Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. Jackson influenced artists across many music genres; through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, as well as the robot.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Jackson made his public debut in 1964 with his older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons). Jackson began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. He became a solo star with his 1979 album Off the Wall. His music videos, including those for “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an artform and promotional tool. He helped propel the success of MTV and continued to innovate with videos for the albums Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), and Invincible (2001). Thriller became the best-selling album of all time, while Bad was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.[nb 1]
From the late 1980s, Jackson became a figure of controversy and speculation due to his changing appearance, relationships, behavior, and lifestyle. In 1993, he was accused of sexually abusing the child of a family friend. The lawsuit was settled out of civil court; Jackson was not indicted due to lack of evidence. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges. The FBI found no evidence of criminal conduct by Jackson in either case. In 2009, while he was preparing for a series of comeback concerts, This Is It, Jackson died from an overdose of propofol administered by his personal physician, Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter. His death triggered reactions around the world, creating unprecedented surges of Internet traffic and a spike in sales of his music. A televised memorial service for Jackson, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, was viewed by an estimated over 2.5 billion people globally.
Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of over 400 million records worldwide. He had 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles (third highest of any artist in the Hot 100 era) and was the first artist to have a top-ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. His honors include 15 Grammy Awards, 6 Brit Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and 39 Guinness World Records, including the “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”. Jackson’s inductions include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame (the only recording artist to be inducted), and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.
Michael Jackson Height Weight Age And Body Statistics Biography
Honors and Awards
Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists in history, with sales estimated by various sources up to 400 million – 1 billion. He had 13 number-one singles in the US in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era. He was invited and honored by a President of the United States at the White House three times. In 1984, he was honored with a “Presidential Public Safety Commendation” award by Ronald Reagan for his humanitarian endeavors. In 1990, he was honored as the “Artist of the Decade” by George H. W. Bush. In 1992, he was honored as a “Point of Light Ambassador” by Bush for inviting disadvantaged children to his Neverland Ranch.
Jackson won hundreds of awards, making him one of the most-awarded artists in popular music. His awards include 39 Guinness World Records, including the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time, 13 Grammy Awards, as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and 26 American Music Awards, including the Artist of the Century and Artist of the 1980s. He also received the World Music Awards‘ Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. Jackson was inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1980 as a member of the Jacksons, and in 1984 as a solo artist. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and again as a solo artist in 2001. In 2002, he was added to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was the first recording artist to be inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame, and in 2014, he was posthumously inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. In 2021, he was among the inaugural inductees into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.
In 1988, Fisk University honored him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In 1992, he was invested as a titular king of Sanwi, a traditional kingdom located in the south-east of Ivory Coast. In July 2009, the Lunar Republic Society named a crater on the Moon after Jackson. In August, for what would have been Jackson’s 51st birthday, Google dedicated their Google Doodle to him. In 2012, the extinct hermit crab Mesoparapylocheles michaeljacksoni was named in his honor. In 2014, the British Council of Cultural Relations deemed Jackson’s life one of the 80 most important cultural moments of the 20th century. World Vitiligo Day has been celebrated on June 25, the anniversary of Jackson’s death, to raise awareness of the auto-immune disorder that Jackson suffered from.
Main article: Estate of Michael Jackson
In 1989, Jackson’s annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts were estimated at $125 million. Forbes placed Jackson’s annual income at $35 million in 1996 and $20 million in 1997. Estimates of Jackson’s net worth during his life range from negative $285 million to positive $350 million for 2002, 2003 and 2007. Forbes reported in August 2018 that Jackson’s total career pretax earnings in life and death were $4.2 billion. Sales of his recordings through Sony’s music unit earned him an estimated $300 million in royalties. He may have earned another $400 million from concerts, music publishing (including his share of the Beatles catalog), endorsements, merchandising and music videos.
In 2013, the executors of Jackson’s estate filed a petition in the United States Tax Court as a result of a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over US federal estate taxes. The executors claim that it was worth about $7 million, the IRS that it was worth over $1.1 billion. In February 2014, the IRS reported that Jackson’s estate owed $702 million; $505 million in taxes, and $197 million in penalties. A trial was held from February 6 to 24, 2017. In 2021, the Tax Court issued a ruling in favor of the estate, ruling that the estate’s total combined value of the estate was $111.5 million and that the value of Jackson’s name and likeness was $4 million (not the $61 million estimated by the IRS’s outside expert witness).
In 2016, Forbes estimated annual gross earnings by the Jackson Estate at $825 million, the largest ever recorded for a celebrity, mostly due to the sale of the Sony/ATV catalog. In 2018, the figure was $400 million. It was the eighth year since his death that Jackson’s annual earnings were reported to be over $100 million, thus bringing Jackson’s postmortem total to $2.4 billion. Forbes has consistently recognized Jackson as one of the top-earning dead celebrities since his death, and placed him at the top spot from 2013 to 2020.
See also: The Jackson 5 discography
- 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)
- Invincible (2001)
See also: Michael Jackson videography
- The Wiz (1978)
- Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983)
- Captain EO (1986)
- Moonwalker (1988)
- Michael Jackson’s Ghosts (1997)
- Men in Black II (2002)
- Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls (2004)
- Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009)
- Bad 25 (2012)
- Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall (2016)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Michael Jackson
- Did Michale Jackson smoke?: Yes
- Dis Michael Jackson drink alcohol?: Yes
- Michael Jackson was an average student, was bad with spellings and grammar and was considered creative, shy and best dressed.
- His father was strict and abused Michael Jackson physically (beating) and emotionally. Joe has admitted that he used to whip the children, taunted Michael for having a fat nose and hit them with a belt if they didn’t get it right during practice.
- All the Jackson kids agree that whipping was common at the time and it set them straight and made them capable.
- Although Michael agreed that his father’s strict discipline helped him succeed, he also explained that his insecurities about his looks, insomnia, nightmares, hyper-compliant behavior and his childlike adulthood are due to child maltreatment.
- The costumes used in the video of Thriller were from Salvation Army.
- He loved children, probably because he missed his own and the abuse he suffered as a child. The black band that he wore was a reminder of child abuse.
- Beat it made it to the studio because of the guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen, which Eddie played for free.
- He bought an Oscar! The Oscar that David O. Selznick won for the Best Picture for Gone With the Wind in 1999.
- He won eight Oscars in 1984.
- Scream has been the most expensive video costing $7,000,000.
- He loved pets and had a python (Crusher), 2 llamas (Louis & Lola) and a chimpanzee (Bubbles).
- Michael invented special boots that he used for his ‘leaning forward’ step in ‘Smooth Criminal’. The lean step is patented by MJ.
- He had a meeting in the twin towers the day 9/11 incident took place. He missed it because he overslept.
- Macauley Culkin, the Home Alone star is the godfather of two of his children.
- The director of the video ‘Bad’ was the famous and creative Martin Scorcese.
- Wikipedia, Twitter and AOL’s Instant Messenger crashed the afternoon MJ died.
- He lived in an oxygen tent for long life and beauty.
- He was literally a King! He was given a royal title by the people of Goban, a village in the Ivory Coast.
- Michael Jackson made his debut with his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon, as Jackson 5. Michael initially started singing with his elder brother before he started solo.
- MJ’s Thriller was the first album that had five number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Thriller is also the highest selling album of all times, selling over 65 million copies.
- Michael Jackson named the dance move Moonwalk that he had borrowed from the street dancers outside his hotel.
- Guinness World Records crowned him as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time.
- MJ has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is the only artist from Rock and Pop genre that has been inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame. He is an inductee of the Songwriter Hall Of Fame too.
- Other than multiple entries in the Guinness World Records, Michael Jackson has 13 Grammys, a Grammy Legend Award and a Grammy Lifetime Award.
- He has the highest number of American Music Awards and number one Billboard Hot 100 (13 top positions). He also received the Artist of the Century Award.
- The King of Pop has sold over 400 million albums.
- He had a top ten entry in the Billboard for five consecutive decades, making him the first person to achieve this milestone in 2014 with his song “Love Never Felt So Good”.
- One considerable Guinness World Record that MJ holds is the record for supporting 39 charities. No one else has shown such humanitarian efforts.
- Michael said that he has had only two plastic surgeries i.e. for his nose and chin. He claims both of them were for health reasons. His nose broke practicing a complex dance move, he explained. It is believed that he had several surgeries.
- When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, MJ promised to release a song to raise charity. He worked on the project with other artists but the song never eventuated.
- His bodyguard said that people tell the girls that they have a dog and MJ goes like, “I have a Zoo”. He did have a zoo at his Neverland Ranch in addition to a theme park.
- Michael Jackson was a book worm. He would spend thousands of dollars in just one visit to a book-store.
- Once, he came across a second-hand book shop and bought it for $100,000 and had the books brought over to his home.
- He had two secret affairs with girls from overseas and called them Friend and Flower. Nobody knew about them except his bodyguards.
- MJ did not meet anyone from the family without an appointment except his mother. She would drop by anytime and he would welcome her, and his siblings would have to return even if they managed to clear the security at the gate.
- MJ was always under the radar and would have his bodyguards to check the room he occupied in the hotels. He was bugged by the bugging. It wasn’t paranoia; his private conversation with his sister was recorded without his knowledge and sold to the media.
- He had to make his kids wear masks in the public and also gave them code names to keep their identity hidden and secured.
- Michael Jackson seemed to be really worried about his life as his bodyguards carried guns that could be enough to take down an FBI raid. They were armed with semi-automatic Glock pistols, Teasers (1.2 million volts), MP5 (Fully automatic submachine guns), military style AR15s and 12-gauge automatic shotguns. They had extended magazines and around 3000 rounds of ammunition.
- He was invited to Bahrain by the Sheikh of Bahrain after his child abuse accusation in 2005.
- Michael was a responsible father and had his children home-schooled and had a room dedicated for their schooling. The private tutor would start the classes sharp at 8 AM and the kids had to wear uniforms. He would keep a check with the teacher and help the children with the homework. He would quiz them to check what they have learned.
- The King of Pop did his and kids’ laundry by himself.
- MJ’s mother used to play clarinet and piano and wanted to be a country-western artist.
- Also, his father was not estranged with music and played with The Falcons, a local rhythm and blue band.
- He was the first artist to sell one million downloads and that too after his death.
- Michael Jackson’s voice ascends from high tenor to boy soprano.
- It’s not a surprise that MJ has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Billy Jean was the first video by a black guy that was aired on MTV.
- Michael Jackson felt that he sounded like Minnie Mouse when he listened to his older music.
- He was the godfather to Lionel Ritchie’s daughter Nicole and Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb’s son Michael.
- Thriller stayed on the Billboard 200 for 122 weeks!
- Michael Jackson cut off from all the sources from the media. No newspaper, no cable TV and no internet. He only read The Wall Street Journal because it would not have crazy stories about him.
- After the police raided his Neverland Ranch, he could never go back and live there because it never felt like home again and he could not feel safe anymore. MJ and his children lived in hotels and rented homes. He never touched anything after the raid.
- MJ was awarded two honorary degrees. One was Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from United Negro College Fund and another was Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Fisk University.
- Michael Jackson’s funeral was watched by 2.5 billion people worldwide.
- In August 2022, before the release of a new documentary titled ‘TMZ Investigates: Who Really Killed Michael Jackson,’ it was reported that he used 19 fake IDs to score drugs. In 2009, after Michael Jackson was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home after suffering cardiac arrest, Jackson’s physician Conrad Murray, who, reportedly, routinely administered anaesthetic propofol to Jackson, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison.