Born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson was the seventh child of the family of nine. They were six brothers and three sisters – Sigmund, Toriano, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael, Steven, Rebbie, Janet and La-Toya. He started his career by becoming the lead singer of the band Jackson 5, at the age of five. Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon were the other band members.
They played at local parties and clubs and also entered competitions which allowed them to grow as a band. They got their big first big break in 1968 when Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers heard about the Jackson 5 and got them auditioned for Berry Gordy of Motown Records. They were signed immediately and they moved to California. “I want you back”, “The love you save” and “I’ll be there” were among their first few singles which became huge hits of America. They made fourteen albums with Motown till 1976 and Michael Jackson recorded four other albums. They later signed up with Epic and their group name was changed to The Jacksons, as Jackson 5 was the copyright of Motown. They made a total of six albums with Epic many of them being great hits until 1984.
Michael met Quincy Jones on the sets of “The Wiz”, which was also his film debut. He played the role of crow along with Diana Ross who played Dorothy. He made “Off The Wall” with Quincy, who was the producer. It was the first album whose all four songs were US #1 singles and was a hit all over the world. “Thriller” was the largest selling album of all time, which was released in 1982. Over fifty million copies of the album were sold worldwide and the album had seven hits.
Michael Jackson laid great emphasis on the videos. He called them as short films of his albums and chose the best producers and directors to work with. He even used special effects and the latest technologies, his hit song Billie Jean was a good example of this. Excellent choreography was combined with detailed make-up to make this fourteen minute long video. This short film boosted the sales of the album, Thriller and it became the world’s largest selling home video.
The trademark moonwalk was performed by Michael Jackson for the first time in the year 1984. He won eight Grammies in one night for the album “Thriller” and the narrative work on ET Storybook, breaking all records. He announced, on December 9, 1984 that he is splitting with The Jacksons on his last concert of The Jackson’s Victory tour. After that he released his next album in 1987 named “Bad”. Michael also wrote his autobiography in 1987 which talked in detailed about his personal life and singing career. He was given the title of the Artist of the Decade for his albums “Thriller” and “Bad”.
He released his fourth album “Dangerous” in collaboration with Sony Music in 1991. After his first solo world tour in 1987 he took off for another world tour in 1992. His song “Heal the World” was written on the pages of history and won the hearts of many. In the same year he started Heal the World Foundation for the homeless and orphan children of the world.
His marriage with Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the legendry Elvis Presley lasted for only one and a half year and they were divorced in 1996. During that period he released his fifth album “History” in 1995. To promote that album this time he took a world tour for two years. Debbie Rowe was his second wife and also his nurse when he was getting treatment for skin disorder. They had a child named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. who was born on February 13, 1997. The next year they were gifted with a daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson who was born on April 3, 1998.
“Blood on the Dance Floor” was his sixth solo album, which was released in 1997. He also made a thirty eight minute short film named Ghost to promote his album, in which he played five different characters. He reunited with his the Jacksons on his concert in New York to celebrate his thirteenth anniversary as a solo artist. Many other superstars shared the stage with him like Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Shaggy and others. He released” Invisible” and “You Rock My World in 2001”.
Jackson had his own share of controversies in recent years when he was accused of child abuse charges. After going through years of trauma he was finally found not guilty. Jackson now lives in a Middle Eastern country called Bahrain with his brother Jermaine far away from the shadow of the public and God only knows when he will return to the music again.