Michael Jackson is one of the most popular icons of music in the world. Read about his childhood and his profile in this short biography.

Michael Jackson

Born On: August 29, 1958
Michael Jackson
Born In: Gary, Indiana
Nationality: American
Career: Popular Musician and Entertainer
Deemed as the ‘King of Pop’ and considered to be one of most successful and popular musicians, Michael Jackson is a thorough entertainer. Plagued by controversies in his personal life and getting commercial success with every album he made, Michael Jackson gave a new meaning to the adage ‘been there, done that’. He has been in show-business ever since he was kid and has always portrayed exceptional musical abilities. During the prime of his career, he reached incredible heights and got success and in fact holds eight Guinness World Records, thirteen Grammy Awards, thirteen Number One singles in his solo career and sale of over 750 million units worldwide. Michael Jackson is one of those rare artists to have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice. Check out his childhood and career profile in this biography.
Childhood and Early Years
Michael Jackson was born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. His father Joseph Walter was an employee at a steel factory and mother Katherine was Jehovah's Witness and raised her kids in that faith. Michael was the seventh of nine children and had 5 brothers and 4 sisters. As a young kid of 5, he performed a Christmas recital in his school and was applauded for his voice. When he was 11 years old, he joined the band his brothers had formed and soon got to sing lead vocals. The band was called ‘The Jackson 5’ and released a number of singles before being signed by Motown Records label in 1968. The young Jackson was described as a child prodigy by the Rolling Stone as he used to sing famous numbers of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder like a grown up.
The Jackson 5 set a record of sorts when their first four singles charted at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. These songs were ‘I Want You Back’, ‘ABC’, ‘The Love You Save’, and ‘I'll Be There’. In the year 1978, Michael Jackson portrayed the role of the Scarecrow in the movie adaptation of the Broadway Musical, ‘The Wiz’. The songs were arranged by Quincy Jones who agreed to produce Jackson’s following solo album. The first album in the history of music to have four Top 10 hits was ‘Off the Wall’ in the year 1979. The album was jointly produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones, and the music was composed by various artists like Heatwave's Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. The album sold over 15 million copies all over the world. A star had been launched and he was about to shine even more brightly!
Career and Shot to Fame
In the year 1982, the storybook of E.T: Extra Terrestrial got released and it included Jackson’s song ‘Someone in the Dark’. The record got a Grammy in the category of Best Album for Children. After a few weeks, Jackson released his second epic album, Thriller. It is one of the only three albums that remained in the Top 10 on Billboard 200 full one full year and also the only album that was best-seller in US for 2 years; 1983 and 1984. It was certified 27x Platinum and was given Double Diamond Award status by RIAA. Such is its popularity, that even today it sells millions of copies all over the world. The album is famous for its hit singles like Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller.
Michael Jackson performed Billie Jean live at ‘Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever’ television special in March, 1983. It was then, he debuted his signature dance step - Moonwalk, which got him the label of one of the greatest dancers of all times. The year 1984 was very special as he was invited to the White House to receive an award by the then President, Ronald Reagan. Also, Jackson won 8 Grammy Awards and participated in the Victory Tour, headlined by the Jacksons. In 1985, the immensely hit single ‘We are the World’ was released worldwide in order to help poor people in Africa and America. It was written primarily by Jackson and also Lionel Ritchie.
In the year 1987, Michael Jackson released his third album, Bad, which had 11 tracks. In order to direct the video for the title track, Jackson hired the acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. The 18 minute music video generated much controversy over the altered physical appearance of Michael Jackson. Though it didn’t have sales similar to thriller, it was a pretty significant commercial success. The album had five hit singles - I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror and Dirty Diana. In the same year, he embarked on the ‘Bad World Tour’, which lasted over 16 months and he performed in 123 concerts and entertained around 4.5 millions fans! He was transported to a successful height in his career and also got the nickname ‘King of Pop’ from Elizabeth Taylor.
Then came the album ‘Dangerous’ in the year 1991, which featured a large number of hits like Black or White, Remember the Time, In the Closet, Give In To Me and Heal the World. The track ‘Black or White’ went on to become one of the biggest hit singles and remained on the number 1 slot on Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. In the year 1992, he founded the ‘Heal the World Foundation’, which brought under-privileged children to Jackson's Neverland Ranch, located in California, to go on theme park rides. In 1993, he married daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, but divorced two years later. In the year 1995, he released another album named ‘HIStory: Past, Present and Future’, which got him a single Grammy for ‘Best Video of the Year’. He also went on a successful HIStory World Tour, which was attended by over 4.5 million fans. In the year 1996, Jackson was presented the ‘Artist of a Generation’ award at the BRIT awards.
His album named ‘Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix’ was released in the year 1997, which had five new songs and remixes of hit single from his previous album. It became the best selling remix album and sold around 6 million copies world-wide. Three new songs were released globally which included the title track, Ghosts and Is It Scary. The video for ‘Ghosts is more than 35 minutes long and holds the record for the world’s longest music video. In the year 2001, the album ‘Invincible’ was released, which sold around 10 million copies worldwide. It had three major singles - You Rock my World, Cry and Butterflies.
Personal Life
The personal life of Michael Jackson has been marred with controversies. He was scrutinized closely by public and his changing physical appearance was discussed now and then. He then admitted to have undergone surgery in order to enhance his looks, but claims that the whitening of his skin is due to the health condition called vitiligo. Of late, he has been accused of sexual abuse of children on the Neverland Ranch. In the year 2002, Michael Jackson dangled his third baby named Prince Michael Jackson II over the balcony railing of his hotel to show his fans.

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