The Most Iconic Michael Jackson Style Moments In Honor of Thriller 40

We're celebrating Thriller 40 in style

mj thriller mobile
IMDB/MJJ Productions

On this day, exactly forty years ago, the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller was released. It doesn’t seem like it’s been forty years since the album’s debut because Thriller has never not been culturally relevant. In fact, you could very well make the argument that the album only becomes more iconic as time passes. In case you needed any proof of that statement, at the time of this writing, Thriller is currently sitting at number seven on the Billboard Hot 200, which is absolutely insane.

Some more Thriller fun facts: the album spent 37 consecutive weeks at number one on the charts, the music video for “Billie Jean” made Michael the first Black artist to be played in heavy rotation at MTV after the network originally denied the video any kind of coverage whatsoever due to the fact that it wasn’t “rock enough,” Thriller was certified 34x platinum by the RIAA in 2021, and the album was added to both the Grammy Hall of Fame and Library of Congress in 2008.

RELATED: ONE37pm Classics: Examining the Fashion from the Jacksons' Iconic Victory Tour

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IMDB/Epic Records

And folks, that’s only a handful of the achievements. In addition to the massive worldwide success, the Thriller era also solidified Michael’s place as a global fashion icon, to which he had previously began capturing the public’s attention with his previous album Off The Wall, and his 1970s style. Now when it comes to the topic of Michael’s most legendary fashion moments, if we are keeping it completely honest, it can't be done with just one article because he has so many moments dating back to his childhood (even his outfit for The Jackson 5’s national debut performance on Ed Sullivan is iconic), and each individual album era was different.

For example, the Bad era (which would follow five years after Thriller and is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year) brought forth a completely different set of game-changing fashion moments. In order to fully do Michael justice, you would have to break it down era by era.

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IMDB/Epic Records

So with that being said, we’re going to keep this on the Thriller time period for now, but rest assured that we will have more coming in the future. Now let’s get to it.

14. Thriller Album Cover (1982)

13. Black Jacket Pepsi Commercial (1984)

12. Victory Tour White Outfit (1984)

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Getty Images

Speaking of The Victory Tour, we definitely have to give a shoutout to Mike’s opening outfit from The Victory Tour because that was a moment. We actually did a full style breakdown of The Victory Tour in July to celebrate the anniversary of the tour kicking off, which you can check out here.

11. One-Time For The Glitter Suit (1984)

10. Guinness Book of World Records Celebration (1984)

9. Say Say Say (1983)

8. 1984 Hollywood Walk of Fame Induction

7. 1983 Todd Gray Photoshoot

6. Billie Jean Music Video (1983)

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IMDB/Epic Records

You guys already know the outfit for this video: A tailored suit, pink v-neck, a red bowtie, and penny loafers paired with white socks. Iconic.

5. Red Military Jacket 1984 AMAs

4. Beat It Music Video (1983)

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IMDB/Epic Records

3. Blue Military Jacket 1984 Grammys

2.Thriller Music Video (1983)

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IMDB/Epic Records

1. Motown 25

Long Live Thriller. Long Live Michael Jackson. A true fashion icon.

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