About Michael ::. Biography|
is, quite simply, the single most successful entertainer of the 20th century!
As a singer, composer, producer, arranger and musician, he's fashioned music
that is the embodiment of modern pop and has sold more recordings than any other
His live concerts are presentations of kinetic energy, unbridled emotion and the
highest level of showmanship.
Unquestionably, He's the King of Pop!
Michael Joseph Jackson was born August 29, 1958, the seventh of nine
children born to Joseph and Katherine Jackson in Gary, Indiana.
Michael's father, Joseph, was a steel-mill worker in this working-class city
near Chicago, Illinois, but his heart was devoted to music.
Joseph played guitar and sang in a rhythm and blues group called "the Falcons"
in strip clubs and burlesque houses in the Chicago area.
Katherine worked part-time as a sales clerk in a local retail establishment
She was a highly devout, practicing member of the Jehovah's Witness faith.
Michael's birth was preceded by his older sisters, Maureen (nicknamed
within the family) and LaToya and his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and
Marlon. He was followed by a brother, Randy, and sister, Janet.
The Jackson home in Gary, Indiana was a small four-room house consisting
living room, kitchen and two bedrooms.
Katherine and Joseph shared one bedroom, the five brothers shared the second
bedroom, and the two oldest girls slept on a hideaway bed in the
The children had a very strict upbringing due to Katherine and Joseph's
escalating unease with the dangers of the streets of Gary.
They attended a school within walking distance of their house and were required
to return directly from school to their small home. They were not allowed to
visit their friends' homes or to participate in after-school activities, such as
baseball or basketball.
But, with their father's love of music and their mother's wonderful voice, they
were allowed an abundance of music as a past time.
As the children grew older, the four oldest boys began to imitate their mother,
harmonizing with her on country and western favorites in their home.
Tito discovered Joseph's guitar in the closet and began tinkering with it,
finally learning to play well enough to accompany his siblings as they sang.
Eventually, the inevitable happened a string broke while Tito was playing
Joseph's guitar and, after being punished severely by Joseph, Tito was asked to
show Joseph what he could do with it. Joseph was impressed with his young sons'
abilities and began to train them rigorously, rehearsing them after school,
often long into the night.
At a very early age, Michael began to show signs of the turn his life would
Katherine recalled that, at the ripe old age of a year and a half, he
would hold his bottle and dance to the rhythm of the washing machine. His
grandmother reminisced that he began to sing at the age of three, "And what a
beautiful voice he had. Even back then, he was a joy to listen to." According to
brother Tito, Michael's lightning moves originated in ducking and swaying to
avoid his parent's punishing blows. "He was so quick that if my mother or father
used to swing at him, he'd be out of their way. They'd be swinging at air."
Michael began his musical career at the age of 5 as the lead singer of the
'Jackson 5' who played local clubs and bars around Indiana and the Eastern USA.
Michael was always impressed with his older brothers musical rehearsals and
began to imitate them at a very early age.
He sang his first solo, "Climb Every
Mountain" from the "Sound of Music" for a school program at the age of six years
and, even at that young age, his vocal timbre was enough to bring tears to his
teachers' eyes. He joined his brothers shortly after, singing harmony with them
on songs made famous by the Temptations, the O'Jays
and James Brown.
In 1968 the 'Jackson 5' were "discovered" by Bobby Taylor of the music
'The Vancouvers' and soon thereafter were signed to Motown Records. The 'Jackson 5' and
their family moved to California were they soon became national stars when their
first 4 singles, "ABC", "I Want You Back", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be
There" became #1 hits.
The Jackson 5 signed with Motown and, during their tenure with the Detroit and
Los Angeles-based music giant, they recorded the following albums: "Diana Ross
Presents the Jackson 5" (1969) - contains Who's Loving You and
I Want You Back;
"ABC" (1970) - contains ABC/The Love You Save; "Third Album" (1970) - contains
I'll Be There/ Mama's Pearl; "The Christmas Album" (1970); "Maybe Tomorrow"
(1971) - contains Never Can Say Goodbye;
"Goin' Back to Indiana" (1971);
"Greatest Hits" (1971) - compilation of greatest hits; "Looking Through The
Window" (1972); "Skywriter" (1973) - contains Corner of the Sky/Touch Me; "Get
It Together" (1973);
"Dancing Machine" (1974); "Moving Violation" (1975);
"Joyful Jukebox Music" (1976) - contains "We're Here to Entertain You" In addition
recording with his brothers.
Michael also recorded the following solo albums
with Motown: "Got to Be There" (1972) - contains Got To Be There/Aint No
Sunshine; "Ben" (1972) - contains Ben/In Our Small Way; "Music & Me" (1973) -
contains With a Child's Heart/Morning Glow/Music & Me; "Forever, Michael" (1975)
- contains One Day in Your Life/We're Almost There; "Best of Michael Jackson"
(1975) - compilation of greatest hits.
In his autobiography, "Moonwalk", Michael Jackson has described his childhood as
"mostly work." The Jackson brothers were rehearsed and managed by their
overly-strict father, whose insistence on perfect performances ... in school
work as well as in rehearsals and talent shows ... frequently ended in physical
and/or verbal violence. Michael was eleven-years-old when the group signed with
Motown in 1969 (although the Motown press corps published his age as nine,
explaining that he would be much cuter and more appealing to the public if he
were two years younger. They called it "public relations.")
Regardless, his voice and his effervescent, youthful charm endeared him to a
public who was eager to embrace him. He gives a rare glimpse of his youth in his
statement that in the summer of 1970, the 'Jackson 5' performed in 45 cities, with
50 more cities being added later in the year. Forty-five cities within a
ninety-day period meant that he and his brothers were performing concerts [on
average] every second day during that summer. Travel to and from the concerts
accounted for a portion of the non-performing day.
And this does NOT account for
recording sessions, picture sessions, interviews, or the interminable rehearsals
Joseph Jackson insisted upon.
It also does not account for the fact that, unlike
many lead singers of the time, Michael was present at EACH of these recording
sessions. He recorded with his brothers and his is the beautiful, clear treble
in the backgrounds of all of the 'Jackson 5' early hits. Later, he would return to
the recording studio while his brothers played basketball or tinkered with cars
to lay in the lead tracks and round off the recordings.
Michael Jackson describes his relationship with his father, Joseph, as
"turbulent", understating rather than sensationalizing that relationship. But,
much later, during a televised interview, he replied to his interrogator's
questions regarding this relationship with the words, [I was] "frightened ...
very frightened. There were times when he would come to see me, I would get
sick. I would start to regurgitate." When asked if such occasions occurred "as a
child ... or as an adult," he responded with one word ... "both." He was 35
years old at the time of the interview.
In 1976, the 'Jackson 5' left Motown Records because, in Michael's words, "we
didn't like the way we were being recorded." Berry Gordy's personal management
of the siblings recording sessions and 'The Corporation's' creative songwriting
had been withdrawn in favor of Diana Ross's acting career and his move to
Hollywood to dabble in the film-making industry. The Jacksons felt his
inattention sorely. Though sixteen-year- old Michael had met with Berry Gordy to
request approval to write and produce their own music, Gordy refused to allow
the 'Jackson 5' this freedom. Perhaps, because of their youth, Gordy felt
justified in refusing to allow them the artistic freedom such creativity
demands. It is no secret that many Motown artists had to struggle with Mr. Gordy
for artistic control over their releases on his label. Smokey Robinson and
Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye all did battle with the Motown head to achieve
their artistic liberation.
Regardless, the 'Jackson 5' left Motown to sign with EPIC records in 1976 &
changed the name of their band to 'The Jacksons'. Jermaine,
having married Berry Gordy's daughter, Hazel Gordy, remained with Motown and was
replaced both in the studio and on tour with Randy, the sixth Jackson to enter
the entertainment field. Michael describes the first show they did without
Jermaine in his autobiography, "Moonwalk": "I clearly remember the first show we
did without him because it was so painful for me. Since my earliest days on the
stage and even in our Gary living room -- Jermaine stood at my left with his
bass. I depended on being next to Jermaine. And when I did that first show
without him there, with no one next to me, I felt totally naked onstage for the
first time in my life."
During their tenure with EPIC, 'The Jacksons' worked with Gamble and Huff as
producers on their first two albums, except for two songs each which were
composed and produced by the Jacksons. Their last three albums were composed and
produced exclusively by the Jacksons: "The Jacksons" (1976) - contains Blues
Away (Michael's first published composition)/Style of Life; "Goin'Places" (1977)
- contains Different Kind of Lady/Do What You Wanna; "Destiny" (1978) - contains
Blame It on the Boogie/Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground); "Triumph" (1980) -
contains Can You Feel It/Lovely One; "Victory" (1984) - contains
Torture/Always/State of Shock; "Live" (1981) - the only LIVE album ever released
by Michael Jackson (in conjunction with his brothers).
'The Jacksons' made 6 albums between the years of 1976 and 1984 and toured several
times throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
In 1979, Michael starred as the Scarecrow in "The WIZ," an updated version of
"The Wizard of Oz", starring Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne and Richard
He moved to New York, far from the reach of Joseph Jackson, and began to
experience life on more independent terms, enjoying outings to plays and dance
During the filming, he renewed his old acquaintanceship with Quincy Jones.
With Quincy as producer, Michael was record his first solo album on Epic Records
"Off The Wall" in 1979. "Off The Wall" was the first ever album to spawn
a record breaking
4 #1 hit songs.
The extraordinary collaboration with Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson broke so
many records that it would be difficult to list them all. Suffice it to say that
with Quincy, Michael rose to his present, unprecedented status as "The Greatest
Entertainer in the World".
In 1982 Michael created the world's largest selling album of all time,
This album produced 7 hit singles, breaking yet
again more records, and went on to sell over 104 million copies worldwide to date. The music video
for the hit song "Billie Jean" enabled Michael to be the first black artist to
have a video aired on the US music station, MTV.
The "Thriller" short film
released on home video as "The Making Of Michael Jackson's Thriller" became the
world's largest selling home video.
In 1983 Michael literally 'moonwalked' into
international superstardom when he performed the world famous dance step for the
first time on the 'Motown 25' anniversary show.
1984 saw Michael break music
history once again with being the first artist to win a record breaking 8 Grammy
awards in one nigh. The award were for his 'Thriller' album and his work on the
narrative for the 'ET Storybook'.
1985 saw the emergence of a international anthem with the release of the song
"We Are The World" which was written by Michael and Lionel Richie, produced by
Quincy Jones and performed by 44 of the world's most popular stars (Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper, etc.). "We Are The World" raised money
for "USA For Africa", a charity raising money and awareness for the starving
people in Africa.
In 1986 Michael teamed up with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola for the 3-D
movie Captain EO. The attraction was presented in the Disney theme parks until
1998. Captain Eo was the most expensive film ever made minute per minute,
costing an estimated 30 million dollars. The film featured two new songs
performed by Michael.
In 1987 Michael recorded his third solo album, titled "Bad", and branched out on
his first solo world tour, performing for sold out audiences at every concert.
Following his world tour in 1988, Michael wrote his first autobiography
"Moonwalk", discussing for the first time about his childhood, his career and
his cosmetic surgery. At the end of the 1980's Michael was named "Artist Of The
Decade" for his success off of his "Thriller" and "Bad" albums.
In 1991 Michael signed the largest ever recording contract with Sony Music and
recorded his fourth solo album, "Dangerous".
He branched out on a solo world
tour for the album in 1992, which took him into countries that had never before
been visited by a pop artist. Michael performed his first live concert to be
telecast on international television with his concert from Bucharest, Romania. At this time Michael also founded his humanitarian organization the "Heal the
World Foundation" which is dedicated to improving the lives of children around
In 1994 Michael married for the first time, taking Lisa Marie Presley to be his
wife in a private ceremony in the Dominican Republic on May 16th. Their marriage
only held on for 19 months, with the relationship ending in divorce in 1996.
1995 saw Michael record a fifth solo album, titled "HIStory", which contained 15
new songs in addition to an entire disc dedicated to his greatest hits.
Michael began his "HIStory World Tour" which was held over a period of two
During a break from touring on November 14 1996, Michael married Debbie Rowe and
their first child "Prince" Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. was born on February 13,
1997 also saw the emergence of another creation by Michael, his album titled
"Blood On The Dance Floor". This album contained remixes from the songs off of
his "HIStory" album in addition to 5 new songs.
Following his "History World Tour", Michael and Debbie introduced a
second child into the
world on April 3, 1998 named Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. Michael and Debbie
ended their marriage in October 1999.
The new millennium saw Michael record another album, "Invincible" in
In 2001, Jackson celebrated his thirty years of solo stardom with sold out
performances at Madison Square Garden. The television special drew 45
million viewers. In October of 2001, Michael Jackson released his seventh solo
album, Invincible, an album that debut at number one in more than fourteen
Unfortunately, due to record industry politics, the album was abandoned in mid
2002 after the hit single Butterflies. Fans from around the world protested
Michael Jackson's treatment by his label. Many demonstrations were organized
around the world, with several websites posting information regarding the
maneuverings of Sony's mishandling of the Invincible Project.
As for Jackson, he hired several high-powered attorneys to look into possibly
suing Sony for breach of contract regarding royalty and other mismanagement
issues. Jackson went on the offensive publicly denouncing Sony Music Head, Tommy
Mottola as racist and a devil, which caused a firestorm of publicity and
increased media scrutiny regarding his alliance with the Reverend Al Sharpton
and his music initiative for economic justice for minority recording industry
Even throughout the new round of negative publicity regarding the war with his
label, Jackson was still able to expand his artistic and business endeavors.
Michael Jackson took a cameo role in Men In Black II and created a massive buzz
with audience and industry pundits alike about his potential in film. He created
Neverland Films with MDP, an independent film company based in Canada. And the
Sony/ATV catalog bought the Acuff/Rose catalog, perhaps the premiere country
music publishing catalog in the world.
Unfortunately, a new round of negative publicity surrounded Jackson in late
2002. Michael Jackson teamed with Martin Bashir to do a documentary and
interview about his life.
Bashir and his television crew filmed Jackson for
almost a year with the purpose of piercing
the preconceived images the world
press had formed about the reclusive superstar.
Bashir was with Jackson in Germany for The Bambi Awards when crowds of fans
congregated at the hotel where Michael Jackson was staying with his children.
Jackson showed the crowd his youngest son from the balcony of his suite. The
incident was caught on tape by the media, which dubbed Jackson's mistake as the
"baby dangling" escapade. Jackson apologized for his behavior, however many
pundits questioned his ability as a father and whether he should even have
custody of his children. Bashir exploited this angle in his documentary which
aired in January and February of 2003. Jackson fought back with his own
documentary which showed video footage of Bashir's manipulative conduct with
Jackson. Bashir was showered with criticism based on his deceptive journalistic
practices by the world press.
The rest of 2003 was a whirlwind of appearances and awards.
Jackson produced a television special featuring his home movies which was a
ratings success. He also received the Key to the City by the Mayor of Gary,
Indiana. He received the Key to the City of Las Vegas from the Mayor of Las
Vegas later in 2003.
In August 2003, Michael Jackson won the BMI Urban Awards
for the song Butterflies. He also celebrated his birthday with his fans in Los
Angeles at the Orpheum Theater. Michael Jackson threw a charity event for the
organization Oneness at his Neverland Valley Ranch. Later, Oneness presented
Michael Jackson with the Power of Oneness Award that September.
In October of 2003, Michael attended the Radio Music Awards where he received their
Humanitarian Award. He also finally released the video and single "What More Can
I Give" at the show, the proceeds going to several charities.
Michael Jackson and Sony Records released the compilation CD: Number Ones in
November 2003. Jackson had released the single, "One More Chance" and the song
was having major success on all major charts around the world.
On the album
scheduled release date, while Michael Jackson was in Las Vegas, Nevada filming
the video for "One More Chance," Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department raided
Michael Jackson's Neverland Estate. Michael Jackson subsequently was arrested
and charged with Child Abuse.
Jackson vehemently denies these current allegations and maintains his complete
His fans throughout the world held candlelight vigils in support and
prayer for his well being.
On June 13, 2005 Michael Jackson was acquitted of all the criminal charges
against him. Because of faith, immeasurable inner strength, and never ending
love and support from friends and family, Michael Jackson had persevered and
beat the odds.
After the conclusion of the trial, Jackson spent time recovering overseas in
places like Dubai, Bahrain, and Ireland.
Beginning in 2006, the world saw a fully recovered Michael Jackson emerge from a
seemingly long period of absence. Jackson has since been awarded a string of
awards for his achievements.
In May of 2006, he was awarded the "Legend Award,"
at the MTV Video Music Awards in Tokyo, Japan. Then, in November of the same
year Jackson was awarded the "Diamond Award" at the World Music Awards ceremony,
held in London.
Jackson was also awarded framed certificates by the Guinness World Records
organization that officially recognized him as the most successful entertainer
of all time. Jackson received many certificates, among them were certificates
for: "The Biggest Selling Album of all Time, Thriller with over 104 million
sales", "Youngest Vocalist to top the US Singles Chart at age 11", "First
Vocalist to enter the US single chart at number one with 'You are Not Alone',
and "Highest paid entertainer of all time ($125 million in 1989 Forbes list)".
In November of 2006, Michael Jackson announced that he would be releasing his
highly anticipated next album with the help of producer Will.i.Am, of the Black
The new Michael Jackson album was scheduled for 2009, but wasn't released.
The end of 2006 also saw Michael Jackson finally return to United States soil.
Jackson landed in Las Vegas, Nevada in December reportedly to further plan out
his return to entertainment.
Jackson left Vegas briefly, traveling to Augusta, Georgia to attend the funeral
of his life-long inspiration, James Brown who passed away on Christmas day of
According to the Reverend Al Sharpton who also attended the funeral
service, in his last conversation with James Brown, Brown expressed his desire
to see Jackson return to the music scene with great music that everyone could
enjoy. Jackson spoke highly of Brown in his brief eulogy, referring to him has
the "master" of his craft and crediting him for inspiring him to become an
Michael's career has spanned over four decades, earning him millions of fans
across the globe and an iconic place in pop culture as well as countless awards and
breaking records. He has sold well over 750 million
albums around the globe and performed on every continent.
He has lead the world
and created the precedent that all artists and directors go by when creating
music videos and continues to guide the entertainment industry with his
innovative albums, live performances, and short films.
Michael's influential and tireless humanitarian efforts have raised hundreds of
millions of dollars for people around the globe with an immeasurable influence.
Michael Jackson has become more than an entertainer, he is a part of our
cultural heritage and he will continue to blaze a trail in music that others can
only hope to follow. His musical contribution and legacy will never be
challenged or forgotten.
He set the bar for music video production values,
and his tireless pursuit of perfection in the recording studio has influenced a
whole generation of artists and dancers seeking to emulate his music and his
In 2009 Michael Jackson has
announced that he is returning to the stage for a historic 50 shows at The O2
arena performing in London for the last time.
The King of Pop was planning to
perform his greatest hits for the event of the summer, the concerts of 2009-2010
and the decade's hottest gigs. Also, he was planning to travel the world again,
to perform live shows for his fans for the last time.
It was one of the most eagerly awaited returns to the stage of all time. Michael
Jackson has not played a series of concerts since he last toured 12 years ago.
These dramatic shows promised an explosive return with a band of the highest
caliber, state-of-the-art stage show and incredible surprise support acts. "I am
coming to London to play the songs my fans want to hear." - Michael Jackson.
It was planned to perform 50 nights at The O2 arena starts on July 13th,
But unfortunately just couple of weeks before his so long-waited comeback,
Michael Jackson has passed away.
Michael Jackson has died on 25th of June 2009. He was only 50 years old. Gone
We love you Michael so so much! You are always in our
hearts and your music will live forever! Rest in peace.