Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer-songwriter, dancer, actor, choreographer, published poet, businessman, philanthropist and record producer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records while also being regarded as one of the most influential.
His contribution to music, dance and fashion, and a much-publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture and probably the most famous person on the planet for over four decades.
"Off the Wall (20 Million), Bad (30 Million), Dangerous (32 million), and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (20 million) rank among the world's best-sellers making him the artist with the most best-selling albums"
"Thriller is the only music video inducted into the national film registry in the Library of Congress, where inductions are preserved forever. He was the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. Michael Jackson music videos made MTV and Cable TV the successes they are today"
"Michael Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the toe stand, the robot, the lean, the crotch grab and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical style, vocal style, and choreography continue to transcend generational, racial and cultural boundaries"
"Michael Jackson is one of the very few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Other achievements include 13 Guinness World Records (more than any other artist) 15 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards and 17 number-one singles in the US. He also has estimated global sales of over 780 million - 1 billion records, making him one of the best-selling recording artists ever along with The Beatles and Elvis Presley"
1969 - 1979
"In 1983, the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special aired to an audience of 47 million viewers, and featured the Jacksons and a legendary Michael Jackson solo performance of Billie Jean. Wearing a distinctive black sequin jacket and white glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his signature dance move, the moonwalk and made entertainment history"
"On May 14, 1984, Michael Jackson was invited to the White House to receive an award from President Ronald Reagan for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse"
"Michael Jackson co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" in 1985 with Lionel Richie to aid the poor in the U.S. and Africa. It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 30 million copies sold"
"Michael Jackson collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola on the 17-minute 3-D film Captain EO, which debuted in September 1986 at both the original Disneyland and at EPCOT in Florida, in March 1987 at Tokyo Disneyland and June 2010 in Disneyland Paris. The $30,000,000 movie is now the centerpiece of popular attractions at all four parks"
"The Bad World Tour began on September 12 1987, finishing on January 14, 1989. He broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. He performed a total of 123 concerts to an audience of 4.4 million people worldwide"
"Moonwalk is Michael Jackson's one and only official autobiography. The book was first published in February 1988, a year after the release of Jackson's Bad album, and named after Jackson's signature dance move, the moonwalk. Within a few months of its release, Moonwalk had sold 450,000 copies in fourteen countries. Moonwalk was re-released on October 13, 2009 as a result of Michael Jackson's death"
"Michael then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage and short films that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. It debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues"
"In 1989 President George H. W. Bush presented him with The White House's special Artist of the Decade"
"Michael Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992. The foundation sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war, poverty, and disease"
"In the same year Jackson published his second book, the bestselling collection of poetry, Dancing the Dream"
"The Dangerous tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993. Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts grossing $100 Million. He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands"
"One of Michael Jackson's most acclaimed performances came during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone"
"Michael Jackson was given the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles"
"The very successful HIStory World Tour began on September 7, 1996, and finished on October 15, 1997. Jackson performed 82 concerts in 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans, and grossed a total of $165 million. The show, which visited five continents and 35 countries, became Jackson's most successful in terms of audience figures"
"In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of hit singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies as of 2010, making it the best selling remix album ever released"
"In October 2001, Jackson released Invincible. This was his first full-length album in six years, and it turned out to be the last album of new material he released while still alive. The album was a commercial success; peaking at number one in 13 territories including USA and the UK and has sold 14 million worldwide"
"A special 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden occurred in September 2001 to mark the singer's 30th year as a solo artist. The shows sold out in five hours. Ticket prices were pop's most expensive ever; the best seats cost $5,000 and included a dinner with Michael Jackson and a signed poster. Jackson reportedly earned $7.5 million for each of the two concerts, which is over $150,000 per minute"
"In the wake of 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. The concert was aired on October 21, 2001, and included performances from dozens of major artists, including Jackson, who performed his song "What More Can I Give" as the finale"
"In 2003 Number Ones was successful around the world, originally reaching #1 in the UK and #1 in the United States. It proved to be an enduring catalog seller, eventually returning to the top spot in the UK and US charts in 2009 after Jackson's sudden death. It stayed as the number one selling album in the United States for six non consecutive weeks. Overall, the album has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with 4,138,600 of those being sold in the USA."
"Throughout 2006, Sony repackaged 20 singles from the 1980s and 1990s as the Michael Jackson: Visionary series, which subsequently became a boxed set. Most of those singles returned to the charts as a result. It has sold over 5 million copies worldwide."
"Michael Jackson appeared at the World Music Awards, in London on November 15, 2006, and accepted a Diamond Award for selling over 100 million records."
"In August 2008 in anticipation of Michael Jackson's 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a series of greatest-hits albums called King of Pop. Slightly different versions were released in various countries, based on polls of local fans. King of Pop reached the top 10 in most countries and Number 1 in 11 countries selling over 2 million copies worldwide."
"The London residency achieved record breaking ticket sales, over one million were sold in less than 2 hours and two million people tried to buy pre-sale tickets in the space of 18 hours. Cited as one of the most important musical events in history, Michael Jackson had floored his critics creating a cultural phenomenon. Michael Jackson again made Pop History and broke the record for the highest number of shows performed by an artist at a single venue, The biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city, The most amount of people to attend a series of arena shows and The fastest ticket sales in history. It was the greatest comeback in Pop History which sadly became the Greatest Concerts that never happened"
"Less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London and with all concerts being sold out, Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. Michael Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and as many as a billion people around the world watched his public memorial service on live television held at The Staples Centre in Los Angleles. Michael Jackson was buried on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California."
"A promotional single titled "This Is It" was released on October 12 2009, with a new compilation album of the same name released on October 26 2009 , to be released with Michael Jackson's This Is It documentary film, which became the highest grossing documentary or concert movie of all time, with earnings of more than $261 million worldwide."
"After his death, Michael Jackson became the best selling artist of 2009 in the USA selling over 8.2 million albums and he had sold 35 million albums worldwide in the 12 months that followed. Billboard has estimated that Michael Jackson has generated over $1 Billion in revenue since he died"
"On March 16, 2010, Sony Music Entertainment signed a record-breaking $250 million deal with Jackson's estate to retain distribution rights to his recordings until 2017 and release at least ten posthumous albums and projects over the next decade."
"In conjuction with the Michael Jackson estate, Cirque du Soleil announced on the 3 November 2010 that it would launch "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" in October 2011 in Montreal, while a permanent show will reside at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas".
"Michael Jackson's Vision, the deluxe DVD box set was released in November 2010. It includes three DVDs, featuring 4.5 hours of content of 42 music videos by Michael Jackson, with newly restored color and remastered audio. It contains all his pioneering short films that transformed the entertainment industry with timeless, pop culture classics. It reached the Top 3 on the Music DVD charts in over 12 countries".
"Michael, a compilation album of 10 unreleased tracks by Michael Jackson was released in December 2010. It's first single Hold My Hand hit the Top 10 in over 19 countries worldwide. In the US, Michael debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of of 228,000 copies. The album opened in the UK at number four with sales of 113,000, which is Michael Jackson's biggest opening sales week in the UK since the release of Dangerous. The album has since been certified platinum by the RIAA for shipping over a million copies".
"Michael Jackson: The Experience, the music video game based on Michael Jackson's music and songs was released in November 2010 for the Wii, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable and in April 2011 on the Xbox 360's Kinect and PlayStation 3's PlayStation Move. The game has since sold over 2 million copies worldwide, and is expected to sell additional millions with the release of the Move and Kinect versions in April 2011."
"In November 2011, the accompanying compilation soundtrack album Immortal to Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour was released and has had over 40 of Michael Jackson’s original recordings redesigned and re-imagined by producer Kevin Antunes throughout a year-period work in the studio with original multi track master recordings."
Announced in May 2012 by the Michael Jackson Company LLC, various formats of Bad 25 were released simultaneously on September 18, 2012. The album, a two-disc set, includes the original album, as well as unreleased material recorded during the Bad sessions. The material includes early demo versions of songs from the album, demos of songs not included on the final album, and remixes. A DVD of Jackson's July 16, 1988 performance at Wembley Stadium, London, was also released. Bad 25 sold more than 1 million albums in more than 25 countries within its first week of release.
Michael Jackson: One, was announced to the public and media on February 21, 2013 as the second Michael Jackson-based production in Cirque du Soleil's roster, after "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour." In their continuing partnership with the Jackson estate, One evokes the entertainer's artistic style in several manners. The new production began previews on May 23, 2013 and the official world premiere was on June 29, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Who else could move so seamlessly from social anthem to floor burner, fleet hip hop to cosmic rock, vintage funk to poignant folk ballad?
Michael Jackson - That's Who!
"Michael Jackson has had an unparalleled level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions. Michael Jackson's music and videos, such as Thriller, helped break down racial barriers, and even now he has gone he is still an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the skills to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and loads of sheer star power. Michael Jackson was and still is the most popular artist in the history of show business, and is quite simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived."