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in full Michael Joseph Jackson
( 1958 – 2009 )
Singer, songwriter. Jackson was born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, to an African-American workingclass family. His father, Joseph Jackson, had been a guitarist but had put aside his musical aspirations to provide for his family as a crane operator. Believing his sons had talent, he molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. At first, the Jackson Family performers consisted of Michael's older brothers Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie. 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. Older brother Marlon also became a member of the group, which evolved into the The Jackson 5. Behind the scenes, Joseph Jackson pushed his sons to succeed. He was also reportedly known to become violent with them. Michael and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing up their aact. At first, the Jackson 5 played local gigs and built a strong following. They recorded one single on their own, "Big Boy" with the b-side "You've Changed," but it failed to generate much interest. The Jackson 5 moved on to working an opening act for such R&B artists as Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these performers were signed to the legendary Motown record label, and it has been reported that Gladys Knight may have been the one to tell Motown founder Berry Gordy about the Jackson 5. Impressed by the group, Gordy signed them to his label in 1968. Relocating to Los Angeles, Michael and his brothers started work on their music and dancing with their father as their manager. They lived with Gordy and also with Supremes singer Diana Ross when they first arrived there. In August 1969, the Jackson 5 was introduced to the music industry at a special event, and later served as the opening act for the Supremes. Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, hit the charts in December of that year. It's first single, "I Want You Back," hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1970. More chart-topping singles quickly followed, such as "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There." At the age of 13, Jackson launched a solo career in addition to his work with the Jackson 5. He made the charts in 1971 with "Got to Be There" from the album of the same name. His 1972 album, Ben, featured the eponymous ballad about a rat. The song became Jackson's first solo No. 1 single. For several years, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 maintained a busy tour and recording schedule, under the supervision of Berry Gordy and his Motown staff. Gordy wrote many of the songs recorded by the group and by Michael Jackson as a solo artist. The group became so popular that they even had their own self-titled cartoon show, which ran from 1971 to 1973. Despite Jackson's individual achievements and the group's great success, there was trouble between the Jacksons and their record company. Tensions mounted between Gordy and Joseph Jackson over the management of his children's careers, and their level of participation in making their music. The Jacksons wanted more control over their recordings, which led to most of the Jacksons breaking ties with Motown in
Working with producer Quincy Jones. Male for "Beat It. The song also appeared on his next solo album. The one major hit from the recording was Michael Jackson's duet with Mick Jagger." His most elaborate video. and a voice-over done by actor Vincent Price. For his songwriting talents. Jackson showed his altruistic side. At the top of his game creatively and commercially. and is believed to have begun experimenting with plastic surgery around this time. especially his nose." Jackson also won Best Pop Vocal Performance. penning all of the record's tracks. Bruce Springsteen. It featured five No. Jackson sang on their 1982 duet." "Rock with You. having previously released several albums—none of which had matched the success of his younger brother Michael. "Beat It. special effects. In addition to its unparalleled commercial achievements. Ray Charles. That same year. Thriller (1982). however. holding the No. and Tina Turner. Jackson performed "Billie Jean"—eventually a number one hit—and debuted his soon-to-be-famous dance move called the moonwalk." With coproducer Quincy Jones." In 1985. and the brothers went on an extensive tour to support the recording. 1 hit. A veritable who's who of music stars participated in the project including Lionel Ritchie. With 1978's Destiny. Jackson. began to branch out on his own more. Michael Jackson and his brothers (which by now included younger brother Randy) emerged as talented songwriters. Willie Nelson. It featured an infectious blend of pop and funk with such hit tracks as the Grammy Award-winning "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough. 1 hits. playing . Jackson spent more than a year on the road. Releasing his follow-up to Thriller in 1987. created this step himself and choreographed the dance sequences for the video of his other No. Teaming up with rock legend Paul McCartney." a charity single for USA for Africa. It stayed on the charts for 80 weeks. 1 spot for 37 weeks. boosting sales for the already successful album. Bob Dylan. Jackson signed a $5 million endorsement deal with Pepsi-Cola around this time. a veteran performer by this time. The video for "Thriller" became immensely popular. Jackson. including "Man in the Mirror. Jackson embarked on his final tour with the Jacksons to the support the album Victory. Jackson had surgery to repair his injuries. would become dramatically altered in the coming years. 1979's Off the Wall. Thriller earned 12 Grammy Award nominations and won eight of those awards. he shared the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. suffering burns to his face and scalp." and the title track. He also found success with the ballad "She's Out of My Life. Triumph (1980) sold more than one million copies. co-writing and singing on "We Are the World." The overwhelmingly positive response to Michael's latest solo album also helped buoy the Jacksons' career as well. he received the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song for "Billie Jean." "The Way You Make Me Feel. which generated seven top 10 hits. Now calling themselves the Jacksons." which nearly reached the top of the pop charts. Jackson reached the top of the charts with Bad. John Landis directed the horror-tinged video. Male for "Thriller" and Best Rock Vocal Performance. Jackson's Grammy victories showcased the diverse nature of his work. the group signed a new recording deal with Epic Records. which was supported by a video directed by Martin Scorsese." and the title track. "The Girl Is Mine. Jermaine Jackson remained with the label and continued to pursue a solo career. His face. was badly injured while filming a commercial for the soda giant in 1984. "State of Shock. which featured complex dance scenes. Michael Jackson wowed the music world with his next solo album. On a television special honoring Motown. however. was for the album's title track. however.1975. He.
Some thought that the marriage was a publicity ploy to restore Jackson's image after the molestation allegations. Jackson's music continued to enjoy wide-spread popularity in the upcoming years. Jackson was a shy and quiet person off-stage. which featured some of his earlier hits as well as new material. but they found no evidence to support the claim. including the half-time show at Superbowl XXVII. Sitting down with Oprah Winfrey. "They Don't Care About Us. Jackson caused some controversy with his sexual gesturing and violent actions. "You Are Not Alone" and his duet with sister Janet Jackson. but the union proved to be shortlived. In August 1994. Rowe and Jackson divorced in 1999 with Jackson receiving full custody of their two children. A 13-year-old boy claimed that the music star had fondled him. Jackson announced that he had married Lisa Marie Presley. Jackson released Dangerous. including that he was lightening the color of his skin to appear more white and slept in a special chamber to increase his life span. Jackson was known to have sleepovers with boys at his Neverland Ranch. Jackson's musical career began to decline with the lukewarm reception to 1995's HIStory: Past. Jackson wed nurse Debbie Rowe. The couple had two children through artificial insemination. While successful. Rumors swirled around him. "Scream. brought Jackson intense criticism for using an anti-Semitic term. and had his own amusement rides. Jackson was better known as an eccentric whose quirks were reported in the tabloids than as a performer. He was never truly comfortable with the media attention he received and rarely gave interviews. . The album sold well. daughter of rock icon Elvis Presley. In the video's final minutes. Short Form that year. which aired that February. There he kept exotic pets. Jackson settled the case out of court with the boy's family. it seemed that Jackson perhaps was exploring a second childhood. They divorced in 1996." however. Many were surprised to see the Peter Pan-like Jackson act in this manner. By the late 1980s. Other allegations emerged. To some. such as a chimpanzee named Bubbles. featuring the hit "Black or White. and was directed by John Landis. Book I. The record spawned two hits. but this was the first public charge of wrongdoing. Raised as a Jehovah's Witness. and he hid his children's faces under veils. with an unknown surrogate. In 1991." The video for this song included an appearance by child star Macaulay Culkin. He would go on to have a third child." "Scream" earned Michael and Janet a Grammy Award for Best Music Video. he explained that the change in his skin tone was the result of a disease known as vitiligo. Jackson had created his own fantasy retreat—a California ranch called Neverland. By the release of 2001's Invincible. He sometimes opened up the ranch for children's events. Jackson gave a rare television interview. Present. Prince Michael Jackson II. Son Prince Michael Jackson was born in 1997 and daughter Paris Michael Jackson was born in 1998. In 1993. and Future. Later that same year. Another track from the album. he performed several important events. The following year. Jackson also opened about the abuse he suffered from his father. Allegations of child molestation against Jackson emerged later that year. but stories of his odd behavior started to overshadow his talent.concerts to promote the album. but Jackson maintained his innocence. He often appeared in public wearing a surgical mask. The couple gave a joint television interview with Diane Sawyer. Bad was unable to duplicate the phenomenal sales of Thriller. The police searched the ranch.
the singer no longer had a bank account and was unable to maintain even his most basic finances. He also built the singer a recording studio. 2009. and they were chanting they wanted to see my child. In return. Jackson remained a figure of great interest. and his finances were in shambles. Jackson promised to collaborate with the prince on a new album on Al-Khalifa's record label. with former fans and media outlets clamoring to have Child Protective Services take Jackson's children from him. "Why can't you share your bed? That's the most loving thing to do. to share your bed with someone. Around this same time. Jackson saw all the tickets to his This Is It tour sell out in only four hours. England. he was charged with lewd conduct with a minor." But many were unforgiving of the star's behavior. including the crystal gloves he used in performances. over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin. Jackson explained that "We were waiting for thousands of fans down below. On June 14. attempted lewd conduct. false imprisonment and extortion. Jackson's accuser also appeared via videotape and described how Jackson had given him wine and molested him. however. and Jackson soon faced litigation from his friend for reneging on his promises. The resulting 2005 trial was a media circus with fans. 2005. More than 130 people testified. who wired Jackson the money needed to pay Neverland's utility bills. Living with Michael Jackson. He said that he had been friends with Jackson as a young teen. . he received enormous criticism for dangling his son. Jackson sued to block the auction of some of his personal items from the home the following year. I was doing something out of innocence. Jackson soon found refuge in his friendship with the prince of Bahrain. Soon after. While he had stayed over at the Neverland Ranch. including Macaulay Culkin who appeared on Jackson's behalf. and conspiracy to commit child abduction. Jackson defaulted on the $23. In Bahrain. Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa. Despite all of the allegations and stories of odd behavior. detractors. His reputation. In even greater financial straits.In 2002. Prince Michael II. was effectively destroyed. so I was kind enough to let them see. not including living expenses. Jackson faced more legal woes in 2004 when he was arrested on charges related to incidents with a 13year-old boy the previous year.5 million loan owed on his Neverland Ranch in 2008. however. Unable to part with certain items. In a later interview. Jackson was acquitted of all charges. He then invited the pop star to his country as a personal guest. he told the court that Jackson never tried to molest him. Thanks to mounting legal bills. and camera crews surrounding the courthouse. None of the work materialized. as demonstrated by the strong response to his concert plans. Jackson made headlines when he seemed confused and disoriented on stage at an MTV awards show. even after the 1993 allegations. administering alcohol to facilitate molestation. Germany. He admitted that he continued to have children sleepover at his ranch. beginning July 8." There had been some speculation regarding whether the fragile singer would be able to handle the rigors of 50 concerts. and create a stage play. set to appear at the O2 Arena in London. the prince provided Jackson with more than $7 million. as well as write an autobiography. and he got Jackson to discuss his relationships with children. British journalist Martin Bashir spent several months with Jackson. Jackson's reputation was served another blow in 2003 with the television documentary. the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he would be performing a series of concerts in London as his "final curtain call. Facing 10 counts in all. hired him a "motivational guru" and helped Jackson to entertain family at Christmas. Jackson said that sometimes he slept with the children in his bed." Jackson told Beshir.
On July 12. 2009. While 17. as evidence showed that the standard of care for administering propofol was not met. appearing publicly only a few times in the last year. This Is It would go on to make more than $260. 1 at the box office. featuring a compilation of interviews.V. The steps he took to save Jackson also came under scrutiny. including one at the arena where he was set to perform and another at his childhood home in Gary. In June 2010. 2009. and actress Elizabeth Taylor. News of Jackson's death resulted in an outpouring of public grief and sympathy. The film. Jackson's death was ruled a homicide. with the aid of personal physician Dr. 2009. the coroner released an official report detailing the cause of Jackson's death. hit theaters in October of 2009. They stepped up to the mic in 2009 to speak to fans at their father's funeral. Memorials to Jackson were erected around the world. and become the highest grossing documentary of all time. On June 25. rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson. Prince Michael and Prince Michael II (also known as "Blanket") have been kept largely out of the limelight. . Katherine Jackson. as well as lorazepam. Jackson suffered cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. All rights reserved. to help him sleep in the evenings. made $23 million in its opening weekend and sky-rocketed to No. precision dosing and resuscitation were not present. In respect to their father's wishes. Conrad Murray." He had the drug administered by I. The Jackson family also began pursuing measures that would have Murray's medical license revoked. and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring. The celebrity mourners included former child star Macaulay Culkin. But in February 2010." The overdose worked in combination with a lethal prescription drug cocktail—which included the pain killer Demerol. A film documenting Jackson's preparations for his final performance entitled This Is It. in the evenings in 50 mg dosages. Jackson's children were placed in the care of their grandmother. © 2011 A&E Television Networks. Meanwhile. midazolam.8 million worldwide.But Jackson would never get to experience the success of his comeback tour. With this final tribute. As a result. Conrad later told police that he believed Jackson had developed a particular addiction to propofol. and Murray was attempting to ween the pop star off the drug at the time of Jackson's death. a televised memorial was held for fans of the King of Pop at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Paris. but he died later that morning. diazepine and ephedrine—to shut down the star's weakened heart.500 free tickets were issued to fans via lottery. He was 50 years old at the time of his death. the Jackson family has attempted to move forward with their lives. and again in January 2010 to accept a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for their father at the Grammys. the family hoped to finally have closure on the passing of Michael Jackson. ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley. Indiana. it was announced that the children will be heading to private school in the fall. and Murray found himself at the center of an involuntary manslaughter investigation. The results revealed that the singer died from "acute propofol intoxication. which Jackson referred to as his "milk. benzodiazepine. for the immediate family and 200 guests at Forest Lawn Memorial park in Los Angeles. He was rushed to the hospital after his heart stopped and CPR attempts failed. A police investigation revealed that Murray was not licensed to prescribe most controlled drugs in the state of California. Jackson reportedly used the drugs. more than an estimated one billion viewers watched the memorial on television and the Internet. As dictated in his will. The Jackson family held a private funeral on September 3. The family is in continuing litigation with Murray.
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