Michael Jackson's music and dance touched the lives of fans the world over. If you're a Los Angeles resident, you're bound to feel the King of Pop's influence all over town through the places and sites he left his mark on. Music legend Berry Gordy moved Jackson and his family here from Gary, Ind. when he first signed The Jackson Five to Motown in the late '60s. From good times to bad times, some key points in the musical thriller's life can be traced by his personal and professional footprints in and around LA.
Westlake Audio Studios Where Thriller was Recorded
The sound of Jackson's voice practically echoes in this famous studio at 8447 Beverly Blvd in West Hollywood. He recorded his most famous albums Off the Wall and Thriller there in 1979 and 1982 respectively. Off the Wall, Jackson's breakaway solo album sold seven million copies. And of course Thriller is the best selling album of all time, having sold as many as 109 million copies.
Recording Off the Wall at Cherokee Studios
Both Thriller and Off the Wall were also recorded in part at Cherokee Studios which has since closed its doors at 751 Fairfax Ave., to make room for a loft development.
Facts pulled from an article in Music World by Bruce Britt
Michael Jackson Moonwalks at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium
On May 16, 1983, Jackson was catapulted to superstar status with his now-mythic performance of his hit "Billie Jean" at Motown's 25th anniversary celebration Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. Taking place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (300 E. Green St. in Pasadena), his moonwalk performance went out to over 50 million viewers around the world. A dance movement and a star were born.
Facts pulled from an essay by Jaap Kooijman in the book Performance and Popular Music
The Pepsi Commercial at the Shrine Auditorium
In 1984, during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial at the Shrine Auditorium (649 W. Jefferson Blvd.) an unthinkable accident took place. Thousands of fans were waiting for Jackson and his brothers, the Jackson Five, to hit the stage. Then Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire due to the elaborate pyrotechnics going on in the background. He covered his burning hair with his jacket and then his brothers and members of the crew rushed up to help.
Jackson Treated for Burns at Brotman Medical Center
After Jackson's hair caught on fire he was treated in room 3307 of Brotman Medical Center (3828 Delmas Terrace in Culver City) with second degree burns to his head. The emergency room became packed with fans. Phone calls streamed in from everyone from Liza Minelli to Diana Ross. Jackson spent his bed-ridden time there watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind and American Bandstand.
Facts pulled from Then We Set His Hair On Fire: Insights and Accidents from a Hall-of-Fame Career in Advertising by Phil Dusenberry and BBC News
Michael's Moonwalk of FameIn 1984, Michael Jackson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The symbol of his success sits by 6927 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. It's not to be mistaken (but has been) with the star attributed to Michael Jackson the radio host.
"We Are the World" and A&M Studios
In January 1985, after the American Music Awards, a crew of some of the biggest stars in pop and rock, including Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Steve Perry, headed to A&M studios to do some work. This is where they recorded "We Are the World," a song written by Jackson and Lionel Richie (whose proceeds went to starving Africans). The studio was at 1416 N. La Brea Ave. It was sold to Jim Henson Productions in 1999. Today it is Henson Studios.
The Jackson Family Home
Michael Jackson lived in a house in Encino, near the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Hayvenhurst Ave., until 1988. His sisters La Toya and Janet had already moved out of this family home when he vacated it with Bubbles, his favorite chimp. When Jackson died unexpectedly, a slew of media people and fans camped out around the house.
Facts pulled from Michael Jackson: The King of Pop by Lisa D. Campbell
Michael Jackson's Last Home
In 2008, TMZ and other entertainment news outlets reported that Jackson had moved into a $38 million, seven bedroom, 13 bathroom home in Holmby Hills at 100 N. Carolwood Dr. The site says he paid $100,000 a month in rent for the place.
The King of Pop Pronounced Dead at UCLA Medical Center
This would, sadly, be Michael Jackson's final resting place. After performing CPR on his lifeless body, his doctor and paramedics rushed him to the center where he was pronounced dead on June 25, 2009.