Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jackson Autobiography,

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1988–90: Autobiography, changing appearance, and Neverland

In 1988, Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, which took four years to complete and sold 200,000 copies.[58] Jackson wrote about his childhood, The Jackson 5, and the abuse he had suffered.[59] He also spoke of his plastic surgery, saying he had had two rhinoplastic surgeries and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin.[43] He attributed much of the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style, and stage lighting.[43] Moon Walk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers' list.[60] The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage and music videos that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. Moonwalker debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.[61]

In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of $17 million. He installed Ferris wheels, a menagerie, and a movie theater on the 2,700-acre (11 km2) property. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. In 2003, it was valued at approximately $100 million.[13][62] In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts was estimated at $125 million for that year alone.[63] Shortly afterwards, he became the first Westerner to appear in a television ad in the Soviet Union.[61]

His success resulted in his being dubbed the "King of Pop", a nickname conceived by Elizabeth Taylor when she presented him with an "Artist of the Decade" award in 1989, proclaiming him "the true king of pop, rock and soul."[64] President George H. W. Bush presented him with The White House's special "Artist of the Decade."[65] From 1985 to 1990, he donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity.[66][67] Jackson's live rendition of "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr.'s60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.[61]

1991–93: Dangerous and Super Bowl XXVII

In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million, a record-breaking deal at the time, displacing Neil Diamond's renewal contract with Columbia Records.[62] Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991. As of 2008, Dangerous had shipped seven million copies in the U.S. and had sold 32 million copies worldwide; it is the most successful new jack swing album of all time.[68][69][70] In the United States, the album's first single "Black or White" was its biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide.[71] The album's second single "Remember the Time" spent eight weeks in the top five in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[72] In 1993, Jackson performed the song at the Soul Train Awards in a chair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals.[73] In the UK and other parts of Europe, "Heal the World" was the biggest hit from the album; it sold 450,000 copies in the UK and spent five weeks at number two in 1992.[72]

Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's ranch to enjoy theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property. The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war and disease. The Dangerous World Tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993. Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts. All profits from the concerts went to the "Heal the World Foundation", raising millions of dollars in relief.[72][74] He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands.[75] Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.[76][77]

In a high-profile visit to Africa, Jackson visited several countries, among them Gabon and Egypt.[78] His first stop to Gabon was greeted with a sizable reception of more than 100,000 people in "spiritual bedlam", some of them carrying signs that read, "Welcome Home Michael".[78] In his trip to the Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief.[78] He then thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed official documents formalizing his kingship and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.[78]

One of Jackson's most acclaimed performances came during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. As the performances began, Jackson was catapulted up from beneath the stage as fireworks went off behind him. After landing on the canvas, he maintained a statuesque stance dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained in the stance for over a minute while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and began to sing and dance. His routine included four songs: "Jam", "Billie Jean", "Black or White" and "Heal the World". It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone; Jackson'sDangerous album rose 90 places up the album chart.[40]

Jackson was given the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. "Black or White" was Grammy nominated for best vocal performance. "Jam" gained two nominations: Best R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.[72]

1993: First child sexual abuse allegations

Main article: 1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson

Jackson gave a 90-minute interview to Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, his second television interview since 1979. He grimaced when speaking of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood years, admitting 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, stating for the first time that he had vitiligo. The interview was watched by an American audience of 90 million, becoming the fourth most-viewed non-sport program in U.S. history. It also increased awareness of vitiligo, a relatively unknown condition. Dangerous re-entered the album chart in the top 10, more than a year after its original release.[40][11][72]

In the summer of 1993, Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler and his father, Evan Chandler, a dentist.[79] A year after Jackson met the boy, under the influence of sodium amytal, a controversial sedative, Jordan told his father that Jackson had touched his penis.[80] The father was tape-recorded discussing his intention to pursue charges, where he said, "If I go through with this, I win big-time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever ... Michael's career will be over".[81] He and Jackson engaged in unsuccessful negotiations to reach a financial settlement; the negotiations were initiated by Chandler but Jackson did make several counter offers. Jordan told a psychiatrist and later police that he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer's genitals.[82]

An official investigation began, with Jordan's mother adamant that there was no wrongdoing on Jackson's part. Neverland Ranch was searched; and multiple children and family members denied that Jackson was a pedophile,[82] though his image took a further hit when his older sister, La Toya, accused him of being a pedophile, a statement she later retracted.[83] Jackson agreed to a 25-minute strip search, conducted by police and doctors at his ranch, required to see if a description provided by Jordan of Jackson's genitals was accurate. Doctors concluded there were strong similarities, but it was not a definitive match.[83] His friends said he never recovered from the humiliation. He described the search in an emotional public statement, and proclaimed his innocence.[79]

He began taking painkillers and sedatives, including Valium, Ativan, and Xanax, in part to ease chronic pain resulting from an accident with stage rigging during the Dangerous Tour, and for joint inflammation associated with the lupus, but also to ease the panic attacks stemming from the allegations against him. By the fall of 1993, he was addicted.[84] His health deteriorated to such an extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into rehab in London for a few months, dramatically disappearing from public view with the help of Elizabeth Taylor and Elton John.[85] The stress of the allegations also caused him to stop eating, and he lost a significant amount of weight.[86] With his health in decline, his friends and legal advisers took over his defense and finances. They called on him to settle the child-abuse allegations out of court, believing he could not endure a lengthy trial.[85][86]

The tabloids painted him in an extremely unfavorable light.[87] Complaints about them included bias against Jackson, paying for stories about alleged criminal activity, and buying leaked confidential material from the police investigation.[88] On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandlers out of court for $22 million, after which Jordan stopped co-operating regarding criminal proceedings. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence.[89]

1994: First marriage

The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June

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1975–81: Move to Epic and Off the Wall

The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records,[15] and renaming themselves The Jacksons.[16] 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 Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel," and "Can You Feel It".[12]

In 1978, he starred as the scarecrow in the musical, The Wiz,[17] and it was here that he teamed up with Quincy Jones, who was arranging the film's musical score. Jones agreed to produce Jackson's next solo album, Off the Wall.[18] In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine. His subsequent rhinoplasty was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. He was referred to Dr. Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson's second rhinoplasty and subsequent operations.[19]

Jones and Jackson produced Off the Wall together. Songwriters included Jackson, Heatwave's Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney. Released in 1979, it was the second album (after Fleetwood Mac's Rumours released in 1977) to generate four U.S. top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You".[20] It reached number three on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide.[21] In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist, and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". That year, he also won Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, also for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".[20] Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.[22] In 1980, he secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37 percent of wholesale album profit.[23]

1982–83: Thriller and the moonwalk

Main articles: Thriller (album), Thriller (song), and Thriller (music video)

In 1982, Jackson contributed the song "Someone In the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; the record won a Grammy for Best Album for Children.[24] That year Jackson issued his second Epic album, Thriller. The album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks and 37 of those weeks at the peak position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."[25] Thriller was certified for 28 million shipments by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond status in the United States.[26] It is the best-selling album of all time, with worldwide sales between 47 million and 109 million copies.[27]

Jackson's attorney John Branca noted that Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point: approximately $2 for every album sold. He was also making record-breaking profits from sales of CDs and The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller, a documentary produced by Jackson and John Landis. Funded by MTV, the documentary sold over 350,000 copies in a few months. The era saw the arrival of novelties like dolls modeled after Michael Jackson, which appeared in stores in May 1984 at a price of $12.[28] Biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli writes 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."[29]

MichaelJacksonMoonwalk.ogg

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Jackson debuts the moonwalkduring his performance on Motown 25

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".[28] The New York Times wrote that, "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else".[30] On March 25, 1983, he performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing "Billie Jean". Debuting his signature dance move, the moonwalk, his performances during the event were seen by 47 million viewers, and drew comparisons to Elvis Presley's and the The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.[31] The New York Times said, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing."[32]

1984–85: Scalp burns and the Beatles catalog

Jackson suffered a setback on January 27, 1984, which was to have repercussions for the rest of his life. While filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, he suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. Happening in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, the incident elicited an outpouring of sympathy. Jackson had his third rhinoplasty shortly afterwards,[19] and began treatment to hide the scars on his scalp. It was during this period, friends say, that he began using the painkillers to which he later became addicted. Pepsi settled out of court, and Jackson donated all of his $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, CA, which now has a "Michael Jackson Burn Center" in honor of his donation.[33]

Jackson at the White HouseSouth Portico with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan, 1984

On May 14, 1984, he was invited to the White House to receive an award from President Ronald Reagan for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.[34] Jackson won eight awards during the Grammys that year. Unlike later albums, Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of Jackson's new solo material to more than two million Americans. He donated his $5 million share from the Victory Tour to charity.[35] He also co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" in 1985 withLionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in the U.S. and Africa. It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.[36]

While working with Paul McCartney on the two hit singles "The Girl Is Mine" (1982) and "Say Say Say" (1983), the pair became friendly. McCartney told Jackson about the large amount of money he earned from owning music catalogs; he was earning approximately $40 million a year from other people's songs. Jackson subsequently began buying, selling, and distributing publishing rights to music from numerous artists. In 1985, ATV Music, a music publishing company owning thousands of music copyrights, including the Northern Songs catalogue that contained the majority of the Lennon-McCartney compositions recorded by the Beatles, was put up for sale.[37][38] Jackson took an immediate interest in the catalog, but was warned he would face strong competition. Excited, he skipped around saying, "I don't care. I want those songs. Get me those songs Branca [his attorney]". Branca contacted McCartney's attorney, who clarified that his client was not interested in bidding: "It's too pricey". After Jackson had started negotiations, McCartney changed his mind and tried to persuade Yoko Ono to join him in a joint bid, but she declined, so he pulled out. Jackson eventually beat the rest of the competition in negotiations that lasted 10 months, purchasing the catalog for $47.5 million.[37][39]

1986–87: Appearance, tabloids, Bad, autobiography, and films

See also: Michael Jackson's health and appearance

Jackson's skin had been a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the early 1980s, it gradually grew paler. The change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that he was bleaching his skin.[40] In 1986, he was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the vitiligo partially lightened his skin, and the lupus was in remission; both illnesses made him sensitive to sunlight. The treatments he used for his condition further lightened his skin tone, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he could appear very pale.[41] The structure of his face changed too: several surgeons speculated that he had undergone multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips, and cheekbone surgery.[42]

He lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for "a dancer's body."[43] Witnesses reported that he was often dizzy and speculated that he was suffering fromanorexia nervosa; periods of weight loss would become a recurring problem later in life.[44] Some medical professionals have said he was suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, a psychological condition whereby the sufferer dislikes his appearance and has no concept of how he is viewed by others.[41] A biographer claims Jackson had a fourth rhinoplasty in 1986, and had a cleft put in his chin[19][45], while the singer himself only mentioned making the cleft as surgery for that occasion.

Jackson two years after he was diagnosed with vitiligo, here in the early stages of the disease

He became the subject of increasingly sensational reports. In 1986, The National Enquirer published a series of photographs of him lying in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, claiming that he slept in the chamber to slow the aging process.[46] When Jackson bought a chimpanzee called Bubbles from a laboratory, it was reported as an example of increasing detachment from reality.[47] In 2003, the singer claimed that Bubbles had been trained to use the toilet and to clean his own bedroom.[46] Later, it was reported that he had offered $1 million for the bones of Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man."[48] The reports became embedded in the public consciousness, inspiring the nickname "Wacko Jacko." Despite Jackson's insistence that the reports were completely invented, a biographer said in 2004 that Jackson's publicists had leaked the rumors to the press for promotional reasons.[49] Jackson remarked to a reporter:

Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth."[50]

Jackson wore a gold-plated military style jacket with belt in the Bad era.

Jackson starred in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 3-D film Captain EO. It was the most expensive film produced on a per-minute basis at the time, and was later hosted in Disney theme parks. Disneyland featured the film in its Tomorrowlandarea for nearly 11 years, while Walt Disney World screened the film in its Epcot theme park from 1986 to 1994.[51] With the industry expecting another major hit, Jackson's first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated.[52] It had lower sales than Thriller, but was still a substantial commercial success, spawning seven hit singles in the U.S., five of which ("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 charts, more than any other album.[53] As of 2008, the album had sold 30 million copies worldwide.[54]

In 1987, Jackson disassociated himself from the Jehovah's Witnesses, in response to their disapproval of the Thriller video.[55] The Bad World Tour began on September 12 that year, finishing on January 14, 1989.[56] In Japan alone, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record of 200,000 in a single tour.[57] He broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. He performed a total of 123 concerts to an audience of 4.4 million people, and gained a further Guinness World Record when the tour grossed him $125 million. During the trip he invited underprivileged children to watch for free, and gave donations to hospitals, orphanages, and other charities.[56]

1988–90: Autobiography, changing appearance, and Neverland

In 1988, Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, which took four years to complete and sold 200,000 copies.[58] Jackson wrote about his childhood, The Jackson 5, and the abuse he had suffered.[59] He also spoke of his plastic surgery, saying he had had two rhinoplastic surgeries and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin.[43] He attributed much of the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style, and stage lighting.[43] Moon Walk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers' list.[60] The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage and music videos that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. Moonwalker debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.[61]

In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of $17 million. He installed Ferris wheels, a menagerie, and a movie theater on the 2,700-acre (11 km2) property. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. In 2003, it was valued at approximately $100 million.[13][62] In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts was estimated at $125 million for that year alone.[63] Shortly afterwards, he became the first Westerner to appear in a television ad in the Soviet Union.[61]

His success resulted in his being dubbed the "King of Pop", a nickname conceived by Elizabeth Taylor when she presented him with an "Artist of the Decade" award in 1989, proclaiming him "the true king of pop, rock and soul."[64] President George H. W. Bush presented him with The White House's special "Artist of the Decade."[65] From 1985 to 1990, he donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity.[66][67] Jackson's live rendition of "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr.'s60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.[61]

1991–93: Dangerous and Super Bowl XXVII

In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million, a record-breaking deal at the time, displacing Neil Diamond's renewal contract with Columbia Records.[62] Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991. As of 2008, Dangerous had shipped seven million copies in the U.S. and had sold 32 million copies worldwide; it is the most successful new jack swing album of all time.[68][69][70] In the United States, the album's first single "Black or White" was its biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide.[71] The album's second single "Remember the Time" spent eight weeks in the top five in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[72] In 1993, Jackson performed the song at the Soul Train Awards in a chair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals.[73] In the UK and other parts of Europe, "Heal the World" was the biggest hit from the album; it sold 450,000 copies in the UK and spent five weeks at number two in 1992.[72]

Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's ranch to enjoy theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property. The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war and disease. The Dangerous World Tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993. Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts. All profits from the concerts went to the "Heal the World Foundation", raising millions of dollars in relief.[72][74] He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands.[75] Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.[76][77]

In a high-profile visit to Africa, Jackson visited several countries, among them Gabon and Egypt.[78] His first stop to Gabon was greeted with a sizable reception of more than 100,000 people in "spiritual bedlam", some of them carrying signs that read, "Welcome Home Michael".[78] In his trip to the Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief.[78] He then thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed official documents formalizing his kingship and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.[78]

One of Jackson's most acclaimed performances came during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. As the performances began, Jackson was catapulted up from beneath the stage as fireworks went off behind him. After landing on the canvas, he maintained a statuesque stance dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained in the stance for over a minute while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and began to sing and dance. His routine included four songs: "Jam", "Billie Jean", "Black or White" and "Heal the World". It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone; Jackson'sDangerous album rose 90 places up the album chart.[40]

Jackson was given the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. "Black or White" was Grammy nominated for best vocal performance. "Jam" gained two nominations: Best R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.[72]

Michael Jackson Background information

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For other persons named Michael Jackson, see Michael Jackson (disambiguation).

Semi-protected

Michael Jackson

At the White House in 1984

At the White House in 1984

Background information

Birth name
Michael Joseph Jackson

Born
August 29, 1958
Gary, Indiana, U.S.

Died
June 25, 2009 (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Genre(s)
Pop, R&B, Rock, Pop/Rock, Soul,Urban, Pop-Soul, AM Pop, Adult Contemporary, Motown, Disco,Dance, Club/Dance, Dance-Pop,Funk, New Jack Swing[1][2][3][4]

Occupation(s)
Singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, choreographer

Voice type(s)
Countertenor/ Falsetto[5]

Years active
1964–2009

Label(s)
Motown, Epic

Associated acts
The Jackson 5/The Jacksons

Website
MichaelJackson.com

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), often dubbed the "King of Pop", was an American recording artist, widely regarded as one of the greatest entertainers of modern times. With his trademark black fedora and single, sequinned glove, his unique contributions to music and dance, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a central part of popular culture around the world for four decades.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his achievements included multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles, and the sale of over 750 million records. He was also a notable philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to the 39 charities he supported, and raising more through his own Heal the World Foundation.

The seventh child of the Jackson family, he made his debut in 1968 as a member of The Jackson 5, beginning a solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with four others—Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), andHIStory (1995)—among the best selling. He popularized several physically complicated dance moves, such as the robot and the moonwalk, now iconic. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form, with videos such asThriller, "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" making him the first African American to amass a strong crossover following on MTV, and others, such as "Black or White" and "Scream", ensuring his popularity well into the 1990s.

Jackson's personal life generated significant controversy. His changing appearance was noticed from the early 1980s, his skin appearing paler and his facial features becoming almost androgynous. He was accused in 1993 of child sexual abuse, and though no charges were brought, his health suffered when he started using painkillers to cope with the stress. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one of them with a surrogate mother, actions that triggered more speculation about his life. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of different child molestation allegations, which provoked a further decline in his health. Jackson died at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, after suffering a cardiac arrest. His memorial service was broadcast live around the world, and watched by up to one billion people.

Contents

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Life and career

1958–75: Early life and The Jackson 5

Jackson was born the seventh of nine children on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago, to an African American family. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah's Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, 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.[6]

Jackson had a difficult relationship with his father. He said that he was physically and emotionally abused during incessant rehearsals, whippings, and name-calling, though he credited his father's discipline for his success.[7] In one altercation recalled by Marlon, Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks".[8] Joseph would also trip or push the boys into walls. One night while Michael Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window, wearing a fright mask and screaming. He said he wanted to teach the children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterward, Jackson said he suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his room.[8] Joseph acknowledged in 2003 that he had whipped Jackson as a child.[9]

Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in an interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on February 10, 1993. He said that he had often cried from loneliness and would sometimes throw up when he saw his father. In an interview with Martin Bashir, aired on February 3, 2003, as Living with Michael Jackson, he covered his face with his hands and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse. 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".[10][11]

He showed talent early in his life, performing in front of classmates during a Christmas recital at the age of five. In 1964, he and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and the tambourine. Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing; at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5.[6] 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.[12]

The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", for the local record label Steeltown in 1967, and signed with Motown Records in 1968.[6] 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".[13] 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.[6] During The Jackson 5's early years, Motown's public relations team claimed that Jackson was nine years old, two years younger than he actually was, to make him appear "cuter" and more accessible to the general public.[14]

Starting in 1972, Jackson released a total of 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.[15]

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