Another year has gone by in the world of Michael Jackson and whilst the first half was relatively quiet, things picked up in the summer with The Diamond Celebration and the world debut of Michael Jackson: On The Wall. There was also some exciting re-issues on both CD and Vinyl. Here’s a run down of some of the key moments in 2018…
The year starts off well with Moonwalker featuring on Amazon Prime for a very limited run.
On 18th January, the popular U.S show Lip Sync Battle features a special episode entitled ‘A Michael Jackson Celebration’. The episode stars Neil Patrick Harris, Laverne Cox, Taraji P Henson and Hailee Steinfeld who each take on the challenge of performing and lip syncing to, a Michael Jackson classic.
Ahead of the Super Bowl Halftime show, Pepsi releases its latest commercial which features clips of some of its legacy adverts, the segment includes scenes from Michael’s ‘The Chase’.
Following the huge response from its inaugural year in 2017, we run the now annual “MJVibe’s Top Impersonator Poll” which gives Michael’s fans the chance to actually vote on Who they think the Number One impersonator is. The 2018 winner was reigning champion Rodrigo Teaser whose legion of supporters helped crown him the Number One Impersonator as voted for by the fans.
Japanese Fashion brand Hysteric Glamour announce they’ve acquired a licence to produce official Michael Jackson apparel and will re-introduce a popular 80s MJ design to a 2018 audience. The range includes jackets, shorts, hats and purses.
The iconic shoes that Michael wore to debut his version of the Moonwalk to the world on Motown 25, go up for auction in the U.S, following the distressing trend of pieces of history being dispurst to private collectors around the world. The shoes fetch an undisclosed amount at auction.
Michael Jackson returns to Pepsi cans in the U.S and other selected countries. Alongside Ray Charles and Britney Spears, Michael’s image can be found on the regular and diet versions of the soft drink. Collectors race to get their hands on the full range as Pepsi continue a campaign across the Summer with Michael at the forefront.
Lenny Kravitz releases his new single “Low” which features Michael’s famous ‘Woooo’ throughout. Kravitz uses the opportunity to share with the media his experiences of working with Michael.
Michael Jackson: On The Wall opens at London’s National Portrait Gallery on the 27th June for a four month run. The exhibition features contemporary works of art that were inspired by Michael. The exhibition is hailed an overnight success.
The Estate finally announce the long awaited update on the official Michael Jackson Broadway show. They confirm the show will debut in New York in 2020 and will be directed by Christopher Wheeldon.
With the release of Drake’s new album Scorpion, the song Don’t Matter To Me appears featuring previously unreleased vocals from Michael. Despite the Estate promising to release a statement about the track, and then not, vigilant fans learn the vocals come from the Michael Jackson and Paul Anka recording sessions which also gave life to Love Never Felt So Good and This Is It. The track charts highly around the world despite not receiving an official single release.
Joe Jackson passes away on 27th June 2018 aged 89 in Las Vegas.
Ahead of Spike Lee’s annual Michael Jackson Celebration in Brooklyn a multi-coloured mural of Michael appears on the corner of First Avenue and East 11th Street.
2018 marks what would have been Michael’s 60th Birthday. The Estate and Sony Music brand the occasion “The Diamond Celebration” and release a boxset that includes picture vinyls of all Michael’s Epic solo releases (excluding Blood On The Dance Floor)
Hugo Boss release an official Michael Jackson Thriller Album cover replica suit. The suit, priced at £795 is limited to 100 pieces worldwide and each piece is uniquely numbered. Three official t-shirts are also released with different designs to commemorate 60 years of Michael Jackson.
London – The Diamond Celebration is marked in London with the installation of a 13-foot giant crown being placed on London’s Southbank. Members of MJVibe team and fan club we there for the early morning unveiling.
MJ On The Wall hosts a special competition to find hidden Diamond tickets around London to gain access to the exhibition. Inside there’s music and the chance to win a poster by Moonwalking through the lobby.
Las Vegas – The Estate hosts it’s annual Birthday Celebration at the Mandalay Bay’s Day Club. The event features performances from Usher and Mark Ronson and guest appearances by Prince and Paris Jackson as well as Tito and Jackie Jackson.
Sony Music release the remix “Diamonds Are Invincible” a new mix produced by Mark Ronson for Michael’s 60th Birthday. The mix is met with little enthusiasm.
Following its public unveiling at The Venice Film festival and the subsequent Scream album launch parties in 2017, Thriller 3D receives a one week screening in cinemas across the U.S and limited international countries. Fans who see the screenings are able to get their hands on a limited edition poster.
A U.K survey result named Thriller the most inspiring album of all time beating out The Beatles, Queen and Fleetwood Mac for the top stop – Naturally!
Artist Graham Dolphin and Hugo Boss unveil the ‘one-off’ Thriller Boss Black suit in London at a private VIP event. During the event the artist and the assistant curator from the National Portrait Gallery spoke about Michael Jackson: On The Wall and the Estate’s collaboration with Hugo Boss
Two Jackson 5 greatest hits albums are re-issued in Japan.
Michael Jackson: On The Wall moves to the Grand Palais in Paris where it will reside until February 2019. The exhibition appeared smaller than it’s feature in London and has been met with a mixed response due to the handling of the logistics of the exhibition and not the works themselves.
Around 30 students from Katowice, Poland staged a protest outside the U.N Climate Conference, which saw representation from 200 countries. The students sang Michael’s ‘Earth Song’ and ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ to express their feelings concerning the future of our planet.
As what would have been Michael’s 60th Birthday dominated most of the conversation and release schedule for the year, no album milestones were marked. In 2019, Off The Wall turns 40 years old, but with the re-issue and documentary already released a few years prior, it’s doubtful they’ll be a repackage. There’s still hope for Spike Lee’s Thriller Documentary to make it’s appearance next year, so fingers crossed for that!