Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

Michael is baptized a Jeovah’s Witness at the Kingdom Hall of Los Angeles.

Michael hires Marlon Brando’s son, Miko Bando.

Janet meets dancers Terry Bixler & Anthony Thomas during a private dance audition for Thriller at Hayvenhurst. They introduce her to Rene Elizondo Jr and they become friends.

January : Katherine, LaToya, Michael & Janet move back to Hayvenhurst now equipped with a second story to the bedrooms, upstairs a den and a gym, downstairs a game room and a thirty-two-seat movie theatre and off the entry hall, a trophy room.

January 2 : The single “Billie Jean” is released by Epic. It will peak at #1 on Hot 100 Billboard. Michael shoots a short film for the song directed by Steve Barron.

January 10 : “Come Give Your Love To Me” is released as  the 2nd single from “Janet Jackson”. It will peak at #58 on Hot 100 Billboard. Janet does not shoot a video for this single.

January 17 :  Janet attends the American Music Awards

February : Janet is on the cover of Ebony magazine with Different Strokes’ partner Todd Bridges  

Michael goes to London to work on songs with Paul MacCartney.

While in London he visits his friend Mark Lester.

February 04 : LaToya, Janet and Joe Jackson attend the R&B Awards in Los Angeles.

February 5 : In Los Angeles, Janet performs “Say You Do” on Solid Gold.

February 8 :  Michael attends the Brit Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London with Paul & Linda McCartney. He accepts an award on behalf of Barbara Streisand.

February 10 :  In Bremen (Germany), Janet performs “Young Love” on Musikladen.

February 14 :  The single “Beat It” is released by Epic.It will peak at #1 on Hot 100 Billboard.

February 17 : Michael is on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine with exclusive photos and an interview by Gerri Hirchey.

February 25 : At a CBS Records press conference, Jane Fonda presents Michael with a Platinum certification for Thriller.

March : Michael is on the cover of Rock & Soul magazine.

The Jackson do not renew the managing contract of Weisner & DeMann.

March 9 : On Skid Row, east of Hollywood , Michael begins filming the “Beat It”short film , directed by Bob Giraldi & choreographed by Michael Peters with 25 dancers and 50 actual Los Angeles gang members. The video costs $ 150 000!

March 10 : The “Billie Jean” short film is added to MTV’s playlist which is seen as a major breakthrough for a black artist.

March 12 : The co-managing contract between Joe Jackson, Weisner & De Mann expires.

March 20 : Michael & LaToya attend the “Dreamgirls” opening night after party at the Shubert theater in Century City

March 25 : Michael & The Jacksons rehearse for Motown 25th Anniversary Show at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

March 31 : The “Beat It” short film has its world premiere on MTV during prime time. Soon after its premiere the video is also running on other video programs including BET’s Video Soul, SuperStation WTBS’s Night Tracks, and NBC’s Friday Night Videos. In fact, “Beat It” is the first video shown on the latter’s first ever telecast on July 29, 1983.

April 1 : Janet poses with Sammy Davis jr at an unknown event.

April 6 : Michael attends a post concert party for Liza Minnelli at the New Universal Amphitheater, Hollywood with Quincy Jones & David Geffen.

April 9 : All the Jackson brothers (including Jermaine & Randy) rehearse and tape their segment of the Motown 25th Special at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

April 16 : Michael & Samir Kamoun don Charlie Chaplin outfits to pay tribute to him on his birthday.

April 25 : Michael is on the cover of Jet magazine.

April 29 : “Say You Do” is released as the 3rd single from “Janet Jackson”. The song is not charted on Hot 100 Billboard. Janet does not shoot a video for this single.

May 8 : The single “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” is released by Epic. It will peak at #5 on Hot 100 Billboard. Michael does not shoot a video for this single.

May 16 : NBC broadcasts the two hour special “Motown 25th: Yesterday, Today & Forever” featuring for the first time since 1975, a performance of the six Jackson brothers for a medley of the Jackson 5 hits followed by a solo performance of “Billie Jean” during which Michael showcases his first ever public performance of the Moonwalk.

At the end of the show, Michael joins Diana Ross and all the Motown stars on stage to pay tribute to Berry Gordy.

The show is watched by 47 millions Americans and Michaels dancing talents are finally recognised when legends such as Fred Astaire & Gene Kelly call him and congratulate his performance.

“Love Is My Best Friend” is released at the 4th single from “Janet Jackson”. Janet does not shoot a video for this single.

June : Michael is on the cover of Creem magazine.

Member of The Jacksons World Fan-Club receive an improvised and unreleased song from the group named “The Surprise Song”. The Jacksons reveal that they are working on a brand new album and world tour.

June 22 : Michael decides not to renew his managing contract with Joe, Weisner & DeMann.

July : Michael is rumoured to work with Steven Spielberg on a new adapatation of the children fairy tale Peter Pan.

July 12 : The single Human Nature is released by Epic. It will peak at #7 on Hot 100 Billboard. Michael does not shoot a video for this single.

July 1 : Latoya and Michael attend the Black Radio Exclusive Convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

July 9 : Michael appears on the cover of the teenage magazine Top.

July 18 : “Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” is released at the 5th and final single from the album “Janet Jackson”. Janet does not shoot a video for this single.

August 14 : Michael attends David Bowie’s “Serious Moonlinght” concert at the Forum in LA. Backstage he poses with David Bowie, Bette Midler and Cher.

August 20 : Pre-production begins on the Thriller short film directed by John Landis & choreographed by Michael Peters.

Michael attends a James Brown’s concert at the Beverly Theatre and James invites him on stage to sing and dance! Later that night Prince also comes on stage.

September : It is announced that The Jacksons will tour the US in 1984.

Michael is on the cover of Black Beat magazine.

September 6 : Michael signs an agreement through his production company Optimum Productions, that will pay John Landis 50 per cent of net profits from both the Thriller video and the documentary.

September 19 : The single “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Things)” is released by Epic and it features Janet & Latoya doing background vocals. It will peak at #10 on Hot 100 Billboard. Michael does not shoot a video for this single.

September 25 : Michael’s performance at the Motown 25th is shown at the Emmy Awards Ceremony where it is nominated but does not win.

September 30 : The Jacksons sign boxing tycoon, Don King, as promoter of their forthcoming tour.

October : Michael is on the cover of People, Interview, Globe & Rock & Soul magazines.

October 3 : A new duet between Michael & Paul MacCartney named “Say Say Say” is released by Columbia Records. It will peak at #1 on Hot 100 Billboard.

Michael & Paul shoot the video in Santa Ynez Valley (California) with cameo appearances by Latoya Jackson & Linda Mac Cartney! During the filming, Michael stays at Sycamore Valley Ranch who will one day become his Neverland Valley Ranch.

October 11-20 : Michael shoots the “Thriller “short film in Los Angeles. Jackie Kennedy Onassis visits him on the set and has dinner at Hayvenhurst.

November : Michael & Diana Ross are on the cover of Ebony.

Michael & Quincy return to the Westlake studios to make an interview about Thriller.

November 11: A $5 million endorsement contract is signed between The Jacksons & Pepsi Cola involving sponsorship of the Victory Tour & two TV commercials.

November 14 : Michael attends the premiere of the Thriller short film with a private audience at the Crest Theater in Los Angeles. In attendance were Diana RossWarren BeattyPrinceEddie Murphy and many more “A-list” stars. Michael stays in the projection booth so that others such as actress Ola Ray could bask in the attention. 

November 30 : Michael attends a press conference at New York’s Tavern On The Green to announce plans for the Victory Tour. He is accompanied by his parents & sisters (in the audience) plus his brothers and a young boy named Emmanuel Lewis (star of the TV show Webster). During the conference Don King announce The Jacksons’s Victory Tour sponsored by Pepsi.

December 2 : The 14 minutes short film of Thriller is premiered on MTV.

December 8 : Michael leaves for New York to promote the “Thriller” short film.

Michael & Paul Mac Cartney are on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine (not a photo but a drawing of them)

December 14 : “The Making Of Thriller” is released on VHS and it will become the most biggest selling music video of all time!

Previous year : 1982

Following year : 1984

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