Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

This is Biography Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. He was also known for his unorthodox lifestyle, residing in a private amusement park he called Neverland Ranch and often becoming the focus of tabloid scrutiny.

Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records, and in the early 1980s, became a dominant figure in popular music.

His music videos, including those for “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.

Their popularity helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Bad (1987) was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles. He continued to innovate throughout the 1990s with videos such as “Black or White” and forged a reputation as a touring artist.

Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized complicated dance techniques such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style have influenced artists of various genres.

Jackson is the third-best-selling music artist of all time, with estimated sales of over 350 million records worldwide;Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of 66 million copies worldwide. His other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best selling.

He won hundreds of awards (more than any other artist in the history of popular music), is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and is the only dancer from pop and rock to have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame.

His other achievements include Guinness world records(including the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time), 15 Grammy Awards(including the Legend and Lifetime Achievement awards), 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist), and 13 number one US singles (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 was).

In the late 1980s, Jackson became a figure of controversy due to his changing appearance, relationships, and behavior. In 1993, he was accused of sexually abusing the child of a family friend; the case led to an investigation and was settled out of court for $25 million in 1994.

In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges. In 2009, while preparing for a series of comeback concerts, This Is It, Jackson died of acute intoxication from propofol and benzodiazepine given to him by his personal physician, Conrad Murray.

Jackson’s fans around the world expressed their grief, and his public memorial service was broadcast live. In 2014, Jackson became the first artist in history to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. In 2016, Jackson’s estate earned $825 million, the highest yearly amount ever recorded by Forbes.

In 2019, the documentary Leaving Neverland detailed renewed allegations of sexual abuse and led to an international backlash against Jackson.Michael Joseph Jacksonwas born in Gary, Indiana, near Chicago, on August 29, 1958. 

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 (née Scruse), played clarinet and piano, had aspired to be a country and western performer, and worked part-time at Sears to support the family.

His father, Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson, a former boxer, was a steelworker at U.S. Steel. Joe played guitar with a local rhythm and blues band, the Falcons, to supplement the family’s income. His father’s great grandfather, July “Jack” Gale, was a Native American medicine man and US Army scout. 

Michael grew up with three sisters (Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet) and five brothers (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy).A sixth brother, Marlon’s twin Brandon, died shortly after birth.Michael had a troubled relationship with his father.

Joe acknowledged that he regularly whipped him. Michael said his father told him he had a “fat nose”, and regularly physically and emotionally abused him during rehearsals. He recalled that Joe often sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, ready to physically punish any mistakes.

He later credited his father’s strict discipline with playing a large role in his success.Katherine Jackson stated that although whipping is considered abuse in more modern times, it was a common way to discipline children when Michael was growing up. 

Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon have said that their father was not abusive and that the whippings, which were harder on Michael because he was younger, kept them disciplined and out of trouble.In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, Jackson acknowledged that his youth had been lonely and isolating.

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. 

The following year, the group won a talent show; Michael performed the dance to Robert Parker’s 1965 song “Barefootin'” and singing lead to The Temptations’ “My Girl”. From 1966 to 1968 they toured the Midwest; they frequently played at a string of black clubs known as the “chitlin’ circuit” as the opening act for artists such as Sam & Dave, the O’Jays, Gladys Knight, and Etta James.

The Jackson 5 also performed at clubs and cocktail lounges, where striptease shows were featured, and at local auditoriums and high school dances.In August 1967, while touring the East Coast, the group won a weekly amateur night concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including their first single “Big Boy” (1968), for Steeltown Records, a Gary record label, then signed with Motown in 1969. They left Gary in 1969 and relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued to record for Motown. 

Rolling Stone later described the young Michael as “a prodigy” with “overwhelming musical gifts” who “quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer.The group set a chart record when its first four singles”I Want You Back” (1969), “ABC” (1970), “The Love You Save” (1970), and “I’ll Be There” (1970) peaked at number one on the 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 transitioned 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: Got to Be There (1972), Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973), and Forever, Michael (1975).

Got to Be There” and “Ben”, the title tracks from his first two solo albums, sold well as singles, as did a cover of Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin”.The Jackson 5 were later described as “a cutting-edge example of black crossover artists”. 

Their sales began to decline in 1973, and the members chafed under Motown’s refusal to allow them creative input. They made the top-five single “Dancing Machine” in 1974, then left Motown in 1975.Jackson’s performance of “Dancing Machine” on Soul Train popularized the robot dance.

In June 1975, the Jackson 5 signed with Epic Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records, and renamed themselves the Jacksons. Their younger brother Randy joined the band around this time; Jermaine stayed with Motown and pursued a solo career. 

The Jacksons continued to tour internationally and released six more albums between 1976 and 1984. Michael, the group’s main songwriter during this time, wrote songs such as “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” (1979), “This Place Hotel” (1980), and “Can You Feel It” (1980).In 1978, Jackson moved to New York City to star as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, a musical directed by Sidney Lumet.

It costarred Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross. The film was a box-office failure.The score was arranged by Quincy Jones, who agreed to produce Jackson’s next solo album. During his time in New York, Jackson frequented the Studio 54 nightclub, where he heard early hip hop; this influenced his beatboxing on future tracks such as “Working Day and Night”.

 In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a dance routine. A rhinoplasty led to breathing difficulties that later affected his career. He was referred to Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson’s subsequent operations.

Jackson’s fifth solo album, Off the Wall (1979), co-produced by Jackson and Jones, established him as a solo performer. The album helped Jackson move from the bubblegum pop of his youth to more complex sounds.Songwriters for the album included Jackson, Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney. Off the Wall was the first solo album to generate four top 10 entries in the US: “Off the Wall”, “She’s Out of My Life”, and the chart-topping singles “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock with You”.

The album reached number three on the Billboard200 and sold over 20 million copies worldwide.In 1980, Jackson won three American Music Awards for his solo work: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.

 He also won Billboard Year-End awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album, and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for 1979 with “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.In 1981 Jackson was the American Music Awards winner for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist. 

Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.In 1980, he secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37 percent of wholesale album profit.

Jackson recorded with Queen singer Freddie Mercury from 1981 to 1983, recording demos of “The State of Shock”, “Victory” and “There Must Be More to Life Than This”.The recordings were intended for an album of duets but, according to Queen’s manager Jim Beach, the relationship soured when Jackson brought a llama into the recording studio, and Jackson was upset by Mercury’s drug use.

The songs were released in 2014.Jackson went on to record “State of Shock” with Mick Jagger for the Jacksons’ album Victory (1984), and Mercury included the solo version of “There Must Be More To Life Than This” on his album Mr. Bad Guy (1985).

In 1982, Jackson contributed “Someone in the Dark” to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The song, produced by Jones, won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children for 1983.Jackson’s sixth album, Thriller, was released in late 1982. It earned Jackson seven more Grammys and eight American Music Awards, and he became the youngest artist to win the Award of Merit. 

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'”.In December 2015, Thriller was certified for 30 million shipments by the RIAA, one of only two albums to do so in the US.A year later, it was certified at 33 platinum, after Soundscan added streams and audio downloads to album certifications.

Thriller won Jackson and Quincy Jones the Grammy award for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) for 1983. It also won Album of the Year, with Jackson as the album’s artist and Jones as its co-producer, and a Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, award for Jackson. “Beat It” won Record of the Year, with Jackson as artist and Jones as co-producer, and a Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, award for Jackson.

Billie Jean” won Jackson’s two Grammy awards, Best R&B Song, with Jackson as its songwriter, and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, as its artist.Thriller also won another Grammy for Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical in 1984, awarding Bruce Swedien for his work on the album.

The AMA Awards for 1984 gave Jackson an Award of Merit and AMAs for Favorite Male Artist, Soul/R&B, and Favorite Male Artist, Pop/Rock. “Beat It” won Jackson AMAs for Favorite Video, Soul/R&B, Favorite Video, Pop/Rock, and Favorite Single, Pop/Rock. Thriller won him AMAs for Favorite Album, Soul/R&B, and Favorite Album, Pop/Rock.

Jackson released “Thriller”, a 14-minute music video directed by John Landis, in 1983.The zombie-themed video “defined music videos and broke racial barriers” on MTV, a fledgling entertainment television channel at the time.In December 2009, the Library of Congress selected the “Thriller” music video as the only music video to be preserved in the National Film Registry, as a work of “enduring importance to American culture”.

Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point, about $2 for every album sold, and was making record-breaking profits. The videocassette of the documentary The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller sold over 350,000 copies in a few months.

Dolls modeled after Jackson appeared in stores in May 1984 for $12 each.J. Randy Taraborrelliwrites that “Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie and started selling like a household staple. In 1985, The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller 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. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too”.

The New York Times wrote that “in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else”.On March 25, 1983, Jackson reunited with his brothers for Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, an NBC television special.

The show aired on May 16, 1983, to an estimated audience of 47 million, and featured the Jacksons and other Motown stars.Jackson’s solo performance of “Billie Jean” earned him his first Emmy nomination. 

Wearing a black sequined jacket and a golf glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his moonwalk dance, which Jeffrey Daniel had taught him three years earlier.

Jackson had originally turned down the invitation to the show, believing he had been doing too much television; at the request of Motown founder Berry Gordy, he performed in exchange for time to do a solo performance.

Rolling Stone reporter Mikal Gilmore called the performance “extraordinary”.

Jackson’s performance drew comparisons to Elvis Presley’s and the Beatles’ appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times writing in 1988 praised the perfect timing and technique involved in the dance.

Gordy described being “mesmerized” by the performance.In November 1983, Jackson and his brothers partnered with PepsiCo in a $5 million promotional deal that broke records for a celebrity endorsement.

The first Pepsi campaign, which ran in the US from 1983 to 1984 and launched its “New Generation” theme, included tour sponsorship, public relations events, and in-store displays. Jackson helped to create the advertisement and suggested using his song “Billie Jean” as its jingle with revised lyrics. Brian J.

Murphy, executive VP of branded management at TBA Global, said: “You couldn’t separate the tour from the endorsement from the licensing of the music, and then the integration of the music into the Pepsi fabric.On January 27, 1984, Michael and other members of the Jacksons filmed a Pepsi commercial overseen by Phil Dusenberry, a BBDO ad agency executive, and Alan Pottasch, Pepsi’s Worldwide Creative Director, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

During a simulated concert before a full house of fans, pyrotechnics accidentally set Jackson’s hair on fire, causing second-degree burns to his scalp. Jackson underwent treatment to hide the scars and had his third rhinoplasty shortly thereafter. Pepsi settled out of court, and Jackson donated the $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California; its Michael Jackson Burn Center is named in his honor.

Jackson signed a second agreement with Pepsi in the late 1980s for $10 million. The second campaign had a global reach of more than 20 countries and provided financial support for Jackson’s Bad album and 1987 88 world tour.

Jackson had endorsements and advertising deals with other companies, such as LA Gear, Suzuki, and Sony, but none were as significant as his deals with Pepsi.On May 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave Jackson an award for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse, and in recognition of his support for the Ad Council’s and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Drunk Driving Prevention campaign.

Jackson donated the use of “Beat It” for the campaign’s public service announcements.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 held a press conference and announced that he would donate his share of the proceeds, an estimated $3 to 5 million, to charity.

His charitable work continued with the release of “We Are the World” (1985), co-written with Lionel Richie, which raised money for the poor in the US and Africa.It earned $63 million, and became one of the best selling singles of all time, with 20 million copies sold. 

It won four Grammys for 1985, including Song of the Year for Jackson and Richie as its writers.The American Music Awards directors removed the charity song from the competition because they felt it would be inappropriate, but the AMA show in 1986 concluded with a tribute to the song on its first anniversary.

The project’s creators received two special AMA honors: one for the creation of the song and another for the USA for Africa’s idea. Jackson, Jones, and promoter Ken Kragan received special awards for their roles in the song’s creation.

Jackson collaborated with Paul McCartney in the early 1980s and learned that McCartney was making $40 million a year from owning the rights to other people’s songs.By 1983, Jackson had begun buying publishing rights to others’ songs, but he was careful with his acquisitions, only bidding on a few of the dozens that were offered to him.

Jackson’s early acquisitions of music catalogs and song copyrights such as the Sly Stone collection included “Everyday People” (1968), Len Barry’s (1965), and Dion DiMucci’s “The Wanderer” (1961) and “Runaround Sue” (1961).In 1984 Robert Holmes à Court announced he was selling the ATV Music Publishing catalog comprising the publishing rights to nearly 4000 songs, including most of the Beatles’ material.

In 1981, McCartney had been offered the catalog for £20 million ($40 million).Jackson submitted a bid of $46 million on November 20, 1984. When Jackson and McCartney were unable to make a joint purchase, McCartney did not want to be the sole owner of the Beatles’ songs and did not pursue an offer on his own.

Jackson’s agents were unable to come to a deal, and in May 1985 left talks after having spent more than $1 million and four months of due diligence work on the negotiations.In June 1985, Jackson and Branca learned that Charles Koppelman’s and Marty Bandier’s The Entertainment Company had made a tentative offer to buy ATV Music for $50 million; in early August, Holmes à Court contacted Jackson and talks resumed.

Jackson’s increased bid of $47.5 million was accepted because he could close the deal more quickly, having already completed due diligence.Jackson also agreed to visit Holmes à Court in Australia, where he would appear on the Channel Seven Perth Telethon.Jackson’s purchase of ATV Music was finalized on August 10, 1985.Jackson’s skin had been medium brown during his youth, but from the mid-1980s gradually grew paler.

The change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that he had been bleaching his skin. According to Taraborrelli, in 1984 Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo, which causes white patches on the skin, and had also been skin bleaching.

He said that Jackson was diagnosed with lupus, which was in remission. Both conditions made Jackson’s skin sensitive to sunlight. The treatments for his condition further lightened his skin, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he could appear even paler. 

Jackson said that he used makeup to control the patchy appearance of his skin, but never purposely bleached his skin. He said that he could not control his vitiligo.In his autobiography, Jackson stated he had had two rhinoplasties and no other facial surgery, other than having had a dimple created in his chin.

He said he had lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for “a dancer’s body”. Witnesses reported that he was often dizzy, and speculated he was suffering from anorexia nervous.

Periods of weight loss became a recurring problem later in his life.During the course of his treatment, Jackson became friendly with his dermatologist, Arnold Klein, and Klein’s nurse Debbie Rowe. Rowe later became Jackson’s second wife and the mother of his first two children.

Klein also gave him medical and business advice.In 1986, the tabloids ran a story claiming that he slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow aging, and was pictured lying in a glass box. The claim was untrue, and widely cited tabloid reports state that Jackson spread the story himself. 

When Jackson bought a chimpanzee named Bubbles from a laboratory, he was reported as being increasingly detached from reality.It was reported that Jackson had offered to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick (the “Elephant Man”) and, although the story was untrue, Jackson did not deny it.

He initially saw these stories as opportunities for publicity but stopped leaking them to the press as they became more sensational. The media then began fabricating stories. These stories inspired the nickname “Wacko Jacko”, which Jackson came to despise.Jackson worked with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola on the 17 minutes $30 million 3D films Captain EO, which debuted in 1986 at Disneyland and Epcot in Florida, and in 1987 at Tokyo Disneyland.

It also featured at Euro Disneyland from 1992 to 1998.It returned to Disneyland in 2010 after Jackson’s death.In 1987, Jackson disassociated himself from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.Katherine Jackson said this might have been because some Witnesses strongly opposed the Thriller video.

Jackson had denounced it in a Witness publication in 1984.Jackson’s first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated, with the industry expecting another major success. It produced nine singles, with seven chartings in the US.

Five of them (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”) reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the most number-one Hot 100 singles from a single album. It won the 1988 Grammy for Best Engineered Recording – Not-Classical and the 1989 Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form for “Leave Me Alone”.

Jackson won an Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards in 1989 after Bad generated five number-one singles, became the first album to top the charts in 25 countries, and the best-selling album worldwide in 1987 and 1988. By 2012, it had sold between 30 and 45 million copies worldwide. The Bad world tour ran from September 12, 1987, to January 14, 1989.

In Japan, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record for a single tour. 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium, setting a new Guinness world record. In 1988, Jackson released his autobiography, Moonwalk, which took four years to complete.

It sold 200,000 copies and reached the top of the New York Times bestsellers list. He wrote about his childhood, the abuse from his father, and the Jackson 5, and attributed his changing facial appearance to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hairstyle, and stage lighting.

Jackson released a film, Moonwalker, which featured live footage and short films starring Jackson and Joe Pesci. Due to financial problems, the film was only released theatrically in Germany; in other markets, it was released direct-to-video.

It debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, and stayed there for 22 weeks, until it was displaced by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues. 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 several carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel, carousel, movie theater, and zoo. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. In 2003, it was valued at $100 million. Shortly afterward, he became the first Westerner to appear in a television advertisement in the Soviet Union.

Jackson became known as the “King of Pop”.It was popularized by Elizabeth Taylor when she presented him with the Soul Train Heritage Award in 1989, proclaiming him “the true king of pop, rock and soul,and the release of the “Black or White” video. 

President George H. W. Bush designated him the White House’s “Artist of the Decade”.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.

His rendition of “You Were There” at Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th birthday celebration won Jackson a second Emmy nomination. In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million, a record-breaking deal, beating Neil Diamond’s renewal contract with Columbia Records.

In 1991, he released his eighth album, Dangerous, co-produced with Teddy Riley. It was certified seven times platinum in the US, and by 2008 had sold 30 million copies worldwide. In the US, the first single, “Black or White”, was the album’s highest-charting song; it was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and achieved similar chart performances worldwide.

The second single, “Remember the Time”, spent eight weeks in the top five in the US, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. At the end of 1992, Dangerous was named the best-selling album of the year worldwide and “Black or White” the best-selling single of the year worldwide at the Billboard Music Awards. Jackson was also named the best-selling artist of the 1980s.In 1993, he performed “Black or White” at the Soul Train Music Awards in a chair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals.

In the UK, “Heal the World” sold 450,000 copies and spent five weeks at number two in 1992. Jackson founded the Heal the World Foundation in 1992. The charity brought underprivileged children to Jackson’s ranch to use the theme park rides and sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war, poverty, and disease.

That July, Jackson published his second book, Dancing the Dream, a collection of poetry. The Dangerous World Touran between June 1992 and November 1993, having grossed $100 million; Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 70 concerts.

He sold the broadcast rights to the tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands. Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, which was controversial at the time. Following the death of AIDS spokesperson Ryan White, he pleaded with the Clinton administration at Bill Clinton’s inaugural gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.

Jackson visited Africa; on his first stop in Gabon he was greeted by more than 100,000 people, some of them carrying signs that read “Welcome Home Michael”.During his trip to Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned “King Sani” by a tribal chief.

He thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed documents formalizing his kingship, and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.

In January 1993, Jackson performed at the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show in Pasadena, California. The NFL sought big-name talent to keep ratings high during halftime following dwindling audience figures.It was the first Super Bowl whose half-time performance drew greater audience figures than the game.

The performance began with Jackson catapulting onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him, followed by four songs: “Jam”, “Billie Jean”, “Black or White”, and “Heal the World”. Jackson’s Dangerous album rose 90 places in the album chart after the performance.

Jackson gave a 90-minute interview to Winfrey on February 10, 1993, his second television interview since 1979. He spoke of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood and said that he often cried from loneliness.

He denied tabloid rumors that he had bought the bones of the Elephant Man, slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or bleached his skin, and stated for the first time that he had vitiligo. Dangerous re-entered the album chart in the top 10, more than a year after its release.In January 1993, Jackson won three American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album (Dangerous), Favorite Soul/R&B Single (“Remember the Time”), and was the first to win the International Artist Award of Excellence. 

In February, he won the “Living Legend Award” at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Dangerous was nominated for Best Vocal Performance (for “Black or White”), Best R&B Vocal Performance (“Jam”), and Best R&B Song (“Jam”), and Swedien and Riley won the award for Best Engineered Not-Classic.ln August 1993, a 13-year-old boy Jackson had shared a bed with accused him of sexual abuse. After a police investigation, no charges were brought.

Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax, and Ativan to cope with the stress of the allegations. By late 1993, he was addicted to drugs.He relied on Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, for emotional support; she was concerned about his health and drug addictions.

They had known each other since she was seven and attended one of Jackson’s family engagements.They stayed in contact every day on the telephone. Presley said: “I believed he didn’t do anything wrong and that he was wrongly accused and yes I started falling for him.

I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it.Shortly afterward, she persuaded Jackson to settle out of court with the boy’s family, and go into rehabilitation.

Jackson proposed to Presley by telephone in late 1993.They married secretly in the Dominican Republic in May 1994, denying it for nearly two months afterward.Presley described the marriage as “a married couple’s life … that was sexually active.

The tabloid media speculated that the wedding was a ploy to prop up Jackson’s public image, and staff at Neverland later told authorities that no woman ever stayed the night with Jackson.

The marriage ended less than two years later with an amicable divorce settlement.In June 1995, Jackson released the double album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, is a greatest hits album (reissued in 2001 as Greatest Hits: HIStory, Volume I). The second disc, HIStory Continues, contains 13 original songs and two cover versions.

The album debuted at number one on the charts and has been certified for seven million shipments in the US.It is the best-selling multi-disc album of all time, with 20 million copies (40 million units) sold worldwide.

HIStory received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.The first single released from HIStory was “Scream/Childhood”. “Scream”, a duet with Jackson’s youngest sister Janet, protests the media’s treatment of Jackson during the 1993 child abuse allegations.

The single had the highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number five, and received a Grammy nomination for “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals”.The second single, “You Are Not Alone”, holds the Guinness world record for the first song to debut at number one on the billboard hot 100 charts. It sold well and received a Grammy nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Performance”.

In late 1995, Jackson was rushed to a hospital after collapsing during rehearsals for a televised performance, caused by a stress-related panic attack.In November, Jackson merged his ATV Music catalog with Sony’s music publishing division, creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. He retained ownership of half the company, earning $95 million upfront as well as the rights to more songs.

Earth Song” was the third single released from HIStory, and topped the UK Singles Chart for six weeks over Christmas 1995; it sold a million copies, making it Jackson’s best-selling single in the UK. When the Anti-Defamation League and other groups complained that the lyrics of “They Don’t Care About Us” were antisemitic, Jackson released a version with revised words.

In 1996, Jackson won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form for “Scream” and an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist.Jackson promoted HIStory with the HIStory World Tour, from September 7, 1996, to October 15, 1997.

He performed 82 concerts in five continents, 35 countries, and 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans, his most attended tour. It grossed $165 million.During the tour, in Sydney, Australia, Jackson married Debbie Rowe, a dermatology nurse, who was six months pregnant with his first child.Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, commonly known as Prince was born on February 13, 1997; his sister Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born a year later on April 3, 1998. 

Rowe later stated that she had never had sex with Jackson.Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999, and Rowe conceded custody of the children, with an $8 million settlement. In 2004, after the second child abuse allegations against Jackson, she returned to court to reclaim custody. The suit was settled in 2006.In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor:

HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies, making it the best-selling remix album of all time.It reached number one in the UK, as did the title track.

In the US, the album reached number 24 and was certified platinum.From October 1997 to September 2001, Jackson worked on his tenth solo album, Invincible. The album cost $30 million to record, not including promotional expenditures. 

In June 1999, Jackson joined Luciano Pavarotti for a War Child benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia, and additional funds for the children of Guatemala.Later that month, Jackson organized a series of “Michael Jackson & Friends” benefit concerts in Germany and Korea.

Other artists involved included Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana, Andrea Bocelli, and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Red Cross, and UNESCO. 

From August 1999 to 2000, he lived in New York City at 4 East 74th Street.At the turn of the century, Jackson won an American Music Award as Artist of the 1980s. In 2000, Guinness World Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities, more than any other entertainer.

In September 2001, two 30th Anniversary concerts were held at Madison Square Garden to mark Jackson’s 30th year as a solo artist. Jackson performed with his brothers for the first time since 1984. The show also featured artists including Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, NSYNC, Destiny’s Child, Monica, Luther Vandross, and Slash.

After 9/11, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on October 21, 2001. Jackson performed “What More Can I Give” as the finale.

The release of Invincible was preceded by a dispute between Jackson and his record label, Sony Music Entertainment. Jackson had expected the licenses to the masters of his albums to revert to him in the early 2000s, after which he would be able to promote the material however he pleased and keep the profits, but clauses in the contract set the revert date years into the future.

Jackson discovered that the attorney who had represented him in the deal had also been representing Sony.Sony had been pressuring him to sell his share in its music catalog venture, and he feared that Sony might have had a conflict of interest since if Jackson’s career failed, he would have had to sell his share of the catalog cheaply.

Jackson sought an early exit from his contract.Invincible was released on October 30, 2001. It was Jackson’s first full-length album in six years, and the last album of original material he released in his lifetime.

It debuted at number one in 13 countries and went on to sell 6 million copies worldwide, receiving double-platinum certification in the US. Sales for Invincible were lower than Jackson’s previous releases, due in part to the record label dispute and the lack of promotion or tour, and its release at a bad time for the music industry.

On January 22, 2002, Jackson won his 22nd American Music Award for Artist of the Century. Later that year, an anonymous surrogate mother gave birth to his third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (nicknamed “Blanket”), who had been conceived by artificial insemination. 

On November 20, Jackson briefly held Blanket over the railing of his Berlin hotel room, four stories above ground level, prompting widespread criticism in the media. Jackson apologized for the incident, calling it “a terrible mistake.

Jackson alleged in July 2002 that Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola was a “devil” and “racist” who did not support his African-American artists and only used them for his own gain. He charged that Mottola had called his colleague Irv Gotti a “fat nigger”.Sony refused to renew Jackson’s contract, and claimed that a $25 million promotional campaign had failed because Jackson refused to tour in the US.

Following a documentary made in 2002 and screened in 2003 in which Jackson discussed his practice of sharing a bed with young boys, he was arrested and tried for child molestation. He was acquitted in June 2005. After the trial, he largely withdrew from public life. On November 17, 2003, three days before his arrest, Sony had released Number Ones, a compilation of his songs on CD and DVD. In the US, the album was certified triple platinum by the RIAA; in the UK it was certified six times platinum for shipments of at least 1.2 million units.

In March 2006, Jackson failed to make repayments on a $270 million loan secured against his music-publishing holdings, which were making him $75 million a year. Bank of America sold the debt to Fortress Investments. Sony proposed a restructuring deal that would give them a future option to buy half of Jackson’s stake in their jointly-owned publishing company, leaving Jackson with a 25% stake.

The main house at Neverland Ranch was closed as a cost-cutting measure. Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal in April 2006; the details were not made public. In early 2006, it was announced that Jackson had signed a contract with a Bahrain-based startup, Two Seas Records; nothing came of the deal, and Two Seas CEO Guy Holmes later stated that it had never been finalized.

That October, Fox News entertainment reporter Roger Friedman said that Jackson had been recording at a studio in rural County Westmeath, Ireland. It was not known at the time what Jackson was working on, or who had paid for the sessions since his publicist had recently issued a statement claiming that he had left Two Seas.

In November 2006, Jackson invited an Access Hollywood camera crew into the studio in Westmeath, and MSNBC reported that he was working on a new album, produced by will.i.am. 

During his period in Ireland, he sought out Patrick Treacy for cosmetic treatment after reading about his experience with HLA fillers and his charitable work in Africa. Treacy became Jackson’s personal dermatologist. Jackson performed at the World Music Awards in London on November 15, 2006, and accepted a Diamond Award for selling over 100 million records. 

He returned to the US in December 2006 to attend James Brown’s funeral in Augusta, Georgia, where he gave one of the eulogies, calling Brown his “greatest inspiration”.In 2007, Jackson and Sony bought another music publishing company, Famous Music LLC, formerly owned by Viacom. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem and Beck, among others.

In March 2007, Jackson gave a brief interview to the Associated Press in Tokyo in which he said he had no regrets about his lifelong career. That month, Jackson visited a US Army post in Japan, Camp Zama, to greet over 3,000 troops and their families. In September 2007, Jackson was still working on his next album, which he never completed.

In 2008, Jackson and Sony released Thriller 25 to mark the 25th anniversary of the original Thriller. Two remixes were released as singles: “The Girl Is Mine 2008” (with will.i.am), based on an early demo version of the song without Paul McCartney, and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008” (with Akon).

For Jackson’s 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a series of greatest hits albums, King of Pop. Different versions were released in various countries, based on polls of local fans. King of Pop reached the top 10 in most countries where it was issued and also sold well as an import in other countries, including the US.

In late 2008, Fortress Investments threatened to foreclose on Neverland Ranch, which Jackson had used as collateral for loans running into tens of millions of dollars. Fortress sold Jackson’s debts to Colony Capital LLC.

In November, Jackson transferred Neverland Ranch’s title to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC, a joint venture between Jackson and Colony Capital LLC. The deal cleared Jackson’s debt and earned him an additional $35 million. At the time of his death, Jackson still owned a stake in Neverland/Sycamore Valley.

Jackson arranged to sell a large collection of memorabilia through Julien’s Auction House. The auction was scheduled to take place between April 22 and 25, 2009. An exhibition of the lots opened on April 14, but Jackson canceled the auction.

In March 2009, at a press conference at London’s O2 Arena, Jackson announced a series of comeback concerts titled This Is It. The shows were to be his first major tour since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997.

Jackson suggested he would retire after the shows. The initial plan was for 10 concerts in London, followed by shows in Paris, New York City, and Mumbai. Randy Phillips, president, and chief executive of AEG Live, predicted that the first 10 dates would earn Jackson £50 million.

The London residency was increased to 50 dates after record-breaking ticket sales: over one million were sold in less than two hours. The concerts were to run from July 13, 2009, to March 6, 2010. Jackson rehearsed in Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the tour under the direction of choreographer Kenny Ortega.

Most rehearsals took place at the Staples Center, owned by AEG.On June 25, 2009, less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died from a cardiac arrest. Conrad Murray, his personal physician, had given Jackson various medications in an attempt to help him sleep at his rented mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 pm (PDT, 19:22 UTC), arriving three minutes later. Jackson was not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for more than an hour after arriving there at 1:13 pm (20:13 UTC), but were unsuccessful.

He was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm Pacific time (21:26 UTC).

Jackson had taken propofol, lorazepam, and midazolam; his death was caused by a propofol overdose. His fans around the world expressed their grief. The news spread quickly online, causing websites to slow down and crash from user overload, and putting unprecedented strain on services and websites including Google, AOL Instant Messenger, Twitter.

Overall, web traffic rose by between 11% and 20%.MTV and BET aired marathons of Jackson’s music videos. Jackson specials aired on television stations around the world.MTV briefly returned to its original music video format, and aired hours of Jackson’s music videos, with live news specials featuring reactions from MTV personalities and other celebrities.

Jackson’s memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park’s Hall of Liberty. Tickets to the memorial were distributed via lottery; over 1.6 million fans applied for tickets during the two-day application period.

The 8,750 recipients were drawn at random, and each received two tickets. The memorial service was one of the most-watched events in streaming history, with an estimated US audience of 31.1 million. Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, and Shaheen Jafargholi performed at the event. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson gave eulogies, and Queen Latifah read “We Had Him”, a poem written for the occasion by Maya Angelou.

Al Sharpton received a standing ovation with cheers when he told Jackson’s children, “Wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway. Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter Paris Katherine, speaking publicly for the first time, wept as she addressed the crowd.

The Rev. Lucious Smith provided a closing prayer. Jackson’s body was entombed on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. In August 2009, the Los Angeles County Coroner ruled that Jackson’s death was a homicide. Law enforcement officials investigated Murray and charged him with involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles on February 8, 2010.

The California Medical Board issued an order preventing Murray from administering heavy sedatives. On June 25, 2010, the first anniversary of Jackson’s death, fans, family and friends visited Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his family home, and Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Many left tributes at the sites. Murray’s trial began on September 27, 2011; on November 7, 2011, he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. And held without bail to await sentencing. On November 29, 2011, Murray received the maximum sentence of four years in prison.

He was released on October 28, 2013due to California prison overcrowding and good behavior. In April 2011, Mohamed Al-Fayed, chairman of Fulham Football Club, unveiled a statue of Jackson outside the club stadium, Craven Cottage. Fulham fans failed to see the relevance of Jackson to the club; Al-Fayed defended the statue and told the fans to “go to hell” if they did not appreciate it. The statue was removed in September 2013and moved to the National Football Museum in Manchester in May 2014. The statue was removed.


1972 – Got to Be There

1972 – Ben

1973 – Music & Me

1975 – Forever, Michael

1979 – Off the Wall

1982 – Thriller

1987 – Bad

1991 – Dangerous

1995 – HIStory: Past, Present, and Future – Book I

2001 – Invincible

2010 – Michael

2014 – Xscape

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