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Spike Lee documentary tracks Michael Jackson's beginnings

January 8, 2016

A documentary exploring Michael Jackson's rise to stardom, directed by the acclaimed filmmaker of "Do the Right Thing," will be released with the reissue of the musician's 1979 breakthrough album "Off the Wall."

Michael Jackson "Off the Wall" Album, Copyright: MJJ Productions, Inc. via AP
Image: picture-alliance/AP/MJJ Productions

After becoming a child star in the 1970s with the group "The Jackson Five," Michael Jackson recorded his album "Off the Wall" as a solo artist at age 20. Featuring such hits as "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You," the album brought pop music and R&B together in a groundbreaking way.

"To Black America, 'Off The Wall' transcended music and entertainment altogether," said the promoters of the reissue in announcement on Thursday (07.01.2015).

Filmmaker Spike Lee, known for his works exploring the tensions in US race relations, directed the documentary "Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to 'Off the Wall'." It will premiere on January 24 at the Sundance Film Festival and is to be sold on DVD with the reissued album beginning February 26.

Through archive material and interviews with family members, the documentary depicts the beginnings of Jackson's mass-market success, including his signing with Epic Records and relationship with producer Quincy Jones, up until the release of "Off the Wall."

A later album by the late King of Pop, "Thriller" of 1982, remains the best-selling album of all time.

eg/rf (AFP, AP)