Michael Jackson

Celebrating Michael Jackson’s Legacy as a Musician, Performer and Dancer

2. Solo Career with Off The Wall and Thriller

It took until his fifth studio album for Michael to branch off from his strong image and sound associated with The Jackson Five. Off The Wall not only reached top three on the US Billboard 200, it also sold 20 million copies worldwide. The late ’70s was a critical pinpoint as to when Michael skyrocketed to recognition and success. It was obvious that Michael and his producer Quincy Jones were a perfect pair. On this album, the duo created hits like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock With You.”

Only a few years later, Thriller was released. Recognized as the best-selling album of all time, Thriller has sold 47 million copies worldwide. This Quincy/Jackson collaboration proved the power and talents of the two. It’s hard to believe that one album holds so many recognizable and incredible songs: “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Beat It” and “Human Nature.” The album even included “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” — “Thriller,” which became known as an instant Halloween classic and “Billie Jean,” which made Michael the first black artist to have a video and song playing on heavy rotation on MTV, opening doors for people of color in media and music.

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