Michael Jackson 1958-2009

Michael Jackson Remembered

How the child superstar grew into an icon beloved by the world – and the eccentricities that later defined him


It was a close call: While filming a pyrotechnic-heavy commercial for Pepsi at L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium in 1984, Jackson's hair was accidentally set on fire as he performed "Billie Jean." The singer was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was treated for a third-degree burn and a palm-sized second-degree burn on the crown on his head. At the hospital, a flood of messages poured in from fans and friends, including a telegram from a girl that said, "I heard you were hot, Michael, but this is ridiculous."

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters