As a child star with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson displayed showbiz savvy well beyond his years. He was only 11 in 1970 when the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” hit Number One and sold more than two million copies. As a solo artist, Michael soared beyond the stardom he’d known with the Jacksons. The music on his records was sleek, polished dance-pop. Thriller became one of the biggest albums in pop history, earning him a record eight Grammys and more than 150 gold and platinum awards. Jackson’s spectacular celebrity transformed him into the global icon of the 1980s. On March 3, 1983, Jackson performed “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25th anniversary celebration at the Los Angeles Civic Center, and he debuted his signature moonwalk dance. Later that year MTV began playing the song’s video. It marked the first time the cable network had put a video by an African-American artist into heavy rotation. Michael Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1997 and as a solo artist in 2001.
The exhibit includes Michael Jackson’s signature glove, worn during the performance of “Billie Jean” on his Dangerous tour, as well as the mask he wore for “Thriller” on the same tour and the jacket he wore in the video of the song.The exhibit includes numerous stage outfits worn by Jackson, including the ones he wore during performances of “Billie Jean”, the video of “Bad”, and a Jackson 5 outfit. Also included in the exhibit is one of Michael Jackson’s 1984 Grammy Awards.