50 (passed away Jun. 25th, 2009)
Aug. 29th, 1958
Gary, Indiana, USA
Michael Jackson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2013 - The Man Behind the Throne
2013 - 20 Feet from Stardom
2008 - Religulous
1994 - 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls
1992 - Peter's Friends
1988 - Moonwalker
1986 - Captain EO
1978 - The Wiz
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Singer
Leon Kompowsky (Voiced)
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".
- He was thwarted in his bid to buy the remains of the Victorian "Elephant Man, John Meyrick, in June 1987. The London Medical College told Jackson he would not be allowed to buy it, no matter how much money he offered.
- While Jackson has claimed 104 million sales for his 1982 album "Thriller", the Guinness Book of World Records has put the figure at 51 million copies sold as of 2006.
- Performed at the ball for President 'Bill Clinton (I)' (qv)'s first inauguration on 20 January 1993.
- His hit song "Bad" from 1987 was initially supposed to be a duet with fellow 80's superstar Prince. Prince said in an interview that he did not wish to sing the line "Your butt is mine".
- 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".
- For a charity event held at the Neverland Ranch in September 2003, for the first time ever, he invited an artist from the outside to perform there. It was 'Yannick Harrison' (qv), also known as Jay Kid, from Denmark that performed a number of his interpretations of Michael Jackson songs for the specially invited guests.
- Music website Amazon sold as many Jackson albums in the 24 hours after his death as in the previous 11 years.
- His gold coffin seen at his memorial is a rare design called the Promethean. It cost $25,000 and is made of solid bronze but is 14-carat gold-plated with a hand-polished mirror finish and lined with velvet. It is identical to the coffin used to bury 'James Brown (I)' (qv) in 2006 - which may have inspired Jackson after he saw it when Brown lay in state.