Michael Jackson Biography

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop

He is called the King of Pop not without substance.

For he radically transformed the pop culture in the world with hisamazing dance and songs in albums that captivated the public at large for well over two decades.

Michael Jackson's innate talent was first discovered by his father at an early age.

The teen joined his elder brothers to nurture his singing career and began to write songs, set tunes and choreography the entire musicals.

Michael's meteoric rise as pop star is not surprising, but his premature death in 2009 was indeed a shock to his millions of fans.

The famous Jackson 5

Born to an African-American family on August 29, 1958, Michael Jackson was the youngest of the five siblings who had formed a musical group with active encouragement from their father.

His father Joseph Jackson was a guitarist. But he had to cut short his musical inclinations to take care of his family by working as a crane operator.

By early 1960s, the Jackson 5 became popular in the neighbourhood.

Michael joined his older brothers - Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie -- when he was 5 years old and played as lead vocalist.

Even at an early age, Michael showed versatility and voice depth as a pop singer creating an impact among audience with his unique way of emoting and dancing on stage.

Father Joseph Jackson motivated his sons and even admonished them if they did not come up to his expectations.

Michael and his brothers worked hard burning midnight oil by rehearsing and fine tuning their stage act.

With local gigs and catchy pop numbers, the Jackson 5 slowly cultivated a strong following in the neighbourhood.

Their first single Big Boy with the b-side You've Changed did not evoke much interest among the public.

They moved on to choreography the opening act for R & B artistes such as James Brown, Gladys Knight, the Pips, Sam and Dave that fetched them the much needed exposure to the world of pop culture.

Much impressed by the works of Jackson 5, record label Motownfounder Berry Gordy signed them in 1968.

The Jackson family shifted to Los Angeles and the siblings began to work hard with the musicals while their father chipped in as group manager.

The family was supported by Berry Gordy and Supremes singer Diana Ross during their early days in Los Angeles.

At a special event the Jackson 5 was introduced to the music industry in August 1969 and they followed it up with an opening act for the Supremes in a theatre show.

In December 1969, the first album Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 hit the charts with amazing response from the audience.

The album's first single,I Want You Back, topped the Billboard charts in January 1970.

Soon the Jackson 5 flooded the market with quickie singles like ABC, The Love You Save and I'll Be There.

Shaping up his pop career

In addition to working with the Jackson 5, Michael was keen to develop his solo career in the pop world.

Hence, at the age of 13, he released the album Got to Be There (1971) from the album of the same title. But his first solo No. 1 single was credited to 1972 album Ben, an eponymous ballad about a rat.

For years, the Jackson 5 troupe was on hectic tours and recording singles with the direct supervision of Motown chief Berry Gordy.

But trouble broke out between the Jacksons and the record label with the Michael's father Joseph not happy with the intervention of Motown in the music creation of his children.

Except for Jermaine, all other Jacksons parted company with Motown in 1975.

The Jacksons signed a new deal with Epic Records.

New beginning with record hits

Jacksons emerged as top rated lyricists as they wrote all songs for their tracks starting with Destiny (1978).

Young brother Randy too joined the Jacksons. With support from producer Quincy Jones, Michael took the pop world by storm.

His solo album Off the Wall (1979) has a blend of pop and funk. The album has tracks like the Grammy Award winning Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, Rock with You, and the title track.

The brother's another release Triumph (1980) sold more than one million copies and they went on tours to promote this album.

But Michael is looking for opportunities to carve out his own career in pop music.

He joined hands with rock legend Paul McCartney for a duet The Girl Is Mine which almost made it to the top of the pop charts.

His solo album Thriller (1982) had seven out of top 10 hits and emerged as the best-selling album in the pop history.

On a TV show, Michael performed Billie Jean, the second single fromhis sixth solo album Thriller and debuted his dance move called The Moonwalk.

A past master by now, Michael choreographed the dance for thethird single from Thriller -- Beat It which ruled as No. 1 for years.

The Thriller video became a worldwide hit boosting the sales of the successful album. The Beat It single stayed on the charts for 80 weeks retaining its No. 1 rank for 37 weeks.

Besides cashing in on its commercial success, Thriller bagged 12 Grammy Award nominations out of which it won eight in 1984.

For his multifaceted talents, Michael won Grammy Awards for best R & B songs (Bllie Jean), best pop vocal male (Thriller), best rock vocal male (Beat It) and shared award with co-producer Jones for best album of the year.

He earned Guinness titles including for the longest span of US Top 40 singles from November 6, 1971 to January 1, 2011.

In all, Michael Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and was the first tohave five singles reach No. 1 from the same album (1987's Bad).

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for both his work with the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist.

Michael's changing personality

While at the top of his pop career, Michael Jackson signed a $5 million endorsement deal with Pepsi-Cola.

But he was badly injured during the filming of a commercial for the cola giant in 1984 with deep burns on his face.

Jackson had an extensive plastic surgery to repair his injuries.

His face, especially his nose, became drastically changed in the coming years as he experimented with plastic surgery.

As a sequel to Thriller, his next album Bad (1987) with five No. 1 hit singles and title track with a video directed by Martin Scorsese topped the charts.

However, Bad was not able to replicate the unprecedented sale and popularity of Thriller.

Michael was basically a shy and introvert person. He was never at ease with media attention.

He created a fantasy ranch in California called Neverland in which he had amusement parks, joy rides, pets and a chimpanzee named Bubbles.

But rumours began to float that he was trying to make his face look white and slept in a special cabin to increase his longevity.

His 1991 album Dangerous has a video in which a child star makes a guest appearance.

It stirred controversy as Michael in the final moments showed violent gestures with sexual overtones towards the child as part of his dance movement.

Molestation charges pile up against Micheal Jackson

A 13-year-old boy in 1993 claimed that the pop star had fondled him. While Michael was known to sleep with boys at his Neverland ranch, this was the first public charge of misconduct. But he settled the case out of court with the boy's family.

Michael got married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock star Elvis Presley, in August 1994. But they divorced in 1996.

In the same year, he wedded a nurse Debbie Rowe. The couple had two children through artificial insemination. Son Michael Joseph "Prince" Jackson Jr was born in 1997 and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson was born in 1998.

Rowe and Jackson divorced in 1999, with Jackson receiving full custody of their two children.

He would go on to have a third child, Prince Michael "Blanket" Jackson II, with an unknown surrogate.

Jackson's musical career began to flicker with a rather lukewarm response to 1995's History: Past, Present, and Future, Book I.

This album is a compilation of his earlier hits and some new material.

The record produced two hits You Are Not Alone and his duet with sister Janet Jackson, Scream which got a Grammy Award for best music video, short form.

The Invincible (2001) notched up good sales, but by then, Michael was known more his eccentric behaviour which made headlines in tabloids than as a performer.

He appeared in public with a face mask and looked confusion while talking with TV hosts. He received flak and criticism for dangling his son, Prince Michael II, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, Germany.

Michael was arrested in 2004 on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy. The 2005 trial of Michael for child abuse created a flutter and hit the media headlines covering the proceedings in the court.

However, he was acquitted of all charges on June 14, 2005.

Reputation in tatters

After a lengthy court battle, his reputation took a mighty blow even as he suffered from a crippling financial crisis.

The prince of Bahrain, Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, wired Michael the money needed to pay his debts and further invited the pop star to his country.

The prince rescued Michael by giving him over $7 million in cash and built a recording studio to resurrect his music career.

On his part, he assured the prince that he would come out with a new album on Al-Khalifa record label, write an autobiography and also develop a stage play for the royalty.

But none of these saw the light of the day and the prince sued him for not fulfilling the promises.

In greater financial difficulties, Michael could not service the $23.5 million loan he had taken on Neverland Ranch in 2008.

He tried to block the auction of some of his personal items from the home to repay the creditors.

The last London concert

Michael declared that he would be performing a series of concerts in London as his "final call."

But doubts were raised whether he would be able to withstand the rigours of 50 concerts given his worsening health condition.

Despite charges of misconduct and rumours on his personal life, Michael Jackson remained the most popular celebrity the world has ever seen.

Slated to appear on July 8, 2009 in London stage (O2 Arena), all the tickets to his tour titled This Is It sell out in a matter of few hours.

Sudden death shocked his fans

Michael's much expected comeback never really happened in London. He died of cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home on June 25, 1999.

The doctors at the hospital declared him brought dead. The unexpected news of 50-year-old pop singer's death who strodethe world like a colossus came as rude shock to his millions of fans worldwide.

People across the world expressed their profound sympathy and condolences to the Jacksons. A number of memorials were erected for him around the world.

A televised memorial was held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles which was viewed by his worldwide fans on July 12, 2009. The Jackson family had arranged a private funeral on September 3, 2009, in Los Angeles for Michael's close relatives and nearly 200 guests.

As dictated in his will, Jackson's children were placed in the care of their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. According to Michael's wishes, his children -- Paris, MichaelJoseph Jr. and Prince Michael II -- have been kept largely out of the limelight.

The children are attending a private school and they are protected from the eyes of the media.

'This Is It' album

A film capturing Michael's preparations for his final performance in the stage show This Is It was released in October 2009.

The film features a compilation of rare interviews, rehearsals and backstage clippings of Michael Jackson.

This short film made $23 million in its opening weekend and sky-rocketed to No. 1 at the box office.

Further, This Is It film made an astounding sum of $260 million worldwide in its full run.

Dr Conrad Murray, who had been personal doctor for the pop star at the time of his death, was convicted of involuntary killing on November 7, 2011.

The physician was sentenced to a 4-year prison term.

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