Michael Jackson Pepsi and We Are the World

Being Both Commercial and Charitable

During the 1980s, Michael Jackson undertook two major ventures, one of which was charitable and one of which was commercial. Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercial was unfortunately fraught with a tragic accident that perhaps had implications for Michael Jackson’s death and the aftermath of his death. On the other hand, the We Are the World song and campaign for Africa seemed only to have positive effects both for Michael and for greater society. Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercial was filmed in LA at the hrine Auditorium in 1984. There was a full audience of fans who were supposed to simulate a concert. Yet the now infamous Pepsi commercial accident, which holds its place among the many of Michael Jackson’s scandals, led to pyrotechnics setting Michael’s hair on fire. As a result, Michael had second and third-degree burns on his face and scalp. Though he tried to have surgery to grow back his hair, he could not. Michael Jackson’s changing appearance over the years was therefore partly due to Michael's Pepsi commercial, since he was forced to always wear wigs to cover his bald spots.

Even though the Pepsi campaign may have made Michael Jackson money, the real question remains: was it worth the pain and suffering?

Aside from Jackson’s commercial ventures, he also showed his more charitable side when he came out with the song We Are the World. Michael Jackson and We Are the World were a match that showed the public a softer side of Michael in the face of all of Michael Jackson’s scandals and likely greatly helped his public image. The single was co-written with Lionel Ritchie in 1985. It was released in order to help aid the poor in the United States and Africa, and it arguably achieved its purpose. It sold more than twenty million copies, and as a result, raised millions and millions of dollars that were donated to easing famines in Africa. The song was co-produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian. We Are the World was the fastest-selling American pop single in history.

The song also achieved critical success. We Are the World won three Grammys, a People’s Choice Award, and an American Music Award. There was also an entire line of merchandise created to help raise money for relieving poverty in Africa. Michael Jackson clearly showed his charitable side with We Are the World.