Michael Jackson, also known as “The King of Pop” was an American singer, dancer, actor and producer. Thanks to his artistic contributions in dance and in fashion, along with his controversial personal life, he was able to remain as a world iconic figure of popular culture for four decades.
Michael Jackson's biography
Michael Jackson (1958-2009), known as the King of Pop (nickname given by Elizabeth Taylor), was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. He was one of the greatest artists in the world showbiz .
Michael Jackson was born in Indiana, United States, on August 29, 1958. Son of Joseph Walter Jackson (known as Joe) and Katherine Scruse Jackson, Michael was the seventh of nine brothers.
Michael Jackson brothers
- Rebbie Maureen Reilette Jackson 1950
- Jackie Sigmund Esco Jackson 1951
- Tito Toriano Adaryll Jackson 1953
- Jermaine Lajaun Jackson 1954
- La Toya Yvonne Jackson 1956
- Marlon David Jackson 1957
- Brandon Jackson 1957; Marlon's twin, died a few hours after his birth
- Randy Steven Randall Jackson 1961
- Janet Damita Jo Jackson 1966
- Joh'Vonnie Jackson 1974;
The beginning of the career, The Jackson Five
Michael Jackson's family was humble and lived in a house with only two rooms. Joe Jackson worked at a steel mill and, as a hobby, played the guitar and was a music entrepreneur. The mother, Katherine, was also linked to music and played the piano in the church. The prodigy boy started singing at the age of five.
Michael's first appearance in the media was in 1964 when he performed with the group The Jackson Five (initially the group called the Jackson Brothers) alongside the brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon. As Michael was the youngest, he became known as Little Michael.
In the late sixties they had already signed a contract with Motown Records. In a short time, with their great performances, the group reached the top of the charts.
In 1966, Michael Jackson, the youngest of the brothers, became the lead singer and dancer for the ensemble.
The first big hit came in 1969 with the song I Want You Back . Then came the singles All be there (1970) and ABC (1970).
Taken to Los Angeles, the boys were transformed into world stars. The group recorded 15 successful albums.
In 1970 brother Jermaine left the group to pursue a solo career, the group then changed its name to The Jacksons. The biggest hits of that time were: Enjoy yourself (1976), Show you the way to go (1976), Can you fell it (1981) and Blame it on the boogie (1978).
The solo career
Still a member of the group, Michael released the compacts of his own Go To Be There (1972), Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973) and Forever Michael (1975), all with great prominence in the media.
In 1979, he separated from the group and started his solo career with the album Off the Wall , which sold around seven million copies.
In 1982, he released the album Thriller , which became a worldwide success and would become the best-selling album in music history. The videos for the promotion of his songs, including Billie Jean , Beat it and Thriller , shown on MTV, were considered the best clips of all time.
In 1987 the singer released the album Bad , which sold more than 25 million copies. Following the Thriller trend , Michael invested heavily in the production and promotion of music videos. The songs Smooth criminal and Man in the mirror are from that album .
The following year, Michael released his autobiography, the book Moonwalker .
In 1991, he released the album Dangerous , which sold less than was expected. 29 million copies were sold. The success was maintained with the video clip Black or White (starring Macaulay Culkin).
Four years later Michael released his album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 . On that occasion he was in Brazil, in Salvador (more precisely in Bahia), where he recorded the clip They Don't Care About Us .
In 2001, already in decline in terms of sales, Michael released the studio album Invincible . His next work was the album Thriller 25 , a birthday album to celebrate the twenty-five years of his smashing success: Thriller .
In an attempt to resume success, a major tour was in the works and on March 5, 2009, Michael Jackson announced his return to the stage in London. The show This is It , would have a series of 50 performances beginning on June 13, at the O2 Arena, in London. Unfortunately Michael died in the meantime.
His album Michael , released on December 13, 2010, was a posthumous success that brought together ten new songs. The disc sold three million copies in the first year.
In May 2014, his second posthumous album was released. Titled Xscape , the disc contains eight new songs.
The moonwalk dance step
On May 16, 1983, in a special that celebrated Motown's 25th anniversary, after a performance with the brothers, Michael was alone on stage to sing Billie Jean .
It was in this performance that the star showed for the first time a dance step in which he moved backwards while his feet seemed to move in the opposite direction, producing the illusion that he floated on the stage.
Named a moonwalk , the movement would soon become one of the artist's trademarks.
The singer, who led an eccentric life, had several surgeries that radically changed his appearance. Michael changed his skin color, the result of an alleged illness (vitiligo).
According to the artist himself, he would have performed two nose jobs to help him breathe better and achieve higher notes.
Michael Jackson built an amusement park in 1988 on his California property. Named Neverland , it was there that the singer took several children friends. The name was given in honor of the Peter Pan story.
The eccentric private park contained a cinema, carousel, roller coaster, ferris wheel and a series of toys to entertain Michael and his guests.
In 1994, the King of Pop married Lisa Marie Presley, the King of Rock's daughter, Elvis Presley , but two years later they were already separated.
On November 13, 1996, Michael Jackson married Debbie Rowe, a nurse at his dermatologist's clinic.
In 1997, Michael had his first child, Prince Michael Jackson and in 1998 Paris Michael Katherine Jackson was born. In 1999 the couple separated and, as they had made a pre-nuptial contract, it was established that the singer would take care of the children.
In 2002, their third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, was born as a result of artificial insemination. The child's mother was kept anonymous.
In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of pedophilia for the first time. The charge came from the family of Jordie Chandler, a 13-year-old boy. The singer vehemently denied the allegations, but struck a $ 20 million financial deal with the boy's family to close the case.
In December 2003, Michael received nine charges made for less than 14 years, the complaints were pedophilia and supply of narcotic (in this case, wine).
In the same year, the police decided to search the Neverland property for evidence of sexual harassment. Michael even appeared handcuffed at the Santa Barbara police station (California). He posted a $ 3 million bond and was not detained.
During the preparation of the This Is It tour, the singer who, according to his producers, was visibly anxious, suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of an overdose of medicines.
The doctor who administered the drugs was convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned for two years.
Michael Jackson passed away in Los Angeles, California, United States, on June 25, 2009.
Living with Michael Jackson
In the documentary directed by Julie Shaw we see interviews conducted by Martin Bashir with the King of Pop and we know details of the daily life of his eccentric life. The interviews were recorded between 2002 and 2003.
Through the film we get to know, for example, the peculiar relationships that Michael developed with some children, even going to sleep in the same bed with them.
This Is It
His big tour was announced on March 5, 2009, when Michael Jackson announced in London that he would return to the stage.
The tour would have about fifty performances and would start on June 13, at the O2 Arena, in London. All rehearsals were filmed totaling 100 hours of recordings. The posthumous documentary This Is It presents just behind the scenes of this last tour.
The documentary Leaving Neverland, by director Dan Reed, premiered in January 2019 at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States.
The protagonists of the story are Wade Robson and James Safechuk, two alleged victims of sexual harassment who recount the physical and emotional abuse that passed through the King of Pop.