Facts about Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson Biography
A singer and dancer who spanned pop, disco and rock, Michael Jackson was one of the great music superstars of the late 20th century. But by the time of his sudden death in 2009, he was known just as much for his erratic behavior, wild spending, and many plastic surgeries.
Michael Jackson became a singing star at age 11, when he had four consecutive #1 hits with his youthful band of brothers, The Jackson Five. A cute youngster with a groovy afro and a soulful voice, Jackson became the darling of fans and soon outgrew the band.
He went solo in 1972 with the album Got to Be There and embraced the glitter of disco with Off the Wall (1979). His smash 1982 album Thriller yielded seven top-ten hits (including “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”). Thriller eventually became the best-selling album of all time, with over 100 million copies sold, and Michael Jackson was dubbed “The King of Pop.”
By then, Jackson was an early star of the music video channel MTV. His distinctive wardrobe featured glittery suits and pseudo-military uniforms matched with the single white glove that became his signature; he also developed a signature dance move, the sliding reverse stroll known as the “moonwalk.” Jackson’s next album, Bad, topped the charts in 1987 and included five #1 singles of its own.
Then his eccentric lifestyle began to overwhelm his recording career, and Michael Jackson became a favorite of the gossip sheets. In 1994 he married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis (a.k.a. “The King”), but they divorced in 1996. Also notorious were Jackson’s long series of cosmetic surgeries, rumors of exotic pets (including his chimpanzee pal Bubbles) and superstar peccadilloes at Jackson’s ranch estate, dubbed “Neverland”, a reference to the story of Peter Pan.
Michael Jackson’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley was followed by another brief marriage to Debbie Rowe (1996-99); meantime, he faced multiple accusations of inappropriate conduct with children. In 2005 he was tried on charges of child molestation and conspiracy related to his relationship with a 13-year-old boy. Jackson was acquitted on all charges after a trial that year.
He became increasingly reclusive, appearing in public only behind sunglasses, tinted car windows and silk face masks; reports of lavish spending and unpaid bills became standard fare. Jackson popped back up in London in 2009 to announce a surprise series of 50 performances at the city’s O2 Arena, but he died that year at his rented mansion in Los Angeles before the concerts could take place.
An autopsy determined that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest after an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which was being administered to him as a sleep aid by his personal physician, Conrad Murray. Dr. Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and served two years of his four-year sentence before being paroled in October of 2013.
Michael Jackson played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie The Wiz, a takeoff on The Wizard of Oz; the role was played by Ray Bolger in the original 1939 film… Michael Jackson’s sister, Janet Jackson, was a pop superstar of the 1990s… Michael Jackson did not buy the bones of the Elephant Man, despite rumors to the contrary… Jackson had two children with Rowe: son Michael Jr. (called Prince, b. 1997) and daughter Paris Michael Katherine (b. 1998). He also had a third child, Prince Michael II (called Blanket, b. 2002), whose mother has not been publicly named. After Michael Jackson’s death, his mother, Katharine Jackson, was awarded custody of the three kids… Michael Jackson was no relation to the British food and liquor expert Michael Jackson.