Today in MJJ HIStory
1987 – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, Michael’s first single off BAD album hit #1 on US Hot 100 and R&B charts holding its position for one week and remains on the charts for fourteen weeks. The single will also rise to number 1 on the Black singles chart. ‘Bad’ the second single from the album, enters the Pop singles chart at number 40. It also enters the Black singles chart.
Michael performs Bad tour at Nishinomiya Stadium, Osaka [Japan].
1988 – MTV presents a Michael Jackson Marathon, airing back to back Michael Jackson Specials: From Motown To Your Town, Another Part Of Me and The Making Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
1991 – Michael lent his voice to Leon Kompowsky in the Season 3 premiere of The Simpsons – “Stark Raving Dad”.
The third series of The Simpsons aired on Fox. In the first episode, Homer is forced to wear a pink shirt to work one day as a result of a laundry accident and is mistaken for a “free thinking anarchist”. After failing a psychiatric test (which, rather unwisely, he’d asked his son Bart to complete on his behalf), he is sent to a mental institution. Homer’s room-mate, a large character called Leon Kompowsky, believes he is Michael Jackson – and sings Billie Jean and shows Homer how to moonwalk, to prove it!
Homer is charmed by Leon and brings him home from a mental institution, where the rest of the family eventually falls in love with him. Meanwhile, because he normally forgets her birthday, Bart promises his sister Lisa that he will get her the best present ever. The sweetest moment comes at the end when Leon and Bart perform a birthday song for Lisa.
The ‘Special Guest Voice’, for contractual reasons, was credited as John Jay Smith in the closing credits, and his role in the episode was not officially confirmed until later. Because of the misleading credit, the fact that it was actually MJ remained a rumor among many fans apparently took heed of the often-taught Simpsons lesson of never believing what’s on TV. Despite initial denials issued by Michael’s camp it was not until Matt Groening confirmed Michael did provide Leon’s voice, when the episode was released on DVD in 2003. And Michael is a great fan of America’s favourite dysfunctional cartoon family, created by Matt Groening.
Following the script read, MJ stipulated his conditions: he would record his speaking parts but not receive credit, and his singing voice would be performed by a sound-alike. Leon Kompowsky’s singing voice was instead performed by Kipp Lennon, because Jackson wanted to play a joke on his brothers and fool them into thinking the impersonator was him. Lennon recorded his lines at the same time as Jackson, who found the impersonations hilarious. The episode originally was supposed to end with Kompowsky singing a portion of “Man in the Mirror” in his Michael Jackson voice as he walked down the road, but it was changed to him singing the beginning of “Happy Birthday Lisa” in his normal voice.
“Stark Raving Dad” received generally positive reviews from critics, particularly for the writing and Jackson’s performance.
Happy Birthday, Lisa, a song Michael’s character sang during the show, was included on a Simpsons’ compilation album issued in 1997, SONGS IN THE KEY OF SPRINGFIELD. The sleeve notes, in stating the song is copyright Mijac, further confirmed Michael’s involvement.
Also, the song Do The Bartman was credited to Bryan Loren, but Groening has recently
confirmed Michael co-wrote and sang backing on Do The Bartman which, although not issued as a single in US, helped propel the album to #3 and a RIAA Platinum Record.
1992 – Michael Jackson’s “Jam” hit #13 in the U.K.
HBO taped a Michael Jackson show in Bucharest, Romania. They broadcasted the show on October 10th under the name “From Bucharest – The Dangerous Tour.”
1993 – Michael performs Dangerous tour at Yarkon Park, Tel Aviv [Israel] attending 80,000.
Professionally filmed performances of “Jam”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “Human Nature” available.
1996 – Bravo magazine featured MJ on the cover.
1998 – Michael Jackson was listed as the #1 male artist in Billboard Magazines’s 40th Anniversary release.
Billboard Magazine celebrated the 40th anniversary of their “singles chart” by compiling a list of th top songs over the past four decades. They listed Michael Jackson as the #1 male artist with the “Most #1 hits.”
2000 – On occasion of an interview for BBC Radio Oxford, London Times’ “Millennium Preacher of the Year” at the time, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, offers some tidbits on then friend, Michael Jackson and his “genuine devotion” for children, including his (the Rabbi’s).
He recounts that, on occasion of Jackson’s 42 Birthday at his Neverland ranch – to which Boteach and his family were invited – the singer also welcomed a critically ill ten-year old boy, suffering from leukemia, and his family for four days. The singer would treat him to the amusements of his home, speak to him in order to help him gain post-chemotherapy confidence and pays his medical expenses, as in more such cases involving the deprived, Boteach adds, (as part of Jackson’s relief efforts outside the public eye), continuing to say that the pop star would weekly invite hundreds of children from inner city schools for day trips to his ranch, spending “millions of dollars on children who are in need”, an affirmation confirmed by the singer himself, by others who have been/were in contact with Jackson and some of the media reports. Moreover, Boteach also recounts that, after reading a piece of news on a critically cancer ailing boy, Jackson asked the staff of a New York hospital to install a telephone in the boy’s room, the singer then phoning the young patient daily, his pediatrician confirmed.