Michael Jackson changed the trajectory of his career and set the music world ablaze 40 years ago when he released his sixth album, Thriller, on November 30th, 1982.
Produced by Quincy Jones and featuring the members of Toto on most of the album, it has sold 70-million copies worldwide -- 34-million in the U.S. -- making it the best-selling album of all time.
It was his first number-one album, spending 37 non-consecutive weeks at the top of the chart, from February 26th, 1983 to April 14th, 1984. It yielded seven singles, which all hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record for the most Top 10 singles from an album. They are "The Girl Is Mine" with Paul McCartney, "Billie Jean" with Steve Lukather on guitar and a solo from Eddie Van Halen, "Beat It," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Human Nature," "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)," and "Thriller."
"Beat It" and "Billie Jean" hit number-one.
The album took home eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year, and Record of the Year for "Beat It." It also won eight American Music Awards, and, in 2008, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant recordings."
And, when Jackson performed "Billie Jean" on the Motown 25th anniversary television special, he debuted his signature moonwalk dance.
A 40th anniversary edition of the album, with extra tracks, was released on November 18th.