The King of Pop and American superstar Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958. Popular all over the world, Michael Jackson one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Other achievements include several Guinness World Records; 15 Grammy Awards (including the Living Legend Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards, 17 number-one singles in the US (including four as a member of The Jackson 5); and estimated world sales of over 780 million records, making him one of the best-selling recording artists ever.
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958. He is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. He is also popularly known as MJ, The Gloved One, Wacko Jacko, King of Pop, etc. He had his own trademarks such as - The Moonwalk, Single sequined white glove, his white socks with black shoes, and often wore a black hat and a jacket with a ribbon around one sleeve.
His father, Joseph Jackson, had been a guitarist but had put aside his musical aspirations for his family and worked as a crane operator. Believing his sons had talent, he molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. Michael joined his siblings when he was five, and emerged as the group's lead vocalist. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young performer, impressing audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the in the mid-1960s, a musical prodigy, Michael's singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of The Jackson 5.
Michael Jackson's solo success was inevitable, and by the 1980s, he had become infinitely more popular than his brotherly group. In 1982 he released the world's largest selling album of all time, 'Thriller'. This album produced 7 hit singles, breaking yet again more records, and went on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide. Michael was keen to use music video or short films as he called them to promote his singles from the album. The short film 'Thriller' used the latest make-up artists technology combined with fantastic dancing and cherography, to produce a 14 minute video, with a start, a middle and an ending. So successful was this video that 'The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller' became the world's largest selling home video combined with soaring album sales. In 1983 Michael performed the now legendary moonwalk for the first time on the 'Motown 25 years' anniversary show. This performance alone set Michael undoubtable into the realm of a superstar. A TV natural, he ventured rather uneasily into films, such as playing the Scarecrow in The Wiz (1978), but had much better luck with elaborate music videos.
In 1984 Michael won a record breaking 8 Grammy awards in one night. The awards were for his work on the 'Thriller' album and his work on the narrative for the 'ET Storybook'.
Apart from his 1982 album Thriller which is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and History (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century"); 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era); and the estimated sale of over 800 million records worldwide. Jackson won hundreds of awards, which have made him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of music. He was also a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for beneficial causes and supporting more than 39 charities.
Michael Jackson had two brief marriages. Aspects of Jackson's personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships and behavior, have generated controversy. In 1993, he was accused of child sexual abuse, but the case was settled and no formal charges were brought. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges after the jury ruled him not guilty on all counts.
His total lifetime earnings from royalties on his solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million; some analysts have speculated that his music catalog holdings could be worth billions of dollars. This speculation however is contradicted by financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, which showed that as of March 31, 2007, Jackson's 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog (his most prized asset) was worth $390.6 million and Michael Jackson's net worth was $236 million. Billboard has estimated that Jackson has generated at least $1 billion in revenue in the year following his death.
While preparing for his concert series This Is It, Jackson died on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. Before his death, Jackson had reportedly been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam. The Los Angeles County Coroner declared his death a homicide, and his personal physician pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and as many as a billion people around the world may have watched his public memorial service on live television. On December 29, 2009, the American Film Institute recognized Jackson's passing as a "moment of significance" saying, "Michael Jackson's sudden death in June at age 50 was notable for the worldwide outpouring of grief and the unprecedented global eulogy of his posthumous concert rehearsal movie "This is It". Jackson will be inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame in 2010.
Even though Michael Jackson is no more with us but his legacy continues to inspire artists from all over the world. After his death, Jackson became the best-selling artist of 2009 in the United States selling over 8.2 million albums and had sold 35 million albums worldwide in the 12 months that followed his death. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced numerous hip hop, pop, contemporary R&B and rock.
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