Michael Jackson, full name Michael Joseph Jackson was an American music artist, dancer, and songwriter. He is known as the “King of Pop” and is considered the most awarded music artist in history. He is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century for his contributions to music, dance, fashion, and lifestyles.
Early Life & Career
Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gray, Indiana, near Chicago. His father was Joe Jackson, a former boxer, musician, and guitarist, and his mother was Katherine Esther Jackson played clarinet and piano. He was the eighth of ten children of African-American Jackson family. All family members of Michael Jackson are related to music. Together, they encourage their growing family’s musical interests at home.
In 1964, Michael Jackson joined the Jackson Brothers, a band formed by their father which included his brothers Jackie, Marlon, Tito, and Jermaine. Later in 1964, Michael began sharing lead vocals with Jermaine, and the group’s name was changed to the Jackson 5. Michael’s singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of the Jackson 5. In 1965, the Jackson 5 won a talent show they also performed at clubs and cocktail lounges. The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, their first single “Big Boy” was released in 1968. Michael Jackson’s dancing and stage presence caused him to become the focus of the group.
The Jackson 5 band’s fame and popularity soon began to spread. In 1968, singer Diana Ross became associated with the boys during a “Soul Weekend” in Gary. With the help of Diana Ross, the Jackson 5 signed a contract with Motown Records. In 1970, the Jackson 5 was topping the charts and riding a wave of popularity with such hits like “ABC”, “The Love You Save”, and “I’ll Be There”. Between 1972 and 1975, he released four solo studio albums with Motown they are Got to Be There (1972), Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973), and Forever, Michael (1975).
Solo success for Michael Jackson was inevitable. His biggest-selling album of all time is “Thriller” in 1982, selling an estimated 70 million copies. It was the first album to produce seven Billboard Hot 100 top-10 singles including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, and “Wanna Be Startin Somethin”. The videos of its songs helped Jackson break the color barrier imposed by radio stations and the powerful music video channel MTV. By 1983 Jackson was the single most popular entertainer in America. In 1985, Jackson reunited with Quincy Jones for the USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”, which raised funds for the poor in Africa. In 1992, he founded “Heal the World” to aid children and the environment.
At the 26th Annual Grammy Awards, “Thriller” won eight awards. “Thriller” won Album of the Year, and Michael Jackson won Best Pop Vocal Performance (Male). “Beat It” won Record of the Year and Best Rock Vocal Performance (Male). At the 11th Annual American Music Awards, Jackson won another eight awards and became the youngest artist to win the Award of Merit. Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry. On May 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave Jackson an award recognizing his support of alcohol and drug abuse charities. In 1988, Jackson released his autobiography “Moonwalk”. It sold 200,000 copies and reached the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.
Personal life & Death
In 1994 Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the late rock legend Elvis Presley. In August 1996, Jackson and Presley divorced. In November 1996, Michael Jackson married Debbie Rowe in Sydney, Australia. On February 13, 1997, their son, Prince Michael Jackson, was born in Los Angeles, California. Their daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, was born in 1998. In October 1999, Jackson and Rowe divorced.
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, California. His death was caused by a propofol overdose. His memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. At the 2009 American Music Awards, Jackson won four posthumous awards. In the year after his death, more than 16.1 million of Jackson’s albums sold in the US, and 35 million albums worldwide, more than any other artist in 2009.