Michael Jackson was severely burned today (January 27, 1984), during the filming of a commercial spot for Pepsi.
The incident unfolded at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, when Michael Jackson and other members of the Jackson’s were filming a Pepsi commercial for The Victory Tour.
After several takes Bob Giraldi, the director of the commercial, told Michael Jackson that he was coming down the steps to early.
So Michael waited a few extra seconds, and his fate was sealed.
As Michael was performing his part for a simulated concert, sparks from the magnesium pyrotechnics set his hair on fire.
“Suddenly I felt my hands reflexively going to my head in an attempt to smother the flames,” Michael Jackson said of the incident in his book “Moonwalk.”
“I fell down and just tried to shake the flames out. Jermaine turned around and saw me on the ground, just after the explosions had gone off and he thought I had been shot by someone in the crowd – because we were shooting in front of a big audience,” Michael stated.
Michael Jackson suffered second and third degree burns to his scalp.
He had to go had to undergo surgery shortly afterwards, for his injuries.
According to Michael Jackson himself, the doctors told him it was a miracle he was even alive.
“I had third-degree burns on the back of my head that almost went through to my skull, so I had a lot of problems with it, but I was very lucky,” Michael Jackson said.
Michael Jackson donated the $1.5 million that Pepsi gave to him in a settlement, to the Brotman Medical Center, which was renamed The Michael Jackson Burn Center.
“I wanted to do something because I was so moved by the other burn patients I met while I was in the hospital,” Michael Jackson stated.