It’s consistently referred to as the greatest music video of all time, and it premiered when MTV was just two years old. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” made its debut on MTV at midnight on December 2, 1983, and cost $500,000 to make — an astronomical figure at the time. The demand to see the 14-minute video was so high that MTV played it twice every hour. “Thriller” was more than just a music video, though — it was truly a mini-movie, and was once screened alongside Disney’s Fantasia to qualify it for the Oscars. Throughout his career, Jackson used the music video medium to his advantage, and it’s hard to imagine songs like “Billie Jean” or “Black or White” without the high-gloss, high-budget dance sequences that went along with them. Music videos helped Jackson reach the height of his fame, and Jackson helped MTV come of age.
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