25 years ago, Michael Jackson was “Bad.” The release of this album marked another creative and commercial height for the superstar artist, already in possession of the world’s top-selling album of all time with “Thriller.” On this project, Jackson would cement his icon status and again make music that wasn’t just popular; it became a part of the culture of the times. This Thursday on ABC at 9:30 p.m., director Spike Lee presents “Bad 25,” his take on the phenomenon that was Jackson through the window of this specific project. He explores Jackson’s impact on music as well as his often strange existence in the kind of fishbowl that few people can imagine.
But Lee’s focus is mainly on the music and Jackson’s creative genius. “People at the top of their fields make it look so easy," told USA Today. "You think Michael Jordan came out of the womb dunking, or Frank Sinatra was born with that voice. But it doesn't happen like that — these people bust their (butts). Michael Jackson sang for his supper from the time he was five."
Lee talks to many of Jackson’s contemporaries and musical peers as well as cultural critics who witnessed the Jackson phenomenon take place. Jackson’s one-time backup singer Sheryl Crow, Questlove of The Roots, Kanye West and director Martin Scorsese are shared their memories. Lee himself worked with Jackson on his videos/short films for the song “They Don’t Care About Us,” but admits he didn’t get to know the reclusive Jackson that well.
Two notable exceptions to the array of Jackson contemporaries and collaborators are Quincy Jones and Wesley Snipes. Jones is only seen in archival footage as he and Lee’s schedules just didn’t jibe, and although Lee visited Snipes in federal prison where he’s currently serving time on federal tax charges, he was not permitted to shoot. Of course, there is footage of Jackson himself and some insight into how he approached his art. Viewers of his concert preparation film “This Is It,” shot shortly before his untimely death, will remember its portrayal of Jackson as focused and exacting.
“Bad25” is over 2 hours in its original documentary version, though ABC viewers will see a shorter version. A DVD will be available in 2013. Watch a preview below.
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂