Michael’s timeline : 1983

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

Michael hires Marlon Brando’s son, Miko Bando.

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.

February : Michael goes to London to work on songs with Paul MacCartney. While in London he visits his friend Mark Lester.

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 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 : Jane Fonda & Michael attend the presentation of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ album certified twice platinum at CBS Records in Century City.

Michael gives an interview to Entertainment Tonight.

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! Tom Joyner interviews Michael on the “Beat It” set for Ebony/Jet Celebrity Showcase.

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 tape a performance at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for “Motown 25th: Yesterday, Today & Forever” TV special. For the first time since 1975, all the Jackson brothers including Jermaine & Randy are reunited on stage 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.

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

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.

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” TV special. 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.

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.

Michael meets John Barnes and they start working on new songs such as Buffalo Bill or Liberian Girl.

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.

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.

Michael is presented by CBS with 36 gold and platinum plaques from 19 different countries, all the “Thriller” LP and singles from it, at the San Diego presentation with Quincy Jones, CBS Records Group President Walter Yetnikoff and his staff.

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.

The “Thriller” single is released in Europe.

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 : Michael gives a radio interview to Diane Collins at Hayvenhurst. It’s broadcasted in early 1984 on radio stations around the world. 

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!

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