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

KING OF POP:
DANGER ON SET

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."