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Timeline : Michael Jackson

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March 3, 2019

Undeterred by a lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's estate, HBO airs the first part of the 4-hour documentary Leaving Neverland, leveling new accusations of child abuse at Jackson 10 years after his death. In the aftermath, many distance themselves from Jackson: The Simpsons pulls his episode, and some radio stations drop him from playlists.

December 10, 2010

Michael Jackson's first posthumous album, Michael, is released.

October 12, 2009

Michael Jackson's from-the-vaults track "This Is It" is released as a promotional single to accompany the concert documentary of the same name. It's the first release since his death in June.More

August 29, 2009

Two months after Michael Jackson's death on what would have been his 51st birthday, 13,597 people in Mexico City perform the Thriller dance, establishing a new Guinness World Record.

July 7, 2009

After a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, Michael Jackson's public funeral is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Most TV networks cover the event, where Kobe Bryant, Mariah Carey, Andrae Crouch Choir, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Brooke Shields, Usher and Stevie Wonder all participate.More

June 25, 2009

Fifty-year-old Michael Jackson is found dead in the Los Angeles mansion he is renting. The shocking news spreads quickly through social media outlets, and Jackson is the subject of numerous tributes over the next few weeks.More

October 31, 2008

In Notttingham, England, 1,227 people in zombie garb perform the dance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, setting a new Guinness World Record for largest gathering of zombies. The stunt pushes the song back into the UK chart, where it lands at #35.

June 13, 2005

After a five-month trial, Michael Jackson is cleared of all charges of child molestation.

April 21, 2004

Michael Jackson is officially charged with child molestation after a California grand jury determines there is enough evidence to proceed with allegations made against him for time spent at his Neverland Ranch.

November 20, 2003

After returning to his Neverland home following a raid on it a few days before, and in response to an arrest warrant, Michael Jackson is charged with child molestation in Santa Barbara, California. The singer is immediately released after posting three million dollars' bail.

November 4, 1998

Michael Jackson announces that wife Debbie Rowe is pregnant with his first child, denying tabloid reports that Rowe was paid to be artificially impregnated and carry the child to term.

February 13, 1997

Michael Jackson's first child, a son named Prince, is born. The mother is his second wife, Debbie Rowe, who later relinquishes custody.

February 19, 1996

During Michael Jackson's performance of "Earth Song" at the 1996 BRIT Awards, Jarvis Cocker of the band Pulp jumps on stage and makes demeaning gestures toward Jackson. Cocker says he did it because Jackson was "pretending to be Jesus."More

January 18, 1996

Lisa Marie Presley files for divorce from Michael Jackson.

September 2, 1995

Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" becomes the first song to debut at #1 on the Hot 100. In the video, Jackson and his wife, Lisa Marie Presley, appear topless.More

September 8, 1994

Nearly four months after tying the knot in a secret ceremony in the Dominican Republic, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley make their first public appearance as a married couple at the MTV Video Music Awards, where Jackson infamously plants a sloppy smooch on his bride.More

May 26, 1994

Michael Jackson marries Lisa Marie Presley, the child of Elvis, in a secret ceremony held in the Dominican Republic. The couple divorce 20 months later, citing irreconcilable differences.More

August 21, 1993

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is raided by police after a child who stayed there comes forward with allegations of molestation. Jackson lets police strip search him, which he finds very humiliating. No charges are filed, but Jackson will later deal with more allegations.

November 14, 1991

Michael Jackson's "Black Or White" music video, directed by John Landis, debuts simultaneously on MTV, BET and Fox - a strategic move that marks his ascension to the pop throne. The 11-minute clip, however, lands Jackson in hot water with viewers who complain about his excessive crotch-grabbing and gratuitous displays of violence.More

November 11, 1991

Per Michael Jackson's wishes, one week before his controversial "Black Or White" music video airs, a memo circulates at MTV instructing the network's on-air personnel to refer to Jackson as the King of Pop at least twice a week during the next two weeks.More

March 20, 1991

Michael Jackson signs the largest contract renewal in history to the time, inking a $65 million deal with Sony.

July 2, 1988

Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana" hits #1 on the Hot 100, making him the first artist to score five #1 singles from the same album (Bad).

March 19, 1988

Michael Jackson begins construction on his 2,800-acre ranch and private amusement park in Santa Barbara, California, which he names "Neverland" after a fantasy location in his favorite book, Peter Pan, a place where children never grow up.

August 14, 1985

Three years after their duet "The Girl Is Mine," Paul McCartney advises Michael Jackson to invest in publishing. Jackson makes a winning bid of $47.5 million for the rights to over 250 Lennon-McCartney Beatles songs owned by ATV publishing, which turns out to be a great investment, but kills their friendship.More

November 20, 1984

Michael Jackson is awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame directly in front of Mann's famous Chinese Theatre, creating the largest-ever crowd for such an unveiling.

October 30, 1984

Less than two years after its release, the RIAA certifies Michael Jackson's Thriller album with sales of 20 million copies in America, introducing a new designation, "Double Diamond." The stratospheric sales of Thriller are unprecedented, and keep climbing to well over 30 million. It isn't until 1994 when another album gets the Double Diamond designation, and that's a greatest hits package: Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971 - 1975.

May 19, 1984

The song "Thriller" falls off the Hot 100, ending a run of hits from the Thriller album that started on November 6, 1982, when "The Girl Is Mine" entered the tally. In that stretch, only two weeks went by without a Thriller song on the chart.

February 28, 1984

Michael Jackson is the big winner at the Grammy Awards, winning eight trophies, including Album of the Year for Thriller and Record of the Year for "Beat It." He makes the ceremony despite being injured the previous day when his hair caught fire shooting a Pepsi commercial.More

January 27, 1984

At the peak of his popularity, Michael Jackson films an ad for Pepsi that goes horribly wrong when some stray pyro sets his hair on fire.More

December 2, 1983

Michael Jackson's 14-minute "Thriller" video debuts on MTV. Directed by John Landis, the short film shows Michael Jackson turning into a werewolf and leading a dance routine with various undead creatures.More

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