It's pretty safe to say that Michael Jackson played a gigantic role in ushering in the era of MTV with his high-end, high concept music videos. From very early on in his solo career, The King of Pop was always interested in creating stylish videos for his songs, but in 1983 the rules completely changed, and the music video was truly born with Jackson's video for "Thriller", directed by John Landis. Beginning with a night at the movies, and ending with a mash-up of dancing zombies and werewolves, the video was unmatched in it's cinematic excellence and choreography and set the bar to a new level for all videos that followed.
Of course, Michael Jackson didn't stop there. In 1986 he starred in the Francis Ford Coppola directed, George Lucas produced short film, Captain EO, which was a mainstay attraction at Disneyland for over 11 years. Captain EO made full use of its 3-D effects with action that played out onscreen and extended into the audience, which included lasers, laser impacts, smoke effects, and starfields that filled the theater.
In 1988, Jackson brought more special effects, cinematic intrigue, and more of the storytelling process to his videos when he released Moonwalker, which ended up blending the aspects of a full-length film and fusing them with elements of his music videos. Chock-full of sci-fi, action and fantasy, Moonwalker fits right into the rest of the pop culture that came out of the 80s.
As each record passed, the videos always utilized the latest in film technology, and always had the hottest directors at the helm, proving Jackson not to only be an entertainer of extraordinary magnitude, but also as an innovator in the way music seen.
Michael Jackson leaves behind a gigantic legacy. He was a living legend in our time and there will never be another like him.