert to America's Home Box Office (HBO) for
UK£ 12 million. The deal is the highest ever paid for
a live concert. HBO ads - "He's not coming to America,
he's coming to HBO" - were published. The special received
the highest TV ratings in the history of HBO (21.4%
rating, 34% share).
On January 31, 1993 Michael performed a medley of "Jam",
"Billie Jean" and "Black Or White" and "Heal The World"
at the Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show in the Rose Bowl
Stadium, Pasadena, California before an audience of
100'000 in the stadium and 133.4 million on TV. With this, Michael made history again: Michael's Super
Bowl half-time spectacular performance, televised live
on TV, broke a record with the highest-ever viewership
of 133.4 million viewers, unbroken up to today! A distinction,
which also earned him an entry in the Guinness Book
of World Records. On
January 28, 2000, just after the '00 Superbowl XXXIV,
Michael's performance of '93 was chosen as the best
performance of ALL the past Super Bowl performances
by "USA Today" Gordon Forbes.
10 days later, another TV sensation: "Michael Jackson
Talks... To Oprah", Michael's first TV interview in
10 years, was telecast LIVE from Neverland Valley,
attracting over 100 million viewers around the world.
The interview became the most-watched TV interview
of all time (highest-ever viewership for an interview)
and holds this record up to today. And
in the history of TV, the event is the 4th most watched
telecast (viewership) ever! It's THE event of the year
During the interview, Michael revealed that he suffers
from Vitiligo, a skin disorder which destroys the pigmentation
of the skin, and therefore lightens ones skin color.
It's the first time Michael talked about it. But he
also talked about his relationships. Here's a short
excerpt of the interview:
Oprah: "Do you go out, do you date?"
Oprah: "Who do you date?"
Michael: "Well, right now it's Brooke Shields. Well,
we try not to be everywhere, go everywhere, it's mostly
at home, she'll come over, I'll go to her house, because
I don't like going out in public." Oprah: "Have
you ever been in love?"
Oprah: "With Brooke Shields?"
Michael: "Yes, and another girl."
The TV special included the première of "Give In To
February 24, 1993 Michael and his date, Brooke Shields,
attended the 35th Annual Grammy Award ceremony. During
the ceremony, Michael was honored with the Grammy
Legend Award. The Grammy Legend Award is the most important award
in the music business! It's the top honor in the recording
industry, given for ongoing contributions and influence
in the recording field. The award was presented to Michael by his sister Janet,
who enjoys great success herself.
On August 24, 1993 Michael kicked off the second leg
of his Dangerous tour in Bangkok, Thailand at the
National Stadium. At
270 feet, the "Dangerous" stage is wider than the widest
American stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall,
which measures 190 feet.
Also on that day (August 24), reports surfaced in the
media that Michael is under criminal investigation for
child abuse by the Los Angeles Police Department. Investigator
Anthony Pellicano says the accusations are the result
of a failed attempt to exort money from Michael Jackson.
It transpires the boy's father, Evan Chandler, a dentist
in Beverly Hills, wanted Michael to fund movie projects
for him, so he could become a full-time screen-writer.
When this request was refused, he threatened to make
child molestation allegations against his son public.
Howard Weitzman read a statement to the press from Michael,
in which he states there was NO wrong-doing from his
part and that he intends to continue his world tour. The molestation story will dominate newspapers, magazines,
and scandal TV shows for many months to come.
On November 9, 1993 Elizabeth Taylor and her then-husband
Larry Fortensky flew to Mexico City to join Michael.
In the meantime, the biggest media hunt had begun.
On November 11, Michael performed his 5th concert in
Mexico to a capacity audience of 100'000. Sadly, this
concert would prove to be the last. After the concert, Michael left Mexico with Elizabeth
Taylor and Larry Fortensky, stopping off in Canada and
Iceland. From there Michael was diverted to Ireland
and finally landed at Luton Airport, England. Elizabeth
Taylor flew on to Gstaad, Switzerland, and the media
hunt for Michael Jackson began.
One day later, on November 12, 1993 Michael announced
that he is cancelling the rest of his tour and that
he is seeking treatment for a dependency on painkillers.
He explains that the stress from the false allegations
made against him caused him to become dependent on the
painkillers to get through the tour.
Michael's whereabouts remain unknown, leaving the media
to speculate widely.
Michael's "Dangerous" World Tour was a tremendous success.
It is the biggest tour any performer had done, breaking
his own record from his "Bad" tour. Michael toured with
the biggest (widest) stage ever (2 floors), worked together
with the magicians Siegfried and Roy and David Copperfield
for the special tricks. Especially the beginning of
the show, the so-called "toaster", where Michael is
catapulted on stage and the end of the show, where "he"
jet-packs out of the stadium, showed once again why
Michael Jackson is the greatest performer of all time!
November 24, 1993 the administration of Michael Jackson's
music catalogue, ATV Music, moved from MCA Music to
EMI Music Publishing. It is reported to be the largest
deal in music publishing's history, earing Michael Jackson
up to US$ 200 million with an up-front payment of US$
On December 10, 1993 Michael proved all the sceptics
wrong by returning home to the United States. On December
22, 1993 Michael took to the airwaves in his own defence.
It's the first time he gives a personal statement on
TV. CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC all carried his statement
broadcast live from his Neverland Valley Ranch. Michael: "I have been forced to submit to a dehumanising
and humiliating examination by the Santa Barbara County
Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Police Department
earlier this week. They served a search warrant on me
which allowed them to view and photograph my body, including
my penis, my buttocks, my lower torso, thighs and any
other areas that they wanted... The warrant also directed
me to co-operate in any examination of my body by their
physician to determine the condition of my skin, including
whether I have Vitiligo or any skin disorder (Michael
already talked about Vitiligo with Oprah. His skin disorder
was officially confirmed now). Throughout my life, I
have only tried to help thousands upon thousands of
children to live happy lives. It brings tears to my
eyes when I see any child who suffers... Don't treat
me like a criminal, because I am innocent!"
On January 26, 1994 after 6 months of hard negotiations,
the lawyers representing both sides in the molestation
case against Michael finally reached agreement. An out
of court settlement, which both sides have been working
towards, is agreed for an undisclosed sum. The nightmare was over!
One day later, on January 27, Reuters News Service reported
that the photos taken of Michael Jackson's genitalia
DID NOT match his accuser's description given to the
police!!! Little coverage was given to this in the press
- whereas months before they had been trashing Michael.
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Jackson 5 Era
Blood On the Dancefloor Era