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29 August 1958 – 25 June 2009
On Thursday 25 June at approximately 19:00 GMT, Michael Joseph
Jackson suffered a heart attack at his rented home in Holmby Hills
near Los Angeles. He was taken to UCLA Medical Center where medical
staff attempted to resuscitate him for an hour. However, Jackson
never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead some time later.
Jackson had three children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, Paris
Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II. He is survived
by his mother, Katherine, father, Joseph and eight siblings - including
Janet, Randy, Jermaine and La Toya Jackson.
The cliché, ‘everybody will always remember precisely
were they where the day Michael Jackson died’ may at
first seem rather dramatic, but it is true.
Within seconds of hearing news reports inthe UK that Michael Jackson
had died, I immediately read blogs on the web from concerned and
confused fans questioning whether these reports were just a hoax….
By 23:00 hrs GMT, the reports were confirmed!
Whatever your creed, colour, or age, you will know the name ‘Michael
Jackson’. If you are black, possibly 40+ and live in the UK,
you will probably remember being awe struck watching Jackson’s
“Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” video on Top
Of The Pops in 1980. The next day we were all talking about it in
school. Those were the days when a black face on television would
make our heads turn. We wanted to have an afro like his, we wanted
to sing like him, to dance like him. We knew it was very unlikely
we would meet him…. he was just too cool.
In November 1982, the groundbreaking album “Thriller”
was released. Families all over the world huddled around their television
sets to watch the premier of Thriller ‘the short movie’
in early 1983. This album and its associated videos would change
the face of music and video production forever.
The question is not “ which artist’s did Michael
Jackson influence? More so, “which artist’s
were not influenced by Michael Jackson?
I remember the Jackson 5 / Osmond merchandise rivalry in the mid
1970’s. My sister was drawn into the Jackson 5 / Osmond poster
rivalry at the time. The two super groups would pose for photographs
on either similar flashy motorbikes or wear similar fashion clothes
of the time. The posters would then adorn fans walls and be compared
for coolness. I am sure even Osmond fans would admit that there
was absolutely no comparison in hindsight!
Listening to conversations on the radio, and watching the many
tributes that came from individuals from all walks of life over
the next following days, it was obvious that Michael Jackson had
achieved at least one of his many goals. To simply reach every corner
of this planet and touch people with his music.
Michael Jackson was a father, musician, entertainer, entrepreneur,
businessman, charity fundraiser and humanitarian. Sadly, he did
not receive much respect or praise for his work from the media in
the last few years, mainly due to the many trials, tribulations
and accusations that would plague him until his death. Yes, his
fans always showed Jackson how much they appreciated him, but somehow
it seemed that this was not enough for him. Jackson was a perfectionist;
he seemed to desperately need constant critical acclaim from everybody.
It would take his untimely death for such an outpouring of global
respect and critical acclaim.
Michael Jackson’s biography
Michael Joseph Jackson was the 7th of nine children. (Brothers:
Sigmund ‘Jackie’, Toriano ‘Tito’, Jermaine,
Marlon, Steven ‘Randy’, and sisters Rebbie, Janet and
Michael Jackson began his musical career at the age of 5 as the
lead singer of the Jackson 5 who formed in 1964. In these early
years the Jackson 5, Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and lead singer
Michael played local clubs and bars in Gary Indiana and moving further
afield as there talents grew and they could compete in bigger competitions.
From these early days J Michael Jackson would be at the same clubs
as big talented stars of their days, such as Jackie Wilson.
In 1968, Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers discovered the Jackson
five and from there they got an audition for Berry Gordy of Motown
Records. The Jackson 5 signed for Motown and moved to California.
Their first 4 singles, “I Want You Back”, “ABC”,
“The Love You Save”, and “I'll Be There”
all hit No1 on the US Billboard Charts. The Jackson 5 would go on
to record 14 albums for Motown Records. Michael would record 4 solo
albums for the label.
The Jackson 5 stayed with Motown until 1976, wanting more artistic
freedom they felt they had to move on and signed up with Epic. The
group name Jackson 5 had to be changed, as it was owned by Motown,
so they reverted to The Jacksons as they had be known in the early
days. Brother Jermaine married Berry Gordy’s daughter and
stayed with Motown. Youngest brother Randy joined in his place.
The Jacksons had a number of hit records and in total made 6 albums
between the years of 1976 and 1984. Classic albums such as “Destiny”
and “Triumph” contain many soul / dance anthems that
are still very much on rotation on DJ record decks today.
In 1977, Michael Jackson made his first film debut when he starred
in the musical ‘The Wiz’ playing Scarecrow with Diana
Ross in the lead role of Dorothy. It was at this time Jackson met
Quincy Jones who was doing the score for the film.
Jackson teamed up with Quincy Jones as his producer for his first
solo album with Epic Records. The album titled “Off The Wall”
was a big success around the world and the first ever album to release
a record breaking 4 No1 singles in the US.
In 1982, Jackson released the world’s largest selling album
of all time, “Thriller”. This album produced 7 hit singles,
breaking yet again more records, and went on to sell over 50 million
copies worldwide. Jackson was keen to use music video or short films
as he called them to promote his singles from the album. He worked
with the best directors and producers, using the latest technology
and special effects. Jackson would request the assistance of ‘American
Werewolf In London’ director John Landis for his groundbreaking
short film “Thriller”. So successful was this production
that “The Making Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller”
became the world’s largest selling home video combined with
soaring album sales. In 1983 Jackson performed the now legendary
moonwalk for the first time on the ‘Motown 25 years’
anniversary show. This performance alone set Michael Jackson undoubtedly
into the realm of superstardom.
December 9, 1984 at the last concert of the Jackson’s Victory
Tour, Michael announced he was splitting from the group and going
In 1987, Jackson released his much awaited third solo album, titled
“Bad”, and launched his record breaking first solo world
tour. 1988, Jackson wrote his first autobiography talking for the
first time on his childhood and his career. At the end of the 1980s
Jackson was named ‘Artist Of The Decade’ for his success
off of his “Thriller” and “Bad” albums.
In 1991, Jackson signed with Sony Music (the largest recording
contract ever) and released his fourth solo album, “Dangerous”.
He toured the world again in 1992, taking his concerts to countries
that had never before been visited by a pop/rock artist. Jackson
also founded the ‘Heal the World Foundation’ to help
improve the lives of children across the world.
In 1994, Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock legend
Elvis Presley. The marriage only lasted for 19 months, as they divorced
1995 saw Jackson release a fifth solo album, “History”,
which was a double album, first half new material and second half
greatest hits. Jackson toured again covering a 2-year period. In
between legs of the tour on November 14, 1996, Jackson married for
his second time to Debbie Rowe who was a nurse who assisted him
while he underwent treatment of his skin pigment disorder. Together
they had their first child Prince Michael Joseph Jackson jr born
on February 13 1997 and a daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson
born on April 3, 1998. In 1997, Jackson released the remix album
“Blood On The Dance Floor” which also contained 5 new
songs linked with a 38min film ‘Ghosts’. Jackson would
take on 5 different roles in this film using the latest special
effects and make-up artistry, combined with his dance and music.
In September 2001, Jackson celebrated his 30th anniversary as a
solo artist with two concerts to be held in New York, USA. Many
artists such as Whitney Houston, Usher, Destiny’s Child, Shaggy
and many more performed their own as well as songs penned by Michael.
2001 would also see the release of Jackson’s “Invincible”
album. Rumours of rift between Jackson and Sony began not long after
this album release with claims that Jackson had accused Sony Music
of failing to promote his work.
After much controversy and date changes, Michael Jackson was
scheduled to perform 50 gigs at London’s 02 Arena from July
2009.Ticket holders are still unsure if refunds will be honoured.
Management companies, insurance companies and alike are now in negotiation
in attempt to recover incurred losses.
Michael Jackson’s achievements
Biggest Selling Album Of All Time - Guinness Book Of World
Michael Jackson's “Thriller” Album is the biggest selling
album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide. Thriller
is also the biggest selling U.S album with sales of 25 million copies.
Most No1 Hits in 1980’s
By The End of the 1980’s MIchael Jackson had more #1 hits
than any other artist for the decade.
Greatest Audience - Guinness Book Of World Records
The highest-ever viewing figure was 133.4 million viewers watching
the NBC transmission of Super Bowl XXVII on June 31, 1993. Michael
Jackson was spotlighted during the half-time performance.
Bad Tour - Guinness Book Of World Records
Michael Jackson’s world tour brought in a record gross revenue
of over $124 million during September 1987-December 1988.
100 Million Records
Michael Jackson has sold over 100 million singles and albums outside
of the U.S.
Michael Jackson is the first person in the 37-year history of the
Billboard chart to enter straight in at No1, with his single “You
Are Not Alone”.
Biggest Selling Video
Michael Jackson’s “The Making Of Thriller” is
the biggest selling video to be released by an artist.
Billboard “Hot 100” Singles Chart
Most No1 Hits by Male Artist (13)
Michael Jackson’s “Bad”, “Dangerous”,
and “History” albums all debuted in at No1.
Michael has won more awards than any other artist.
No1 On Charts
In 1983 Michael became the first artist to simultaneously hold the
number one spots on Billboard's rock albums and rock singles charts,
as well as the R&B albums and singles charts.
Consecutive No1 Singles
Jackson 5 was the first group to ever have four consecutive No1
Tribute written by Robin Francis
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.
Biography and achievements used by kind permission of www.allmichaeljackson.com,
edited by Robin Francis. Additional information Robin Francis ©
Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.