On this day in 2009, music icon Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 at his home in Los Angeles, California, after suffering from cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs given to him by his personal doctor. Here are 5 shocking facts you probably didn't know about "The King of Pop"...
Jackson Almost Scrapped the Video for “Thriller” “Thriller” was such a popular music video that it has been copied by everyone, from school programs to Jackson wannabes. Jackson’s mother was a devoted Jehovah’s Witness and her son was raised in this faith, but the church was against his making the video, which featured him as a werewolf. Jackson continued filming the video but added a disclaimer saying that he did not endorse the occult.
It Is Rumored that One Song Was About a Real Event The lyrics to "Billie Jean" describe a woman who claims that the narrator is the father of her newborn son, which he denies. According to Jackson's biographer, "Billie Jean" was inspired by letters Jackson received in 1981 from a woman claiming he was the father of one of her twins. Jackson received a parcel containing a photograph of the fan, a gun, and a letter instructing him to kill himself. The fan would do the same so they could be together in the next life. Jackson had the photo of the woman framed and hung above his dining room table.
Jackson Held a Patent for His Boots Jackson showcased some new dance moves in “Smooth Criminal,” including when he leaned forward at a 45-degree angle; the video used wires to achieve the effect. However, he wanted to use this dance move during his live performances, so he developed a shoe that would do the job. He and two other inventors placed a slot in the heel that used a peg that could be raised, which allowed the performer to lean forward. Jackson, along with his co-inventors, patented this invention.
He Was Fascinated by the Elephant Man Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant man, suffered from Proteus syndrome, which left his body extremely deformed. Jackson was known to visit the London School for Doctors, where Merrick’s skeleton was on display. According to filmmaker David Lynch, Jackson watched the movie about the life of Merrick 35 times (that he knew of). In 1987, Jackson tried to buy Merrick’s skeleton, offering up to one million dollars, but the offer was declined.
Jackson Wanted to Play Spider-Man In the 1990s, Jackson wanted to partner with Stan Lee, the comic book icon, to purchase Marvel. Lee said he wasn’t sure whether Jackson wanted to play in the role as Spider-Man or just produce the film, but the deal fell through. Jackson was a fan of comic book heroes and had a collection that included life-size figures of Superman, Spider-Man and Batman, plus a life-size figure of himself decked out in a Batman costume.