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Michael Jackson Biography: The King of Pop’s Extraordinary Journey

Michael Jackson was one of the most influential and iconic musicians of the 20th century. Often referred to as the “King of Pop”, Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and culture are legendary. Here is a look at the life and career of this musical legend.

In the realm of music and entertainment, there’s one name that stands above all, Michael Jackson. This Michael Jackson Biography takes you on a remarkable journey through the life of the King of Pop. From his humble beginnings in Gary, Indiana, to his meteoric rise to international stardom and the iconic legacy he left behind, let’s explore the extraordinary story of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson Biography

Early Life

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958. He was the eighth of ten children in the Jackson family. Michael’s father Joseph recognized his children’s musical talents early and molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. Michael and his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon formed The Jackson 5. The band quickly became successful with Michael serving as lead vocalist. The Jackson 5 released four studio albums between 1969 and 1973. Michael’s solo career also began to take off with the release of hit songs like “Got to Be There” and “Ben”.

Solo Success and Thriller

In 1979, Michael broke ties with his family and began his solo career with Epic Records. He released Off the Wall that year to critical and commercial success. It was one of the best-selling records of the year. But Michael’s biggest success was yet to come. In 1982, Michael released Thriller, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. Michael Jackson Biography Thriller had an unprecedented 7 Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent over 500 weeks on the Billboard 200 charts and sold over 66 million copies worldwide. The success of the album cemented Michael Jackson’s status as the “King of Pop”.

Choreography, Fashion, and Changing Music Videos

Alongside his singing talents, Michael Jackson’s abilities as a dancer, choreographer, and fashion trendsetter also had a huge impact on pop culture. Michael’s music videos on songs like “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” showcased his innovative and energetic dance moves. His red leather jacket on the cover of Thriller influenced fashion trends of the 80s. Michael also transformed the music video format, using complex storylines, choreography, and special effects to make them into mini-movies. Videos like “Thriller”, “Beat It”, and “Bad” raised the bar for what music videos could be.

Later Career and Legacy

After the astronomical success of Thriller, Michael released more solo albums and continued touring. He co-wrote “We Are the World” to raise funds for famine relief in Africa. Later albums like Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) continued his commercial success, although they could not match Thriller’s sales. Michael’s eccentricities and legal troubles began overshadowing his talent in the 1990s and 2000s. But even after his untimely death in 2009, Michael Jackson’s contributions as a musician, performer, and pop culture icon remain unmatched. Songs like “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Man in the Mirror” are musical masterpieces. His entertainments feats on stage and screen make him one of the greatest artists of all time.

Controversies and Legal Issues

Michael Jackson was often the subject of controversies and investigations throughout his career. In 1993, he was accused of molesting a 13-year old boy and reached a financial settlement with the accuser’s family while denying wrongdoing. In 2003, a documentary showed Jackson admitting to sharing his bed with young boys, raising more concerns about his relationships with children. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted on charges on molesting another young boy. The allegations against Jackson damaged his public image and reputation, although he maintained his innocence. Other controversies included his eccentric lifestyle including excessive plastic surgery, unusual pets like a chimpanzee, and his friendship with children. These controversies cast a shadow over Jackson’s life and career.

Top Michael Jackson Songs

Over his 40+ year career, Michael Jackson produced an astounding number of hit songs and recordings. Here are some of his most iconic and influential tracks:

  • “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” – Off the Wall (1979)
  • “Billie Jean” – Thriller (1982)
  • “Beat It” – Thriller (1982)
  • “Thriller” – Thriller (1982)
  • “Bad” – Bad (1987)
  • “The Way You Make Me Feel” – Bad (1987)
  • “Black or White” – Dangerous (1991)
  • “Remember the Time” – Dangerous (1991)
  • “You Are Not Alone” – HIStory (1995)
  • “Earth Song” – HIStory (1995)
  • “They Don’t Care About Us” – HIStory (1995)
  • “You Rock My World” – Invincible (2001)

Jackson fused R&B, pop, rock, soul, and hip hop together into a unique new sound. His recordings continue to inspire musicians decades later.

Notable Performances and Tours

Michael Jackson was known for his energetic and innovative live performances. Here are some of his most memorable shows and concert tours:

  • Motown 25 (1983) – Performed Billie Jean with the first ever moonwalk
  • Bad World Tour (1987-89) – 123 concert dates across 15 countries
  • Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show (1993) – Performed a medley of hits to over 135 million viewers
  • HIStory World Tour (1996-97) – Performed 82 shows across 5 continents and 35 countries
  • United We Stand: What More Can I Give Concert at RFK Stadium (2001) – Performed at benefit concert after 9/11 attacks

Jackson’s live shows featured impressive choreography, special effects, costume changes, and set designs. His Super Bowl halftime show is often cited as one of the greatest ever.

Personal Life and Relationships

Michael Jackson led a very private personal life away from the spotlight of his fame. In 1994, he married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, although they divorced two years later. In 1996, he married Debbie Rowe. They had two children through artificial insemination – son Michael Joseph Jackson Jr (Prince) and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. After their divorce, Michael had a third child Prince Michael Jackson II (Blanket) through an anonymous surrogate.

Michael faced difficulties in his personal life including media scrutiny, family estrangements, prescription drug dependence, and self-image issues. He retreated from public life in his later years before planning for a major comeback tour before his unexpected death.

Frequently Asked Questions About Michael Jackson Biography

Here are answers to some common questions about Michael Jackson’s life and legacy:

1. How many albums did Michael Jackson sell?

Michael Jackson has sold over 350 million albums worldwide, cementing him as one of the best-selling artists of all time. His album Thriller remains the best-selling album in history with 66+ million copies sold.

2. What was Michael Jackson’s trademark move?

The moonwalk dance move became Michael’s signature after he first performed it on Motown 25 in 1983 during a performance of “Billie Jean”. Its unique sliding backwards motion blew audiences away.

3. How much did Michael Jackson’s red jacket from Thriller sell for?

The iconic red leather jacket Jackson wore in the “Thriller” music video sold for $1.8 million at auction in 2011, highlighting how influential Michael’s fashion choices were.

4. Who accused Michael Jackson of abuse?

Two notable accusers were Jordan Chandler in 1993 and Gavin Arvizo in 2005. Jackson denied the allegations but settled financially with the Chandler family while being acquitted at trial with Arvizo.

5. How old was Michael Jackson when he debuted with the Jackson 5?

Michael was only 5 years old when he made his professional singing debut with his brothers in the Jackson 5. The group’s first hit “I Want You Back” with a very young Michael on lead catapulted them to stardom.

6 Why did Michael Jackson buy the Beatles catalog?

Michael purchased the publishing rights to the Beatles’ catalog for $47 million in 1985 to own the lucrative copyrights. This caused a temporary strain with Paul McCartney who had hoped to buy them himself.

7. What was Michael Jackson’s highest grossing tour?

The Bad World Tour (1987-1989) remains Jackson’s highest grossing tour, making $125 million from 123 shows across 15 countries. It showcased his solo stardom and new material from his Bad album.

Conclusion

Michael Jackson was undoubtedly the “King of Pop” with his unparalleled success in music, dance, fashion, music videos, and pop culture. His hit albums like Thriller and Bad produced all-time great songs still popular today. Allegations against Michael later in life remain controversial. But his musical genius and legendary performances ensure Michael Jackson’s legacy as the greatest entertainer of all time. His influence on subsequent artists is still felt across R&B, pop, hip hop, and rock. The moonwalk, single sequined glove, and musical innovations like in “Thriller” remain part of Michael’s lasting pop culture imprint. The life and career of Michael Jackson epitomized the popularity and creativity defining the 1980s and beyond.

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