Everything you need to know about Michael Jackson (Biography)
About Michael Jackson Biography: Michael Jackson was indeed a multi-talented musical entertainer who did enjoy a chart-topping career both in the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist. In 1982, he released the album that would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, titled “Thriller.” He also had number-one hits with the songs “Bad” and “Off the Wall.”
What Kind of Person Was Michael Jackson?
Identified as that of the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson was indeed a best-selling American singer, songwriter and dancer. When he was still a child, Michael Jackson took the lead vocal role in his family’s successful Motown group, the Jackson 5. After that, Michael went on to have a phenomenally successful solo career all over the world, with hits from the albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad all reaching number one. In his final years, Michael Jackson was plagued by rumors that he had sexually abused children. In 2009, at the age of 50, he passed away as a result of a heroin overdose just prior to beginning a return tour.
Beginnings in Life and Family
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on the 29th of August in the year 1958 in the city of Gary, Indiana. At the age of five, Michael Jackson launched his career as a musician with his father’s support and encouragement.
Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother, was a devoted Jehovah’s Witness as well as a stay-at-home mother. His father, Joseph Jackson, was a guitarist who had to put his dreams of being a musician on hold so that he could support his family by working as a crane operator. Joseph worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the success of his boys. Additionally, it was said that he had a history of becoming violent with them.
Jackson was one of 10 children; nine of Jackson’s siblings, including Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, and Randy, all made notable contributions to the world of music. Janet Jackson was the only sibling who did not pursue a career in music.
Known as the Jackson 5,
Joseph Jackson, who was convinced that his children possessed musical ability, began training his children in the early 1960s to perform as a band that would later be known as the Jackson 5.
At first, Jackson’s older brothers Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie were the only members of the Jackson Family Band who performed as a band. Jackson was only 5 years old when he first joined his siblings, but he quickly established himself as the group’s lead vocalist. He impressed listeners with his ability to communicate a variety of complicated emotions, showing incredible range and depth for such a young performer. The trio, which eventually became known as the Jackson 5, also included Michael’s older brother Marlon, who joined them.
Jackson and his siblings honed their performance over the course of countless hours spent in rehearsal. The Jackson 5 got their start by performing at small venues and building a solid fan base in the area. They only released one single under their own name, and it was titled “Big Boy.” The flip side of the record was titled “You’ve Changed,” but neither song was successful in attracting much attention.
The Jackson 5 later became the opening act for a variety of R&B performers, including Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, and Sam and Dave, among others. The Jackson 5 eventually caught the attention of Berry Gordy, who was the founder of Motown and signed many of these performers to his legendary record label. After being impressed by the band, Gordy brought them on to his label at the beginning of 1969.
After relocating to Los Angeles, Michael Jackson and his brothers lived with Berry Gordy and Diana Ross of the Supremes while they adjusted to their new surroundings. In August of 1969, a special event was held in which the Jackson 5 were presented to the music industry. Subsequently, the group served as an opening act for the Supremes.
Their debut studio album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, was released in December of 1969 and quickly became a commercial success, with the single “I Want You Back” topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart not long after its release. Soon after that, the artist had a string of chart-topping singles, including “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There.”
Under the direction of Berry Gordy and the rest of the personnel at Motown, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 had a busy touring and recording schedule over the course of several years. Because of the band’s skyrocketing popularity, they were also the subject of their very own animated television show, which aired under their name from 1971 to 1972. Around the same period, Jackson began his career as a solo artist.
In spite of the significant success the group had achieved, tensions were rising behind the scenes. Gordy and Joseph Jackson’s relationship became strained as a result of the latter’s management of his children’s professions. The Jackson children desired to have a greater degree of creative control over their work. In 1976, the trio ended their contractual relationship with Motown, although Jermaine continued to record for the label in order to advance his solo career.
The band will be releasing new music under the moniker the Jacksons after recently signing a recording contract with Epic Records. The brothers had already established themselves as excellent songwriters by the time that their third album for the company, titled Destiny, was released in 1978.
The Jacksons as a group benefited from the extremely favorable reception given Michael Jackson’s solo album “Off the Wall,” which was released in 1979. In 1980, the brothers went on an extensive tour to support the recording of their album Triumph, which had sold more than one million copies at the time. While this was going on, Jackson kept looking into other avenues where he could strike out on his own.
1983 marked the beginning of Jackson’s farewell tour, which he did alongside his siblings in promotion of the album Victory. The only song from the session to become a significant hit was Jackson’s collaboration with Mick Jagger titled “State of Shock.”
Songs, as well as Albums
You simply “Had to Be There” (1971)
In addition to his work with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson began a solo career when he was 13 years old. He debuted on the charts in 1971 with the song “Got to Be There,” which was taken from the album of the same name.
‘Ben’ (1972) (1972)
Ben, the album that Michael Jackson released in 1972, contained the ballad with the same name about a rat. This song became Michael Jackson’s first No. 1 single released under his own name.
The phrase “Music and Me” (1973)
Music and Me, Michael Jackson’s third solo album, was his least commercially successful release.
“Until the end of time, Michael” (1975)
Michael Jackson parted ways with Motown recordings after the release of his fourth solo album.
The phrase “Off the Wall” (1979)
Jackson wowed the music world with his infectious blend of pop and funk on the album Off the Wall, which was released in 1979. The album featured the single “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, along with other hits such as “Rock with You,” “She’s Out of My Life,” and the album’s title track.
‘Thriller’ (1982) (1982)
Thriller, Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album, was released in 1982 and has gone on to become the best-selling album of all time. It spawned seven singles that peaked in the top ten. The album was in the charts for a total of 80 weeks, during which time it was at the top spot for 37 of those weeks.
In addition to its unprecedented success on the commercial front, Thriller set records for both the number of Grammy Award nominations it received (12) and the number of awards it won (8). The many different aspects of Jackson’s work were highlighted by his successes. Because of his skill as a songwriter, he was awarded a Grammy for “Billie Jean” in the category of best rhythm and blues song. Additionally, he was recognized for his work on the singles “Beat It” and “Thriller,” which won the award for best pop vocal performance by a male (best rock vocal performance, male). Jackson was awarded a share of the prize for best album of the year along with his co-producer Quincy Jones.
Additionally, in 1982, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson collaborated on a duet titled “The Girl Is Mine,” which came extremely close to topping the various pop charts.
Jackson created a detailed music video for the album’s title track, which was released as a single. The video, which had elements of horror to it and was directed by John Landis, featured intricate dance sequences, special effects, and a voiceover by the actor Vincent Price. The “Thriller” music video was such a huge hit that it helped raise sales of Michael Jackson’s already popular record.
During a television special that was shown in 1983 to honor Motown, Michael Jackson gave a performance of his number one single “Billie Jean” and made the first appearance of his now-iconic moonwalk dance style. Jackson, who was already a seasoned performer at this point, came up with this move on his own and choreographed the dance routines for the music video of “Beat It,” the album’s other number one hit single.
The phrase “We Are the World” (single, 1985)
In 1985, Michael Jackson demonstrated his generous side by contributing to the writing of “We Are the World,” a charity single that was released by USA for Africa. The project included contributions from a veritable who’s who of music stars, such as Lionel Richie, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, and Tina Turner.
‘Bad’ (1987) (1987)
Jackson’s album Bad (1987), which was released as a follow-up to Thriller, reached the top of the charts, with a record five No. 1 hits, including “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and the title track, which was supported by a video directed by Martin Scorsese. Bad was released as a follow-up to the album Thriller, which was released in 1982.
In order to promote the album, Jackson performed live for over a year at various venues around the world. Bad was a very successful album, but it was unable to match the phenomenal sales that Thriller had achieved.
‘Dangerous’ (1991) (1991)
The album Dangerous was published by Michael Jackson in 1991, and it featured the smash song “Black or White.” Macaulay Culkin had a cameo appearance in the music video for this song, which was directed by Landis and produced by Landis. In the last minutes of the film, Jackson displayed certain sexual gestures and acted in an aggressive manner, both of which sparked some controversy. Many people were taken aback to witness Jackson, who was often compared to Peter Pan, behave in such a way.
In the years that followed, Michael Jackson’s music maintained a high level of broad popularity. In 1993, he gave memorable performances at a number of significant events, one of which was the halftime show for Super Bowl XXVII.
The first book in the history series is titled “Past, Present, and Future.”
The album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, which featured some of Jackson’s earlier hits as well as new material and received a lukewarm reception in 1995, marked the beginning of the decline of Jackson’s career in the music industry. This album was responsible for two hit singles: “You Are Not Alone” and “Scream,” a duet performed by him and his sister Janet.
The music video for “Scream,” which featured a spaceship as its primary setting and cost a record-setting $7 million to produce, was nominated for a Grammy Award for its innovative visual effects.
The song “They Don’t Care About Us,” which was also included on the album, was the source of much of the criticism directed towards Jackson for his use of an anti-Semitic phrase.
‘Invincible’ (2001) (2001)
After almost ten years without releasing a full album of new material, Michael Jackson went back into the studio in 2001 to record the album Invincible.
‘Michael’ (2010) (2010)
The posthumous album Michael was published in December of 2010, and it was met with debate regarding whether or not the singer actually performed some of the tracks on the album. According to The New York Times, the Jackson estate has denied the assertions that the tapes are not legitimate, despite the fact that Brother Randy was one of the individuals who questioned the legitimacy of the recordings.
‘Xscape’ (2014) (2014)
In May of 2014, a further posthumous album titled Xscape was made available. At the iHeartRadio Music Awards in same month, R&B superstar Usher, who was trained by Jackson, gave a performance of the band’s debut hit, “Love Never Felt So Good.” The album, which features eight songs released by Jackson between the years 1983 and 1999, made its debut at position No. 2 on the Top 200 Album chart published by Billboard.
Families with Dependents
Jackson made the announcement in August of 1994 that he had married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley. A joint television interview with Diane Sawyer was conducted with the couple, although the marriage did not last very long in the end. In 1996, they got a divorce. Some people had the opinion that Jackson’s marriage was only a publicity stunt to help rehabilitate his image after the allegations of child molestation.
In the latter part of that same year, Michael Jackson married nurse Debbie Rowe. In 1999, the couple finalized their divorce.
Through the process of artificial insemination, Jackson and Rowe were able to have two children: a son named Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr., who was born in 1997, and a daughter named Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, who was born in 1998. As a result of Rowe and Jackson’s divorce, Michael is now alone responsible for raising their two children. Jackson would eventually conceive a third child, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II, with a surrogate whose identity was never revealed.
According to the provisions of Jackson’s will, after his passing in June 2009, his children were given custody of their grandmother Katherine. Prince, Paris, and Blanket were mostly hidden from public view out of deference to the preferences of their late father. They first addressed attendees at their father’s funeral in 2009 to thank them for their support and then returned to the podium in January 2010 to accept a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award on their father’s behalf at the Grammy Awards.
After a member of Katherine Jackson’s family mistakenly claimed that she was missing, a judge in July 2012 temporarily revoked her guardianship of Prince, Paris, and Blanket for the duration of the investigation. TJ Jackson, son of Tito, was awarded interim custody of the children during this time. Katherine’s “disappearance” occurred not long after a dispute between her and several members of the Jackson clan, who questioned the legality of Jackson’s will, pointed the finger of blame at the Jackson matriarch, and demanded that the executors of Jackson’s estate step down from their positions. Katherine’s “disappearance” occurred shortly after this conflict.
It wasn’t long before authorities realized that the elderly woman hadn’t gone missing at all; she had only traveled to Arizona. On August 2, 2012, a judge reinstated Katherine Jackson as the primary guardian of Prince, Paris, and Blanket. The judge also approved a plan that would allow T.J. Jackson co-guardianship of the children. This decision was made public on August 2.
In the 1980s, Michael Jackson constructed a ranch in Southern California called Neverland, a dream getaway for a shy and introverted singer who was never completely comfortable with media attention and rarely conducted interviews. Jackson created Neverland as a place where he could get away from it all.
On the property that was 2,700 acres in size, Jackson was known to keep exotic animals as pets, including a chimpanzee by the name of Bubbles. In addition to that, he built rides similar to those seen in amusement parks and occasionally hosted events geared at children at the ranch. The property includes a lake that is four acres in size, as well as a pool house, three guest houses, and six bedrooms.
In 2015, the mansion was posted for sale at a price of $100; however, in the beginning of 2019, it was re-listed at a price of $31 million. In December of 2020, billionaire Ron Burkle paid $22 million for the property, which was then sold to him.
Having Plastic Surgery and Suffering from Vitiligo
Jackson suffered burns to his face and scalp while working on a commercial for PepsiCo in 1984, and the incident left him with serious injuries. Jackson, who was at the pinnacle of his career both creatively and commercially, had inked an endorsement agreement with the beverage giant the year prior that was worth $5 million. It is thought that about this time Michael Jackson began experimenting with plastic surgery after undergoing surgery to repair his injuries caused by the accident. In the years to follow, he would experience a significant transformation to his face, most noticeably to his nose.
In the late 1980s, allegations began to spread that Michael Jackson was bleaching the color of his skin to appear whiter and sleeping in a special chamber in order to extend the length of his life. To put an end to the speculations, Michael Jackson gave Oprah Winfrey one of only a handful of broadcast interviews in 1993. He claimed that the change in his skin tone was the result of a skin ailment known as vitiligo, and he disclosed that his abusive relationship with his father was the cause of the condition.
Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Children
The first allegations of child molestation against Jackson surfaced in 1993, when a youngster of the same age alleged that the pop singer had fondled him when he was a toddler. It was common knowledge that Michael Jackson had sleepovers at his Neverland Ranch for young boys, but this was the first time that any accusation of impropriety was made public. The ranch was thoroughly examined by the authorities, but they did not uncover any proof that would substantiate the accusation. The next year, Jackson reached a confidential settlement with the boy’s family on the case. Jackson was the subject of other allegations, but he always maintained his innocence.
The British journalist Martin Bashir spent several months with the musician Michael Jackson for the purpose of making the documentary Living with Michael Jackson, which aired in 2003 on television. Bashir was successful in getting Jackson to address his relationships with his children. Jackson admitted that he continued to have children sleep over at his ranch, even after the claims were made in 1993, and that on occasion he slept with the youngsters in his bed. He also stated that he continued to have children sleep over at his property. “Why is it that you won’t let me share your bed? Sharing your bed with another person is one of the kindest things you can do for them “Jackson explained it to Bashir.
In 2003, Michael Jackson was arrested on allegations linked to incidences involving a youngster who was 13 years old. These crimes were alleged to have occurred with Jackson. In total, he was charged with ten different crimes, the most serious of which were lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment, and extortion. He was facing all of these charges simultaneously.
The subsequent case that was tried in 2005 was a media circus, with supporters, opponents, and camera teams surrounding the courthouse. Over one hundred and thirty witnesses, including Culkin, gave their testimony. The actor testified before the court that he had known Michael Jackson since they were both young teenagers, and that he had never had any difficulties while residing at the Neverland Ranch.
In addition, Jackson’s accuser appeared in a videotaped statement, in which he detailed how he had been given alcohol and assaulted by Jackson. The jury, on the other hand, noticed inconsistencies in his testimony as well as that of his mother. On June 14, 2005, a judge ruled that Jackson should be acquitted of all counts.
Around the turn of the century, Jackson was becoming more and more well-known for his oddities, one of which was publicly donning a surgical mask. When Michael Jackson performed at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2002, he gave the impression of being bewildered and disoriented, which led to widespread media coverage. In 2002, he dangled his infant son Blanket over a balcony while meeting fans in Berlin, Germany, and faced a huge amount of flak for doing so. Jackson elaborated on this point in a subsequent interview “We were waiting for thousands of fans to arrive below, and they were shouting that they wanted to see my child, so I thought it would be kind to let them see her. I wasn’t thinking about the consequences of what I was doing.”
After being found guilty of sexually assaulting children in 2005 and standing trial for the crime, Michael Jackson’s reputation was irreparably damaged, and his financial situation was in shambles. Soon after, he sought refuge in his friendship with Bahrain’s Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who assisted the pop star in paying his legal and utility bills and invited him to visit Bahrain as a personal guest. He found refuge in this friendship very quickly.
The prince in Bahrain provided financial support to the artist as well as the construction of a recording facility specifically for his use. In exchange, Jackson allegedly offered to write an autobiography, produce a stage play, and work with Al-Khalifa on the production of a new album for the record company owned by Al-Khalifa. However, the finished product was never delivered, and Jackson’s friend promptly filed a lawsuit against him for $7 million, claiming that Jackson had broken their agreement by failing to deliver the promised goods.
In 2008, when Jackson’s financial situation was even more precarious, he failed to make payments on the $24.5 million debt that was due on his Neverland Ranch. Because he was unable to part with cherished mementos, such as the crystal gloves he wore during performances, Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit the following year to stop the auction of some of his personal items that were located in the home.
Around the same time, the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he would be performing a series of concerts as his “final curtain call.” These concerts would be his last public performances. Jackson remained a figure of great interest despite all of the allegations and stories of odd behavior, as shown by the strong response to his concert plans. This can be seen as evidenced by the strong response to his concert plans.
Jackson’s “This Is It” tour was so popular that all of the tickets were purchased within just four hours of going on sale. Jackson was scheduled to make his first appearance on July 8, 2009 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Due to the fact that he passed away in June of that same year, Michael Jackson was never able to witness the success that was forecasted to accompany his comeback tour.
Jackson suffered a heart arrest in his home in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009, which ultimately led to his passing at the age of 50. Attempts to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation were unsuccessful, and he was transported to the hospital, where he passed away later that morning. An acute propofol intoxication, sometimes known as a fatal overdose on a prescription medicine cocktail that also included the sedatives midazolam, diazepam, and lidocaine, was determined to be the cause of Michael Jackson’s death in an official investigation that was released in February of 2010.
Jackson had been using sedative medications, with the assistance of his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, in order to assist him in falling asleep at night. Murray shared with the police his belief that Michael Jackson had developed a specific addiction to propofol, which Jackson referred to as his “milk.” Murray also shared this belief with the police. According to reports, Murray gave the pop star propofol through an IV in the evenings, at quantities of 50 milligrams, and was apparently attempting to wean him off of the drug right before he passed away.
An inquiry by the police determined that Murray did not have a valid license to prescribe the majority of banned substances in the state of California. There was evidence that the standard of care for administering propofol had not been met, and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing, and resuscitation had not been present. This cast a cloud of suspicion over the actions that he had taken to try to save Michael Jackson, which were also called into question.
As a direct consequence of this, a verdict of homicide was rendered in Jackson’s case. On November 7, 2011, Murray received a conviction for the crime of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in jail.
The Last Rites and the Memorial
A memorial service for admirers of the “King of Pop” was conducted at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on July 7, 2009, and it was broadcast live on television. A lottery was held to award 17,500 fans with free tickets to the memorial, but it is estimated that one billion viewers watched the memorial on television or online.
The passing of Michael Jackson has prompted an outpouring of grief and sympathy from members of the public. There have been memorials built in his honor all across the world, including one near the venue where he was scheduled to perform and another at the house where he spent his boyhood in Gary, Indiana.
On September 3, 2009, intimate family members and close friends of the Jackson family attended a private memorial service conducted at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. There were 200 guests in attendance. Elizabeth Taylor and Lisa Marie Presley, who was previously married to Michael Jackson, were among the famous mourners.
Litigation Regarding Wrongful Death
The Jackson family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2013 against AEG Live, the entertainment firm that advertised Michael Jackson’s planned comeback series in 2009. The complaint was filed in 2013. They were of the opinion that the recording corporation had not provided adequate protection for the artist while he was in the custody of Conrad Murray.
In the opening statements of the trial, which took place on April 29, 2013, one of their attorneys, Brian Panish, highlighted the alleged malfeasance of AEG: He stated that their goal was to achieve first place at any cost. We are not appealing for anyone’s compassion; rather, we are searching for the truth and seeking justice.
In October 2013, a jury decided that AEG was not liable for the singer’s death and dismissed the family’s lawsuit against the concert promoter. The lawsuit sought damages of up to $1.5 billion, which was an estimation of what Jackson could have earned up to that time. A lawyer for the company, Marvin S. Putnam, stated that even though Michael Jackson’s passing was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy that AEG Live was responsible for creating.
Since the singer’s passing, Michael Jackson has been the subject of numerous biographies and has been the impetus behind the production of two Cirque du Soleil shows. His children, Paris and Prince Michael, accepted the 2018 Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Legacy Award for Humanitarian Service on his behalf after he passed away. This honor was given to him posthumously by the foundation.
Wealth Accumulated After Death
Because of an earlier investment Jackson made in the Sony/ATV Music catalog, all of his financial obligations have been satisfied. This investment allowed Jackson to acquire the publishing rights to songs written by prominent figures in the music industry, such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Taylor Swift. In 2016, the Jackson estate received $750 million for the sale of its stake in Sony/ATV, and in 2018, the estate received another $287.5 million for its ownership of EMI Music Publishing. Both transactions took place in 2016.
In addition to this, the King of Pop demonstrated an earning power that lasted long beyond the days in which he was physically present. Forbes revealed in October 2017 that Michael Jackson had earned a staggering $75 million after his death, placing him at the top of the publication’s list of the highest-earning dead celebrities for the fifth year in a row.
Documentary Entitled “This Is It”
This Is It is the title of a documentary that was released in October 2009 and chronicles Michael Jackson’s preparations for his final tour. The movie, which is a compilation of interviews, rehearsals, and backstage footage of the film’s star, made $23 million in its opening weekend and immediately ascended to the top spot at the box office. This Is It would eventually earn a total of $261 million around the world.
The phrase ‘Curtain Call’
Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call was played on A&E on June 25, 2018, the ninth anniversary of the untimely death of the artist. The event was held in memory of the artist’s passing. On that day, a large number of Michael Jackson’s fans posted tributes to the “King of Pop” on various social media platforms. Brooke Shields and Naomi Campbell were among the celebrities who recalled their former friend.
‘Michael Jackson: One’ in Las Vegas
Fans of Michael Jackson gathered in August 2018 at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas to celebrate the Michael Jackson Diamond Celebration, which included a performance of Michael Jackson: One by Cirque du Soleil.
Documentary Entitled “Leaving Neverland”
The documentary Leaving Neverland, which was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival and then on HBO, sparked new allegations of sexual misconduct against Michael Jackson in the beginning of 2019. The four-hour documentary delves into the recollections of two men who detail how the pop artist enticed them into his orbit when they were boys, earning the trust of their parents, and then coercing them into engaging in sexual acts in hotel rooms and at his Neverland Ranch compound.
Both men had previously testified that there was never any abuse that took place, and Jackson’s defenders pointed out in the documentary that this contradicts what they had said in the past. The estate of Michael Jackson, meantime, has filed a lawsuit against HBO in the amount of $100 million and referred to the two accusers as “serial perjurers.”
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