Michael Jackson won 13 Grammys during his career, an impressive accomplishment, but most of those triumphs were part of an historic awards sweep. Winner of best album of 1983, "Thriller" set a new record for most victories. A few months earlier, the LP had set a new record for most nominations: 12.
"Thriller" won eight Grammys at the ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium on Feb. 28, 1984: album, record ("Beat It"), male pop vocal ("Thriller"), male rock vocal ("Beat It"), male R&B vocal ("Billie Jean"), new R&B song ("Beat It"), producer of the year and engineering. Jackson shared in all of those victories except for engineering, but picked up an additional trophy for best children's recording ("E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"), thus setting a new Grammy record for personal victories too (eight).
The only major category Jackson lost was for best song, which is bestowed to the songwriter (best record goes to the recording artist). Sting prevailed ("Every Breath You Take") when Jackson's votes split between two nominees: "Beat It" and "Billie Jean."
"Thriller's" Grammy record has never been surpassed, but it was tied in 1999 by Santana's "Supernatural." Before Jackson won eight Grammys personally in one year, the previous record was held by Roger Miller, who claimed six in 1965, most for country hit "King of the Road."