Pop culture was changed forever 35 years ago today when Michael Jackson performed solo on "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever," a televised event celebrating the record label's creation 25 years earlier.
The show was intended to showcase the greatest hits of those that came from the label over the years, artists like Marvin Gate, The Temptations, and Diana Ross. The broadcast of the show was produced and directed by someone who was responsible for creating iconic television moments across the decades. Don Mischer helped orchestrate historic moments like Muhammed Ali's surprise appearance at the 1996 Olympic games, Prince's 2007 Super Bowl Performance of "Purple Rain", and countless Oscar ceremonies.
Mischer, along with the show's executive producer Suzanne de Passed banned any of the artists performing to play new material, as this was a celebration of the label's past. The amazing artist that Michael Jackson was, he wasn't having any of that and insisted the producers allow him to perform a new song "Billie Jean."
After much debate over who would take the angry call from Marvin Gaye the following morning asking why Jackson could perform new material but not him, and after seeing Jackson perform the new song in a rehearsal, the producers decided that Jackson's performance was something special that they needed to broadcast. It was during this performance that Michael Jackson broke out his iconic "moon walk" for the first time. In this performance, the dance move only lasts for a few seconds, but this was the beginning of a legendary move that would carry on years after Michael's passing.
The debut of this song and Jackson's iconic moon walk will go down in history, but what are some other iconic pop culture moments that we'll never forget...
Gaga's Meat Dress
Gaga's 2010 MTV Video Music Awards look became a sensation the second it was debuted to the world. Many wondered how she would top her 2009 look -- dangling from a rope, covered in blood at the end of her performance of "Paparazzi." But what was even more impressive that night was her recognition. Gaga was the most-nominated artist in 2010, with 13 total nominations, two of those for Video of the Year.
Adele broke a long-standing record in 2012 with her sophomore album '21' when the record was certified diamond by RIAA. She beat out Usher's 2004 record 'Confessions,' and reached diamond certification less than two years after the release of '21.' FYI a diamond certification requires at least 10,000,000 unit sales. The only person to reach diamond certification since? Adele.
Gangam Style Hits 1 Billion Views
Psy's 2012 viral sensation 'Gangam Style' will forever be the first video on YouTube to reach 1,000,000,000 views. Though it has since been topped by other music videos from artists like Charlie Puth, Luis Fonsi, and Ed Sheehan.