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101 Facts About Michael Jackson

101 MJ Facts

To celebrate Michael’s 54th birthday tomorrow, some random facts and trivia about Michael:

  1. Michael helped launch the careers of Wesley Snipes [Bad Video], Weird Al [parody “Eat It”], Sheryl Crow [Bad Tour singer], Alfonso Ribiero [1984 Pepsi commercial].
  2. Wesley Snipes said that he once spent three hours speaking with Michael “about metaphysics, psychology, ‘how the black man is treated,'” saying, “people don’t know about Mike on the real, Mike had a consciousness that could blow your mind and he could recite things that could blow your mind as well.” [Source]
  3. Michael went skinny dipping with Jane Fonda in 1981. [Source]
  4. Michael has directly intervened in at least two attempted suicides, Janet’s husband James Debarge in the mid 80s who threatened to jump from their roof [Source], and a fan who was threatening to jump off the roof of a hotel across from him in 1992. [Source]
  5. When Michael heard his friend and burn victim, Dave Dave, had attempted suicide because he felt his life wasn’t worth living, Michael hired him at Neverland to run odd jobs, to ensure he would feel as if his life had meaning. [Source]
  6. A friend of Michael’s in the 90s suspected Michael was having an affair with his wife because Michael would spend so long on the phone talking to her, so he set about taping the phone conversations and his son ended up selling them in 2005. [Source]
  7. Michael wanted to sign Lauryn Hill after seeing her in Sister Act 2, but she was already signed with the Fugees. [Source]
  8. Michael had a library of 10,000 books and one of Michael’s favorites was Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. Michael recommended this book to people like Kobe Bryant, Anthony Jackson, Frank Cascio. [Source]
  9. Michael’s family had a jokey nickname for him, “Doodoohead”, Lisa Marie had her own tongue in cheek take on that, “Turd,” which MJ would sign some of his notes to her as. [Source]
  10. At an after party in 1974 Michael taught David Bowie the Robot. [Source]
  11. One of the only happy memories Michael says he has of his father was of Joe buying the kids donuts to eat because he knew Michael liked them. In the Give In To Me demo Michael sings, “love is a donut.” [Source]
  12. Michael was a notoriously bad driver, Janet said he drove like Ray Charles.
  13. When Michael took off his sunglasses at the 1984 Grammys one fan yelled from the balcony, “Take it all off!”
  14. Some of Michael’s disguises: a fat suit, beard and dark make up, prosthetics, a Sheikh outfit, and covered in bandages. [Photos]
  15. Michael would write all over things, like on the back of paintings, clocks, mirrors, jewelery boxes, tables, figurines and stick notes all over his walls.
  16. Not realizing he was being taped, Michael can be seen flicking through a Playboy during an interview when he was 12. [Source]
  17. Michael was always visiting the Playboy Mansion in the 80s, when LaToya asked him why he was there so much, he said it was “to see the animals.” [Source]
  18. Director of Thriller John Landis didn’t think Michael knew what a Playboy even was, though Michael would go on to tell Ola Ray that he chose her because he’d seen her Playboy photos. Ola had also listed him as her favorite singer during the 1980 shoot. [Source]
  19. Michael once had a giraffe at his home in Encino but the neighbors complained so they had to get rid of it. [Source]
  20. Lisa has said she wouldn’t have married him if the sex hadn’t been good and that he was the one who made the moves with her. [Source]
  21. Michael’s kiss with Lisa Marie at the 1994 MTV awards was not his first public kiss. He’d kissed a fan at a concert in 1981, been kissed by the costar of The Way You Make Me Feel onstage in 1988 and kissed Iman in Remember The Time in 1992.
  22. Michael would wear the color red a lot because he felt it gave him energy.
  23. He had a whole wardrobe full of red shirts/black pants which he would wear all the time, one of the reasons why was so that it would make photographs of him worth less as it would be hard for anyone buying a magazine to see the difference between photos from different weeks.
  24. Michael would always dance in the studio while recording music, a lot of the percussive sounds he made while dancing were worked into the songs. [Source]
  25. Michael was good friends with Sammy Davis Jnr, who considered Michael like a son to him. His daughter once walked in on Sammy, Jesse Jackson and Michael praying in his office to give thanks for putting Sammy’s cancer into remission.[Source]
  26. Many people have said Michael had a photographic memory. He could remember names, stories, info relating to encounters with people many years before.
  27. Michael had initially turned down doing the 1993 Superbowl performance, and only agreed to do it once they agreed to donate his $100,000 fee to charity. At this, other sponsors then chipped in until the donations reached $2,000,000. [Source]
  28. Michael wasn’t often home at Neverland but would always keep it running so that sick children, children from inner city schools in LA and children from the Los Olivos area could visit it in his absence. 
  29. Billie Jean was reportedly inspired by a fan who claimed Michael was the father of one of her twins, when Michael ignored her she sent him a photograph of herself and a gun, that she told him to use on himself on a certain date. Michael was so scared of her he carried this woman’s photo everywhere, memorizing it in case he ever saw her. [Source]
  30. After the song came out another mentally unstable fan would change her name to Billie Jean and spend her entire life stalking him, staging regular break ins to both Encino and Neverland, suing him for spousal support and even after his death, suing and demanding custody of his children. [Source]
  31. When LaToya did Playboy Michael told a friend that at least people would finally stop saying that they were the same person. [Source]
  32. Muhammad Ali had been a friend of the Jacksons and Michael since the 70s [Source], he and Michael bonded especially over their mutual love for magic tricks. [Source]
  33. When Michael heard Magic Johnson had HIV he made sure to hire him for a role in his video, Remember The Time. [Source]
  34. Michael’s Billie Jean video broke the racial barrier on MTV. Prior to that no black artist had ever been put on medium or heavy rotation. But this was no easy feat, despite Thriller being a huge success at the time in order to get the video on MTV CBS owner Walter Yetnikoff had to threaten to pull the entire CBS music catalog from their station if they wouldn’t play it. [Source]
  35. In Michael’s bedroom they found an article on the G spot and another on the Second G Spot. [Source]
  36. Some of his internet logins were: BigMike, Privacy696, Tut777, Dr Black. [Source]
  37. Michael had a large photo of Diana Ross’ picture from the cover of When Fools Rush In on his bathroom wall at Hayvenhurst. [Source]
  38. Michael knew how much his sister LaToya wanted to take their mother to Europe, so in the early 80s Michael got them both tickets and an envelope, inside was $10,000 spending money and a note with the lyrics from one of Katherine’s favorite songs, Moon River. [Source]
  39. Michael was a secret biker; he owned a Harley and would ride it around late at night in parks. It had to be in secret or else it could jeopardize his insurance. [Source]
  40. He also gave his second wife Debbie Rowe, another ardent biker, a bike after they married, and included her in a painting in 1991 with black biker wings. [Source]
  41. Michael used to steal his mother’s jewelry and give them to his favorite female teachers as gifts in elementary school. [Source]
  42. Michael said he would only buy jewelry for three people: his mother, Elizabeth Taylor, and for any girl he was interested in at the time. Michael gave Elizabeth Taylor a 17 carat gold diamond ring, Brooke Shields an 11 carat and Lisa Marie Presley a 10 carat ring.
  43. One of Michael’s favorite gifts to people during the late 80s/early 90s was huge big screen TVs, two of the people gifted them were Jackie O and Elizabeth Taylor. When delivering Jackie O the TV they had to dismantle it first to get it inside the elevator.
  44. Freddie Mercury would refer to Michael as “little brother.” [Source]
  45. Michael was an opening act for strippers as a five year old.
  46. While being driven to a show Michael once saw prostitutes standing on a street corner in 1984, he thought they looked good so he stuck out his white gloved hand and waved to them, then stuck his head out to confirm it had been him, leaving them shell shocked while he drove off laughing.[Source]
  47. Michael is King of an African village in Gabon on the Ivory Coast. They claim he’s had his DNA tested and has been found to have descended from the area. [Source]
  48. After Michael bought the Sony catalog in the mid 80s he gave Little Richard back the rights to his songs. [Source]
  49. Michael helped pay for the funeral of Temptation’s lead singer David Ruffin. [Source]
  50. In 1984, a U.S. library accused Jackson of owing it over $1 million in overdue book fines. Officials said they would scrap the fines if he returned the books autographed.
  51. Michael enjoyed plays on words and used them in his songs, like Streetwalker which is slang for prostitutes, In The Closet which is slang for gay men who aren’t public about it (reversing it and making it about a secret relationship he had with a girl), and Eaten Alive, which seems to be a play on oral sex on a woman.
  52. He wrote Eaten Alive and Muscles for Diana Ross. Muscles was the name of Michael’s large… python.
  53. Michael had an albino python named after Madonna in the early 90s. [Source]
  54. At the Oscars in 1991 Madonna and Michael’s entrance at an after party caused such a scene that even celebrities like movie legend Jimmy Stewart stood on a chair to get a good look at them. [Source]
  55. Lisa Marie was so devastated by his death that she went to see a psychic to contact him on her birthday the first year after he passed. [Source]
  56. Liza Minnelli and Flo Anthony have said Michael proposed to a non famous woman with an African name before Lisa Marie Presley, she turned him down and he was devastated. [Source]
  57. To keep the women Michael was seeing a secret Michael would give them code names. [Source]
  58. Michael had wanted to get the roles of Spiderman [Source], Edward Scissorhands [Source] and the Phantom of the Opera [Source].
  59. Stan Lee has said that Michael was a friend of his and described him as “one of the nicest guys ever.” [Source]
  60. Michael was one of the few people who intimidated Freddie Mercury.
  61. When Freddie Mercury and Michael did some demos at Michael’s place, he didn’t have a proper drum kit, so Freddie’s assistant took a mic into Michael’s toilet and used the toilet door there for percussion.
  62. In August 1993 Michael was in Bangkok with his Dangerous World Tour sponsored by Pepsi. The second concert got cancelled because Michael was suffering from acute dehydration. Next day the rescheduled concert got cancelled again because Michael had not fully recovered. Pepsi’s rival run ads reading ‘Dehydrated? There’s Always Coke.’
  63. The gold leotard Michael wears during his Dangerous World Tour is actually a fencing outfit and was designed by Versace. [Source]
  64. Michael wore the white glove to disguise the beginnings of his vitiligo. [Source] Michael’s eldest son now also  suffers from that same rare skin disorder, with it also beginning on his hand. [Source]
  65. As well as vitiligo, Michael suffered from discoid lupus, another autoimmune disorder. [Source]
  66. Michael once told a friend he wore the mask because he felt ugly sometimes. [Source]
  67. Michael called scouting for hot women “fishing” so that people around him wouldn’t know what he was talking about. [Source]
  68. At its peak Thriller was selling 1 million copies a week. [Source]
  69. Eddie Van Halen performed his Beat It solo for Michael for free. [Source]
  70. Some music you might not have expected Michael to be a fan of: Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Guns’n’Roses, Jimmi Hendrix, Yes. One of Michael’s favorite songs was Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Yes, he even samples it in D.S and had Trevor Rabin play some things on They Don’t Care About Us. [Source]
  71. Michael had a lamb named after a character Sidney Poitier played, Mr Tibbs.
  72. Michael loved playing phone pranks on people, and would often dial random numbers and prank them without their ever knowing it was him, as well as doing it to his friends.
  73. Michael drank a lot of Red Bull and ate a lot of KFC.
  74. Michael once showed up a party PDiddy was throwing just to meet the “girl with the derriere” aka Beyonce and dance with her. [Source]
  75. The demo title for the song “Bad” was “Pee”, likely because it was due to be a collaboration with the musician Prince and “Pee” was code for his initial “P”. [Source]
  76. There are two naming traditions in the Jackson family: naming a son after yourself and the name Prince. There is a Jackson son named after every male member of the Jackson family (Sigmund, Marlon, Toriano, Stevana/Randy, Jermaine), and Michael had a grandfather and great grandfather named Prince. This is why Michael named his sons as such.
  77. Many of Michael’s most famous outfits are borrowed. His black sequin cardigan for Billie Jean was something he took from his mother, his white Thriller suit was something he asked to borrow from the photographer, and many others.
  78. This seemed to rub off on Blanket, once when a fan asked Michael to autograph his hat, Michael said that Blanket liked it and asked if he could keep it, so in exchange Michael and Blanket signed Blanket’s tee shirt and gave it to him [Source]
  79. Star of the first season of America’s Next Top Model, Giselle Samson, was featured in men’s magazine “Stuff” in early 2003 during the show and she said there that she idolized Michael; reading this, Michael then gave her a call and invited her to Neverland. [Source]
  80. Michael believed dancing and music was a way the universe had of expressing itself. [Source]
  81. Michael was a huge fan of art, especially the Renaissance artists and the Pre-Raphaelites.
  82. Lionel Richie’s band the Commodores were a support act for the Jackson 5 when Michael was just 12.
  83. As a kid on tour Michael would prank Lionel with itching powder in his hats, ice in his shoes, and buckets of water over his door. Lionel says the Commodores staged a pillow fight with the Jacksons in revenge for all their pranks. [Source]
  84. Michael was fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians and Tutankhamen, one of his online email addresses was even KingTut777.[Source]
  85. Michael once had the police called out in 1989 because he was wearing a disguise while shopping for a ring and they suspected he was a possible thief. [Source]
  86. Michael was detained while driving his Rolls Royce in 1981 because they thought his car looked “stolen.” Michael later told his mother he was just excited to have been inside a police cell. [Source]
  87. Michael loved the album What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, and kept the sleeve framed on a shelf in Encino.[Source]
  88. Michael believed Stevie Wonder was a “musical prophet” and was there throughout a lot of the taping of his album, Songs In The Key Of Life. [Source]
  89. Sometimes Michael would go out in disguise during Halloween trick or treating with friends and his kids and it would be the one time of the year he could blend in.
  90. In 2008 while at a Halloween party with his kids, people thought he was a Michael Jackson impersonator and played Thriller when he walked in. [Source]
  91. Marlon Brando’s son was a bodyguard and close friend to Michael throughout his life. He can even be spotted in the cinema watching the movie with him during Thriller. [Source]
  92. Michael loved the PBS documentary about Jack Johnson and the racism he endured, “Unforgivable Blackness”.
  93. Michael has had fans break in and stalk him relentlessly throughout the years. Some would be found sleeping in his loft, his kitchen, his bushes, by his garbage, would park outside his house and sleep there, others would turn up at Neverland with suitcases announcing they were about to move in before the police would be called. When Michael found one fan who had been living in his kitchen, Michael let her have something to eat with him before his bodyguards took her away.
  94. Michael’s mother was the same way and when fans would come to their home in the early 70s she would let them sit and eat with them, sometimes they’d be there till the middle of the night at the kitchen table because Katherine would be too polite to tell them to leave.
  95. Michael would get in trouble for feeding the rats and mice who lived in his home as a kid.
  96. Michael wrote the lyrics to Black or White 20 minutes before he had to sing it. [Source]
  97. Michael composed some of the music for the SEGA video game, Sonic 3, but at the time game consoles had poor sound quality so Michael didn’t like the result and therefore wasn’t credited. Brad Buxer has confirmed that one of the pieces would later inspire the song Stranger In Moscow. [Source]
  98. There’s lots of footage of Michael in the studio that has never been released, footage of him singing with Paul McCartney, singing some of the Bad and Dangerous albums, and all of the Invincible studio sessions.
  99. MJ told his bodyguards that one of the things he would have loved to have been able to do was just walk into a bar and say, “Bartender, give me a beer.”  [Source]
  100. Blanket keeps his hair long to remind himself of his father; Paris sleeps with a jacket of Michael’s under her pillow; Prince likes listening to Arabic prayer because it reminds him of being in Bahrain with his father. [Source]
  101. After Michael’s passing fans got together and raised money to create a children’s home named “Everland” in Liberia, to house 50 orphaned children. [Source]
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