“These shoes are in wonderful condition for their age, with evident signs of use to the soles,” the catalog description reads.
The shoes have been owned by choreographer and dancer Lester Wilson, who said Jackson gave him the shoes in his dressing room after rehearsing with his brothers for the special, the auction house said.
It’s possible the shoes were used during the performance on the special, too, because according to the letter of authenticity, Jackson referred to the pair as his “magic shoes” and a pair of performance shoes has never surfaced, GWS Auctions said.
“Billie Jean” and the album on which it appeared, 1982’s “Thriller,” made Jackson the first artist to have a No. 1 pop single, pop album, R&B single and R&B album chart simultaneously.
Jackson began performing at age 5 with four of his five brothers as The Jackson Five. His first solo album, “Off the Wall” in 1979, sold more than 20 million copies and had four Top 10 singles.
The music superstar died in 2009 at age 50 after suffering cardiac arrest at his home near Los Angeles.