Unbelievably, Michael Jackson is celebrating his 50th birthday. His life has certainly been a mixture of success and controversy. He is reported to be working on an album to celebrate his 50th birthday. Look for Michael to be in the news more during his birthday week.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana – an industrial suburb of Chicago. His was a working class family. He is the son of Joseph “Joe” Walter and Katherine Ester Jackson, and he is the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy, Janet, La Toya and Rebbie. His father, Joe, was a steel mill employee who was a part of an R&B band named The Falcons, along with his brother, Luther. His mother was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and raised the Jackson children in her religion.
Michael Jackson exhibited musical talent early in his life. Her performed for both classmates and others at a Christmas recital when he was only five years old. His older brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine formed a band they named the Jackson Brothers. It wasn’t until 1964 that Michael and Marlon joined the group. The group served as backup musicians initially. By the time he was eight years old, he and Jermaine took on the role of lead vocals, and they changed the group’s name to The Jackson 5. They toured for a few years – often opening for adult acts. However in 1966, they won a major local talent show, and in 1968 they signed with Motown Records.
Michael Jackson quickly became the main draw for the group as the lead singer. In 1971 he began his solo career while still remaining with the group. Five of his solo albums became some of the world’s best selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).
In the early 1980s, Michael Jackson became both a promiment and dominent figure in popular music. He was the first African-American singer to have a strong crossover following on MTV. His music videos that were aired on MTV – such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” – gained enormous popularity and are credited with transforming music videos into both a promotional tool and an art form. Michael’s physically complicated dance routines and techniques further enhanced his popularity, and his unique sound and style influenced numerous other artists.
Michael Jackson has donated and raised millions of dollars for various charities. His personal life, however, is what has captured the attention of the world in recent years. In 1993, he was accused of child sexual abuse. The matter was settled out of court.
Michael Jackson has been married and divorced twice, and he is the father of three children. Additionally, he has had significant health issues since the early 1990s, and there have been reports of desperate financial circumstances during the last decade, also. In 2005, Michael Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and other charges.
Michael Jackson has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, he holds eight Guinness World Records, including one for Thriller as the world’s best-selling album. He has won 13 Grammy Awards and 13 number ones singles in his solo career.
Photos/pictures and a video of Michael Jackson are below.
Video: Michael Jackson “Man in the Mirror”