Top 10 Moments in Life, Career

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 1:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – As legions mourn the King of Pop, Time rounds up the 10 defining moments of his life and career:

  • The Jackson 5 bursts onto the scene in 1968, and its first single, “I Want You Back,” makes it to No. 1.
  • The release of Thriller in 1982 makes Michael Jackson, in the words of Time, "the biggest thing since the Beatles.”

  • In a 1983 Motown TV special, Jackson shows off his single white glove and a little dance called the moonwalk.
  • The "Billie Jean" video of 1984 makes the aforementioned moonwalk iconic.
  • Jackson sets his hair on fire filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984.
  • Jackson secretly marries Lisa Marie Presley in 1994.
  • He buys Neverland ranch in 1987.
  • He dangles his infant son over a hotel balcony railing in 2002 to amuse the press.
  • The disturbing Living With Michael Jackson documentary comes out in 2003.
  • He goes on trial over child molestation charges in 2003 and is acquitted in 2005.