A previously unreleased video of Michael Jackson’s hair catching fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984 was posted online by Us magazine Wednesday.
The dramatic footage, which happened 25 years ago, shows pyrotechnics exploding near Jackson and yellow flames immediately erupting on his black hair. The pop star continues to dance down stairs for about 10 seconds before stage hands rush to him to douse the fire that has covered his scalp.
Three thousand fans saw a firework display erupt behind the superstar, showering him in sparks and setting light to his hair. Some studio audience members said he was so calm, they thought the incident was part of the act.
A bald spot is clearly seen at the top of Jackson’s head as he stands up. Still wearing his trademark sequined glove, Jackson grabs his head with his hands as he is led offstage.
The video — posted at usmagazine.com — also shows early takes of the commercial in which the fireworks were triggered several seconds after Jackson began dancing down the stairs, putting him well away from the blasts.
The commercialwas filmed in Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium before a live audience on January 27, 1984.
It was part of Jackson’s groundbreaking Pepsi sponsorship, near the height of his popularity.
Jackson, in a video statement released in 2003 to address child molestation allegations, talked about how the accident led to a painkiller addiction:
“As you may already know, after my tour ended I remained outside the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. This medication was initially prescribed for the excruciating pain that I was suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp.”
The story in Us magazine’s weekly print edition is titled “The Day His Addiction Started.”
Jackson was at the pinnacle of his career around the time of his accident. He won eight Grammy awards in 1984 but then stories about his bizarre lifestyle began to circulate.
*web photo/cnn video