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Video: Remembering Michael Jackson In Performance 1968-2001

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.Michael Jackson in concert

Today marks the third anniversary of Michael Jackson's untimely death. For over forty years, MJ dedicated his life to his art, and that dedication showed in his live performances.  We've compiled  a handful of live performance videos (some are *FULL CONCERTS*) spanning the years 1968 to the HIStory tour in 1997 that prove that talent like his comes around only once in a lifetime.

1. The Motown Audition, July 23, 1968

In 1968, The Jackson 5 drove from their home in Gary, IN to Detroit, MI to audition for Motown staff. The quintet, fronted by 10-year old Michael, wowed those in attendance with Michael's unreal rendition of James Brown's "I Got The Feelin'," complete with JB-styled dance moves.

2. Paris, 1972

Michael and his brothers toured internationally in support of their fifth album, 1972's Lookin' Through The Windows as well as Michael's first two solo albums, Got To Be There and Ben.  In this video, the Jackson 5 perform "Lookin' Through The Windows," "Ben," and their funky medley of "Walk On By" (Isaac Hayes style) and "The Love You Save."

3. Mexico City, December 1975

This performance, in support of their final Motown release, 1975's Moving Violation, and filmed for American television, was to be the group's final televised performance before changing their name to The Jacksons and signing to Epic Records.  Keep an eye out for siblings Janet and LaToya in the audience!

4. London, February 1979

By the late '70s, The Jacksons weren't as hot of a commodity as they had been earlier in the decade.  Their late Motown albums weren't huge sellers, and their first two albums under their new contract with Epic were mild commercial disappointments.  However, with the release of Destiny in 1979, the group had recaptured their former glory.  The accompanying tour proved that as they crossed the globe, stopping on 3 continents (including a dozen shows in Africa).

This video comes from one of the group's SIX nights at London's Rainbow Theatre in February 1979. Six months later, the tour would be revamped to include songs from Michael's just-released Off The Wall album.

5. Los Angeles, 1981

The Jacksons' 1981 album, Triumph, certainly lived up to its name, being the most satisfying release by the brothers Jackson in years, and also a bit of a triumph for Randy Jackson, who had been seriously injured in a car accident a year prior. The tour was so well-received that the group's label released a live album of the tour that eventually sold over two million copies.

6. Dallas, July 1984

Believe it or not, Michael Jackson technically didn't do a Thriller tour.  As a favor to his family, Michael agreed to do one more album as The Jacksons, 1984's Victory, and an accompanying tour.  It would be Michael's last tour as a member of the group.

7. Yokohama, September 1987

For 1987's Bad world tour, Michael Jackson was finally a solo act. The international tour sold out venues from America to Japan and ran for 16 months.  The high energy shows truly cemented Michael's legacy as one of the best live performers of all time.

8. Munich, June 1992

Michael Jackson opened his second solo tour, the Dangerous tour in Munich, Germany.  Jackson performed to close to 4 million people on this tour, which abruptly came to an end when Jackson was hospitalized for migraines, dehydration and various injuries.  Despite it's early conclusion, the tour whipped crowds on four continents into a frenzy over the course of 69 shows, of which only 5 were performed in North America. The tour's stop in Bucharest was officially released on home video and DVD after being broadcast live on HBO.

9. Munich, July 1997

By the time Michael's 1996-97 HIStory tour launched, the King Of Pop had been hit with the initial child abuse accusations that would plague him until his death.  Despite the controversy, the 82-show tour was still a global success and would be his final world tour.

10. The 30th Anniversary Tribute, New York City, September 2001

Michael Jackson arranged two concerts at NYC's Madison Square Garden in honor of the 30 years that had passed since the release of his debut solo album, 1971's Got To Be There.  The concert featured a who's who of celebrity appearances ranging from Usher to Marlon Brando, but no appearance was more anticipated than Michael's reunion with The Jacksons. It would be the last time the brothers would perform together in public.