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Off The Wall

Off The Wall

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Michael Jackson through the yearsSinger Michael Jackson died at age 50 in Los Angeles on June 25, according to the Associated Press.

The cause is unconfirmed, though reports say Jackson had suffered a heart attack and was unconscious before paramedics rushed him to UCLA Medical Center early in the afternoon.

In January 2009, the Nederlander Organization announced that it had acquired the rights to transform Jackson's groundbreaking "Thriller" video—a 14-minute horror-movie spoof—into a stage musical.

Jackson was reportedly going to be involved in the show's genesis.

No director, casting, or even premiere date had been set.

Meanwhile, Jackson is currently represented on the West End with the tribute musical Thriller—Live!, which uses video footage, trivia and copycat choreography to celebrate the career of the King of Pop.Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana.

The seventh of nine children, his career as a musical prodigy began at age eight, when he joined his brothers as a leading vocalist and dancing frontman in their R&B band, the Jackson Brothers.

The group changed their name to The Jackson 5 shortly thereafter, going on to become one of the biggest pop music sensations of the 1960s and 70s with hits including "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I'll Be There." In 1978, Jackson starred as the Scarecrow opposite Diana Ross in the film adaptation of Broadway stage musical The Wiz.

Jackson's relationship with the film' music arranger Quincy Jones resulted in his debut solo release, Off the Wall, which spotlighted the singer and songwriter as an emerging solo star.

The album biggest hit, "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough," became a disco anthem, with Off the Wall itself winning a Grammy Award before going multi-platinum.

Off the Wall ultimately paved the way for Jackson's opus, Thriller, which stormed the charts with its title single (and famed aforementioned music video), as well as "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Something.'" Thriller is frequently referred to as the best-selling album of all time, though its position has occasionally been disputed.

Over the course of the next two decades, Jackson followed up with the albums Bad, Dangerous, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 and Invincible.

He remains one of the all-time best selling recording artists in history.

Jackson made several other appearances as an actor in TV and films, including the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 3-D film Captain EO, The Simpsons, Men in Black II and Miss Cast Away, and made various cameos as himself.

The icon was plagued throughout his later career by nagging accusations of child sexual abuse, drug abuse, erratic behavior, mental illness and lingering financial issues, causing him to go into relative seclusion later in his career.

Jackson infamously married and divorced twice, first to rock legacy Lisa Marie Presley and then to Debbie Rowe, from whom he split in 1999.

He is survived by his three children.
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