Michael Jackson: A Life From Beginning To End | Full Biography (Thriller, Bad, Billie Jean)
He has a gentle, ringing and very recognizable voice. He is a talented singer and an inimitable dancer. He has 13 Grammy Awards and is known worldwide as the "King of Pop". However, we prefer to call him Michael. You are on the Biographer channel. Today we will tell you about the life's journey of
the great artist. At what age did Michael Jackson start singing? What happened to his skin? And what is the reason for his early death? Sit back, and we Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'! Childhood without childhood Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958. He was the eighth of ten children in a working-class African-American Jackson family who lived in a two-bedroom house on Jackson Street. The small town of Gary was 25 miles from downtown Chicago, where Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson settled at 18. There he met his future wife, Katherine Esther Jackson. Joe's great-grandfather, July "Jack" Gale, was a US Army scout and Native American medicine man, according to family lore.
After they got married, Joe and Katherine moved into a two-bedroom house on the corner of Jackson Street and 23rd Avenue. Joe, an aspiring boxer and musician who played guitar in a local rhythm and blues band, the Falcons, realized that supporting his family should be his priority. To take care of his growing family, the man took a job as a welder and crane operator at the U.S. Steel. Sometimes he worked three jobs at the same time. Katherine was a housewife and a devout Jehovah's Witness. Being a singer and pianist who aspired to be a country-western performer while working part-time at Sears, she encouraged her children's musical talents.
Michael grew up in a house with three sisters: Rebbie, La Toya, Janet and five brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy. A sixth brother, Marlon's twin, Brandon, died shortly after birth. Michael has been involved with music since childhood. “We were a family that sang all the time, We would take the furniture out of the living room and dance. We would have a songwriting competition while we washed the dishes…
while we were cleaning. Music was our destiny.” (Michael Jackson) His father, Joe, had a guitar, which he never allowed anyone to touch. One day, Michael’s brother Tito broke that rule and accidentally broke a string. He hid from his father for a long time, fearing punishment, but when he found out what had happened, he demanded Tito show him what he could do with it. When Tito played, Joe came up with the idea of creating a family group along with the kids. In 1964, Michael joined the Jackson Brothers as a backing musician, playing congas and tambourine. A group was formed by his father and it already included Jackie, Tito, Jermaine
and Marlon. Michael was only six. From an early age, Michael learned that his childhood was different from that of other children. In the memoir "You Are Not Alone: Michael Through a Brother’s Eyes", his brother Jermaine recalled how they looked out the window at the streets decorated for Christmas: “We observed all this from inside a house with no tree, no lights, no nothing. Our tiny house… was the only one without decoration. We felt it was the only one in Gary, Indiana, but Mother assured us that, no, there were other homes and other Jehovah’s Witnesses who did not celebrate Christmas… But that knowledge did nothing to clear our confusion: we could see something that made us feel good, yet we were told it wasn’t good for us” (Jermaine Jackson) The father was strict and even cruel towards the boy. Michael recalled how his father repeatedly
told him he had a "fat nose" and physically and emotionally abused him during rehearsals. Joe often sat in a chair with a belt in his hand, ready to punish him and his siblings when they rehearsed. Joe later stated that he "did not beat, but regularly "spanked "" Michael. His mother, Katherine, said that while spanking came to be considered abuse, it was the most common way to discipline children during Michael's growing-up years. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon denied that their father abused them. They said that the spanking, which was harder
on Michael because he was the youngest, kept them disciplined and out of trouble. Remembering his youth, Michael said that it was lonely and isolated. If any of his children crossed the line, Joe quickly punished them. Michael once told Oprah Winfrey that he was afraid of his father so much that he felt sick when he saw him. So in a 2003 TV interview, he said “I just remember hearing my mother scream, ‘Joe, you’re gonna kill him, you’re gonna kill him, stop it.” Many years later, at the Grammy ceremony, the world-famous Michael Jackson would say: “My childhood was taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there were no birthdays,
it was not a normal childhood, nor the normal pleasures of childhood. Those were exchanged for hard work, struggle and pain and eventually material and professional success. But as an awful price I cannot recreate that part of my life. Nor would I change any part of my life.” (Michael Jackson) Later, Michael began to share lead vocals with Jermaine. The group's name was changed to The Jackson 5. In 1965, the group won a talent show. Michael danced to Robert Parker's
1965 song "Barefootin'" and sang the Temptations' "My Girl". It was the first success in the career of the future star. And Joe “the father” quickly became Joe “the manager”. The father demanded the children call him “Joseph.” A strict taskmaster, Joe made his sons go through long and grueling rehearsals to make their songs and performances perfect. It was that joint childhood that Michael would hate for the rest of his life. “You call me Joseph,” Michael's sister Janet recalled her father saying after she once referred to him as dad. “I'm Joseph to you.”
The Jacksons 5 toured the Midwest from 1966 to 1968. They often played local auditoriums, school dances, as well as several black clubs known as the Chitlin' Circuit as the opening act for artists such as Sam & Dave, the O'Jays, Gladys Knight, and Etta James. The Jackson 5 also performed in clubs and cocktail bars.
“I grew up onstage. I grew up in nightclubs. When I was seven, eight years old I was in nightclubs. I saw striptease girls take off all their clothes. I saw fights break out. I saw people throw up on each other. I saw adults act like pigs.” (Michael Jackson) They won a weekly amateur night concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem while touring the East Coast in August 1967. Joe decided to turn the band professional. After a couple of years, he would sign a contract with a label with artists such as Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson. The Jackson 5 recorded several songs for Gary's Steeltown Records label. They released their
first single, "Big Boy", in 1968. Then Bobby Taylor of Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers brought the Jackson 5 to Motown. They performed for Taylor at Chicago's Regal Theater later that year. Taylor produced some of their early recordings, including a version of "Who's Lovin' You". The Jackson family moved to Los Angeles after signing the contract with Motown. The following year, Motown executives decided that Diana Ross should introduce the Jackson 5 to the public by shipping a fresh Motown product from her "production line". The Jackson 5
first appeared on television in 1969 at the Miss Black America contest, performing a cover of "It's Your Thing". Rolling Stone would later single out young Michael as: "А prodigy with overwhelming musical gifts, who quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer" (Rolling Stone) "I Want You Back" became the first Jackson 5 song to hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 the following January. The band's first album, "Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5", hit the charts in December 1969. Three more singles topped the chart later: "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There". After the Jackson 5 taking off in May 1971, the Jackson family moved into a large house in Hayvenhurst, a two-acre estate in Encino, California. For several years, they maintained a busy touring and recording schedule under the supervision of Gordy and his Motown staff.
The group became so popular that they even had a cartoon show. It ran from 1971 to 1972. The one of the Jacksons At the same time, Michael began his solo musical career when he was 13. When he was 14, he released the album "Ben", which featured the eponymous ballad about a rat - Jackson's first solo No. 1 single.
Jackson turned from child performer to teen idol. Between 1972 and 1975, he released four solo studio albums with Motown: Got to Be There, Ben, Music & Me and Forever, Michael. The title tracks from the first two solo albums, "Got to Be There" and "Ben", sold well as singles, as did the cover of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin". Michael had a long connection with the Jackson 5. Over time, they were described as "a cutting-edge example of black crossover artists". The group sold over 100 million records worldwide. And
Jackson's performance of their top five single "Dancing Machine" on the TV show Soul Train popularized the robot dance. Despite the group's great success, there were problems behind the scenes. Tensions mounted over the management of the children's careers. The Jacksons wanted more creative control over their material. The band officially ended their contract with Motown in 1976. However, Jermaine remained with the label to continue his solo career.
The Jackson 5 signed the contract with Epic Records and changed the name to The Jacksons. Then their younger brother Randy joined the group. The Jacksons continued to tour worldwide and released six albums between 1976 and 1984! Michael, being the band's writer at the time, wrote songs such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel", and "Can You Feel It". Then in 1977, an adult Michael Jackson moved to New York to star in "The Wiz", a musical film directed by Sidney Lumet. It was easy and enjoyable for Jackson to work on the film, as he memorized the dance moves well. The complex choreography did not intimidate him.
But as it turned out, his talent became a problem. It was said that, during filming, Diana Ross, who played Dorothy, took Jackson aside and explained that he put her in a bad light because he learned dance chords too quickly. After that, Jackson pretended to be a worse dancer than he was. Although, he remained on good terms with Ross.
The film, by the way, was a failure at the box office, although it received 4 Oscar nominations. But it’s not what is important. Quincy Jones was responsible for arranging the music in it, and their acquaintance was a key event for Michael. It was he who would later produce the musician's three solo albums. Michael's 5th solo album, "Off the Wall", was released in 1979. The overwhelmingly positive response to the album helped the Jacksons band as well. "Triumph" was released a little
later. It sold over 1 million copies, and the brothers went on a big tour, supporting the record. At the same time, Michael continued to look for new ways of self-development. The release became Michael's first big success as a solo artist.
Meanwhile, Michael got into an unpleasant situation that changed him forever after the release of “Off the Wall”. During a dance program, he fell and broke his nose. The rhinoplasty led to breathing problems that would later affect his career. Probably it was his first plastic surgery. He consulted Steven Hoefflin, who made Jackson's later surgeries. And over time, the familiar appearance of the star will begin to change. In numerous interviews, Michael denied that he had done anything other than a nose surgery. In a 2002 interview with ABC News, Michael stated: “I've had no plastic surgery on my face. Just my nose. It helped me breathe better
so I can hit higher notes.” (Michael Jackson) Michael Jackson received three American Music Awards for his solo work in 1980. He also won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for 1979 with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". Jackson felt that "Off the Wall" should have an impact and was determined
to exceed expectations with his next release. It was amazing how the underwhelming "Music and Me" and "Forever, Michael" led the guy to the phenomenal "Off the Wall". The infectious mix of pop and funk came like thunder into the music world. The album included the Grammy Award-winning single "Don't Stop 'Til You
Get Enough", as well as hits such as "Rock with You" and "She's Out of My Life". In that regard, since the early 80s, the artist has received the highest royalty rate in the music industry. He received 37 per cent of the wholesale profits of albums! But it was not yet the top of Michael's career. Success The album Thriller was released in 1982. It immediately became the best-selling album
in history, with seven top ten hits. It stayed on the charts for 80 weeks, 37 of which it was in the first place. Around 70 million copies have been sold worldwide. In addition to unprecedented commercial success, "Thriller" received 12 nominations at the 26th Grammy Awards and won eight, setting a record! Jackson's success demonstrated the varied nature of his work. For his songwriting talents, he received a Grammy Award for best rhythm and blues song for "Billie Jean." He was also honored for the singles "Thriller" as best male pop vocal performance and "Beat It" as best male rock vocal performance. Michael
shared the Album of the Year award with co-producer Quincy Jones. There was Jackson's joint track with Paul McCartney, "The Girl Is Mine", which almost reached the top of the pop charts. Here is how Paul McCartney recalled the beginning of the collaboration: The lead and self-titled single from the album "Thriller" received an elaborate music video. John Landis directed the horror-tinged video, which featured complex dance scenes, special effects and a voice-over by actor Vincent Price. The clip was a huge success, only increasing
the sales of an already sold record. After that, Jackson's metamorphosis became much more than just an artistic statement. Jackson went from human to werewolf to human to zombie and back to human in the megahit video. It was as if he was using that story to anticipate the coming drama of real-life
change. Meanwhile, in 1983, Michael went on his last tour with the brothers, supporting their album "Victory". One of the biggest hits on the record was Jackson's duet with Mick Jagger on "State of Shock". Jaeger recalled: “He had the two of us practice scales for two hours and then we recorded the vocals in two takes. When he sent the finished track to me later I was kind of disappointed in the production and the mix. But I think he’s a really good singer” (Mick Jagger)
Probably, Mick replaced another legend in that song. Michael Jackson had been recording song in the studio with Queen singer Freddie Mercury for their joint album from 1981 to 1983. According to Queen's manager Jim Beach, the musicians' friendship spoiled when Michael brought a llama to the studio. He was also frustrated with Mercury's drug use. Their joint compositions were released only in 2014, after the death of both musicians. After the release of "Victory," Michael and his brothers appeared on "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" on the NBC television special. Jackson performed his No. 1 hit "Billie Jean"
and introduced the world to his soon-to-be-famous "Moonwalk" dance move. Contrary to popular belief, Jackson did not invent it. Bill Bailey and Jeffrey Daniel used the dance long before. And it was Daniel who was one of those whom Michael spied on that movement and asked to teach him. “I had been practicing the Moonwalk for some time and it dawned on me in our kitchen that I would finally do the Moonwalk in public on Motown 25. Now the Moonwalk was already out on the street by this time, but I enhanced it a little when I did it. It was born as
a breakdance step, a 'popping' type of thing that black kids had created dancing on the street corners in the ghetto...So I said, 'This is my chance to do it” (Michael Jackson) Michael kept it in his head, like an ace in the hole. He carefully found the moment and showed it to the public. So he became the popularizer of the "Moonwalk". He often used it and later directed the dance for the video clip for another hit of the album "Beat It".
By the way, Jackson is the only musician in the American Dancers Hall of Fame. His unique choreographic style is still famous. “I always knew how to dance,” he said more than once. The choreography was already present in Jackson's earliest performances as part of the Jackson 5. He recalled when
he was a child, alone behind the scenes, he watched all the headliners and learned from them as much as possible. He looked at their feet, what they were doing with their hands, how they were holding the microphone, trying to understand why. The boy did not miss a single step, not a single movement, turn, twist, emotion and half-movement. That was his education and his recreation. "Billie Jean" earned him his first Emmy Award nomination. The performance was compared to
Elvis Presley and the Beatles' performances on The Ed Sullivan Show. If you are interested in knowing the details of the life of the King of Rock and Roll, click on the link in the upper right corner of the screen. And if you want to know more about the life of Mick Jagger or Sir Paul McCartney, be sure to write about it in the comments. We read everything carefully and listen to your advice. The success turned Jackson into a dominant force in global pop culture and cemented his status as the "King of Pop". Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at the time. Around $2 for each album sold, equivalent to $5 in 2022, was making record
profits. And then there were dolls created and based on Michael's appearance, $12 each. A documentary about the video "The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller" won the Grammy Award for Best Music Video in the same year. The New York Times wrote, "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson, and there is everyone else". Time described Jackson's influence at that point as: "star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter
who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too” (Time) On May 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan presented Jackson with an award for his charity that supports drug and alcohol abusers. In recognition of his support for the Ad Council's and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Drunk Driving Prevention campaign, Michael allowed using "Beat It" in their social ads.
Jackson did not miss the opportunity to act in films and commercials. In November 1983, he and his brothers partnered with PepsiCo in a $5 million advertising deal that marked a record celebrity endorsement. It would be approximately $13.5 million today. The band needed that money to cover the cost of a massive tour.
Pepsi's first campaign in the US from 1983 to 1984 focused on "The New Generation" and included tour sponsorships, public relations events and more. Jackson helped create the ad and suggested that his song "Billie Jean" be used as the jingle with a slight change in the lyrics. Michael and other members of the Jacksons filmed a Pepsi commercial on January 27, 1984.
Michael, who didn't drink Pepsi, was supposed to star in two commercials. He made sure that his face appeared on them as little as possible, so as not to draw attention to himself. There was an embarrassment on the set of one of the videos.
During a concert imitation in front of fans, pyrotechnics accidentally set Michael's hair on fire, causing second-degree burns to his scalp. Jackson underwent treatment to hide his scars and also had another rhinoplasty. Pepsi settled the incident out of court, and Michael donated $1.5 million of his compensation to Brotman Medical Center. He later signed a new $10 million contract with Pepsi. He also worked with LA Gear, Suzuki, and Sony. Michael was altruistic and often donated large sums to charity from that moment. So, for example, during the same tour, the Jacksons came up with an ugly scheme to receive additional income from ticket sales. It meant assuming a money transfer of $120 instead of $30 to
participate in the lottery with a probability to get four tickets. The return of funds to the losers would take 6-8 weeks, and the brothers expected to earn 10-12 million dollars from the accrued interest. Only Michael opposed such an idea. He realized that the $30 ticket price was already higher than most touring performers, and only made worse by buying four tickets. That made tickets unaffordable for many of Michael's African American fans who were not financially secure. However, at the end of
June, forms for ordering tickets for the first show in Kansas City appeared in newspapers. Fans lined up in stores before they even opened. Then Michael held a press conference and announced changes in the organization of the tour. “A lot of people are having trouble getting tickets. The other day I got a letter from
a fan in Texas named Ladonna Jones. She'd been saving her money from odd jobs to buy a ticket, but with the turned tour system, she'd have to buy four tickets and she couldn't afford that. So, we asked our promoter to work out a new way of distributing tickets, a way that no longer requires a money order.” (Michael Jackson) Michael asked the promoter to stop selling tickets by mail as soon as possible so that no one paid money until they got a ticket. Most importantly, he decided to donate all the money earned from the band's performance to charity. The tour sold a record number of tickets despite the high price. The singer donated approximately from $3 million to $5
million. By the way, Michael was disappointed that his idol James Brown turned down his invitation to join the band on stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City due to Brown's ongoing outrage over the ticket lottery. Even before the tour was half-completed, the brothers traveled to shows in different cars, traveled on different planes, stayed on different floors of their hotels, and refused to talk to each other on the way to shows. From that point, Michael was often represented by two lawyers, another for Jermaine and another for Jackie, Tito and Marlon. "It was the worst experience Michael had ever had with his brothers. Some were jealous,
there was denial, the whole gamut of human emotions." (Longtime family friend) During the final show of the Victory Tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Jackson announced his split from The Jacksons. The New York Times was absolutely right when they wrote, "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson, and there is everyone else."
Michael's charitable work continued when he released "We Are the World" the following year, co-written with Lionel Richie. The single raised funds for the poor people of the US and Africa. Stars such as Lionel Richie, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner also participated in the project. The track earned $63 million, equivalent to $158.7 million in 2021, and became one of the best-selling singles of all time, selling 20 million copies. In addition, the song won four Grammy Awards in 1985.
Jackson donated $455,000 to the United Negro College Fund from 1985 to 1990. All profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity. By that point, Michael's health continued to deteriorate. In his youth, Jackson's skin was medium brown, but from the mid-1980s it gradually turned pale. The change received a lot of media coverage, including rumours that he bleached his skin.
His dermatologist, Arnold Klein, said that in 1983 Jackson came to him for acne treatment. The doctor recognized lupus the first time they met. He did a biopsy and diagnosed Michael with lupus erythematosus. At the same time, he observed vitiligo in Jackson. It is a disease characterized by areas of the skin losing their pigment and sensitivity to sunlight.
Once in an interview, Michael said that it began after the release of "Thriller". By that time, he didn't know what it was. Initially, Jackson tried to cover his vitiligo patches with black makeup because he thought his appearance would harm his career. Then he wanted to hide
uneven color spots. The creams further lightened his skin, and he could appear very pale with makeup. Michael said he didn't intentionally whiten his skin and couldn't control the vitiligo. The media claimed that Jackson intentionally wanted lighter skin and reduced his nose and lips, apparently trying to look Europoid. The last straw of changing the color of Michael's skin was the release of "Black or White". It seemed to the public that the performer was teasing his fans. It all was because of his skin color in the video. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michael denied those claims,
saying "There is no such thing as skin whitening. I've never seen it." “I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help, OK? But when people make up stories that I don't want to be who I am, it hurts me.” (Michael Jackson)
In his 1988 autobiography and 1993 interview, Michael claimed to have had two rhinoplasty operations and a cleft chin operation, but nothing more. He mentioned that he lost weight in the early 1980s due to a diet to achieve a lean dancer's figure. It was reported that Michael often felt dizzy. It was also rumored that he suffered from anorexia nervosa. Periods of weight loss became a recurring problem later in his life.
In 1986, tabloids reported that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow aging and depicted him lying in a glass box. The claim was false, and the tabloids reported that he spread the story himself. They also reported that Jackson injected himself with female hormones to keep his voice high and facial hair thin. What do you think could be true? Over time, after Jackson's death, FDA-approved creams for the treatment of vitiligo were found in his home. Creams remove and lighten the remaining pigment. On the TV show, Klein said that vitiligo became too severe. It was difficult to cover it with makeup, and his
skin had to be depigmented with creams. The condition remained stable, but Jackson had to repeat the treatment from time to time. It was difficult to darken depigmented skin. The depigmentation caused permanent and extreme sensitivity to the sun, which put patients at risk of contracting melanoma and was advised to undergo annual cancer screening. Therefore, Jackson often hid his skin with long sleeves
and trousers and appeared in the sun under an umbrella. In the mid-80s, Michael Jackson kept a Bubbles chimpanzee as a pet. He bought it from a Texas research centre and travelled with it. Bubbles became a media star as well. Michael took a chimpanzee on a tour of Japan, and the media portrayed him as an aspiring Disney cartoon character who befriended the animals. Bubbles lived at the Jackson family home in Encino, Los Angeles, but later moved to Jackson's Neverland Ranch home in 1988. It slept in a crib in Jackson's bedroom, used Jackson's bathroom, and ate Jackson's candy at the Neverland movie theater. By 2003, Bubbles had grown
into a large and aggressive adult chimpanzee, unsuitable as a pet like many captive chimpanzees, and was sent to an animal trainer in California. At the same time, Jackson was working with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola on the $30 million 17-minute 3D film "Captain EO". Lucas was the screenwriter, and Coppola was the director. It was completed in 1986 and aired with additional effects of lasers, smoke,
and more at Disneyland and Epcot, and later at Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disneyland until the late 90s. Disney wanted to change Michael's voice because they thought that his voice was too high, and they were afraid that people wouldn't take him seriously. The singer was unaware of the decision until he found out that Lucas had vetoed it. In 1987, Jackson separated and left the Jehovah's Witnesses. Perhaps, it was because some Witnesses opposed the "Thriller" video. Nevertheless, for a long time, Michael did not release new album material.
Finally, after 5 years of waiting, Michael released a new album, “Bad”. Many expected him to repeat the great success of the previous one, and they were right. The release was a follow-up to "Thriller" and reached the top of the charts with a record five No. 1 hits: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror", and "Dirty Diana". The album's title track was supported by a video directed by Martin Scorsese. Michael's other popular track "Smooth Criminal" took only 7th place, but was loved
by fans worldwide. "Bad" was a hit and was highly acclaimed by critics. The album won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical and the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Short Form for "Leave Me Alone". Michael received the Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards, thanks to a record number of No. 1 singles and the status of the first album to top the charts in 25 countries. "Bad" became the best-selling album worldwide in 1987 and
1988. The Bad World Tour lasted almost a year and a half, had 14 sold-outs in Japan and set a new attendance record - 570,000 people. It was almost three times the previous result. And having collected 504 thousand listeners for seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium set a new Guinness World Record. In an interview with the album, Michael reasoned: “My philosophy, if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change. People don’t look at themselves honestly, they don’t look
at themselves and point the finger. It’s always the other guys fought or somebody should change yourself. Look at yourself, make better of yourself” (Michael Jackson) He has come a long way, gone through many internal and external changes and put that idea into the release. In the same interview, Michael was asked if he was happy when he looked in the mirror? He said that he’s never totally satisfied. He always wished the world could be a better place. Hopefully, that's what he does with his music to bring happiness to people and to bring joy. He needs some peace in their lives.
Jackson released his autobiography, "Moonwalk", also in 1988. The book sold over 200,000 copies and reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Michael wrote about his childhood, the Jackson 5 and his father's abuse. He explained his change in appearance to three plastic surgeries, puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hairstyle, and even stage lighting. While visiting Paris during the tour, Michael was awarded the Vermeil Medal of the City of Paris by the Mayor of Paris Jacques Chirac. Already in October, he released the film “Moonwalker”,
which featured live footage and short films featuring Jackson and Joe Pesci. It became the best-selling videotape in the US. It has been certified 8x platinum in the US by the RIAA. The hard life of the superstar Michael Jackson bought 2,700 acres (11 km2) of land near Santa Ynez, California to build a new home in March 1988. The land was covered with plane trees and live oaks. It also was near the coast, with cool breezes and moist soil. Vineyards surrounded the territory. The property was on the edge of the Los Padres
National Forest. He invested $17 million in it (which is about $40 million today) and built a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a lake with a waterfall, a railway, a cinema for 50 spectators, basketball and tennis courts and a zoo with elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees, crocodiles, snakes and a bear on its territory. Guests often visited the ranch, among whom were many children, including quite famous… He brought 46 children worldwide to the World Congress of Children in 1995. The property was originally called "Sycamore Valley Ranch". Jackson renamed it Neverland - a magical land
where children never grow up from the book "Peter Pan". During his stay at the ranch, Michael literally cultivated the carnival atmosphere, having fun with the children. Probably, he tried to catch up on the fun he missed in childhood. When the architect of the future Neverland, Tony Urquidez, got a call from Jackson, he didn't believe it at first and hung up. When Michael told him about his construction plans, Urquidez was shocked. He recalled:
He wasn’t the demanding type, but more of a little kid that wanted things immediately. We had crews working all hours of the day, and you could tell Michael was excited. He put pressure on me, but it was a different kind of pressure, a fun pressure. Michael gave me a mental visual of what he wanted, and I had the freedom to create. (Tony Urquidez) Meanwhile, performing "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr.'s 60th birthday celebration
won Jackson a second Emmy nomination. Michael became the best-selling artist of the 1980s. They called him "King of Pop". The nickname literally stuck to him. When Elizabeth Taylor presented him with the Soul Train Heritage Award in 1989, she called him "the true King of Pop, rock and soul". President George H. W. Bush designated him the White House's "Artist
of the Decade". In March 1991, Jackson extended his contract with Sony and released his eighth album, "Dangerous", co-produced with Teddy Riley. It was symbolic that it became eight times platinum in the states. The following year, it became the best-selling album of the year worldwide. Of course, it did not have such a phenomenal success as the previous one, but a couple of songs were at the top of the world charts, and “Black or White” even stayed in first place for 7 weeks. By the way, the video for that song, directed by Landis, included an appearance of kid star Macaulay Culkin.
Michael's actions in the last minutes of the video caused some controversy, appearing to viewers as sexual gestures. That surprised many, but it was only the premise of a growing scandal. 1992 was productive not in the musical but the socially significant field. Michael opened
Heal the World Foundation. His charity brought underprivileged children to ranches to enjoy theme park rides and sent millions of dollars worldwide to help children threatened by war, poverty and disease. In July, Michael published his second book, "Dancing the Dream" - a collection of poetry. After the death of HIV/AIDS spokesperson and friend Ryan White, Michael pleaded with the administration of Bill Clinton's inaugural gala to allocate more money to charity and HIV/AIDS research. Then the musician went to Africa. He had previously visited it in '74 with the Jackson 5. During
his first stop in Gabon, he greeted over 100,000 people. Some of them carried signs that read "Welcome Home Michael". He received the Officer of the National Order of Merit from President Omar Bongo, and during a trip to the Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief. Michael thanked the senior officials in French and English, signed the
documents confirming his kingship, presided over the ceremonial dances and sat on the golden throne. In an interview, he described the trip: “For me, it's like the "dawn of civilization." It's the first place where society existed. It's seen a lot of love. I guess there's that connection because it is the root of all rhythm. Everything. It's home.” (Michael Jackson) Inspired by the trip, he suggested that “music started with nature. Music is nature. Birds make music. Oceans make music. Wind makes music. Any natural sound is music. And that’s
where it started…” Michael said: “we’re just making a replica of nature, which is the sounds we hear outside”. In the meantime, Jackson's music was still popular, and he performed at several huge events the following year, including the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show. The halftime performance attracted more viewers than the game itself! The following January, Michael Jackson received three American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Single, and was the first to win the International Artist Award of Excellence. In February, he won the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards
and was with Brooke Shields on the awards show. Michael's relationships were complicated. He dated Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal. They became friends when she was 12 and he was 17, but by 1982 their relationship had cooled. Then, Michael met Brooke Shields and eventually even considered getting married, but Shields was never thrilled about the prospect. She once said to Michael: “You have me for the rest of your life, you don’t need to marry me” (Brooke Shields) He also had a short relationship with Madonna. According to her, she and Michael did not go beyond three dates and a kiss with the tongue. According to rumours, he briefly dated
Shana Mangatal and Whitney Houston, whom he wanted to marry quickly. In August 1993, Michael's career took a turn and changed probably forever. 13-year-old boy Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler accused the singer of child sexual abuse. Those very first premises found their dastardly continuation. Jordan claimed that he and Michael Jackson kissed, masturbated and had oral sex. The boy's mother initially told police that she did not believe that Jackson had molested him, but after a few days, her position changed.
Even Michael's older sister, La Toya, accused him of paedophilia, although she later admitted that her ex-husband forced her to say it. A few days later, police searched Jackson's home and found two legal large-format art books in which the boys played, ran, and swam in varying degrees of undress. Michael denied knowing about the contents of the books. He claimed that since they were found in the house, someone must have sent them to him, but he did not open them. Then Jordan Chandler gave the police a description of Jackson's genitals. There was a humiliating
strip search of the star, but the jury concluded that the description did not match. In January, Michael had settled out of court with the Chandlers for $23 million. By the way, the criminal case was never initiated, due to the lack of evidence other than Jordan's testimony.
Michael had become dependent on painkillers, which he took during reconstructive surgeries on his scalp after an injury. He started again taking pills to cope with the stress of the sexual assault allegations that had piled up. In the fall of 1993, he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous Tour due to health problems, stress, and dependence on painkillers. By the end of the year, Michael was already tired of a failed relationship and really wanted to start a family. Therefore, the singer proposed to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, by phone ... Michael met Lisa when he was 16 and she was 6. They grew up, and after a private dinner in Los Angeles in 1992, their relationship began. They talked
on the phone every day for a year. The couple married on May 26, 1994, in La Vega, Dominican Republic. It was Michael's first marriage, but unfortunately, it did not last long. The marriage was not just a secret for many weeks, but some facts about their union were pretty amazing. For example, they slept in separate bedrooms despite their on-screen chemistry.
The 1994 MTV Video Music Awards are remembered for their marriage. They didn't hesitate to hold hands and kiss in front of 250 million people watching on TV. The kiss "seen worldwide" led Lisa Marie to believe that Michael used her to make their kiss a reason for talk for decades. Lisa Marie did not agree to have children with him because he was "emotionally immature." They divorced a year and a half later due to "irreconcilable differences." In an interview with Oprah, Presley revealed that she and Jackson periodically tried to reconcile in the four years following their divorce, but it was difficult. The tabloids did not stop because of the sex scandal and wrote that the couple's relationship was not real.
During that time, Michael was supposed to write the music for the Sega Genesis video game "Sonic the Hedgehog 3" but left the project when allegations of violence surfaced and were uncredited. He was a fan of Sonic and collaborated with Sega in 1990 on the arcade game Moonwalker. Therefore, for the first time, he felt the unpleasant consequences of the culture of cancellation, which had not yet become a common phenomenon at that time. The musical career was gradually waning, but the performer still had something to say to society. In 1995, Michael released the double album "HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I". In it, the first disc, "HIStory Begins", was a top hits album, and exclusively new compositions and a couple of covers were in the second "HIStory Continues".
The album became the best-selling multi-disc release of all time. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Album of the Year category. "The testimony of a musician whose self-pity now equals his talent" (The New York Times) The album spawned two hits: "You Are Not Alone", which debuted immediately at 1st place in the charts, thereby hitting the Guinness Book of Records. And his duet with younger sister Janet "Scream" became a protest against the media's harsh treatment of Jackson during the allegations. The music video for "Scream" in the spaceship, which cost a record $7 million to produce, won another Grammy for Michael Jackson for superb effects. Another record from the album, "They Don't Care About Us", drew sharp criticism for using anti-Semitic statements in the lyrics. So in the original song were the words:
"Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me" Shortly after being criticized by the Anti-Defamation League and others, Michael rewrote them and posted the song with the lines changed. At the end of the year, Michael was rehearsing a performance on television and suddenly lost consciousness. Probably, it was caused by a panic attack due to stress. The musician was taken to the hospital. Lisa Marie came to visit him from time to time, but even then
there was discord between them, which resulted in a quick divorce. Another memorable track on the album was “Earth Song”. It was remembered because of one incident. Before it, the composition topped the UK Singles Chart on Christmas Eve. Michael was supposed to appear and perform the song at the Brit Awards in 1996. His performance
was disrupted by Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker. It was his protest against Jackson's "Christ-like" persona. Michael called that foray into the scene "disgusting and cowardly". The artist held a tour supporting the album, visiting 35 countries and 58 cities and giving 82 concerts. It was his most attended tour. While visiting Australian Sydney, the performer
married Debbie Rowe at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel. Initially, the couple met when the girl worked as an assistant to his dermatologist. A friendship began, and she proposed to Michael that she be the mother of his children after Lisa Marie Presley refused to have children with him. When Michael divorced Lisa, Debbie Rowe was six months pregnant with his child, and they soon got married. Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. was born on February 13, 1997, and a year later, the couple had
their second child. Girl Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born on April 3, 1998. Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. later became known as the Prince. A team of six nannies and six nurses took care of the boy for the first few months. Debbie, who called herself a private person and rarely gave interviews, was stunned by the publicity and popularity she received after her marriage to Jackson. Unhappy with the arrangement, Rowe filed for divorce on October 8, 1999, and gave Michael all custody of the children. Later she would return those rights. In 1997, Michael released "Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix", which contained only five new songs and was a remix album of singles from HIStory. At that time, Michael
Jackson was still a significant figure in the pop music world, but the decline was already being felt. “Well the best songs that are written right themselves. You don't ask for them. They just drop on to your left. Then, there are those songs that you kind of incubate. You know, you plant the idea, let the subconscious take its course and within time you hope something comes. Most the time it does…” (Michael Jackson) Michael worked on his tenth solo album "Invincible", which cost $30 million to record, from the October of that year to September 2001. He did not stop participating in charitable movements
and projects. In June 1999, Jackson joined Luciano Pavarotti at the "War Child" charity concert in Modena, Italy. The show raised a million dollars for Kosovo War refugees and additional funds for children in Guatemala. Later that month, Jackson organized the "Michael Jackson & Friends"
benefit concert series in Germany and Korea. The proceeds went to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, the Red Cross and UNESCO. A year later, Guinness World Records honored Michael for helping 39 organizations (more than any other artist). After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jackson helped organize the "United We Stand: What More Can I Give" benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on October 21 of that year.
In the finale, Jackson performed the track of the same name. “What More Can I Give” was specially written by Michael for charity with contributions from Mariah Carey, Nick Carter, Beyoncé, NSYNC, Celine Dion, Usher and many more The release of "Invincible" was preceded by a dispute between Michael and his label Sony Music Entertainment. The singer expected that the licenses for the master recordings of his albums would return to him in the early 2000s, after which he would be able to promote the material as he pleased and keep the profits. But the clauses of the contract suggested a return date some years later. Jackson sought early termination of the contract.
As a result, "Invincible" was released on October 30, 2001. It was the first full-length album by Michael Jackson in six years and the last album of original material released by the artist during his lifetime. It debuted at number one in 13 countries and sold eight million copies worldwide, going double platinum in the US. Soon, in January, Michael won his 22nd American Music Award for Artist of the Century. Later,
an anonymous surrogate mother gave birth to his third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, nicknamed "Blanket". In the same year, for some reason, Michael dangled a child by throwing it over the balcony railing in a Berlin hotel room. His room was on the fourth floor. The act drew heavy criticism in the media. Michael apologized, calling the incident "a terrible
mistake", and explained: “We were waiting for thousands of fans down below, and they were chanting they wanted to see my child, so I was kind enough to let them see. I was doing something out of innocence.” In April 2002, Michael gave one of his last live concerts. He performed at the Apollo Theater with a benefit concert for the Democratic National Committee and former President Bill Clinton. The two and a half million dollars raised during "Michael Jackson: Live at the Apollo" went towards encouraging the citizens of America to vote. The reputation of the performer was falling, and constant news breaks harmed it. In July, Michael called Sony Music Chairman Tommy Mottola "a racist, and very, very, very devilish," and someone who exploits black artists for his own gain, at Al Sharpton's National Action Network in Harlem. Sharpton launched an investigation into whether Mottola
exploited black artists. Jackson charged that Mottola had called his colleague Irv Gotti a "fat nigger". In response, Sony called the statements "ridiculous, vicious and hurtful" and defended Mottola as the man who supported Michael's career for many years. As a result, Sony refused to renew the contract with the performer. Michael once said in an interview: “Any painter or sculptor, they paint, they do their best work within their sixties in their 70s. But in the music business some of these great artists have become stumped because they self abuse themself and their long young age so early, with all these crazy things they drink and pilled... That's just not good.” (Michael Jackson)
As sad as it was to realize, Michael Jackson was becoming more and more associated with that statement. If before the artist's career only slowed down, now it collapsed noticeably, and it was almost impossible to avoid that. The end Since May of that year, Michael Jackson had been filmed for the documentary Living with Michael Jackson. British journalist Martin Bashir and his documentary team spent several months with the singer and filmed his life. The film was released on television in February 2003 and returned Michael to the violent sex scandal. Bashir persuaded him to discuss his relationship with the children. Jackson said that children
continued to sleep at his ranch even after the 1993 allegations. He also said that he sometimes slept with the children in his bed. The film showed Michael holding hands and discussing sleeping conditions with a 12-year-old boy. He replied that he did not see anything wrong with arranging overnight stays with minors: "Why can't you share your bed? That's the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone." (Michael Jackson) Michael insisted that the sleepovers were not sexual and that his words were misunderstood.
But the media exploded with accusations and controversy. In December, Santa Barbara authorities charged Jackson with seven paragraphs of child molestation and two paragraphs of drugging minor Gavin Arvizo with alcoholic beverages. He was charged with indecent conduct with a minor, attempted indecent conduct, the use of alcohol to facilitate molestation, conspiracy to kidnap a child, false imprisonment, and extortion. Could you believe that? Of course, Jackson denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty. The “People v. Jackson” trial began on January 31, 2005, in Santa Maria, California.
While the hearing lasted, Michael was very stressed, which eventually affected his health. The singer lost even more weight. By the end of the trial, he became a recluse in May. If convicted, he would face up to 20 years in prison. As a result, the 2005 trial became a media circus with fans, detractors, and film crews surrounding the courthouse. More than 130 people testified, including Macaulay Culkin. The actor told the court that he was friends with Jackson as a teenager and never had any problems during his stay at Neverland Ranch.
Jackson's accuser appeared in court on videotape and described how he was given wine and molested. However, the jury noticed inconsistencies in his testimony, as well as in the testimony of his mother. As a result, Michael Jackson was found not guilty of all charges. Shortly after that, he moved to Bahrain as a personal guest of Sheikh Abdullah. The trial ruined his reputation, and his finances fell into disrepair. Bahrain's Prince helped the pop star pay his legal and utility bills and invited him to his country. In Bahrain, the Prince took over the singer's expenses and built a recording studio for him. In return,
Michael allegedly promised to collaborate with the Al-Khalifa label on his new album, write an autobiography and put on a play. However, the release was never completed. Jackson soon faced a $7 million lawsuit from his friend for not keeping his promises. He was forced to leave Bahrain.
Moreover, in 2006, Michael faced financial difficulties. He was urged by financial managers to get rid of part of his stake in the ATV catalog to avoid a loan bankruptcy. The main house at the Neverland Ranch was closed to save money, and the ranch itself was pledged as bail for the loan. Approximately 30 Jackson employees did not receive their salaries on time, and wage arrears amounted to $306,000. Jackson must pay a $100,000 fine. In November 2006, Jackson invited the Access Hollywood camera crew into the studio in Westmeath, and MSNBC reported that Michael was working on a new album with will.i.am producing. On November 15, Michael performed "We Are the World" at the World Music Awards in London and accepted the Diamond Award for selling over 100 million records. That turned out
to be Michael's last public appearance. In December, he returned to the states and attended the funeral of his biggest inspiration and idol, James Brown's, in Augusta, Georgia. By the fall of 2007, Michael's new album was still in development. And from the new material, Jackson and Sony released only “Thriller 25”, for the 25th anniversary of the album in 2008, with two remixes as singles: “The Girl Is Mine 2008” and “Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008”. Things got worse and worse. Fortress Investments threatened the artist
with foreclosure of the Neverland Ranch, which was bail for loans. As a result, Michael transferred ownership of the Neverland Ranch to the Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC and made $35 million. He then arranged for his memorabilia collection of over 1,000 items to be sold through Julien's Auction House. In March 2009, amid financial and health rumors, Michael announced a series of "This Is It" comeback concerts at The O2 Arena.
The shows would be his first concerts since the 1997 "HIStory World Tour". Jackson planned to perform in his last concerts and retire after the show. The original plan was to do 10 gigs in London and then maybe more gigs in Paris, New York and Mumbai. The organizers expected to receive about $50 million, but Michael's fan base turned out to be surprisingly strong ... Michael canceled the auction on the eve of the first public exhibition of the collection of items. He had already made about $200-300 million from pre-sales of a series of 10 concerts
that were supposed to take place only in London! Despite all the allegations and stories of bizarre behaviour, Jackson remained a figure of great interest. All tickets for the next concerts were sold only in the first 4 hours. But unfortunately, none of them was destined to take place. After moving to Los Angeles, Jackson rehearsed diligently, trying to perfect the concert program. But three weeks before the first "This Is It" show, on June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died of a cardiac arrest, caused by a propofol and benzodiazepine overdose. Conrad Murray, his personal physician, had given Jackson various medications to help him sleep at his rented mansion in Holmby Hills. They tried to save him on the way to Ronald Reagan UCLA
Medical Center, and for more than an hour after arrival there, but were unsuccessful. The musician died at the age of 50 from an overdose of propofol. News of his death quickly spread across the web, causing many websites to slow down and crash due to the influx of users. Google, AOL Instant Messenger, Twitter, and Wikipedia were barely loaded. Moreover, web traffic rose by between 11% and 20%. MTV and BET aired marathons of Jackson's music videos and special shows. Jackson's memorial was held on July 7 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park's Hall of Liberty. More than 1.6 million
fans applied for tickets to the memorial. However, only 8,750 randomly selected people were able to get them. Everyone received two tickets. The memorial service was one of the most watched events in streaming history, with an estimated US audience of 31.1 million and a worldwide audience of an estimated 2.5 to 3 billion!
Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson, and Shaheen Jafargholi performed at the memorial, and Smokey Robinson and Queen Latifah gave eulogies. Al Sharpton received a standing ovation with cheers when he told Jackson's children: "Wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway." (Al Sharpton) Jackson's 11-year-old daughter Paris Katherine, speaking publicly for the first time, wept as she addressed the crowd. The Rev. Jackson's body was entombed on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Over time, discussions about the death of the "King of Pop" raised more and more questions about its cause. There were a lot of questions to the personal doctor, Dr Conrad Murray. Because of him, Michael took sedatives that helped him sleep at night. Murray told police that he believed Jackson had developed a particular addiction to propofol, which Jackson called his "milk". Murray injected him with propofol intravenously in the evenings in doses of 50 milligrams and tried to wean the pop star off the drug. A police investigation revealed that Murray did not have a license to prescribe the most controlled drugs in the state of California. The steps taken to save Jackson were also under scrutiny. Evidence indicated that the standard of safe propofol administration was
not met. The recommended equipment for patient monitoring, accurate dosing, and resuscitation were not