Michael Jackson was born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958 (making him 47 as of year 2005) to Joseph and Katherine Jackson in Gary, Indiana. He was the seventh of nine siblings. The Jackson family was raised as Jehovah's Witnesses and practiced door-to-door evangelization. Despite being known as the cute and talented lead singer in Jackson 5, a band that he formed together with his other siblings, he is now better known for his flamboyant style and negative press.
Jackson 5 was soon discovered and grabbed up by Motown Records in 1969 and the family moved to California where the 5 siblings could continue with their newfound career. Their first four singles, "ABC", "I want you back", "the love you save" and "I'll be there" instantly became hits. During this time, the Jackson 5 recorded 14 albums together while Michael Jackson recorded 4 solo albums. In 1976, they left Motown and called themselves simply as the Jacksons and they went on to produce 6 albums together, toured internationally. Both Jermaine and Michael started out on successful solo careers as with Rebbie, Latoya and Janet.
The 80's is probably the most successful decade for Michael Jackson for it was at that point in time that he produced hits like "Billie Jean", "Thriller", "Beat it". "Billie Jean" was aired on MTV and it was the first ever music video by a black singer that was ever aired on MTV.
Michael Jackson is also well-known for his signature dance, the moonwalk, which he first performed for the Motown 25th Anniversary show in 1983. Till today, parents are passing on this absolutely unique dance move to their own kids and we seriously don't know how long the 'Moonwalk' is going to be famous for.
In 1984, he was nominated for 12 awards and won a record-breaking 8 awards ? 7 for Thriller and 1 for his narrative on E.T. storybook. His record is now equaled by Carlos Santana. In 1987, Michael Jackson released 'Bad' and he held his first EVER world tour. 'Bad' proves to be another benchmark in the pop music scene because 6 songs from the albums became brilliant successes ? 'Bad', 'Dirty Diana', 'The man in the mirror', 'Smooth Criminal', 'Leave me alone' and 'The way you make me feel'. In fact, all the songs in the 'Bad' album were successes, leaving only 'Liberian Girl' with moderate reception.
Upon entering the new decade, in 1991, Michael Jackson was awarded a $890 million recording contract by Sony and released 'Dangerous'. During this time, Michael Jackson also announced the birth of a new foundation, the Heal The World Foundation'. 'Dangerous' although much low-key when compared to his other previous albums, produced hits like "Who Is It", Give In To Me", "Gone Too Soon", "Jam", "Remember the time", "Black or White", "In The Closet", "Heal The World" and "Will You Be There" (theme song for Free Willy, the motion picture).
Michael Jackson went on to marry Elvis Presley's (the KING) daughter, Lisa Marie Presley for 2 years and it ended in a bitter divorce. Thereafter, Michael Jackson remarried and this time to Debbie Rowe. The couple has a son, Prince Michael and a daughter, Paris Katherine. They divorced in 1999 and Debbie Rowe left the kids to Michael Jackson as a 'gift'. However, as of 2004, it seems as though Debbie Rowe may have decided to go back on her own words.
Among all the Michael Jackson songs, "Black or White" and "Billie Jean" remains the most aired. Michael Jackson has not had a BIG hit in a long time and later on in his career. And despite the splattering of unfavorable news about his plastic surgeries, pedophilia, the 'balcony' incident, and various law suits filed against and by him, the name "Michael Jackson" is a legendary name?in and out of the music scene.
Dean Erickson. Journalist, and web site builder Dean Erickson lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of all-michael-jackson.info on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.