Us Weekly has posted previously unseen footage of Michael Jackson's accidental burning during a 1984 Pepsi ad shoot. The material is of extremely high quality, and it is actually quite harrowing to watch the superstar's hair catch fire -- particularly as Jackson continues to dance for several seconds, oblivious to what has happened.
All in all, it's not the way many people would want to remember the King of Pop. But it is perhaps worth noting that Pepsi later settled with Jackson to the tune of $1.5 million and that Jackson then donated the money to the burn unit of the Brotman Medical center in Culver City, CA, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Also, the raw footage shot for a Pepsi commercial on Jan. 27, 1984 at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium and obtained by Us Magazine, shows Jackson descending a flight of stairs when the pyrotechnics on stage go off early and engulf the singer's head in flames.
At first Jackson – wearing a sequined shirt, jacket and signature glove – continues to dance unaware as flames and smoke emanate from his hair. As the fireball grows around his head, he is set upon by members of the crew who tamp out the flames.
In the video, one can easily observe a large red bald spot in the center of Jackson's head after the flames have been extinguished, ABC News reports.
Therefore Jackson suffered severe burns after a pyrotechnics mishap caused his hair and scalp to catch afire. Still photos of the accident have been seen before, but the new video on Us Weekly's Web site shows the moment Jackson's hair caught on fire and the top of his head became engulfed in flames.
Jackson didn't realize his hair was on fire. In the video, he's still dancing as the flames are on his head. When he spins, the flames go out. People on the set tackle him to extinguish the fire, and his brother Jermaine Jackson, playing the guitar in front of him and oblivious to the commotion, turns around. When Michael Jackson emerges from the pile of people trying to help him, the top of his head is bald, The Associated Press reports.