Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Indiana, the United States. He was an American singer and performer who is still considered a legend. His effortless blending of singing, dancing, visuals, and stage performances, made him an icon. His contributions to music and fashion made him one of the most important figures in the history of music and pop culture. From the start of his career as a member of the band, Jackson 5, he demonstrated an incomparable talent, which secured him a bright future in the industry. After his debut solo album “Off the Wall” was released in 1979, his popularity rose greatly. He created classics, including ‘Beat It,’ ‘Billie Jean,’ and ‘Thriller.’ He died of a cardiac arrest in 2009.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, U.S., into a working-class African American family. From an early age, he had an innate passion for singing and music. His father, Joe Jackson, was once a musician who had to put aside his aspirations to provide for his family, while his mother, Katherine, was a homemaker. His father wanted his children to succeed musically, even to the point of being violent with them. Jackson was the youngest of his 10 children.
His father formed the band, Jackson 5, which consisted of his sons, including Jackson, who became the lead vocalist at the age of five. Their first album, “Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5,” achieved commercial success with the iconic single, ‘I Want You Back’ topping the Billboard chart. However, the band was in conflict regarding creative control with Motown Records, leading them to sever ties with the label in 1976. Fortunately, by then, Jackson had already launched his solo career, which skyrocketed his fame. He had his own singles during the time of the Jackson 5, including ‘Got To Be There’ (1971) and ‘Ben’ (1972). Nonetheless, it was his album “Off the Wall,” that took the music industry by storm. His music became a hit with discotheques around the world. His sixth solo album, “Thriller” (1982), was the best-selling album of all time as it stayed on various charts for weeks. As a follow-up, Jackson released the album “Bad” (1987), which was not as successful.
Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of rock legend Elvis Presley. The couple divorced in 1996. People even speculated that the relationship was a public stunt to fix his ruined image after his child molestation accusations. He later married Debbie Rowe, and they welcomed Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. He later had his third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, with a surrogate. One of the things that people remembered him for was the lightening of his skin. He admitted that it was a necessary procedure due to his suffering from vitiligo after his multiple plastic surgeries.
His career, however, began to decline after the mixed critical reception of his album “HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I” (1995). Jackson returned after a few years with a new album, “Invincible” (2001). It was the last album that he ever released, aside from his posthumous album. Unfortunately, in 2009, just three weeks before his This Is It show in London, he died from cardiac arrest due to a propofol overdose. His memorial service was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The band, Jackson 5, signs a record deal with the famous music label, Motown Records.
His career takes off after releasing the album, “Off the Wall.”
He releases his most successful album, “Thriller,” which consists of various chart-topping singles.
He appears the music video for “We Are The World” along with other musicians, including Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Cindy Lauper.
His album “Thriller” is on a record-breaking streak of going platinum 21 times.
He announces on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that he has vitiligo, a skin disease that alters the color of his skin.
Why We Love Michael Jackson
His unique fashion sense
From the iconic red “Thriller” jacket to the leather one on the cover of “Bad”, he has always shown that he had a style no other artist could replicate. He was truly inimitable in music as well as fashion!
His fantastic videos
Instead of doing regular music videos, he chose to take it a step further. Almost all of his music videos have a theme and a story expressed through his singing and awesome choreography.
His meaningful music
He was not just a master of delivering dancy and groovy tracks. His songs, such as ‘Man In The Mirror’ and ‘Black And White’ held messages about societal issues.
5 Surprising Facts
He lived in a theme park
He turned his 3,000 acres of land into a half home and half amusement park and named it Neverland after the place in which the fictional character Peter Pan lives.
His pet llamas
On the same ranch, he had two pet llamas, Lola and Louis, that he often brought to the studio, even during a session with Freddie Mercury.
He was gifted an elephant
Actress Elizabeth Taylor once gifted him a 5,000-pound elephant.
He was a king
He’s not just the King of Pop — during a visit to a small village on the Ivory Coast, the villagers loved him so much that they decided to crown him their king.
He tried to buy Marvel
So that he could become a superhero himself, he once tried to buy the prolific comic book company, Marvel, when the company filed for bankruptcy.
Michael Jackson FAQs
Who got Michael Jackson’s fortune when he died?
He stated in his will that his wealth would be distributed as follows: 40% to his children; 20% to charities helping children; and another 40% to his mother.
Who owns Michael Jackson’s house?
In 2021, investment billionaire Ron Burkle purchased the famous Neverland for $22 million.
Why was Michael Jackson upset with Eminem?
He took offense to one of Eminem’s lyrics that seemed to mock him.
Michael Jackson’s birthday dates