MICHAEL JACKSON BIOGRAPHY
BIRTH: August 29, 1958,
Gary, Indiana, U.S.
DEATH: June 25, 2009 (aged 50),
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Michael Joseph Jackson was an African- American singer, dancer and recording artist. He is popularly referred to as the “King of Pop”. His album ‘Thriller’ (1983) is the biggest seller of all times. He was also honored as the ‘Artist of the Decade, Generation, Century and Millennium Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on 29th August, 1958. His mother
Katherine Jackson, was a homemaker. His father, Joseph Jackson, was a crane operator at a steel plant. Michael Jackson was the fifth amongst nine siblings. Joseph Jackson had had musical ambitions for himself. He kept his aspirations alive through his children. They created a family band called the Jackson 5. Michael joined the band when he was five years old. He became the group’s lead vocalist. The band acquired quite some fame in Midwest. They even did local gigs at bars and clubs.
The band signed its first record with Motown Records in 1969. Their first album, ‘Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5’ was released in the December of 1969. The single “I Want You Back” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 list. They further composed hit songs such as “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There”. All
these singles topped the Billboard Hot 100 list. In 1971-72, they had a cartoon show titled after
them. In 1976, the group withdrew their label from Motown Records. They changed their name to the ‘Jacksons’ and started production with Epic Records.
Michael Jackson produced his first solo album with music producer Quincy Jones in 1979. On August 10, 1979, his solo album ‘Off The Wall’ was released. It eventually sold twenty million copies all around the world. It had four singles in the U.S. Top 10 Hits. In 1983, Michael Jackson did a final tour with his family band for their album ‘Victory
Michael Jackson’s second album, ‘Thriller, came out on 30th November, 1982. It is the bestselling album in history worldwide. It topped Billboard’s Top 200 for 37 weeks. The album sold more than 40 million copies globally. The singles “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” belong to this album.
In the March of 1983, Michael Jackson perfor- med on a TV special, Motown 25. He debuted his famous dance move – the moonwalk while performing “Billie Jean”. Other albums by Michael Jackson include ‘Bad’ (1987), ‘Dangerous’ (1991) and ‘Invincible’ (2001). In 1988, he released an autobiography entitled Moonwalk. It was also included in the New York best-seller list. During the 1980s, Jackson became the talk of the nation for his frequent plastic surgeries and his skin pigment disease, vitiligo.
Michael Jackson bought a 2,700 acre property near Santa Ynez, California in 1987. He named it Neverland. It was a fantasy retreat for him. His eighth album ‘Dangerous’ came out in 1991 and became the bestselling album of the year worldwide. In 1992, Michael Jackson founded an organization called Heal the World. In the October of 2001, his last full-length album, ‘Invincible’, was released.
Michael Jackson has been included in the Guinness World Records thirty-nine times. He has been awarded fourteen Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He has also been honored with twenty-four American Music Awards and sixteen World Music Awards. He has been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Dance Hall of Fame and Hollywood Hall of Fame.
Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the late Elvis Presley, in 1994. They separated after two years of marriage. He married Deborah Rowe in 1996. They had two children together. They divorced in 1999 and Jackson got full custody of the children. Jackson had another child, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II, through surrogacy.
On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson passed away due to a cardiac arrest. On 7th July, 2009, a television memorial was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 17,500 free tickets were issued for this event. It had a viewership of one billion people, online and on TV. On 3rd September, 2009, a private funeral was held for him at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. There were memorials erected in his honor. One of them was erected at his childhood home in Gary, Indiana. The Lunar Republic Society renamed a crater on the moon after his name.
In October 2009, This Is It- a documentary about Jackson’s tour preparation was released. It became the highest grossing concert film of all time.