There’s no doubt that Michael Jackson was an innovator and an icon but his legendary status didn’t come without many scandals. Take a look back at Michael’s most controversial moments and remember the time:
14. “Artist Of The Millennium Award”
In 2002 at the MTV Video Music Awards Britney Spears presented a birthday cake to him for his 44th birthday and Michael thought that he was receiving a non-existent Artist of the Millennium Award.” Michael gave a speech: “When I was a little boy growing up in Indiana if someone told me I’d be getting the Artist of the Millennium award, I’d never have believed it.”
13. The Elephant Man’s Bones
12. Buying Out Paul McCartney
Michael Jackson made one of the smartest moves in 1985 by outbidding Paul McCartney on the rights to The Beatles catalog. At the end of the day Michael did sever a professional relationship and friendship with McCartney but generated a large sum of money from the purchase. Too bad he had to sell back the archive to Sony later on.
11. The Hyperbaric Chamber
10. Hair Burning
While filming a Pepsi commercial with his brothers in 1984 some on set fireworks set his hair ablaze causing second degree burns.
9. Date With Madonna
Yes, Michael Jackson dated Madonna once upon a time. The King of Pop hooking up with the Queen of Pop was probably a publicity stunt but it was one of his most memorable moments as well. At the 1991 Oscars the couple arrived to the show together.
8. Music Videos
Many of Michael Jackson’s music videos sparked controversy. The video for “Thriller” contained imagery of zombies and the death, which clashed with Jackson’s Jehovah Witness upbringing. After the video premiered he added a disclaimer before the video. Also, the video for “Black Or White” was banned and then re-edited after it premiered because of a violent scene at the end of the video where Michael smashes a car and grabs his crotch.
7. Performing In A Strip Club
Way back when, before anyone knew who Michael Jackson or The Jackson 5 were, they boys performed some of their first shows in a strip club in between acts.
6. Micheal’s Pets: Bubbles & More
Michael had some interesting pets at Neverland Ranch. He had a llama named Louie and most famously a monkey named Bubbles.
5. Kiss With Lisa Marie
At the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards Michael Jackson and then wife Lisa Marie Presley shared an onstage kiss that shocked everyone.
4. Martin Bashir Interview
Martin Bashir’s controversial 2003 documentary brought to the forefront a lot of Michael’s bizarre behavior and more details on his relationship with the children he cares for through his foundation.
3. Baby Dangling
Michael Jackson’s kids seemed to never have normal lives. His oldest children, Prince and Paris have been seen wearing strange masks most of their lives and hardly appear in public. The most bizarre moment with his children is when he dangled baby Blanket over a balcony in Germany.
2. Plastic Surgery
1. Child Abuse Allegations
The most shocking of all Michael’s moments are the child abuse cases that he became involved with in 1993 and then in the 2000s. The first case he settled out of court and then in the second case he was acquitted.