Michael Jackson's Pepsi video shows fiery moment at the beginning of the end

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In 1984, Michael Jackson was the king of the entertainment world, on top of his game and setting up to own all he surveyed for decades to come.

Then came the Pepsi commercial. And the fire. And the pain.

It was the day that many believe let to Jackson's downfall as painkillers entered his life - and not long after, more and more surgeries and transformation and an ever-present quest to get it right.

Jackson and Pepsi eventually settled for $1.5 million - though Jackson donated the money for a children's burn center in his name - but by then the damage was far too severe and the money wasn't the problem. Rolling Stone takes a look at the day and the fallout from the flameout

Jackson required several surgeries and needed skin grafts to treat the injury.

In his autobiography, "Moonwalk," he described the cause of the accident as "stupidity, pure and simple."

As he described the accident, he wrote: "... bombs went off on either side of my head, and the sparks set my hair on fire. I was dancing down this ramp and turning around, spinning, not knowing I was on fire. Suddenly I felt my hands reflexively go to my head in an attempt to smother the flames."

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    This page contains a single entry by Craig Newman published on July 15, 2009 9:00 PM.

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