The pyrotechnics accident on January 27, 1984, had left the 'Thriller' star with second and third degree burns to his face and scalp. Fireworks were supposed to explode behind Michael Jackson was he strutted down the steps onto the stage at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium to sing his hit Billie Jean.
However, the stunt went tragically wrong on the sixth take, the pyrotechnics went off too early, and Michael Jackson's hair was set afire. The singer had not realised what had happened for about five seconds, and he continued to dance until aides rushed on to extinguish the flames surrounding his head.
The accident started the late Michael Jackson's dependency on the painkillers that were found swamping his system when he died three weeks ago.
Michael Jackson's scalp had to be operated on after the accident, and he had already admitted that he turned to painkillers to fight the pain. People who have been very close to Michael Jackson have revealed that the singer was never the same after the 1984 accident.
"His personality totally changed after that incident as drugs began to influence his life," the Sun quoted one as saying. "He was 25 and full of life before then but after that everything changed. If it wasn't for that sad day, things could have been so different," the source added.
Following the accident, Jackson had even set up a burns centre for children. In an US chatshow host Oprah Winfrey in 1993, he said: "I did a commercial for Pepsi and I was burned very badly and we settled for 1million dollars and I gave all the money ... like, we built this place called the Michael Jackson Burn Centre."