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It’s only fitting that, of all stations, MTV debuted Michael Jackson‘s Pepsi commercial on this day in 1984.


Aside from the many records he broke at the time, he was one of the first minorities to have a video aired on the station. The year: 1983, the video: “Billie Jean.” Although some credit the breaking of the infamous racial barrier to his transition into a pop artist, it had to be done.

Fast forward to February 27, 1984, the soon-to-be King of Pop continued to kick in the door of marginalization that MTV held the key to. This time, it would happen by way of his endorsement deal with Pepsi. The commercial was unlike any other. It featured a young Alfonso Ribeiro –who later attained national attention as Carlton Banks on NBC’s The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air— and mirrored the melody of “Billie Jean” as it ushered in ‘A Whole New Generation’ of soda drinkers.

-Jamaal Fisher (@jamaalfisher)