Michael Jackson videography

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A mid-twenties Michael Jackson wearing a sequined military jacket and dark sunglasses. He is walking while waving his right hand, which is adorned with a white glove. His left hand is bare.
Michael Jackson at the White House in 1984

American entertainer Michael Jackson (1958–2009) debuted on the professional music scene at age five as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still part of the group.[1] Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years,[2] Jackson promoted seven of his solo albums with music videos, or as he would refer to them as "short films".[3] In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular culture and the first African American entertainer to have a strong crossover fanbase on Music Television (MTV).[4][5] The popularity of his music videos that aired on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller"—credited for transforming the music video from a promotional tool and into an art form through complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and famous cameo appearances—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame.[6][7] Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV into the 1990s.[7] Some of his short films drew criticism for their violent and sexual elements; others were lauded by critics and awarded Guinness World Records for their length, success and expense.[8][9][10]

The singer's earliest film role was Scarecrow in the 1978 American musical The Wiz. He went on to appear in productions such as Men in Black II (2002) as well as lesser known productions, Miss Cast Away (2004) and his own feature-length movie, Moonwalker (1988) in which he starred alongside Joe Pesci. The singer also had a guest role in an episode of American cartoon The Simpsons. Some of his other releases are noted for their runtime. Captain EO (1986), a 17-minute film that cost $30 million to create, was the most expensive video to produce (in dollars per minute) at the time of its release.[11] Michael Jackson's Ghosts (1996), in which Jackson played five characters, has been credited as the longest music video ever.[9] Several of Jackson's feature films have been released on home video, and have been certified by trading bodies such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

Music videos[edit]

Headshot of a middle-aged man looking to his right. The man has short hair and light stubble. He appears to be smiling slightly, and is wearing a dark coat.
Steve Barron, director of "Billie Jean"
Headshot of an older man looking to his right. The man has messy hair.
Bob Giraldi, director of "Beat It" and "Say Say Say"
Paul McCartney.
Paul McCartney was featured in "Say Say Say"
Headshot of a middle aged. Looking and smiling directly into the camera, the man wears rounded spectacles and sports a light grey beard. He wears a suit jacket, with a blue shirt and a patterned tie.
John Landis, director of "Thriller" and "Black or White"
Diana Ross.
Diana Ross was featured in "Eaten Alive"
Barry Gibb.
Barry Gibb was featured in "Eaten Alive"
A headshot of an elderly man with grey hair. He is clean shaven and dons rectangular spectacles. He wears a suit and tie.
Martin Scorsese, director of "Bad"
Janet Jackson.
Janet Jackson was featured in "2300 Jackson Street" and "Scream"
Paula Abdul.
Paula Abdul appears in the "Liberian Girl" video
Dan Aykroyd.
Dan Aykroyd appears in the "Liberian Girl" video
Steven Spielberg.
Steven Spielberg appears in the "Liberian Girl" video
Macaulay Culkin.
Macaulay Culkin appears in the "Black or White" video
David Fincher.
David Fincher, director of "Who Is It"
Eddie Murphy.
Eddie Murphy was featured in "Whatzupwitu" and made a cameo appearance in "Remember the Time".
Title Year Other performer(s) credited Director(s) Description Ref.
"Enjoy Yourself" 1976 Jacksons, TheThe Jacksons[a] Unknown A music video produced to promote the single of the same name and features the five Jackson brothers wearing white suits and dancing on a stage. It was released on DVD for the bonus disc of Michael Jackson's Vision. [12]
"Blame It on the Boogie" 1978 Jacksons, TheThe Jacksons[a] Conn, PeterPeter Conn A music video produced to promote the single of the same name and features the five Jackson brothers dancing on a black background, relied heavily on electronic trail effects, created at Image West, Ltd. using then-cutting-edge equipment: the Scanimate analog computer system and a Quantel DFS 3000 digital framestore. [13]
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" 1979 None Saxton, NickNick Saxton It was Jackson's first music video as a solo artist. The music video shows a smiling Jackson dancing and singing "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" in a black and white tuxedo with a black bow tie while appearing chroma keyed over a background of abstract geometric figures. At one stage, Jackson is seen dancing in triplicate, which was considered innovative at the time. [16]
"Rock with You" 1979 None Gowers, BruceBruce Gowers The video features Jackson in a sparkly sequined suit singing the song with a bright laser behind him. It was filmed on a stage in Los Angeles called the 800 Stage. [16]
"She's Out of My Life" 1980 None Gowers, BruceBruce Gowers The music video for the song features Jackson sitting on a stool in a darkened room singing the song, lit by a single spotlight. The video uses a split screen technique to simultaneously show Jackson from two different angles during the second and third verses. [16]
"Can You Feel It " 1980 Jacksons, TheThe Jacksons[a] Gowers, BruceBruce Gowers
Robert Abert
The music video was noted for its remarkable special effects created by Robert Abel and Associates, which included tidal waves, explosions and the Jacksons towering over a city, spreading glitter and rainbows. Jackson created the video's concept and Tito's sons, Taj and Taryll, appeared as extras. [15]
"Billie Jean" 1983 None Barron, SteveSteve Barron The short film for "Billie Jean" is considered the video that brought MTV, until then a fairly new and unknown music channel, into mainstream attention. It was one of the first videos by a black artist to be aired regularly by the channel, as the network's executives felt black music wasn't "rock" enough. [16]
"Beat It" 1983 None Giraldi, BobBob Giraldi The music video for "Beat It" helped establish Jackson as an international pop icon and cost Jackson $150,000 to create after CBS refused to finance it. The video was filmed on Los Angeles' Skid Row—mainly on locations on East 5th Street—around March 9. [16]
"Say Say Say" 1983 McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney Giraldi, BobBob Giraldi In the short film, the duo play "Mac and Jack", a pair of conmen who sell a "miracle potion". The video was filmed at Los Alamos near Santa Barbara, California and the video cost $500,000 to produce. Cameo appearances in the video are made by McCartney's then wife Linda, as well as Jackson's older sister La Toya. [27]
"Thriller" 1983 None Landis, JohnJohn Landis This music video became one of Jackson's most successful and was filmed at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, the zombie dance sequence at the junction of Union Pacific Avenue and South Calzona Street in East Los Angeles and the final house scene in the Angeleno Heights neighborhood at 1345 Carroll Avenue. All principal photography was done in mid-October. [16]
"Somebody's Watching Me" 1984 Rockwell Delia, FrancisFrancis Delia The music video underscores the song's paranoid tone with a haunted house-inspired theme, including imagery of floating heads, ravens, graveyards, and shower scenes referencing Psycho. [34]
"We Are the World" 1985 USA for Africa Trbovich, TomTom Trbovich The song for the music video was created as a charity single recorded by the supergroup United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa. [36]
"Eaten Alive" 1985 Ross, DianaDiana Ross
Gibb, BarryBarry Gibb
Hogan, DavidDavid Hogan The video, inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau, featured the singer playing a cat-like demon seducing a man played by Joseph Gian after having been pursued by chimeras. [38]
"Bad" 1987 None Scorsese, MartinMartin Scorsese The video is an 18-minute short film written by novelist and screenwriter Richard Price. The video has many references to the 1961 film West Side Story, especially the "Cool" sequence. [16]
"The Way You Make Me Feel" 1987 None Pytka, JoeJoe Pytka It was choreographed by Vincent Paterson. The short version of the video is seven minutes and fifty-four seconds long and the full version is nine minutes and thirty-three seconds long. The video begins with a group of males trying to pick up women, but they don't get any luck. Joe Seneca, Sean Cheesman, and Tatiana Thumbtzen all have roles in the video. [42]
"Man in the Mirror" 1988 None Wilson, DonaldDonald Wilson This video is a notable departure from Jackson's other videos mainly because Jackson himself does not appear in the video, aside from a brief clip toward the end of the video in which he can be seen donning a red jacket and standing in a large crowd. Instead, it featured a montage of footage from various major news events. [16]
"Dirty Diana" 1988 None Pytka, JoeJoe Pytka The music video was filmed in front of a live audience. [12]
"Another Part of Me" 1988 None Kelly, PatrickPatrick Kelly The video featured Jackson performing the song live during his Bad World Tour. The film footage was taken on July 16 at Wembley Stadium with soundtrack mixed from live multitrack recording taken on the same day, with additional footage from June 27–28 show at Parc des Princes. [47]
"Smooth Criminal" 1988 None Chilvers, ColinColin Chilvers In the music video, Michael Jackson and the dancers immediately around him perform a seemingly impossible forward lean. To accomplish this maneuver, a hitching mechanism which Jackson co-patented was built into the floor of the stage and the performers' shoes, thereby allowing performers to lean without needing to keep their centers of mass directly over their feet. [16]
"Speed Demon" 1988 None Kramer, JerryJerry Kramer
Vinton, WillWill Vinton
Jackson filmed the video as a promotional video for the song, which originally was a segment of his 1988 film Moonwalker. [49]
"Come Together" 1988 None Kramer, JerryJerry Kramer
Chilvers, ColinColin Chilvers
Jackson filmed the video as a promotional video for the song, which originally was a segment of his 1988 film Moonwalker. [50]
"Leave Me Alone" 1989 None Blashfield, JimJim Blashfield The music video was released on January 2 and features llamas and peacocks from an animal preserve and an amusement park, Oak's Park. The video was the result of the media criticizing his idiosyncrasies. [16]
"2300 Jackson Street" 1989 Jacksons, TheThe Jacksons
Rebbie Jackson
Marlon Jackson
Janet Jackson
Gold, GreyGrey Gold The music video featured the Jackson family members, except for La Toya and Marlon, and also includes children of The Jacksons. The video was shot in March. [52]
"Liberian Girl" 1989 None Yukich, JimJim Yukich The music video featured many of Jackson's celebrity friends who gathered on a soundstage to film the music video for "Liberian Girl", only to discover that Jackson was filming them all along. It featured Paula Abdul, Dan Aykroyd, Danny Glover, Steven Spielberg, John Travolta, and Olivia Newton-John. [54]
"Black or White" 1991 None Landis, JohnJohn Landis The video featured Macaulay Culkin, Tess Harper, and George Wendt. This was the second time John Landis and Jackson worked together, the previous time being Thriller. It was choreographed by Vincent Paterson. [16]
"Remember the Time" 1992 None Singleton, JohnJohn Singleton The promotional music video was filmed in mid-January. It was a nine-minute video and was promoted as a "short film" and was choreographed by Fatima Robinson. The video was an elaborate production and became one of Jackson's longest videos at over nine minutes. It was set in ancient Egypt and featured groundbreaking visual effects and appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman, The Pharcyde, Magic Johnson, Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr. and Wylie Draper. The video also featured Michael's first on screen kiss. [16]
"In the Closet" 1992 None Ritts, HerbHerb Ritts The sepia colored music video features Jackson performing sensual dance routines with supermodel Naomi Campbell. The spoken vocals by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco were re-recorded by Campbell for the video. The clip was filmed in late March in Salton Sea, California and premiered on April 23. [16]
"Jam" 1992 Heavy D Kellogg, DavidDavid Kellogg The video features a cameo appearance by the rap duo Kris Kross and Michael Jordan. Both Jordan and Jackson teach one another their special talents in this video; Jordan's basketball skills and Jackson's "moonwalk". [16]
"Heal the World" 1992 None Pytka, JoeJoe Pytka The music video features children living in countries suffering from unrest, especially Burundi. It is also one of only a handful of Michael Jackson's videos not to feature Jackson himself. [66]
"Give In to Me" 1993 None Moharan, AndyAndy Moharan It was shot on June 25, 1992 in Munich, Germany and features Jackson performing the song on stage at an indoor rock concert with ex-Living Color bassist Muzz Skillings, Guns N' Roses guitarists Slash and Gilby Clarke, as well as the band's touring keyboardist Teddy Andreadis. The pyrotechnics appearing on the video are computer-generated and were added later on. [67]
"Who Is It" 1993 None Fincher, DavidDavid Fincher In the music video Jackson was featured falling in love with a high-priced escort and stares sadly at the city skyline. [16]
"Whatzupwitu" 1993 Murphy, EddieEddie Murphy Isham, WayneWayne Isham
Csupo, KlaskyKlasky Csupo
The music video was inspired by the album's cover art from which the single was featured in and also uses computer graphics. This was the second time Murphy and Jackson had worked together, the first being for the music video for "Remember the Time". [69]
"Will You Be There" 1993 None Paterson, VincentVincent Paterson The music video features Jackson performing the song during his Dangerous World Tour and footage from Free Willy. [71]
"Gone Too Soon" 1993 None DiCicco, BillBill DiCicco The footage in the music video featured scenes of Jackson and White together, as well as brief coverage from White's funeral. Home movies, donated by White's mother Jeanne, were also shown in the short film. [73]
"HIStory Teaser" 1995 None Wainwright, RupertRupert Wainwright A promotional music video for Michael Jackson's HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I studio album. [75]
"Scream" 1995 Jackson, JanetJanet Jackson Romanek, MarkMark Romanek The music video was 4:46 minutes in duration and was choreographed by Travis Payne, LaVelle Smith Jnr, Tina Landon, Sean Cheesman and Sacha Lucashenko in May. It features a dystopic, playful spaceship dance-off between Jackson and his sister Janet and the video cost $7 million to make. [16]
"Childhood" 1995 None Brandt, NickNick Brandt Jason James Richter and Francis Capra, actors from the movie Free Willy 2, both make a cameo appearance in the video. [77]
"You Are Not Alone" 1995 None Isham, WayneWayne Isham The video was filmed on July 12 and features temple scenes that were a homage to Maxfield Parrish's 1922 painting "Daybreak" and theater scenes which was filmed at the Pantages Theatre, in Los Angeles. Lisa Marie Presley, Jackson's wife at the time, appears in an affectionate semi-nude scene with him. [78]
"Earth Song" 1995 None Brandt, NickNick Brandt The video was filmed in four geographic regions (Americas, Europe and Africa). The first location was the Amazon rainforest, where natives of the region appeared in the video and were not actors. The second scene was a war zone in Karlovac, Croatia, with Croatian actor Slobodan Dimitrijević and the residents of the area. The third location was Tanzania, which incorporated scenes of illegal poaching and hunting into the video. The final location was in Warwick, New York, where a safe forest fire was simulated in a corn field. [80]
"Why" 1996 3T Ziman, RalphRalph Ziman A promotional music video for the single of the same name and was shot in black and white. [82]
"They Don't Care About Us" 1996 None Lee, SpikeSpike Lee Two music videos were made for the single. The first was filmed in Salvador (Pelourinho) and in Rio de Janeiro. The second was filmed in a prison with cell mates; in the video Jackson is seen handcuffed. It also contains real footage of police attacking African Americans, the military crackdown of the protest in the Tiananmen Square, the Ku Klux Klan, war crimes, genocide, execution, martial law, and other human rights abuses. [16]
"Stranger in Moscow" 1996 None Brandt, NickNick Brandt The music video was shot in Los Angeles and is based on Jackson's personal life, portraying him walking around looking for new people to talk to, as he did in his real life. [86]
"Blood on the Dance Floor" 1997 None Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson
Paterson, VincentVincent Paterson
Carmit Bachar, member of The Pussycat Dolls, was featured as a dancer in the music video. Another version of the music video was made, presented as the "Refugee Camp Mix". [88]
"Ghosts" 1997 None Winston, StanStan Winston It was a five-minute clip taken from a film entitled Ghosts. Jackson unveiled the film at the Cannes Film Festival, as part of the album promotion. [90]
"HIStory (Tony Moran's HIStory Lesson)" 1997 Boyz II Men Unknown The video features scenes from his short film Ghosts, and live performances from the Bad World Tour and the Dangerous World Tour. [93]
"You Rock My World" 2001 None Hunter, PaulPaul Hunter The video, which is over thirteen minutes long, was described as being a short film. The video features appearances from Chris Tucker, Marlon Brando, Michael Madsen and Billy Drago. [95]
"Cry" 2001 None Brandt, NickNick Brandt The video was filmed in six different locations, five of which were in California and another in Nevada. People featured in the video included members of a real life gospel group. [99]
"What More Can I Give" 2001 The All Stars Unknown The song for the music video was created as a charity single recorded by various artists for 9/11. [101]
"One More Chance" 2003 None Brandt, NickNick Brandt Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch was raided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. Michael Jackson had been shooting the video late into the night of November 17, but following the raid, production was stopped. The single was instead promoted using a montage video of highlights from Jackson's career to date. [102]
"Cheater" 2004 None Unknown The music video features clips from the Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour DVD, which was included in the same album the song appears in. [106]
"This Is It" 2009 Jacksons, TheThe Jacksons Lee, SpikeSpike Lee The video was released on December 27 and premiered on the webpage of Lee's production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. The video, almost five-minutes long, features various scenes of Jackson's hometown and former residence in Gary, Indiana, along with photos and videos of him and tributes from his fans around the world. [107]
"We Are the World 25 for Haiti" 2010 None Haggis, PaulPaul Haggis Haitian film students were involved in the video as part of the production crew. The music video for the song was formatted similar to the original "We Are the World"; the video opens with the song's title with the recording artists' signatures surrounding it, as well as clips of the artists performing their parts in the recording studio and included archive footage of Michael Jackson performing his part of the song. The video was intercut with clips showing people in Haiti following the earthquake. [109]
"Hold My Hand" 2010 Akon Pellington, MarkMark Pellington On Monday, November 22, the filming for the video began in Tustin, California, a main filming location being the airship hangars at Marine Corps Air Station Tustin. There was a casting call posted on Jackson's official website, stating interest in people of all ages who wanted to be in the video. [110]
"Hollywood Tonight" 2011 None Isham, WayneWayne Isham It was shot in front of the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. Sofia Boutella portrays the lead dancer in the video. [111]
"Behind the Mask" 2011 None Liu, DennisDennis Liu
Two versions of the music video were made, the first being made in 2011 and the second, known as the alternative version, being made in 2013. [113]
"All in Your Name" 2011 Gibb, BarryBarry Gibb Gibb, BarryBarry Gibb The video shows unveiled footage of Gibb recording an unreleased track of the song with Michael Jackson in 2002. [115]
"Love Never Felt So Good" 2014 Timberlake, JustinJustin Timberlake Lee, RichRich Lee
|Timberlake, JustinJustin Timberlake
Two versions of the music video were released. The first featured a crowd of young dancers lip syncing and, Timberlake singing along and making some memorable moves from Jackson's classic music videos or live shows. The second version featured clips from the duet version, as well as clips from other Michael Jackson music videos, such as "Dirty Diana" and "You Rock My World", along with some of Jackson's live performances, such as "Billie Jean". [116]
"A Place with No Name" 2014 None Bayer, SamuelSamuel Bayer The video stars dancers Alvester Martin and Danielle Acoff in new dance sequences in a desert. The video also weaves in rare clips from Jackson's "In the Closet" video shoot. A second music video was released on Michael Jackson's Vevo page on August 28, with choreographed dances performed by the dancers from Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson: One" world tour. It was filmed at different places in Los Angeles, but most of the video was shot inside the "Michael Jackson: ONE" Boutique inside Mandalay Bay. [118]
"Say Say Say [2015 Remix]" 2015 McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney Heffington, RyanRyan Heffington McCartney released this music video that unveiled new vocal recordings by Jackson. [120]

Video albums[edit]

Title Album details Description
Moonwalker Contains a collection of short films about Jackson, several of which are long-form music videos from Jackson's Bad album.
Dangerous: The Short Films Contains the music videos for Jackson's eighth studio album, Dangerous.
Video Greatest Hits – HIStory Contains the music videos for Jackson's ninth and penultimate studio album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I.
HIStory on Film, Volume II Contains a collection of music videos from six of Jackson's studio albums.
Number Ones Contains a collection of music videos from eight of Jackson's studio albums.
The One Contains interviews with other celebrities about Jackson's influence, and also contains footage from Jackson's previous music videos.
Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour Contains the special as it originally aired on HBO in October 1992 along with new content.
Michael Jackson's Vision Contains forty-two music videos with newly restored color and remastered audio.
Live at Wembley July 16, 1988 Contains a performance of the Bad world tour, performing songs from the album Bad.


Title Year Role Director Notes Ref.
The Wiz 1978 Scarecrow Lumet, SidneySidney Lumet Musical adventure film [125]
Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller 1983 Himself Landis, JohnJohn Landis Documentary [126]
Captain EO 1986 Captain EO Coppola, Francis FordFrancis Ford Coppola Short film [127]
Moonwalker 1988 Himself Kramer, JerryJerry Kramer Anthology film [128]
Michael Jackson's Ghosts 1996 Maestro / Mayor /
Mayor Ghoul / Super Ghoul /
Winston, StanStan Winston Short film [129]
Men in Black II 2002 Agent M Sonnenfeld, BarryBarry Sonnenfeld Cameo appearance [131]
Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls 2004 Agent MJ Stoller, Bryan MichaelBryan Michael Stoller Cameo appearance [132]
Michael Jackson's This Is It 2009 Himself Ortega, KennyKenny Ortega Documentary [133]
Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon 2011 Himself Eastel, AndrewAndrew Eastel Documentary [134]
Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender 2012 Himself Thomas, RhysRhys Thomas Documentary [135]
Bad 25 2012 Himself Lee, SpikeSpike Lee Documentary [136]
Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot 2014 Himself Williams, CraigCraig Williams Documentary [137]
Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall 2016 Himself Lee, SpikeSpike Lee Documentary [138]


"Stark Raving Dad" was the first episode in the third season of The Simpsons. Jackson performed the speaking voice of Leon Kompowsky under the pseudonym John Jay Smith.[139] The producers of the show were legally prevented from confirming that Jackson guest-starred at the time, although many media sources assumed it was really him.[140][141][142][143]


  1. ^ a b c Jackson recorded this as part of his group, The Jacksons.



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