Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world and one of the best-
selling music artists of all time.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life.He was the eighth of ten children in the Jackson family, a working-class African- American family living in a two-bedroom house on Jackson Street in Gary. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson Together, they prodded their growing family’s musical interests at home. By the early 1960s, the older boys Jackie, Tito and Jermaine had begun performing around the city; by 1964, Michael and Marlon had joined in.For several years, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 maintained a busy tour and recording schedule, under the supervision of Berry Gordy and his Motown staff. The group became so popular that they even had their own self-titled cartoon show, which ran from 1971 to 1972.
Despite the group’s great success, there was trouble brewing behind the scenes. Tensions mounted
between Gordy and Joseph Jackson over the management of his children’s careers, with the Jacksons
wanting more creative control over their material. The group officially severed ties with Motown in 1976,
though Jermaine Jackson remained with the label to pursue his solo career. Now calling themselves the
Jacksons, the group signed a new recording deal with Epic Records. By the release of their third album
for the label, 1978’s Destiny, the brothers had emerged as talented songwriters.
The overwhelmingly positive response to Michael Jackson’s 1979 solo album Off the Wall helped the
Jacksons as a group. Triumph (1980) sold more than 1 million copies, and the brothers went on an
extensive tour to support the recording. At the same time, Michael continued exploring more ways to
branch out on his own.
He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a
dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and
“Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the
medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television
channel MTV to fame. Jackson’s 1987 album Bad spawned the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one
singles “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and
“Dirty Diana”, becoming the first album to have five number-one singles in the nation. He continued to
innovate with videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” throughout the 1990s, and forged a
reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a
number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the
name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.
Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of over 66 million copies
worldwide.Jackson’s other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and
HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling albums. He is one of the few artists to have
been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall
of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame as the only dancer from pop and rock music. His other
achievements include multiple Guinness World Records including the Most Successful Entertainer of All
Time,13 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Legend Award, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 24 American Music Awards—more than any other artist—including the “Artist of the Century”, 13 number- one singles in the United States during his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and estimated sales of over 350 million records worldwide.[Note 1] Jackson won hundreds of awards, making him the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.He became the first artist in history to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades when “Love Never Felt So Good” reached number nine in 2014.Jackson is also remembered for his philanthropy and pioneering efforts in charitable fundraising in the entertainment industry.He traveled the world attending events honoring his humanitarianism, and, in 2000, the Guinness World Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities, more than any other entertainer.
Two brief marriages
one to Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley — were forged and two children produced by his
second wife during that time, but the purposes behind them appeared image-oriented. Despite it all,
Jackson’s passion and artistry as a singer, dancer, writer and businessman are unparalleled, and it is
these prodigious talents that will ultimately prevail over the extremely negative aspects of his seriously
troubled adult life.
Heal the World Foundation
Through his “Heal the World” Foundation, Jackson spearheaded airlifts of food and medical supplies to
war-torn Sarajevo, instituted mentoring, immunization and drug-abuse education programs and paid for a Hungarian child’s liver transplant.
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch
A shy and quiet person off-stage, Jackson never was truly comfortable with the media attention he
received and rarely gave interviews. By the late 1980s, he had created his own fantasy retreat — a
California ranch called Neverland. There the singer kept exotic pets, such as a chimpanzee named
Bubbles. He also installed amusement park-type rides, and sometimes opened up the ranch for
children’s events. Around the same time, rumors began swirling that Jackson was lightening the color of
his skin to appear more white and sleeping in a special chamber to increase his lifespan.
How Did Michael Jackson Die?
In February 2010, an official coroner’s report revealed Michael Jackson’s cause of death was acute
propofol intoxication, or a lethal overdose on a prescription drug cocktail including the sedatives
midazolam, diazepam and lidocaine. Aided by his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson took
the drugs to help him sleep at night. Murray told police that he believed Jackson had developed a
particular addiction to propofol, which Jackson referred to as his “milk.” Murray reportedly administered
propofol by IV in the evenings, in 50-milligram dosages, and was attempting to wean the pop star off the
drug around the time of his death.
A police investigation revealed that Murray was not licensed to prescribe most controlled drugs in the
state of California. The steps he had taken to save Jackson also came under scrutiny, as evidence
showed that the standard of care for administering propofol had not been met, and the recommended
equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing and resuscitation had not been present. As a result,
Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide, and Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on
November 7, 2011, earning a maximum prison sentence of four years.He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 as a member of the Jackson 5 and in 2001 as a solo artist.Following the week of his death, his album sales collectively spiked over 2000%.
People think they know me, but they don’t. Not really. Actually, I am one of the loneliest people on this
earth. I cry sometimes, because it hurts. It does. To be honest, I guess you could say that it hurts to be
“Just because you read it in a magazine or see it on a TV screen doesn’t make it factual. To buy it is to
feed it.” – about tabloid magazines.
There is a lot of sadness in my past life. My father beat me. It was difficult to take being beaten and then
going on stage. He was strict; very hard and stern.
I just want to say to fans in every corner of the earth, every nationality, every race, every language: I love
you from the bottom of my heart. I would love your prayers and your goodwill, and please be patient and
be with me and believe in me because I am completely, completely innocent. But please know a lot of
conspiracy is going on as we speak.
I love my children. I was holding my son tight. Why would I throw a baby off the balcony? That’s the
dumbest, stupidest story I ever heard.
I’m a visionary and a creative person. God blessed me with certain talents. I hate to use an analogy, but
Walt Disney was creative but not good with business. His brother Roy handled the books. He loved
creating family-oriented entertainment and so do I. I feel that was a gift and I have that gift also. I’m very
honored to have been chosen.
Success definitely brings on loneliness. People think you’re lucky, that you have everything. They think
you can go anywhere and do anything, but that’s not the point. One hungers for the basic stuff.
[on refuting persistent rumors of skin surgery or bleaching] If I had a chance to talk to Michelangelo, I
would ask him what inspired him to become who he is, the anatomy of his craftsmanship, not about who
he dated last night or why he decided to sit out in the sun so long.
When I was 16, we were doing Las Vegas every night, and Elvis Presley and Sammy Davis Jr. would sit
me and my brothers in a row and lecture us. ‘Don’t ever do drugs,’ they told us. I never forgot it.
Music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in this world. Through it, my music, I know I will live
I never had the chance to do the fun things kids do: sleepovers, parties, trick-or-treat. There was no
Christmas, no holiday celebrating. So now you try to compensate for some of that loss.
My father is a much nicer person now. I think he realizes his children are everything. Without your family,
you have nothing. He’s a nice human being. At one time, we’d be horrified if he just showed up. We were
scared to death. He turned out really well. I wish it wasn’t so late.
I never think about themes. I let the music create itself. I like it to be a potpourri of all kinds of sounds, all
kinds of colors, something for everybody, from the farmer in Ireland to the lady who scrubs toilets in
When I’m on stage, it’s like a two-hour marathon. I weigh myself before and after each show, and I lose a
good 10 pounds. Sweat is all over the stage. Then you get to your hotel and your adrenaline is at its
zenith and you can’t fall asleep. And you’ve got a show the next day. It’s tough.
I sit in my room at home and sometimes cry. It’s so hard to make friends. Sometimes I walk around the
neighborhood at night, just hoping to find someone to talk to. But I just end up coming home.
If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then
everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
I am the captain of my ship. I take suggestions and listen to what everyone has to say, but the final
decision is mine.
The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.
The magnetism of Michael Jackson’s music is undeniable. With a career spanning four decades, Michael
sold over 750 million albums worldwide.The accomplishments of Michael Jackson in the field of music,
dance and entertainment have been widely documented worldwide. He was an innovator who changed
the face of modern dance, influenced generations of music lovers and produced ground-breaking videos
that were beyond their time. What is lesser known, however, is how much he gave of himself, his time
and his finances in order to help the suffering and those in need.
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