25 Rare Facts About Michael Jackson You Didn't Know
We know you're the first to Jam whenever Thriller comes on and you're a Smooth Criminal on the dance floor... but if you think you know everything about the King of Pop - think again! Here are 25 rare facts about Michael Jackson that you didn't know before this...
1. Ok, we'll start you off with something easy. It won't come as a surprise that Michael Jackson is the most awarded artist of all time. With 23 Guinness World Records, 40 Billboard Awards, 13 Grammys, and 26 American Music Awards, he's won more awards than any other artist alive or deceased. The Guinness World Records even made the "highest-earning deceased artist" category after him!
2. Michael Jackson fancied himself as Spiderman! When Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy in the 90s, Michael tried to buy the company so he could fulfil his dream to play the leading role. However, it didn't go to plan and Tobey Maguire stepped up to play Peter Parker instead.
3. Ever the optimist, Michael Jackson refused to let his dream of becoming a Marvel superhero go. When the X-Men movie franchise was announced, he tried to nab the role as Charles Xavier (aka Professor X). The casting director thought otherwise and this later went to Patrick Stewart.
4. We all know about the fire incident that happened during the filming of a Pepsi advert. His hair caught alight when a scheduled explosion fired too early which resulted in second and third degree burns to his face and scalp. But it's a little known fact that Michael Jackson wore wigs from 1984 onward. Rumour has it, he even had his hairline permanently tattooed onto his head after the accident.
5. Whilst he didn't invent the dance move, Michael Jackson was best known for his moonwalk. As much as it looked like he could defy gravity in Smooth Criminal, this was actually created by a very special pair of shoes that involved hooking retractable pegs with a slot in the heels. It was so special, Michael had the design patented to dissuade impersonators from recreating the move.
6. Michael Jackson was the first black artist to air on MTV with his music video for Billie Jean.
7. Remember the incredible costumes in the Thriller music video? They were all thrifted from the Salvation Army!
8. Now, Thriller is quite possibly the most iconic music video to have ever graced our screens - but it nearly didn't make the cut. Michael demanded the whole thing to be scrapped when Jehovah's Witnesses threatened to banish him when they found out about the video idea. Michael Jackson later agreed for filming to continue but added a disclaimer at the start to say, "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult."
9. The love interest in Thriller was Ola Ray, a Playboy Playmate who apparently tried to proposition Michael when they were filming the music video.
10. Michael Jackson was a big animal lover and his most famous pet was Bubbles the chimpanzee. Bubbles was adopted from a Texan research facility and the pair soon became inseparable. The duo walked down red carpets, made public appearances together and ate at the same dinner table every night. Bubbles was even taught how to do the moonwalk! Whether it was due to puberty or the effects from Prince Jackson's birth, Bubbles had to be given away as he became more and more aggressive as he grew older. Bubbles now resides in Florida and has been there since 2005.
11. Ever wondered what Michael Jackson's favourite takeaway was? Turns out it was Mexican! Like us, he couldn't resist a burrito and tacos.
12. Nicole Ritchie and Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb's son Michael were Michael Jacksons's godchildren.
13. Michael Jackson planned for a huge Vegas comeback in 2005. Much like his other shows, this one wasn't going to be done in half measures. The initial idea was to have a 50 ft tall Michael Jackson robot roam through the Nevada desert. The plan was later revised to have a Michael Jackson–themed hotel and casino in the City of Sin but the ideas were scrapped when the star was unable to gather the funds required for the project.
14. Britney Spears was a big fan of Michael Jackson and took inspiration from the Thriller music video for her "It's Britney, Witch" comedy skit with Radio 1.
15. Try and spot this the next time you're in LA. Michael Jackson has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for himself and one for the Jackson 5.
16. Certain radio stations refused to play songs from a black artist and it was reported that Beat It was only played due to Van Halen's guitar solo on the track. In fact, Van Halen loved the song so much - he recorded his guitar solo free of charge!
17. Remember *that* story about Michael Jackson living in an oxygen changer to defy ageing? It was actually a made-up story that Michael himself had leaked to the press.
18. As it turns out, Billie Jean was actually based on a true story when an obsessive fan claimed Michael Jackson was the father of her child. Where's Billie Jean now?
19. Michael Jackson's favourite animated character was Pinocchio.
20. Aside from his chimpanzees Bubbles and Max, Michael Jackson also owned two llamas called Louis and Lola and a ram called Mr Tibbs.
21. Martin Scorcese directed the music video for Bad. Scorcese is most famous for his films Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Wolf of Wall Street.
22. On the day he passed away (June 25th, 2009) Wikipedia, Twitter and AOL all simultaneously crashed at 3:15PM.
23. This would've made our bills way more interesting. An island in the Caribbean once created Michael Jackson stamps.
24. Jackson allegedly racked up a $1 million worth of library fines - how many books did he borrow?!
25. The residents of Gabon, Ivory Coast gave Michael Jackson a royal title - which effectively made him a king in the village.
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