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Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist. He debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the mid-1960s, and began his solo career in 1971. Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling.
In "The Courtship of Stewie's Father", he appears in Walt Disney World when Peter and Stewie Griffin watch Captain EO. In an exaggeration of the 3D effects, Jackson runs out of the screen and grabs a kid in the audience.
In "Deep Throats", Brian, a cab driver, passes on Cleveland Brown, who requests his services. Later, following the breakup of Meg Griffin and Mayor Adam West, Brown is seen angrily destroying the cab, getting caught, and fleeing as he transforms into a black panther. This is a reference to the music video for Jackson's song "Black or White".
He also appears in "Prick Up Your Ears", when Lois refers to him as being sexually confused. He is shown eating a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal, stating, while in the form of his childhood, says the kid in him likes the frosted side, while the grownup in him likes his younger self.
He appears in "Saving Private Brian" at the Grammy Awards but has no speaking lines.
In "Stewie Loves Lois", Stewie is seen testifying against Jackson at his child molestation trial.
In "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing" a reference to him grabbing his crotch during his routine is greatly exaggerated as it shows him punching himself in that area, hitting it with a baseball bat, and shooting it with a machine gun.
Jackson's song "Billie Jean" was among the songs mentioned by Brian as a song named after a girl in "Ocean's Three and a Half".
A line in the song "A Bag of Weed" from "420" has Stewie singing "when Michael Jackson needs a rush, he humps a guy like me." Jackson is then seen naked in a bed with Stewie, referring once again to the molestation charges. Jackson died on June 25th, 2009 of cardiac arrest two months before his 51st birthday, weeks before his comeback concert series, entitled This is It resulting in a broadcast delay of the episode in the UK.
In "Spies Reminiscent of Us", Mayor West says that he is a fan of Jackson's song "Thriller" and its video.
He appears in the Quahog Mini-Mart as the Scarecrow on a poster of The Wiz during the song "All I Really Want For Christmas" in "Road to the North Pole". Carl wants a Blu-ray copy of the film as one of his Christmas wishes.
The ending of "The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair" with Stewie's wolf-like yellow eyes and maniacal laughter is taken from the Michael Jackson's Thriller video.
Peter gets a flu shot purportedly from "the doctor that killed Michael Jackson" in "In Harmony's Way", although it should be noted that the actual physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, is African-American.