50 (passed away Jun. 25th, 2009)
Aug. 29th, 1958
Gary, Indiana, USA
Michael Jackson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
American superstar Michael Jackson (born August 29, 1958) in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, 'Joe Jackson III', had been a guitarist but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine (Scruse). Together they prodded their growing family's musical interests at home. By the early 1960s, the older boys Jackie, Tito and Jermaine had begun performing around the city; by 1964, Michael and Marlon had joined in.
A musical prodigy, Michael's singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of The 'Jackson 5'. An opening act for such soul groups as the O-Jays and 'James Brown, it was 'Gladys Knight' (not 'Diana Ross') who officially brought the group to Berry Gordy's attention, and by 1969, the boys were producing back-to-back chart-busting hits as Motown artists ("I Want You Back," "ABC," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Got to Be There," etc.). As a product of the 1970s, the boys emerged as one of the most accomplished black pop/soul vocal groups in music history, successfully evolving from a group like 'The Temptations' to a disco phenomenon.
Solo success for Michael was inevitable, and by the 1980s, he had become infinitely more popular than his brotherly group. Record sales consistently orbited, culminating in the biggest-selling album of all time, "Thriller" in 1982. A TV natural, he ventured rather uneasily into films, such as playing the Scarecrow in _The Wiz (1978), but had much better luck with elaborate music videos.
In the 1990s, the downside as an 1980s pop phenomenon began to rear itself. Michael grew terribly child-like and introverted by his peerless celebrity. A rather timorous, androgynous figure to begin with, his physical appearance began to change drastically, and his behavior grew alarmingly bizarre, making him a consistent target for scandal-making, despite his numerous charitable acts. Two brief marriages -- one to Elvis Presley's daughter 'Lisa Marie Presley' -- were forged and two children produced by his second wife during that time, but the purposes behind them appeared image-oriented. Despite it all, Michael Jackson's passion and artistry as a singer, dancer, writer and businessman are unparalleled, and it is these prodigious talents that will ultimately prevail over the extremely negative aspects of his seriously troubled adult life.
For it all to end on June 25, 2009, with his sudden death at age 50 of a drug-induced cardiac arrest, just as he was coming out of a four-year reclusive period and rehearsing for a sold-out London concert "comeback" in July, seems uncommonly cruel and tragic. Millions upon millions of dedicated fans will remember where they were "the day Michael died".
- 'Macaulay Culkin' (qv) is godfather to his two eldest children.
- Claims to have given $300 million to charity, more than any other celebrity apart from 'Oprah Winfrey' (qv).
- _Moonwalker (1988)_ (qv) was certified as the all-time top selling music video in March 1989.
- Recorded an anti-war song about the US invasion of Iraq, "We've Had Enough", which was included on his greatest hits package "Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection".
- The Staples Center Michael Jackson memorial service non-performing VIP attendees included 'Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs' (qv), 'Larry King (I)' (qv), 'Barbara Walters' (qv), 'Jaleel White' (qv), 'Kimberly 'Lil' Kim' Jones' (qv), 'Spike Lee' (qv), 'Don King (I)' (qv), 'Vicki Roberts (II)' (qv), 'Nicole Richie' (qv), 'Dionne Warwick' (qv), 'Kimberly Kardashian' (qv), and 'Kris Jenner' (qv).
- The news of his death spread quickly online, causing websites to crash and slow down from user overload. Both TMZ and the Los Angeles Times, two websites that were the first to confirm the news, suffered outages.
- In January 2000 Jackson announced he was considering retiring from the music industry, citing his weariness at publicity as a reason.
- Attended the funeral of his close friend 'Ryan White (I)' (qv) in April 1990.