2. Michael Jackson
It’s the transformative television performance that propelled a music superstar into the King of Pop. Michael Jackson’s game-changing solo set on NBC’s Motown 25 was the Moonwalk seen around the world during the Gloved One’s transcendent workout of “Billie Jean.” As writer Steve Ivory wrote of the taped March 25, 1983 showing at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, “After Jackson left the stage, the show had to be halted so that entire production and building could regain it’s composure; so that men in the audience could straighten their ties and woman could adjust their wigs.” It was a jolting coming-out-party of sorts for MJ following a totally live feel-good reunion with his Jackson 5 brothers. It was monumental. And it was also lip-synched. Despite that fact, the payoff proved to be unimaginable for Jackson. The day after Motown 25 aired, Michael Mania had officially kicked off as Thriller sold more than one million copies in Los Angeles alone on its way to becoming the highest selling album of all-time.