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Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson
An African-American man with shoulder length black curly hair wearing a black jacket and pants adorned with buckles singing into a microphone with his eyes closed. He is holding the microphone stand with both hands. Bright stage lights are visible in the background.
Jackson performs on his Bad World Tour in 1988
Background information
Birth name Michael Joseph Jackson
Also known as Michael Joe Jackson
Born (1958-08-29)August 29, 1958
Gary, Indiana, U.S.
Died June 25, 2009(2009-06-25) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Pop, rock, soul, R&B, funk, disco, new jack swing
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, arranger, dancer, entertainer, choreographer, music producer, actor, businessman, philanthropist
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1964–2009
Labels Motown, Universal, Sony, Epic, Legacy, MJJ Productions
Associated acts The Jackson 5
Jackson's signature

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer-songwriter, dancer, businessman and philanthropist. Often referred to as the " King of Pop", or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became the dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of " Beat It," " Billie Jean," and " Thriller," were credited with breaking down racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then relatively new television channel MTV to fame. With videos such as " Black or White" and " Scream" he continued to innovate the medium throughout the 1990s, as well as forging a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot, and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop, and rock artists.

Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first and only dancer from pop and rock music. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 26 American Music Awards, more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s"; 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era; and the estimated sale of over 400 million records worldwide. Jackson has won hundreds of awards, making him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of popular music. In what would have been Jackson's 52nd birthday on August 29, 2010, he became the most downloaded artist of all time. Jackson constantly traveled the world attending events honoring his humanitarianism and the 2000 Guinness Book of Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities.

While preparing for his comeback concert series titled This Is It, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, and his personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world.

Personal life

Jackson is survived by his parents, eight siblings, his three children, a host of nieces and nephews also with grand nephews and nieces.

Honours and awards

Thriller platinum record on display at the Hard Rock Cafe, Hollywood in Universal City, California

Michael Jackson was inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1980 as member of The Jacksons and in 1984 as solo artist. Throughout his career he received numerous honours and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. Jackson was also inducted in several other hall of fames, including Vocal Group Hall of Fame (as The Jackson 5 member) in 1999 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2010, Jackson was inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock 'n' roll. His awards include many Guinness World Records (eight in 2006 alone), 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award), 26 American Music Awards (including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s")—more than any artist—, 13 number one singles in the US in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and estimated sales of up to 400 million records worldwide, which makes him one of the best selling artists of all time. On December 29, 2009, the American Film Institute recognized Jackson's death as a "moment of significance" saying, "Michael Jackson's sudden death in June at age 50 was notable for the worldwide outpouring of grief and the unprecedented global eulogy of his posthumous concert rehearsal movie This Is It." Michael Jackson also received a Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the United Negro College Fund and also an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Fisk University.


  • Got to Be There (1972)
  • Ben (1972)
  • Music & Me (1973)
  • Forever, Michael (1975)
  • Off the Wall (1979)
  • Thriller (1982)
  • Bad (1987)
  • Dangerous (1991)
  • HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995)
  • Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997)
  • Invincible (2001)
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