Global anticipation for the release of Thriller 25, the newly expanded deluxe 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller, the world's top-selling album of all-time, is already reaching a fever pitch across the planet with surprise hit singles, an ongoing 40-episode "ThrillerCast" podcast event, the premiere of the "Thrillicious" Sobe Life Water ad campaign at the Super Bowl, the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Jackson at the NRJ Music Awards at Cannes and a host of upcoming events and surprises.
Thriller 25 will be available stateside on Tuesday, February 12 and available around the world the week of February 11. The album debuts seven bonus tracks including new collaborations with Akon, Fergie, will.i.am and a Kanye West remix of "Billie Jean 2008."
The Michael Jackson Thriller 25th anniversary celebration runs throughout 2008 with a multi-faceted global marketing campaign featuring high-profile television, radio and online events around the world and the major re-launch of Michael's official website, www.michaeljackson.com.
The first single from Thriller 25, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" featuring Akon, is a surprise smash hit impacting Pop, Rhythm and Urban radio stations across America with the single becoming the #1 On Demand song online for all Clear Channel Radio station web sites since its release on January 18.
One of the best-received commercial highlights of Super Bowl XLII was the premiere of "Thrillicious," PepsiCo Inc.'s Sobe Life Water spot starring supermodel Naomi Campbell and a cast of animated lizards busting out a series of fiercely choreographed dance moves to the tune of Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
Michael Jackson was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious NRJ Music Awards ceremony at the opening of MIDEM in Cannes, France. Following a video tribute to the artist, Michael Jackson delivered a personal message via satellite to NRJ attendees and a television audience of more than 7 million viewers.
A recent Thriller 25 promotion in London featured professional dancers re- enacting the iconic "Thriller" zombie choreography on the London Underground, Trafalgar Square and other unusual locations. A competition has been launched for UK Michael fans to submit their own versions of the "Thriller" dance to YouTube.
"Thrillercast," a groundbreaking 40-episode podcast event, launches on February 12th and will be updated weekly throughout 2008. The series features icons of music, screen and culture including hip-hop legend Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, superstars Nick Cannon and Chris Brown, choreographers Shane Sparks and Mia Michaels from the hit show "So You Think You Can Dance," and dozens of other special guests. Each episode takes us behind the scenes into their lives to explore their own personal experiences with Thriller and its influence on them, both personally and professionally. "Thrillercast" will be available for free through iTunes, Zune, and all major podcast providers, as well as directly through www.michaeljackson.com.
Thriller 25 includes all nine of Thriller's original performances as well as seven bonus tracks including five mind-blowing 21st century homages to Thriller featuring some of the hottest performers in contemporary pop and soul music:
Thriller 25's first single, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008," produced by Michael Jackson and Akon, is a brand new version of Thriller's opening cut showcasing newly recorded 2008 vocals by Michael Jackson and Akon.
Previously unreleased in any form, "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008" by Michael Jackson with will.i.am is Michael's original pre-album demo remixed by Michael and will.i.am with newly added vocals and production from will.i.am.
"The Girl Is Mine 2008" is another Michael Jackson with will.i.am collaboration based on a demo predating Michael's duet with Paul McCartney. This is a new, previously unreleased track, newly produced and mixed by Michael and will.i.am featuring a will.i.am rap. "The Girl Is Mine 2008" is being introduced as the album's first single in numerous international territories and is already charting in Brazil, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and Japan, where it entered the Top 10 at #5.
"Billie Jean 2008" features the original tracks of Michael's watershed signature hit, newly remixed by Kanye West.
"Beat It 2008" is both a remix and a new track featuring Michael's vocals and many instrumental tracks from the Thriller original coupled with seductive new vocals by Fergie with new band tracks and production by Michael Jackson and will.i.am.
Thriller 25 closes with "For All Time," a nascent classic recorded by Michael during the original Thriller sessions in 1982 but never completed or released until now. Michael has added new vocals and band tracks to his original recording. Mixed by Mick Guzawski and newly-produced by Michael Jackson, "For All Time" provides a sublime and fitting close to this new, definitive edition of Thriller, the top-selling album of all time.
As an added bonus for fans, Thriller 25 includes a DVD featuring Michael Jackson's groundbreaking short films from Thriller ("Thriller," "Beat It," and "Billie Jean") and the artist's Emmy-nominated breakout performance of "Billie Jean" from the legendary "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" television special (first broadcast on NBC on May 16, 1983).
The Thriller 25 CD/DVD set will be available in three collectible editions: a standard version with the album's original cover art; a standard version with a new "Zombie" cover; and a deluxe edition in a hard-bound casebook format with a 48-page booklet. Both standard versions contain the CD and bonus DVD in a brilliant box with a rainbow holographic O-card and a 20- page booklet. Thriller 25 will also be available as a Platinum MusicPass Album Card, a digital album card which will enable consumers to download Thriller 25, and special bonus content in the form of high-quality MP3 files.
Originally released in the US 25 years ago on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records, Thriller, Michael Jackson's sixth solo album and second with producer Quincy Jones, rocketed the former child-star lead singer for the Jackson 5 into the stratosphere of international superstardom. Introducing the "robot" and the "moonwalk" into the international lexicon of clubland dance moves via the pulsing sounds of Thriller, Michael Jackson revolutionized all aspects of mainstream pop culture -- from radio airwaves to the newly emerging art form of music videos -- becoming the world's most popular entertainer in the process.
The original Thriller spent an astounding 80 consecutive weeks in the American Top 10, 37 of those at #1. Seven of the album's original nine tracks became Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 while Individual singles from Thriller reached #1 chart positions in the US, the UK, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada.
Thriller made history as the first and only record to be America's top-selling album two years running (1983 and 1984).
Thriller has been certified 27x platinum by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond Award status in the US. In addition, the album has achieved Diamond or Multi-Platinum status in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. In 1985, the Guinness Book of Records named Thriller the Best Selling Album of All Time, an achievement which remains unsurpassed to this day.
In February 1984, Michael Jackson held a record-breaking 12 Grammy nominations, going on to win eight, which stands as the record for most Grammy Awards to be won by anyone in a single year. Seven of Michael's Grammys that year were for Thriller: Album of the Year; Record of the Year("Beat It"); Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ("Thriller"); Best Engineered Recording, Non- Classical(Thriller); Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("Beat It"); Best Male R&B Vocal Performance ("Billie Jean"); Best R&B Song("Billie Jean"). (Michael's eighth Grammy that year was in the Best Recording For Children - Single or Album, Musical or Spoken category for "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"). That same year, Michael Jackson took home eight American Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards. The following year, "The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller" took home the Best Video Album trophy at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards.
Named the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time" by the Guinness World Records, Michael Jackson is among the most highly acclaimed and influential artists in pop culture. He was named the World Music Award's Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium and received the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award. He has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: in 1997 as a member of the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist in 2001.