Michael Jackson August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009 was
an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed
the "King of Pop", he is widely regarded as one of
the most significant cultural figures of the 20th
century and one of the greatest entertainers of all
time. He was also known for his unorthodox lifestyle,
residing in a private amusement park he called
Neverland Ranch, and often becoming the focus of
tabloid scrutiny. Jackson's contributions to music,
dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal
life, made him a global figure in popular culture for
over four decades.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made
his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers
Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the
Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at
Motown Records, and in the early 1980s, became a
dominant figure in popular music. His music videos,
including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and
"Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited
with breaking racial barriers and transforming the
medium into an art form and promotional tool. Their
popularity helped bring the television channel MTV to
Jackson popularized complicated dance techniques such
as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the
name. His sound and style have influenced artists of
Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists of
all time, with estimated sales of over 350 million
Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with
estimated sales of 66 million copies worldwide.
In 2016, his estate earned $825 million, the highest
yearly amount for a celebrity ever recorded by Forbes.
In the late 1980s, Jackson became a figure of controversy
for his changing appearance, relationships, and behavior.
In 1993, he was accused of sexually abusing the child of
a family friend. The case led to an investigation and was
settled out of court for $25 million in 1994.
In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual
abuse allegations and several other charges.
In 2009, while preparing for a series of comeback concerts,
This Is It, Jackson died from an overdose of propofol and
benzodiazepine given to him by his personal physician,
Conrad Murray. Jackson's fans around the world expressed
their grief, and his public memorial service was broadcast
In 2019, the documentary Leaving Neverland detailed renewed
allegations of child sexual abuse and led to an international
backlash against Jackson.
The song "I'll Be There" was the song that solidified The
Jackson 5's careers and showed audiences that the group had
potential beyond bubblegum pop. Said Allmusicabout the song,
"Rarely, if ever, had one so young sung with so much
authority and grace, investing this achingly tender ballad
with wisdom and understanding far beyond his years".
Jackson turned 12 one day after the song was released.
"You and I must make a pact
We must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I'll be there"
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