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".
- Some of his favorite pastimes were water balloon fights and climbing trees. He wrote several songs sitting in his favorite tree at Neverland, which he called Giving Tree, because it was so inspiring.
- President 'Ronald Reagan (I)' (qv) wanted to award a special White House medal to Jackson, 'Bob Hope (I)' (qv) and the late 'John Wayne (I)' (qv) in 1984. However, future Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts advised against the proposal, saying the award was too much for a pop singer.
- Owed an estimated $435 million in debts at the time of his death.
- Originally intended to begin his solo career when he turned eighteen in 1976, but financial problems forced him to remain with the Jackson Five, renaming themselves The Jacksons for legals reasons, until 1979.
- In a move named by Jackson's advisers as "refinancing," it was announced in April 2006 that Jackson had struck a deal with Sony and Fortress investments. In the deal Sony may be allowed to take control of half of Jackson's 50% stake in Sony/ ATV Music Publishing (worth an estimated $1 billion) which Jackson co-owns. Jackson would be left with 25% of the catalog, with the rest belonging to Sony. In exchange, Sony negotiated with a loans company on behalf of Jackson. Jackson's $200m in loans were due in December 2005 and were secured on the catalog. Jackson failed to pay and the Bank of America sold them to Fortress investments, a company dealing in distressed loans. However, Jackson hasn't as yet sold any of the remainder of his stake. The possible purchase by Sony of 25% of Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a conditional option; it is assumed the singer will try to avoid having to sell part of the catalog of songs including material by other artists such as Bob Dylan and Destiny's Child. As another part of the deal Jackson was given a new $300 million loan, and a lower interest rate on the old loan to match the original Bank of America rate. When the loan was sold to Fortress investments they increased the interest rate to 20%.
- Besides being godfather to Michael's first child 'Prince Michael Jackson I' (qv), 'Macaulay Culkin' (qv) is also godfather to Jackson's daughter 'Paris Jackson (I)' (qv).
- Diagnosed with lupus in 1984.
- Claimed to have a skin disease called vitiligo.