Jackson’s ‘King of Pop’ moniker didn’t actually originate in the ‘Thriller’ era. He embraced the term in 1991 around the time ‘Dangerous’ was released.
Jackson spent a lot of time on the set of 1981’s ‘On Golden Pond’ with stars Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn right before making ‘Thriller’. He became so close to Hepburn he thanked her personally at the Grammys when ‘Thriller’ won best album.
“Billie Jean” was inspired by a real life crazed Jackson fan, who accused the singer of being the father of “one of her twins.”
The tiger cub featured on the iconic ‘Thriller’ album cover died of lung cancer in June.
Michael Peters, the late choreographer behind “Beat It” and “Thriller”, also choreographed the original Broadway incarnation of ‘Dreamgirls’.
‘Thriller’ was largely inspired by the lack of critical recognition Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ received. While that 1979 was a huge hit, it only scored one Grammy nomination.
“At the height of the song’s popularity, MTV would run the 14-minute ‘Thriller’ video twice an hour,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
The famous “Mama-say mama-sah ma-ma-coo-sah” chant from “Wanna Be Startin’ Somthin'” actually comes from Manu Dibango’s 1972 disco song “Soul Makossa”. Dibango sued Jackson over the lyric and the two settled out of court.
Jackson was inspired by hire Landis (and make-up artist Rick Baker) after seeing his cult 1981 horror film ‘An American Werewolf in London’. Ironically Jackson had never seen Landis’ biggest hits at the time: ‘Animal House’ and ‘Trading Places’
The song “Thriller” was originally titled “Starlight”
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Thirty years ago today Michael Jackson’s greatest masterpiece, Thriller, was released in record stores.
The history of this album is fairly well known. It became the biggest selling album in both American and international history, with over 110 million copies and counting.
It also revolutionized the art form of music videos and cemented Jackson’s status as one of the most beloved and acclaimed artists of all time.
But there still may be some facts you don’t know about the blockbuster R&B classic.
Check out this slideshow, which pays homage to King of Pop’s biggest released triumph.