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Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson




  • Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana. Under his father’s encouragement, Jackson’s career in music began at the age of 5.
  • 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.
  • His mother, Katherine Esther Jackson, played clarinet and piano. His father, Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson, a former boxer, was a crane operator at U.S. Steel and played guitar with a local rhythm and blues band, the Falcons, to supplement the family’s income.


  • Michael said his father told him he had a “fat nose,” and regularly physically and emotionally abused him during rehearsals.
  • In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, Jackson said that his youth had been lonely and isolated.
  • In 1964, Michael and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by their father which included Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine.
  • In 1965, Michael began sharing lead vocals with Jermaine, and the group’s name was changed to the Jackson 5.



  • From 1966 to 1968 they toured the Midwest.The Jackson 5 also performed at clubs and cocktail lounges.
  • The Jackson 5 recorded several songs for a Gary record label, Steeltown Records; their first single, “Big Boy”, was released in 1968.
  • After signing with Motown, the Jackson family relocated from Gary to Los Angeles. The Jackson 5 made their first television appearance in 1969 in the Miss Black America Pageant.


  • In January 1970, “I Want You Back” became the first Jackson 5 song to reach number one the US Billboard Hot 100. In May 1971, the Jackson family moved into a large house on a two-acre estate in Encino, California.
  • During this period, Michael developed from a child performer into a teen idol. As he emerged as a solo performer in the early 1970s, he maintained ties to the Jackson 5.
  • Between 1972 and 1975, Michael released four solo studio albums with Motown. Jackson’s performance of their top five single “Dancing Machine” on Soul Train popularized the robot dance.


  • In 1975, the Jackson 5 left Motown. They signed with Epic Records and renamed themselves the Jacksons.
  • The Jacksons continued to tour internationally, and released six more albums between 1976 and 1984.
  • In 1978, Jackson moved to New York City to star as the Scarecrow in The WiZ. In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a dance routine. A rhinoplasty led to breathing difficulties that later affected his career.
  • Jackson’s fifth solo album, Off the Wall (1979), established him as a solo performer.


  • In 1980, Jackson won three American Music Awards for his solo work.In 1980, he secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37 percent of wholesale album profit.
  • Jackson’s sixth album, Thriller, was released in late 1982. It was the best-selling album worldwide in 1983, and became the best-selling album of all time in the USand the best-selling album of all time worldwide, selling an estimated 66 million copies.
  • It topped the Billboard 200 chart for 37 weeks and was in the top 10 of the 200 for 80 consecutive weeks.


  • It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ “.
  • Jackson’s solo performance of “Billie Jean” earned him his first Emmy Award nomination. Wearing a glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his moonwalk dance, which Jeffrey Daniel had taught him three years earlier, and it became his signature dance in his repertoire.
  • At the 26th Annual Grammy Awards, Thriller won eight awards.


  • Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point, with about $2 for every album sold, and was making record-breaking profits. Dolls modeled after Jackson appeared in stores in May 1984 for $12 each.
  • In the same year, The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, a music documentary, won a Grammy for Best Music Video (Longform).
  • Time described Jackson’s influence at that point as “star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. The New York Times wrote “in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else.”


  • On May 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave Jackson an award for his support of alcohol and drug abuse charities.
  • The Victory Tour of 1984 headlined the Jacksons and showcased Jackson’s new solo material to more than two million Americans.
  • It was the last tour he did with his brothers.Following controversy over the concert’s ticket sales, Jackson donated his share of the proceeds, an estimated $3 to 5 million, to charity.His charitable work continued with the release of more albums


  • Jackson’s skin had been medium-brown during his youth, but from the mid-1980s gradually grew paler. The change drew widespread media coverage, including speculation that he had been bleaching his skin.
  • Jackson was badly injured while filming a commercial for PepsiCo in 1984, suffering burns to his face and scalp.
  • Jackson had surgery to repair his injuries and is believed to have begun experimenting with plastic surgery around this time. His face, especially his nose, would become dramatically altered in the coming years.


  • In 1986, tabloids reported that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow aging, and pictured him lying in a glass box. The claim was untrue, and tabloids reported that he spread the story himself.
  • Jackson’s first album in five years, Bad(1987), was highly anticipated, with the industry expecting another major success.Bad won the 1988 Grammy for Best Engineered Recording .By 2012, it had sold between 30 and 45 million copies worldwide.
  • In 1988, Jackson released his autobiography, Moonwalk.It sold 200,000 copies,and reached the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.
  • In March 1988, Jackson purchased 2,700 acres (11 km2) of land near Santa Ynez, California, to build a new home, Neverland Ranch, at a cost of $17 million.
  • He installed a movie theater and a zoo.A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds.Jackson became known as the “King of Pop”, a nickname that Jackson’s publicists embraced.
  • From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $455,000 to the United Negro College Fund,and all profits from his single “Man in the Mirror” went to charity.


  • Allegations of child molestation against Jackson first emerged in 1993, when a 13-year-old boy claimed that the music star had fondled him. Jackson was known to have sleepovers with boys at his Neverland Ranch, but this was the first public charge of wrongdoing.
  • Jackson admitted that he continued to have children sleep over at his ranch, even after the 1993 allegations, and that sometimes he slept with the children in his bed. “Why can’t you share your bed? That’s the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone,” Jackson told Bashir.


  • In 2003, Jackson encountered more legal woes when he was arrested on charges related to incidents with a 13-year-old boy.
  • Facing 10 counts in all, he was charged with lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Jackson was found not guilty of all charges on June 14, 2005.


  • In August 1994, Jackson announced that he had married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock icon Elvis Presley but the union proved to be short-lived. They divorced in 1996.
  • Later that same year, Jackson wed nurse Debbie Rowe. The couple divorced in 1999. Jackson and Rowe had two children through artificial insemination: Son Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr., born in 1997, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, born in 1998.
  • When Rowe and Jackson divorced, Michael received full custody of their two children.


  • By the turn of the century, Jackson was increasingly becoming known for his eccentricities, which included wearing a surgical mask in public.
  • In 2002, Jackson made headlines when he seemed confused and disoriented on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
  • In 2002, he received enormous criticism for dangling his baby son, Blanket, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, Germany.
  • The aftermath of his 2005 trial for child molestation, Jackson’s reputation was effectively destroyed and his finances were in shambles.


  • He soon found refuge in his friendship with Bahrain’s Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who helped the pop star pay his legal and utility bills, and invited him to his country as a personal guest.In Bahrain, the prince took care of the singer’s expenses and built a recording studio for him.
  • In even greater financial straits, Jackson defaulted on the $24.5 million loan owed on his Neverland Ranch in 2008. Around this same time, the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he would be performing a series of concerts as his “final curtain call.“
  • Set to appear at the O2 Arena in London, England, beginning July 8, 2009, Jackson saw all of the tickets to his “This Is It” tour sell out in only four hours. Sadly, Jackson would never get to experience the anticipated success of his comeback tour, as he died


  • Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50 after suffering a cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. In February 2010, an official coroner’s report revealed 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.
  • On July 7, 2009, a televised memorial was held for fans of the “King of Pop” at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. While 17,500 free tickets were issued to fans via lottery, an estimated 1 billion viewers watched the memorial on TV or online.
  • Jackson’s death resulted in an outpouring of public grief and sympathy.