Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the mid-1960s, and began his solo career in 1971.
In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs including "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller", were credited with transforming the medium into an art form and a promotional tool, and the popularity of these videos helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made him a staple on MTV in the 1990s. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced numerous hip hop, pop, contemporary R&B and rock artists.
Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock 'n' roll. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century"); 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era); and the estimated sale of over 750 million records worldwide. Jackson won hundreds of awards, which have made him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of music. He was also a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for beneficial causes and supporting more than 39 charities.
Aspects of Jackson's personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships and behavior, have generated controversy. In 1993, he was accused of child sexual abuse, but the case was settled out of court and no formal charges were brought. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges after the jury ruled him not guilty on all counts. While preparing for his concert series This Is It, Jackson died on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. Before his death, Jackson had reportedly been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam. The Los Angeles County Coroner declared his death a homicide, and his personal physician pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and as many as one billion people around the world reportedly watched his public memorial service on live television. In March 2010, Sony Music Entertainment signed a US$250 million deal with Jackson's estate to retain distribution rights to his recordings until 2017, and to release seven posthumous albums over the decade following his death. His first posthumous album of new material, simply titled Michael, will be released on December 14, 2010.
* 1 Life and career
o 1.1 Early life and The Jackson 5 (1958–1975)
o 1.2 Move to Epic and Off the Wall (1975–1981)
o 1.3 Thriller and Motown 25 (1982–83)
o 1.4 Pepsi, "We Are the World" and business career (1984–85)
o 1.5 Appearance, tabloids, Bad, autobiography and films (1986–87)
o 1.6 Autobiography, changing appearance and Neverland (1988–1990)
o 1.7 Dangerous, Heal the World Foundation and Super Bowl XXVII (1991–93)
o 1.8 First child sexual abuse allegations and first marriage (1993–94)
o 1.9 HIStory, second marriage and fatherhood (1995–99)
o 1.10 Label dispute, Invincible and third child (2000–03)
o 1.11 Second child sexual abuse allegations and acquittal (2003–05)
o 1.12 Final years (2006–09)
* 2 Death and memorial
o 2.1 Death aftermath
* 3 Artistry
o 3.1 Influences
o 3.2 Musical themes and genres
o 3.3 Vocal style
o 3.4 Music videos and choreography
* 4 Legacy and influence
* 5 Honors and awards
* 6 Lifetime earnings
* 7 Discography
* 8 Filmography
* 9 Tours
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
o 11.1 Bibliography
* 12 Further reading
* 13 External links
Life and career
Early life and The Jackson 5 (1958–1975)
A house surrounded by yellow colored grass, flowers, trees, and a light blue colored sky can be seen. The house has white walls, two windows, a white door with a black door frame, and a black roof. In front of the house there is a walk way, yellow grass and multiple colored flowers and memorabilia. In the background, there are two tall trees and a light blue colored sky that has multiple clouds.
Jackson's childhood home in Gary, Indiana, showing floral tributes after his death.
Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, the eighth of ten children in an African American working-class family, in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah's Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, was a steel mill worker who performed with an R&B band called The Falcons. Jackson had three sisters: Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet, and five brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy. A sixth brother, Brandon, died shortly after birth.
Jackson had a troubled relationship with his father, Joe. Joseph acknowledged in 2003 that he regularly whipped Jackson as a child. Jackson stated that he was physically and emotionally abused during incessant rehearsals, though he also credited his father's strict discipline with playing a large role in his success. Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, broadcast in February 1993. He admitted that he had often cried from loneliness and he would vomit on the sight of his father. Jackson's father was also said to have verbally abused Jackson, saying that he had a fat nose on numerous occasions. In fact, Michael Jackson's deep dissatisfaction with his appearance, his nightmares and chronic sleep problems, his tendency to remain hyper-compliant especially with his father, and to remain child-like throughout his adult life are in many ways consistent with the effects of this chronic maltreatment he endured as a young child.
In an interview with Martin Bashir, later included in the 2003 broadcast of Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson acknowledged that his father hurt him when he was a child, but was nonetheless a "genius", as he admitted his father's strict discipline played a huge role in his success. When Bashir dismissed the positive remark and continued asking about beatings, Jackson put his hand over his face and objected to the questions. He recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, and that "if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you".
In 1964, Michael and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine. Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing. When he was eight, Jackson began sharing the lead vocals with his older brother Jermaine, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5.The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968, frequently performing at a string of black clubs known as the "chitlin' circuit", where they often opened stripteases and other adult acts. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", led by Michael.
The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", for the local record label Steeltown in 1967, before signing with Motown Records in 1968. Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts," writing that he "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer." The group set a chart record when its first four singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Between 1972 and 1975, Jackson released four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben, released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise, and producing successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben", and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin". The group's sales began declining in 1973, and the band members chafed under Motown's strict refusal to allow them creative control or input. Although they scored several top 40 hits, including the top 5 disco single "Dancing Machine" and the top 20 hit "I Am Love", the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975.
Move to Epic and Off the Wall (1975–1981)
In June 1975, the Jackson 5 signed with Epic Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records and renamed themselves the Jacksons. Younger brother Randy formally joined the band around this time, while Jermaine left to pursue a solo career. They continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984, during which Jackson was the lead songwriter, writing hits such as "Shake Your BoMichael Jackson