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Deborah Jeanne Rowe

Deborah Jeanne Rowe

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�View larger imageThe Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, front right, Marlon Jackson, front left, Tito Jackson, back left, Jackie Jackson and Jermaine, back right, are shown in Los Angeles in this undated photo.

(AP Photo)Remembering The King of PopUpdated Thu.


25 2009 9:08 PM News StaffThe world was stunned when the child star turned King of Pop was pronounced dead on June 25, 2009.� looks at some of the highlights, achievements, trials and tribulations of the man who became a towering icon in music and a prominent fixture in pop culture.Born: Gary Indiana, 1958.

Michael Joseph Jackson was the seventh of nine children, to father Joseph Jackson and mother Katherine Esther.

Early Career: A child prodigy, he appeared at age 11 with his brothers in The Jackson 5.

He quickly emerged as the quintet's shining star.

Rolling Stone Magazine described Jackson as possessing "overwhelming musical gifts." Solo Career: Began in 1971 and soared in the 1980s, with the biggest selling record of all-time, "Thriller," in 1982.

His Sound: His distinctive falsetto voice and vocal delivery still influences hip hop, pop and R&B artists.

His style crossed genres, and was malleable to suit ballads, soul, funk, R&B, and a harder-edged rock sound.

His Moves: A phenomenal, creative dancer.

He introduced his signature "Moonwalk" on the 1983 television special, "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever." It delivers the appearance the dancer is moving forward, while actually stepping backwards.

He also helped to popularize "The Robot." Career Achievements: Sold over 750 million records worldwide.

13 Grammy awards; 13 number-one singles in his solo career.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame - twice.

Inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His influence on music and culture still reverberates.

He's credited with breaking down racial barriers, and his epic video for "Thriller" helped transform the music video into an art form - and helped spread the mass appeal of MTV.

Five of his studio albums remain among the world's best-sellers: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

Time Magazine described Jackson as "the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley." His earnings from royalties on his recordings and videos, including concert ticket sales and endorsements have been estimated at US$500 million.

Philanthropy: Jackson has donated and raised millions of dollars for causes through his foundation Heal the World, and he has supported dozens of charities.

He co-wrote "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie.

It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, and it raised millions for African famine relief.

Controversy: In 1993, Jackson was accused of child molestation.

He settled the allegations out of court, but they continued to haunt him.

In a 90-minute interview with Oprah in February 1993, he spoke of childhood abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.

His Appearance: The gradual lightening of his skin and altered facial features drew much criticism and speculation.

He denied bleaching his skin and admitted he suffered from vitiligo - a chronic skin disorder that causes patches of depigmentation.

He also suffered from lupus.

Both conditions made him sensitive to sunlight.

Coupled with makeup to even his skin tone, Jackson's medication caused a further lightening in his skin tone.

There's been wide speculation that Jackson had undergone several cosmetic surgery procedures, including those to his nose, forehead, lips and cheekbone.

Nicknames: Known to fans as the "King of Pop," in his latter career he picked up other less flattering monikers, such as "The Gloved One" and "Wacko Jacko." Relationships: In 1994, he married singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis's daughter.

They first met in 1975 at an event.

Tabloids said the marriage was a publicity ploy to boost Jackson's public image.

The pair divorced less than two years later, although they remained on friendly terms.

In 1996, he married dermatologist nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe.

Together they had a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr.

(in 1997) and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson (in 1998).

The couple divorced in 1999, and Rowe gave full custodial rights to Jackson.

Third Child:�In 2002, Prince Michael II was born to a mystery surrogate mother that Jackson had apparently never met.

He never released her name,�and said the child was the result of artificial insemination between�the woman�and his own sperm cells.His Death: After being taken to the hospital in a coma, Jackson was pronounced dead on June 25, 2009.

Other Jackson Trivia :His Neverland Ranch in California had a security staff numbering in the dozens.

In 2003, it was valued at about $US100 million.

The 2,700-acre ranch featured a Ferris wheel, a movie theatre, a menagerie featuring exotic animals.

Jackson's pet chimpanzee Bubbles apparently was trained to clean his bedroom.

He had special boots patented to help him with his special anti-gravity leaning dance move, featured in the music video for his single, "Smooth Criminal." Martin Scorsese was the director for Jackson's 1998 video for his single, "Bad." He was named one of "The World's Worst Hotel Guests" by website - over an incident in which he dangled his then nine-month-old son Prince Michael II in 2002 over the balcony of a hotel in Berlin, Germany.

His biggest musical influence? Tchaikovsky, apparently.

Jackson said the classical composer of the "Nutcracker Suite" inspired him to produce a record in which every song was a hit.

(That album eventually became "Thriller.") �
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