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Black or White, He was a ThrillerThe world�s biggest pop star ever, Michael Jackson, died yesterday in Los Angeles .

Here is his life story, courtesy wikipedia.com06.26.2009Add To FavoritesPrint This ArticlePost CommentMichael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman.

The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group.

Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, five of his solo studio albums have become some of the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV.

The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller�credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool�helped bring the relatively new channel to fame.

Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s.

With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk.

His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charities.

Other aspects of his personal life, including his changing appearance and behavior, generated significant controversy, damaging his public image.

Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged.

The singer has experienced health concerns since the early 1990s and conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s.

Jackson married twice and fathered three children, all of which caused further controversy.

In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records�including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"�13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career�more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era�and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide.

Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, has made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.After being taken to the hospital in a coma, Jackson was reportedly pronounced dead yesterday.1958�1975: Early life and The Jackson 5Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana (an industrial suburb of Chicago, Illinois) to a working-class family on August 29, 1958.[5] The son of Joseph Walter "Joe" and Katherine Esther (n�e Scruse),[5] he is the seventh of nine children.

His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet.[5] Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther.

Jackson was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses by his devout mother.From a young age Jackson was physically and mentally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling.

Jackson 's abuse as a child affected him throughout his grown life.

In one altercation�later recalled by Marlon Jackson�Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks".

Joseph would often trip up, or push the male children into walls.

One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window.

Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting.

Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep.

For years afterward, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes get sick or start to regurgitate upon seeing his father.

In Jackson's other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse.

Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that "if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you."Jackson showed musical talent early in his life, performing in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital at the age of five.

In 1964, Jackson and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers�a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine�as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively.

Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing; at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5.The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", for the local record label Steeltown in 1967 and signed with Motown Records in 1968.

Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts", noting that Michael "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer" after he began to dance and sing with his brothers.

Though Michael sang with a "child's piping voice, he danced like a grown-up hoofer and sang with the R&B/gospel inflections of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder".

The group set a chart record when its first four singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There") peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

During The Jackson 5's early years, Motown's public relations team claimed that Jackson was nine years old�two years younger than he actually was�to make him appear cuter and more accessible to the mainstream audience.1975�1981: Move to Epic and Off the WallThe Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records.

As a result of legal proceedings, the group was renamed The Jacksons.

After the name change, the band continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984.

From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel" and "Can You Feel It".In 1978, Jackson starred as Scarecrow in the film musical The Wiz.

The musical scores were arranged by Quincy Jones, who formed a partnership with Jackson during the film's production and agreed to produce the singer's next solo album Off the Wall.

In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine.

His subsequent rhinoplasty surgery was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career.

He was referred to Dr.

Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson 's second rhinoplasty and other subsequent operations.Jones and Jackson jointly produced Off the Wall.

Songwriters included Jackson, Heatwave's Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

Released in 1979, it was the first album to generate four US top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You".

Off the Wall reached number three on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified for 7 million shipments in the US and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".

That year, he also won Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough").

Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.

In 1980, Jackson secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37% of wholesale album profit.�1982�1985: Thriller, Motown 25, We Are the World and business careerIn 1982, Jackson contributed the song "Someone In the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T.

the Extra-Terrestrial; the record won a Grammy for Best Album for Children.

That year Jackson issued his second Epic album, Thriller.

The album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks and 37 of those weeks at the peak position.

It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".

Thriller was certified for 28 million shipments by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond status in the US .

It is often cited as the best-selling album of all time, with worldwide sales between 47 million and 109 million copies.Jackson's attorney John Branca noted that Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point; approximately $2 for every album sold.

He was also making record breaking profit from compact discs or the sale of The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller; a documentary produced by Jackson and John Landis.

Funded by MTV, the documentary sold over 350,000 copies in a few months of sale.

The era saw the arrival of novelties like dolls modeled after Michael Jackson, that appeared in stores in May 1984 at a price of $12.

Thriller retains a position in American culture.

Biographer J.

Randy Taraborrelli explains, "At some point, Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item�like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie�and started selling like a household staple."Gil Friesen, president of A&M Records, said "the whole industry has a stake in this success".

Thriller raised the importance of albums, but multiple hits also changed notions about the number of singles to release.

Time magazine explained that "the fallout from Thriller has given the [music] business its best years since the heady days of 1978, when it had an estimated total domestic revenue of $4.1 billion".

Time summed up Thriller's impact as a "restoration of confidence" for an industry bordering on "the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop".

The publication described Jackson 's influence at that point as "Star of records, radio, rock video.

A one-man rescue team for the music business.

A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade.

A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street.

A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too".

The New York Times called him a "musical phenomenon", saying that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else".

According to the The Washington Post, Thriller paved the way for other acts such as Prince.Jackson suffered a setback on January 27, 1984.

While filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Jackson suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire.

Happening in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, the incident was the subject of heavy media scrutiny and elicited an outpouring of sympathy.

PepsiCo settled a lawsuit out of court, and Jackson gave his $1.5 million settlement to the " Michael Jackson Burn Center " which was a piece of new technology to help people with severe burns.

Jackson had his third rhinoplasty shortly afterward and grew self conscious about his appearance.Jackson co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US .

He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record.

The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.While working with Paul McCartney on the two hit singles "The Girl Is Mine" and "Say Say Say", the pair became friendly, occasionally visiting one another.

In one discussion, McCartney told Jackson about the millions of dollars he had made from music catalogs; he was earning approximately $40 million a year from other people's songs.

Jackson then began a business career buying, selling and distributing publishing rights to music from numerous artists.

Shortly afterward, Northern Songs�a music catalog holding thousands of songs, including The Beatles' back catalog�was put up for sale.Jackson took immediate interest in the catalog but was warned that he would face strong competition.

Excited, he skipped around saying, "I don't care.

I want those songs.

Get me those songs Branca [his attorney]".

Branca then contacted the attorney of McCartney, who clarified that his client was not interested in bidding; "It's too pricey".

After Jackson had started negotiations, McCartney changed his mind and tried to persuade Yoko Ono to join him in a joint bid, she declined, so he pulled out.

Jackson eventually beat the rest of the competition in negotiations that lasted 10 months, purchasing the catalog for $47.5 million.

When McCartney found out he said, "I think it's dodgy to do things like that.

To be someone's friend and then buy the rug they're standing on".

Reacting to that statement, biographer J.

Randy Taraborrelli observed that McCartney made millions of dollars from the music of other people.

He had more money than Jackson at that point so could have made a substantial bid for his own music and would not have suffered financial difficulties from Jackson owning the catalog.1986�1990: Tabloids, appearance, Bad, autobiography and filmsIn 1986, the tabloid press ran a story claiming that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the aging process; he was pictured lying down in a glass box.

Although the claim was untrue, Jackson disseminated the fabricated story himself.

The singer was promoting his upcoming movie Captain EO and wanted to promote a science fiction image of himself.

Jackson had a fourth rhinoplasty and, wanting masculine features, had a cleft put in his chin.

Then he starred in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 3-D film Captain EO.

It was the most expensive film produced on a per-minute basis at the time, and was later hosted in Disney theme parks.

Disneyland featured the film in its Tomorrowland area for nearly 11 years, while Walt Disney World screened the film in its Epcot theme park from 1986 to 1994.Jackson two years after he was diagnosed with vitiligo, pictured in the early stages of the disease.

Jackson bought and befriended a pet chimpanzee called Bubbles, an act which extended his eccentric persona.

In 2003 the singer claimed that Bubbles shared his toilet, and cleaned his bedroom.

Later it was reported that Jackson bought the bones of The Elephant Man.

Although untrue, it was a story that Jackson again disseminated to the tabloid press.

These stories inspired the pejorative nickname "Wacko Jacko", which Jackson acquired the following year.

He would eventually come to despise the nickname.

Realizing his mistake, he stopped leaking untruths to the press.

However due to the profit being made, the media began making up their own stories.Jackson's skin was a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the early 1980s, his skin gradually grew paler.

This change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that Jackson was bleaching his skin.

In the mid-1980s, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the latter is in remission in Jackson's case, and both illnesses make him sensitive to sunlight.

The treatments he uses for his condition further lighten his skin tone, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he can appear very pale.

The structure of his face has changed as well; several surgeons have speculated that Jackson had undergone multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips and a cheekbone surgery.

Changes to his face were, in part, due to periods of significant weight loss.

Jackson lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for "a dancer's body".

Witnesses reported that Jackson was often dizzy and speculated that he was suffering from anorexia nervosa; periods of weight loss would become a recurring problem for the singer later in life.

Some medical professionals have publicly stated their belief that the singer has body dysmorphic disorder, a psychological condition whereby the sufferer has no concept of how they are perceived by others.With the industry expecting another major hit, Jackson 's first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated.

Bad had lower sales than Thriller, but was still a substantial commercial success.

In the US, it spawned seven hit singles, five of which ("I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana") reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, more than any other album.

As of 2008, the album sold 30 million copies worldwide, including eight million shipments in the US .A gold plated military style jacket with belt, worn by Jackson in the Bad era.

The Bad World Tour began on September 12, 1987, and finished on January 14, 1989.

In Japan alone, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record of 200,000 in a single tour.

Jackson broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium.

He performed a total of 123 concerts to a total audience of 4.4 million people, and gained a further Guinness World Record when the tour grossed him $125 million.

During the trip he invited underprivileged children to watch for free and gave donations to hospitals, orphanages and other charities.In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of $17 million.

The 2,700-acre (11 km2) property had Ferris wheels, a menagerie, and a movie theater.

A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds.

In 2003, the property was valued at approximately $100 million.

In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts were estimated at $125 million for that year alone.

Shortly afterward, Jackson became the first Westerner to appear in a television advert for Russia .Jackson's success resulted in his being dubbed the "King of Pop", a nickname conceived by actress and friend Elizabeth Taylor when she presented Jackson with an "Artist of the Decade" award in 1989, proclaiming him "the true king of pop, rock and soul".

President George H.


Bush presented the singer with The White House's special "Artist of the Decade" award in recognition of Jackson 's musical influence in the 1980s; Bush commended Jackson for acquiring a "tremendous following" among other achievements.

From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity.Jackson's live rendition of "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr.

60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.1991�1993: Dangerous and Super Bowl XXVIIIn March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million; a record breaking deal at the time.

Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991.

As of 2008, Dangerous has shipped 7 million copies in the US and has sold 32 million copies worldwide; it is the most successful New Jack Swing album off all time.

In the US, the album's first single "Black or White" was the album's biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide.

The album's second single "Remember the Time" spent eight weeks in the top five in the US, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

In 1993, Jackson performed the song at the Soul Train Awards in a wheelchair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals.

In the UK and other parts of Europe, "Heal the World" was the biggest hit from the album; it sold 450,000 copies in the UK and spent five weeks at two in 1992.Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992.

The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson 's ranch, to go on theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property after he purchased it.

The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war and disease.

The Dangerous World Tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993.

Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts.

All profits from the concerts went to the "Heal the World Foundation", raising millions of dollars in relief.

He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands.

Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time.

He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.In a high-profile visit to Africa, Jackson visited several countries, among them Gabon and Egypt .

His first stop to Gabon was greeted with a sizable reception of more than 100,000 people in "spiritual bedlam", some of them carrying signs that read, "Welcome Home Michael".

In his trip to the Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief.

He then thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed official documents formalising his kingship and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.�++++His Albums�Got to Be There (1972)Ben (1972)Music and Me (1973)Forever, Michael (1975)Off the Wall (1979)Thriller (1982)Bad (1987)Dangerous (1991)HIStory (1995)Invincible (2001)+++++Post CommentAll comments�
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