The Last Days of Michael Jackson is ABC News' latest tribute to the King of Pop ahead of his 10th death anniversary

It shows Jackson evolving from the shy boy fronting the Jackson 5 band to become a solo music superstar, captivating the world with his dance moves and his own style of showmanship


                            The Last Days of Michael Jackson is ABC News' latest tribute to the King of Pop ahead of his 10th death anniversary

The King of Pop has a new tribute in his honor, courtesy ABC News who is presenting a two-hour, prime-time television event about Michael Jackson – exploring his life and legacy – from a complicated childhood to the record-breaking comeback concerts, including 'This Is It', which he sadly didn't get to perform. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the legend's untimely passing, and ABC News is all set to profile him right ahead of the day. Jackson was easily one of the most influential artists of all time, and ABC's television event aims at showcasing the same, via interviews with the people he knew, and also alongside a never-before-seen video from interviews he did with ABC News anchors Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.

Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) stands in a graffiti-filled subway car during the filming of the long-form music video for his song 'Bad,' directed by Martin Scorsese, New York, New York, November 1986. Getty images.
Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) stands in a graffiti-filled subway car during the filming of the long-form music video for his song 'Bad,' directed by Martin Scorsese, New York, New York, November 1986. Getty images.

The special is also about to feature interviews with Derek “Cooley” Jackson, one of the dancers who taught Jackson how to moonwalk; Navi, the world-famous Jackson impersonator who was hired as his decoy at public events; and Lisa Staub, the tour operator who was in front of his house on the day he died.

Titled “The Last Days of Michael Jackson,” the event will air on Thursday, May 24 (8:00–10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. It shows Jackson evolving from the shy, chubby-cheeked boy fronting the Jackson 5 band to becoming a solo music superstar, captivating the world with his otherworldly dance moves and unique style of showmanship.

Motown singers the Jackson brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael and Randy in London, October 1972. They were collectively known as the Jackson Five, and later simply as the Jacksons. (Getty Images)
Motown singers the Jackson brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael and Randy in London, October 1972. They were collectively known as the Jackson Five, and later simply as the Jacksons. (Getty Images)

It shows him on the remarkable journey of creating what would become the biggest-selling album of all time, while also breaking records and racial barriers throughout his career - especially since on his rise to greatness during the height of the MTV era, Jackson became an icon of sorts.

The event will also bring out the personal struggles of the legend - especially how despite being adored by a mass fan following, his private and public life had become a spectacle. Sources reveal how he stayed in an isolated state of loneliness, surrounded by a revolving door of managers, advisors and lawyers.

Michael Jackson prepares to enter the Santa Barbara County Superior Court to hear the verdict read in his child molestation case June 13, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. (Getty Images)
Michael Jackson prepares to enter the Santa Barbara County Superior Court to hear the verdict read in his child molestation case June 13, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. (Getty Images)

What's remarkable is that his desire for normalcy still managed to exist amid news and gossip stories of his changing physical appearance, abusive childhood, ongoing lawsuits, erratic behavior and molestation accusations. What isn't widely known is how in his later days, Jackson had evolved into a doting father of three children that he adored.

In this handout photo provided by Mohamed Hadid, singer Michael Jackson (3rd R) poses with real estate developer Mohamed Hadid (3rd L), Hadid's children and Jackson's children Michael Joseph Jr. (L), Paris Michael Katherine (C) and Prince Michael II (2nd R). (Getty Images)
In this handout photo provided by Mohamed Hadid, singer Michael Jackson (3rd R) poses with real estate developer Mohamed Hadid (3rd L), Hadid's children and Jackson's children Michael Joseph Jr. (L), Paris Michael Katherine (C) and Prince Michael II (2nd R). (Getty Images)

His desire to perform again was credited to these children, while some also believed that he needed to tour because of his immense fiscal challenges – a result perhaps of uncontrolled spending, legal woes and complicated and
convoluted financial dealings.

Jackson “This Is It” – a series of 10 “final curtain call” performances - was announced on March 5, 2009. It was the last time the world saw the man who touched a million hearts all over the globe. Tickets quickly sold out and the number of concert dates soon ballooned to 50. 

2005Singer Michael Jackson and his father Joseph Jackson depart the courthouse at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse June 2, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

Sadly, the other issue that grew out of proportion was the stress of a comeback for Jackson - behind the scenes footage being the proof of how this took a toll on the icon. Certain people involved in the production grew concerned about his health and ability to perform so many shows; and as the start date was pushed back, few knew just how addicted he had become to drugs.

The Los Angeles Theater Marquee honors Michael Jackson on June 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Jackson, 50, the iconic pop star, died after going into cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Theater Marquee honors Michael Jackson on June 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Jackson, 50, the iconic pop star, died after going into cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images)

Jackson had just 18 days to go for the first performance when he passed away due to a combination of drugs in his system, most notably Propofol. The special by ABC covers all of this, with David Sloan taking charge as the senior executive producer. Muriel Pearson is the executive producer for the event.