Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” Music Video turns 30 today!

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
On March 10, 1983 MTV debuted Michael Jackson’s video ‘Billie Jean’, the second single from his album Thriller, which this music video helped to catapult into being the best-selling album of all time (Wikipedia states it sold 42.3 Million copies). The video was produced by Jackson and the equally famous Quincy Jones and it’s been stated that the song itself almost wound up being cut from the album due to a disagreement between Jones and Jackson. Billie Jean would go on to be inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame and is said to have “broke down MTV’s racial barrier as the first video by a black artist to be aired in heavy rotation.”


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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2 thoughts on “Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” Music Video turns 30 today!

  1. Atari Adventure Square says:

    This has gotta be one of the top ten music videos of all time, for the sounds, its ground-breaking time-stamp in the history of MTV, and the breakout quality of its star.

    The catchiness of the look and groove of MJ shows just how a true star like he was at the time could capture any audience’s attention.

    I wasn’t a fan of pop music at the time, but this vid caught our fringed jeans-wearing bunch of nerds’ attention.

    Not as much as Madonna’s first video would, a short while later.
    But the less said about it, the better.

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