Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist during the year of his death. Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicised personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. He continued to innovate with videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” throughout the 1990s, and forged a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularised 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 artists of various music genres.
Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of over 66 million copies worldwide. Jackson’s other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling albums. He is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame as the only dancer from pop and rock music. Jackson won hundreds of awards, making him the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music. Jackson is also remembered for his philanthropy and pioneering efforts in charitable fundraising in the entertainment industry. He travelled the world attending events honouring his humanitarianism.
Jackson became a figure of controversy in the 1980s due to his changing physical appearance, his relationships, and behaviour; the controversy intensified due to a 1993 child sexual abuse scandal when a family friend accused him of sexually abusing his son; the case led to an investigation but was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. While preparing for his comeback concert series, This Is It, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, after suffering from cardiac arrest.
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20th Century Highlights (UK Number 1s)
[Official Charts] Links to YouTube or Spotify.
- “Show You the Way To Go”, Jacksons (1977)
- “One Day In Your Life” (1981)
- Thriller (1982)
- “Billie Jean” (1983)
- 18 Greatest Hits, plus Jackson 5 (1983)
- “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, with Siedah Garrett (1987)
- Bad (1987)
- “Black or White” (1991)
- Dangerous (1991)
- HIStory – Past Present and Future Book 1 (1995)
- “You Are Not Alone” (1995)
- “Earth Song” (1995)
- “Blood on the Dance Floor” (1997)
- Blood on the Dance Floor (1997)
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