facebook pixel

What is believed to have been the source of Jackson’s drug addiction?
Question image
It's believed that his addiction to painkillers began in 1984, after a horrific accident during a Pepsi commercial shoot. Faulty pyrotechnics on the set made Jackson's hair catch on fire, and he ended up suffering second-degree burns all over his scalp. He turned to drugs to deal with the pain, beginning an addiction that lasted the rest of his life.
What made the statue of Michael unveiled in 2011 controversial?
Question image
Mohamed Al-Fayed, owner of the Fulham Football Club and friend to Jackson, unveiled the statue of the pop star at the team’s home field at Craven Cottage. Some fans thought it was an April Fools joke, while others thought it made them a laughing stock. Al-Fayed told the critics that they could go to… you know. The bad place.
Why did a hair studio in Washington receive up to 50 calls per day after Thriller was released?
Question image
It was a widespread rumor that the seven digit barcode visible in the “Thriller” video was Michael Jackson’s actual phone number. Of course, it was not, but hey, maybe that hair salon got some free press?
What famous film role almost went to Jackson?
Question image
Though Jackson didn’t actually end up appearing in many films, you could fill a book with all of the movies he was supposed to be in. He even recorded a full soundtrack for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he backed out of the project when they wouldn’t let him play Willy Wonka.
What was Jackson’s 2,700-acre ranch in California called?
Question image
Neverland Ranch contains Jackson's house, an amusement park co-designed by Macaulay Culkin, a private theater, a dance stage, and exotic animals.
What caused a permanent rift in Jackson and Paul McCartney’s relationship?
Question image
While he didn’t own the rights to all of the Beatles songs, he owned half of them, and he ended up selling them to Sony music against McCartney’s wishes.
What did Jackson do to shock the world in Berlin in 2002?
Question image
Jackson later stated that he’d made a “terrible mistake” after dangling his young son Prince Michael II, more commonly known as Blanket, over the balcony of his fourth floor hotel room.
Who did Jackson dedicate his album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix to?
Question image
John helped Jackson through his addiction issues, leading Jackson to mention his friend in the liner notes for the remix album that would go on to sell six million copies.
Why did Jackson announce he was considering retirement in January 2000?
Question image
To be fair, when you live a life like Michael’s, publicity tends to follow you around.
Who did Michael Jackson drive to Ohio with to escape NYC after 9/11?
Question image
Jackson was close friends with Brando and Taylor, and he would attend Brando’s funeral three years later.
Why did Jackson receive a Presidential Humanitarian Award in 1984?
Question image
Jackson contributed his song “Bad” for advertisements aimed at educating people about the dangers of drunk driving, earning him a trip to the White House to receive his medal.
What pop star was originally supposed to duet with Jackson on the song “Bad”?
Question image
Prince allegedly backed out because he didn’t want to sing the line “Your butt is mine.”
Who was Jackson’s first girlfriend?
Question image
It was rumored for years that Jackson lost his virginity to O’Neal, but in 2004, she revealed in her tell-all book that the tabloids blew their relationship way out of proportion, and the two of them only ever kissed.
What was Jackson’s favorite Beatles song?
Question image
In tribute to his favorite song, Jackson included his cover of it on the album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I.
What music video was voted the best of all time by VH1?
Question image
Did you expect anything else?
Why were fans so disappointed at Jackson’s final performance?
Question image
Fans paid a lot of money to see Jackson play at the World Music Awards in 2006, expecting to see Jackson sing hits like “Thriller.” Instead, they got a Chris Brown cover of the classic song, and they only heard Michael briefly, when he took part in a chorus of “War Are The World.”
Who controlled 50% of Jackson’s estate upon his death?
Question image
The estate is held in a lifetime trust for Katherine Jackson’s benefit, and upon her death, the balance is to be divided equally among Michael's children Paris, Prince, and Blanket.
Who was in attendance at Michael’s unprecedented seven day stand at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1988?
Question image
On top of the royals, more than 500,000 people saw Jackson during his stay at Wembley. In 2012, footage from one of the shows was released as the concert film Live at Wembley July 16, 1988.
What happened on June 25, 2009?
Question image
Paramedics responded to a call at Jackson’s home around noon that day. They wanted to pronounce him dead at the scene, but a doctor insisted they take him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm.
Which political figure called Jackson a “spectacular performer and a music icon”?
Question image
After Michael’s death, then-President Obama personally sent a letter of condolences to the Jackson family.  
Which iconic artist’s portrait of Michael was a TIME Magazine Cover?
Question image
Warhol’s head-and-shoulders portrait made the cover on March 19, 1984.
Michael Jackson had the same gold coffin as which R&B legend?
Question image
The coffin was a model called “The Promethean” and it was plated with 14-carat gold, lined with velvet, and cost $25,000.
What was the movie featuring Jackson as a meek young man who transforms into a singing and dancing knight at midnight going to be called?
Question image
MidKnight was meant to be part of Jackson’s $1 billion deal with Sony, but plans for the film fell through in the aftermath of the allegations of child abuse that were made against him in 1994.
What was the concert series being planned at the time of Jackson’s death going to be called?
Question image
Preparations for Jackson’s 50 show stay at 02 arena in London were well under way, and a concert film, also called This Is It, was released soon after Jackson’s death, detailing the lead up to what would have been a record breaking concert series.
What literary figure did Jackson see himself as?
Question image
It has been implied that Jackson’s Peter Pan persona was created and imposed upon him by his managers, but those close to him would describe his desire to be the classic character as a large part of his personality.
What classic actor was Jackson’s close friend and neighbor?
Question image
Peck was quite close to Jackson and publicly vouched for him many times, calling him a “model parent.” When the actor died in 2003, Jackson went over to his house personally to help his widow plan a memorial.
What was the cruel nickname that Joe Jackson gave to Michael when he was just a teenager?
Question image
Michael was a sensitive teenager, and when Joe Jackson discovered he felt self-conscious about the size of his nose, he gave his son the cruel nickname. It’s thought that this is part of what led Michael to become obsessed with changing his appearance.
Who directed the music video for Jackson’s song “Bad”?
Question image
The public was shocked when the video released, because it made it dramatically clear just how much the pop star’s appearance had changed in just a few years. In the early ‘80s, Jackson’s skin had been of medium-brown complexion, but it had become a pale white by the time the “Bad” video was released.
Who accused Jackson of child-molestation in 1993?
Question image
Evan Chandler accused Jackson of sexually abusing his son Jordan. Jackson would settle the case out of court for an estimated $15 million. Tragically, Chandler was found dead of suicide four months after Jackson’s death.
Which Jackson brother was particularly jealous of Michael’s success?
Question image
Jermaine always thought he should have been allowed to lead the family band because he was older than Michael. The jealousy never faded later in life, and Jermaine was quoted by family friends as saying “That should have been me” many times.

Your Results

Billie Jean

You may say you’re the one, but you’re no lover of Michael’s. You’ve got some serious moonwalking to do before you can call yourself a smooth criminal.

Smooth Criminal

You are OK, Annie—but just OK. You’ve got a little homework to do to become a true Michael superfan.


You’re fighting for your life and you brought it tonight! You can truly say that you’re a Michael Jackson superfan!

Happy With Your Test Score? This video can help you do better on any quiz... even if you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the topic.


The King of Pop was one of the most compelling figures of the 20th century. From his young start, to his tumultuous family life, to his utter domination of the music charts, to the scandals and intrigue that followed him throughout his final years, Michael Jackson led an extremely controversial and complicated life. So, how much do you know about the original thriller? Take our test and find out if you’re a Smooth Criminal or if you’re just BAD.

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.