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".
- In the 1980s, Jackson and 'Queen (I)' (qv) lead singer 'Freddie Mercury' (qv) became close friends and recorded three songs together - "Victory", "State of Shock" (later recorded by 'Mick Jagger' (qv)) and "There Must Be More To Life Than This". All are demos and have never been officially released.
- Only artist in history to generate five #1 hits (USA) from one album with "Bad."
- His 1979 debut solo album "Off the Wall" has sold around 20 million copies worldwide.
- Promotional videos of his songs directed by, among others, 'John Landis' (qv) and 'John Singleton (I)' (qv) have cost more than some motion pictures.
- Two months after his death, just before what would be his 51st birthday, and the day of his burial, his Number Ones album surpassed Taylor Swift's highly successful album Fearless as the best selling album of 2009 at that point.
- Diagnosed with lupus in 1984.
- His 1991 album "Dangerous" is second to "Thriller" as the biggest selling album of all time, with over 20 million copies sold worldwide.
- Certain personalities have questioned the extensive media coverage given to his death. American conservative commentator 'Rush Limbaugh' (qv) criticized the media coverage as "a horrible disgrace" and lent his support to 'Al Sharpton' (qv) and 'Jesse Jackson (I)' (qv) as they fought to stem the tide of lies. "We don't know anything yet. We don't know yet," Limbaugh told listeners on June 29, 2009.