This month marks the two-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death. Though the King of Pop passed away June 25, 2009 at the age of 50, he left behind an incomparable body of work, one that stands among the greatest contributions to entertainment of the past century.
It's okay if you're one of the people who made fun of "Jacko" when he was alive and didn't truly appreciate the guy until the world lost him. But even if you believe he molested children (I personally think that was a false, money-grabbing ploy by some kids' parents), made jokes about his chameleon skin tone and plastic surgeries, or just generally rolled your eyes at his antics (whether it was palling around with a monkey or making his children wear masks in public), you can't deny that Michael Jackson was, is, and will always be one of the greatest entertainers on Earth. Even Motown founder Barry Gordy, who's seen his share of enormous talent, called Jackson "the greatest entertainer that ever lived" during Jackson's memorial service.
Michael Jackson did things that no one else has done. He released the best-selling album of all-time (Thriller
), is the only pop or rock star to be inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame, has won more American Music Awards than any other artist (26), and had more #1 singles in the U.S. than any other male artist (13). And no other artist has (or could) sell out ten shows in London in less than two hours (which Jackson did before his death).
So whatever you think of Michael Jackson, you can't deny the man was a superstar, and will be an enduring pop icon forever. His influence echoes through the songs and dances of every single pop star from Justin Timberlake to Britney Spears to Lady Gaga, and that's never going to end.
Neither will the tributes. In fact, there's one coming up at the Marquee Theatre on Wednesday, June 15, dubbed "Who's Bad: A Tribute to Michael Jackson."
As our own tribute to the late King of Pop, we bring you four videos that show rarely-seen sides of Michael Jackson, from his tap dancing skills to his Pepsi commercials.
This Jackson 5 performance of "I Want You Back" fromAmerican Bandstand
isn't obscure, but it's still an awesome reminder of where the MJ phenomenon started.
We all know Michael Jackson could dance, but if you've never seen him tap dancing and doing Fred Astaire-like ball room dance moves, check out his suave steps with sister Latoya from this old television program.
Jackson rewrote the lyrics for "Billie Jean" for this Pepsi commercial, which features an adorable crew of little Michael Jackson impersonators dancing in the streets.
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This clip showcases some of Jackson's most stunning dance moves.
Need more MJ? Check out the Who's Bad tribute at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Wednesday, June 15. Click here for more information.