The web, reviewed by humans since 1999.

Art & Culture
Pop Culture
Country Music
Hollywood Stars
Fast Food
Pop Music Stars

MAIN Arrow to Art & CultureArt & ... Arrow to Pop CulturePop Culture Arrow to Michael JacksonMichael Jackson

michael jacksonWith a reputation for bizarrely eccentric behavior, Michael Jackson had been since childhood - and right up until his death on June 25, 2009 - forced to view the world through the prism of show biz agents, personal managers, and millions of adoring fans.

Born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the future King of Pop was the fifth son of Joe Jackson, who first began organizing his family into a musical group in 1962. By the time the Jackson 5 issued their debut Motown album in 1969, it was clear that 11-year old Michael - with impossibly adult dance moves and singing voice to match - was the star attraction.

An instant sensation, the pop group became the first ever to have their first four singles (I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I'll Be There) hit number one on the charts. Later, after a brief solo stint that included the hits Got to Be There and the Oscar nominated theme song, Ben, Michael rejoined his brothers now simply known as the Jacksons on the Epic label.

Michael again gained notoriety in 1977, starring with Diana Ross in the film musical The Wiz and the following year his career took another sudden solo leap when he teamed with producer Quincy Jones, producing the breakout album Off the Wall that resulted in four top ten singles.

a Career High

Thriller album cover
In 1982, Michael Jackson's
Thriller topped the charts as the
best-selling album of all time.

Nothing compared to Jackson's next solo project, however, when Thriller was released in 1982. It stayed on the charts for over two years, spending 37 weeks at number one, and later became the best-selling album of all time with practically every track spun off as a hit single including: Beat It, Billy Jean, The Girl Is Mine (a duet with Paul McCartney), Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' and the title track which also resulted in an award-winning video.

The spotlight remained squarely on the pop star throughout the rest of 80's as he helped Lionel Richie pen the mega-hit, We Are The World in support of African famine relief - with much attention at the time suddenly given his personal eccentricities, as well.

His apparent though frequently denied bouts of plastic surgery, his Neverland Ranch filled with amusement park rides, and general reclusivity was just the beginning of increasingly bizarre behavior that became fodder for major tabloids worldwide.

Despite the negative press, Jackson released his next hit album, Bad which debuted at number one in 1987, resulting in such mega-hits as The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror and I Just Can't Stop Loving You.

And while many pop stars would have given anything to achieve a success anything near its equal, Bad was still something of a disappointment compared to the phenomenal success of Thriller which Jackson never managed to surpass.

The Downward Slide

Michael Jackson mugshot 2003
The train station at Neverland Ranch, named for
the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, a
boy who never grows up.

Jackson continued to enjoy success through the early '90's with a new album, Dangerous, spinning off such hits as Black or White, Remember the Time and In the Closet. In 1993, however, Jackson faced the first of a series of rumors and allegations of child molestation when charges were brought against him on behalf of a 13-year old boy and frequent guest at Neverland. The case was later settled out of court for a rumored $20 million.

In 1995, Jackson also began to falter professionally with HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, a two-CD set combining past hits with new material. Also included was a hit duet, Scream, with younger sister Janet Jackson who by that time had become a pop superstar in her own right.

But as Janet's star continued to rise, Michael's began to fall precipitously - although he would remain in the news constantly for his behavior both on, and off, the stage.

Michael Jackson mugshot 2003
The infamous mugshot,
after his arrest on alleged
child molestation in 2003

In 2003, his Neverland Ranch was extensively searched by police resulting in the arrest of the former superstar on new charges of child molestation. Neverland was again searched in December, 2004 for DNA evidence as part of an ongoing investigation. By the following year, Jackson was fully embroiled in the court case led by a publicity manager and an army of attorneys, who helped fight 10 charges against the pop star filed by lawyers for the the Arvizo family.

On June 13, 2005 Jackson was exonerated of all charges, with a 'not guilty' verdict on all ten counts by a Santa Maria, California jury.

Now deep in debt over his legal woes, Jackson attempted a major comeback the following year starting with an appearance at the World Music Awards in London. Meanwhile, Jackson was under threat of losing his beloved Neverland Ranch when a payment of $24 million he still owed on the property came due in 2008. The 2,800 acre estate was kept off the auction block only when Jackson cut an 11th-hour deal with creditors.

By February 2009, Jackson was again making headlines over rumors of a reported major comeback in the works at London's O2 Arena. In a month-long series of appearances, the former king of pop stood to make $7 million a performance, or just enough to pay off his debts.

The death of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's death ruled a homicide.

However, the long-awaited return of the King of Pop was not to be — when weeks before his scheduled concert series in London — Jackson was rushed to UCLA Medical Center in a deep coma on June 25, 2009, and pronounced dead from a reported heart attack a short time later.

An autopsy performed initially revealed "no foul play" leading to his death, but news reports filed pointed to Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, as a possible suspect in negligence charges. The official autopsy results were published two months later ruling Jackson's death a homicide from "acute propofol poisoning" that Jackson was administered as a painkiller and sleep aid. (Dr. Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.)

Official services for the pop idol took place at the Los Angeles Staples Center on on July 7. Celebrities from the world of music, sports and politics took part in the Jackson memorial including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Richie, Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Hudson, and John Mayer.

The final goodbye to Michael was a private family affair held on September 3, 2009 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA.

More about Michael Jackson around the Web:


Michael - The official site hosted by record label Sony featuring news, the complete discography, career history, photo gallery and short films. - Michael Jackson - Biography, discography, photo gallery, audio and video clips. Michael Jackson - Fan site with a look back at the young Michael and the Jackson 5, with photo galleries, complete lyrics to the early hits and message-board.

The Many Faces of Michael Jackson - As he has appeared throughout the years in public appearances, publicity and candid shots, from BBC News.

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Privacy  |  Mission Statement  |  Contact us |  Sitemap

All contents copyright © 1999 - 2018