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Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson's This Is It... Say goodbye to the legendary pop icon with this documentary about his... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Michael Joseph Jackson, John Jay Smith Died: June 25, 2009
Born: August 29, 1958 Cause of Death: Cardiac arrest
Birth Place: Gary, Indiana, USA Profession: dancer, singer, actor, composer, record producer, entrepreneur

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A star since the age of 10 when The Jackson Five registered four No. 1 hits in 1970, Michael Jackson parlayed his remarkable singing and dancing talents into mega-stardom, the likes of which few entertainers have ever known. By the time he released Thriller in 1982, which quickly became the best-selling album in the history of recorded music, Jackson was the biggest pop icon in the world. Yet at the very height of his fame, allegations of child molestation severely damaged his career, sending the eccentric performer into an even more reclusive posture than usual. The son of an abusive father who drove him and his brothers mercilessly to their success, he missed out on a normal childhood, forced not only to convey the composure of an adult in his little boy's body as the frontman for the popular group, but also to branch out simultaneously as a solo artist. Jackson was more than equal to the task as his stunning accomplishments attested, but what price did he pay for a lifetime in the spotlight? It was not so farfetched that his penchant for surrounding himself with children was an attempt to vicariously experience the joys of a childhood sacrificed at the altar of the recording industry. But even...

A star since the age of 10 when The Jackson Five registered four No. 1 hits in 1970, Michael Jackson parlayed his remarkable singing and dancing talents into mega-stardom, the likes of which few entertainers have ever known. By the time he released Thriller in 1982, which quickly became the best-selling album in the history of recorded music, Jackson was the biggest pop icon in the world. Yet at the very height of his fame, allegations of child molestation severely damaged his career, sending the eccentric performer into an even more reclusive posture than usual. The son of an abusive father who drove him and his brothers mercilessly to their success, he missed out on a normal childhood, forced not only to convey the composure of an adult in his little boy's body as the frontman for the popular group, but also to branch out simultaneously as a solo artist. Jackson was more than equal to the task as his stunning accomplishments attested, but what price did he pay for a lifetime in the spotlight? It was not so farfetched that his penchant for surrounding himself with children was an attempt to vicariously experience the joys of a childhood sacrificed at the altar of the recording industry. But even that was subject to intense scrutiny when he was accused of sexual abuse of a child in 1993 and in 2004; the latter resulting in a media circus trial that ended in his acquittal. Regardless of his status - either as a pop icon or alleged child molester - there was no doubt that Jackson was the subject of endless public fascination. On June 25, 2009, his position as a tragic American icon was solidified when, after rehearsals for a series of comeback concerts in the U.K., he was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, where he was pronounced dead at age 50. The announcement sent shock waves around the world, as fans mourned the one and only King of Pop.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bad 25 (2012)
3.
 Men in Black II (2002) Agent M (Cameo Appearance)
4.
 Michael Jackson's "Ghosts" (1996) Maestro; Mayor; Skeleton; Superghoul
5.
 Listen Up (1990) Himself
7.
 Moonwalker (1989) Michael
8.
 Captain Eo (1986)
10.
 The Wiz (1978) Scarecrow
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1964:
First performed in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital at the age of five
1964:
Joined the Jackson Brothers ¿ a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine ¿ as a backup musician
1965:
Appeared at amateur night at the Apollo in New York City
1967:
Assumed lead vocals (with Jermaine); group's name was changed to The Jackson 5
1967:
With The Jackson 5, recorded several songs for the local record label Steeltown
1968:
Signed with Berry Gordy's Motown Records after group got out of their previous contract with Steeltown
1970:
Saw four singles ("I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There") peak at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100
1971:
Along with brothers, inspired the ABC Saturday morning cartoon series "The Jackson 5"; only appeared in the introduction, however the group's music was used
1972:
Released first solo album <i>Got to Be There</i>, including the hits "Got to Be There" and "Rockin' Robin"
1972:
Released first solo No. 1 single "Ben"; also the title song from the movie and album of same name; earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Original Song
1975:
Jackson 5 sued by Motown Records for breach of contract when they announced they were leaving the label; lawsuit eventually settled in 1980
1976:
Signed with Epic Records and changed their name to The Jacksons
1976:
First Epic album <i>The Jacksons</i> contained Michael's first published song, "Blues Away"
1976:
Featured in the musical variety show "The Jacksons" (CBS)
1978:
Made film debut as the Scarecrow in "The Wiz"; first collaboration with Quincy Jones, who scored the music
1979:
Re-teamed with Quincy Jones for the solo album <i>Off the Wall</i>
1982:
Contributed the song "Someone In the Dark" to the storybook for the film "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"
1982:
Released his best-selling album <i>Thriller</i>; also starred in the John Landis-directed "Thriller" video; regarded as the best-selling album and best music video of all time
1983:
Introduced the moonwalk on the "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" (NBC) television special; garnered an Emmy nomination
1985:
Co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie; produced by Quincy Jones
1985:
Bought the catalogue that controls the rights to Beatles songs for $47.5 million
1986:
Starred in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 3-D film "Captain EO"; produced by George Lucas and shown at Disney's Epcot Center (until 1994) and in Disneyland's Tomorrowland area for nearly 11 years
1987:
Released first album to ever generate five No. 1 singles, <i>Bad</i>
1988:
Released his autobiography <i>Moon Walk</i>
1989:
Produced the musical fantasy feature-length film "Moonwalker"
1989:
Given the title the "King of Pop" by friend Elizabeth Taylor
1989:
Subject of the documentary "Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues"
1991:
Created controversy with the John Landis-directed video "Black or White" from his <i>Dangerous</i> album
1993:
Performed during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII
1995:
Released the double album <i>HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I</i>; the single "You Are Not Alone" became the first single to debut at No. 1 on both the pop and R&B charts
1995:
Teamed with sister Janet for the duet "Scream"; earned a Grammy nomination; the video garnered a record 11 MTV Music Video Awards
1996:
Released the controversial video "Ghosts" on Halloween; first shown in U.S. theaters as a warm-up to "Steven King's Thinner"; later played at the Cannes Film Festival
1997:
Inducted (along with the Jackson 5) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1997:
Released <i>Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix</i> album with little publicity
2001:
Informed head of Sony Music Entertainment Tommy Mottola that he was leaving Sony; they cancelled all his singles releases, video shootings and promotions for his upcoming album
2001:
Released <i>Invincible</i> album to disappointing sales, which led to conflict with Mottola and Sony
2002:
Returned to feature films with a cameo appearance in "Men in Black 2"
2003:
Interviewed by British journalist Martin Bashir for the documentary "Living with Michael Jackson" (aired in the U.K. on ITV and in the U.S. on ABC with Barbara Walters presenting)
2003:
Appeared in a rebuttal to Bashir's report on the two-hour Fox special "Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You"
2007:
Bought (with Sony) the Famous Music LLC from Viacom, which gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck
2008:
Issued <i>Thriller 25</i> to celebrate the 25th anniversary of <i>Thriller</i>; the release comprised of original material from the album
2009:
Scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at London's O2 arena, when Jackson died from an apparent cardiac arrest
2010:
Earned a posthumous Grammy Award nomination (Best Male Pop Performance) for "This Is It"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

"Over the past 10-12 years, Jackson has created a character: himself. It's an incredibly ambitious character, without age, race or gender. It's a character designed to bring the world together. A toy the whole human race can play with ...

"On stage, on video and through all the bizarre sideshows, we have watched Michael Jackson transform himself into this character, this other-worldly presence partway between fantasy and flesh. The line between creator and character has been successsfully blurred.

"But there's still that other Michael, too--businessman, sibling, plain old person ... He's the one who's trapped. How does he do something normal? Whom does he do it with? And if he's frustrated, whom does he blame? ... part of the answer is himself. That's a lot of what the 'Black or White' dance is about ... those angry moves came from somewhere."---David Hinckley's review of the "Black or White" video in Daily News, November 15, 1991.

"What 'Black or White' emphasizes, more than anything, isn't Mr. Jackson's good intentions or his toughness but his distance from anything like everyday experience. His street is obviously a sound stage. He wants to be a nice guy, an apostle of racial brotherhood and a roughneck who knows how to wield a crowbar, but what comes across is the narcissism of a spoiled child throwing his toys. The final sequence, soon to become more legendary for its absence, makes it clear that Mr. Jackson knows his freakishness is part of the sales pitch."---Jon Pareles in The New York Times review of "Black or White" video, November 16, 1991.

J. Randy Taraborrelli's book, "Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness" contends that family patriarch Joseph Jackson abused his children and flaunted his numerous love affairs.

Michael Jackson's reportedly extensive plastic surgery has included four nose jobs, two nose adjustments, a cleft chin, and skin bleaching allegedly to avoid resemblance to his father.

Jackson received an honorary LHD from Fisk Univeristy (1988)

"Michael is an eccentric, like Oscar Wilde. He creates his own world."---Deepak Chopra quoted in Daily News, November 10, 1996.

Michael Jackson has contributed to many organizations through the years, including the United Negro College Fund, Make a Wish Foundation, Dreamstreet, DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) as well as allowing the use of his most popular compositions in national campaigns against drunk driving ("Beat It") and drug abuse ("Bad").

Through his Heal the World Foundation, which provides immediate relief efforts to needy children around the world, Jackson has spearheaded airlifts of food and medical supplies to war-torn Sarajevo, instituted mentoring, immunization and drug abuse education programs and paid for a four-year-old Hungarian child's liver transplant.

"Wacko Jacko... where'd that come from? Some English tabloid. I have a heart and I have feelings. I feel that when you do that to me. Don't do it. I'm not a wacko."---Jackson in a September 1997 televised interview with Barbara Walters

"He has been hurt by so many people, Why should he trust people? I think I'm the only person in his life who has not betrayed him ... we love each other like brother and sister and we'd do anything for each other."---Elizabeth Taylor on her relationship with Michael Jackson

April 22, 2004 Michael Jackson was indicted by a grand jury, after three weeks of testimony looking into charges that Michael Jackson molested a young boy

July 20, 2004, it was reported that Michael Jackson is about to become a father to quadruplets by way of a surrogate mother; however, Jackson's spokesperson Raymone Bain said the baby report '... is not true, and we are not going to further comment on stories of this nature.'

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lisa Marie Jackson Presley. Daughter of Elvis Presley; married on May 26, 1994; estimated worth of marriage, $300 million; separated December 10, 1995; filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences on January 18, 1996; her second marriage; had two children with first husband Danny Keough.
wife:
Debbie Rowe. Former nurse. Born c. 1959; married on November 14, 1996; bride was reportedly six months pregnant at time of wedding; was previously married; parties mutually agreed to divorce according to joint statement issued on October 8, 1999; divorce papers filed on October 8, 1999.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joseph Walter Jackson. Guitarist, crane operator, manager. Was a guitarist with a rhythm and blues band called the Falcons; managed the Jackson Five.
mother:
Katherine Esther Jackson. Devout Jevovah's Witness.
sister:
Rebbie Jackson. Singer. Married Nathan Brown in 1968; born on May 29, 1950.
brother:
Sigmund Esco Jackson. Member of the Jackson Five; born on May 4, 1951.
brother:
Toriano Adaryl Jackson. Guitarist. Member of the Jackson Five; born on October 15, 1953.
brother:
Jermaine La Juane Jackson. Singer, bassist. Born on December 11, 1954; married Berry Gordy's daughter Hazel in 1973; when the Jackson Five left Motown, he stayed with his father-in-law's label as a solo artist; has had solo hits like "Dynamite".
sister:
LaToya Jackson. Born May 29, 1956; married manager Jack Gordon in September 1989; wrote "La Toya: Growing Up in the Jackson Family" (1991).
brother:
Marlon David Jackson. Member of the Jackson Five; born on March 12, 1957.
brother:
Stephan Randell Jackson. Recording artist. Born on October 29, 1961; member of the Jackson Five; replaced Jermaine in 1976 when he left the group to stay with Motown; sentenced to two years' probation for beating his wife, Eliza Shaffy Jackson, and their 14-month old daughter, Steveanna, in November 1991; admitted to commiting bankrupcy fraud in August, 2001.
sister:
Janet Jackson. Singer. Has had such hit singles as "What Have You Done for Me Lately?"; starred in the film "Poetic Justice" (1993).
son:
Prince Michael Jackson Junior. Born on February 12, 1997; mother, Debbie Rowe.
daughter:
Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. Born on April 3, 1998 in Los Angeles; mother, Debbie Rowe.
son:
Prince Michael II. Born c. February 2002; product of a surrogate mother and Jackson's sperm.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Moonwalk" Doubleday
"Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness" Carol Publishing Group
"Dancing the Dream" Doubleday
"Michael Jackson"
"Michael Jackson: The King of Pop"
"Michael Jackson Was My Lover: The Secret Diary of Jordie Chandler" self-published
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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