US singer and songwriter. A pop icon since the 1970s, he was known for his videos and live performances, containing precisely choreographed dance routines. His first solo hit was ‘Got to Be There’ (1971), and his worldwide popularity peaked with the albums Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), and Dangerous (1991). Dubbed the King of Pop, he was widely regarded as the most successful entertainer of all time, and had been preparing for a new concert series ‘This Is It’ at the time of his death.
He turned professional in 1969 as the youngest member of The Jackson 5 who had several hits on Motown Records, beginning with their first single, ‘I Want You Back’ (1969). The group left Motown in 1975 and changed its name to the Jacksons. Michael was the lead singer, but soon overtook his brothers in popularity as a solo performer. From Off the Wall (1979) to Bad (1987), his albums were produced by Quincy Jones. Thriller (1982) sold 47 million copies, a world record, and produced an exceptional number of hit singles, among them ‘Billie Jean’ (1983), and hit videos, including the title track ‘Thriller’. Jackson's career faltered after allegations of child abuse in the 1990s and 2000s. Later albums include HIStory (1995) and Invincible (2001). He was given a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
The documentary This Is It (2010) contains rehearsal footage from his planned final tour.
Jackson, Michael Joseph
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