Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, his 1982 Thriller is the world's best-selling record of all timeand four other solo studio albums are also among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall(1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossoverfollowing on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller—widely credited with transforming the music video from a promotional tool into an art form—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.
Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his changing appearance and behavior, generated significant controversy, damaging his public image. Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged. The singer had experienced health concerns since the early 1990s and conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, all of which caused further controversy. In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era and the sale of 750 million records worldwide. Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades. Jackson died on June 25, 2009, aged 50. The specific cause of death has yet to be determined. Prior to his death, Jackson had announced a 50 date sell-outThis Is It comeback tour, in London, England.
Michael Jackson was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. There are actually two stars bearing the name Michael Jackson in the walk, the other being that of the Los Angeles talk radio show host of the same name; while Jackson's name is marked with a record icon, the radio Jackson is denoted with a microphone icon. Jackson had a notable impact on music and culture throughout the world. He broke down racial barriers, transformed the art of the music video and paved the way for modern pop music in his own country. Jackson's work, distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced hip hop, pop and R&B artists, including Mariah Carey, Usher, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and R. Kelly. For much of his career, he had an "unparalleled" level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions.
Throughout his career he received numerous honors and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was a double-inductee of theRock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. Jackson was also an inductee of theSongwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. His awards include multiple Guinness World Records (eight in 2006 alone), 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sale of over 750 million records worldwide, making him the world's best selling male solo pop artist.]
He was characterized as "an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and loads of sheer star power". In the mid-1980s, Time described Jackson as "the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley". By 1990, Vanity Fair had already cited Jackson as the most popular artist in the history of show business. Daily Telegraph writer Tom Utley called him an "extremely important figure in the history of popular culture" and a "genius". His total lifetime earnings from royalties on his solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million; some analysts have speculated that his music catalog holdings could be worth billions of dollars. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.