Michael Jackson

Early Life

Michael Joseph Jackson was born to Katherine Jackson on August 29th, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. Michael was not the only child in his family. He shared his childhood with Janet Jackson, Randy Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, Joh’Vonnie Jackson and Brandon Jackson. As the eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael finally made his musical debut in 1964 with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. However, he soon began his solo career in 1971 where he became a popular culture icon. Although he grew up in a big family, he still found a way to make himself stand out. Michael is one of the few of his siblings that has made his name a household name.  

Michael's Inspirations

Professional Career

The Jackson 5

Michael joined his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon to form the hit group, the Jackson 5 in the 1960s. The group was managed by their father, Joe Jackson, until they were signed with Steeltown Records and later with Motown Records. They were the first group to ever debut with four back to back number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs that gave them a kickstart to fame were “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save”, and “I’ll Be There”. Although the success of the Jackson 5 started at Motown Records, the group left to sign with Epic Records in 1976 where they had many successful albums and singles. The Jackson 5 is clearly a group that changed the lives of many during the 1960s and 1970s due to their stage presence, music and of course, Michael Jackson. The group is definitely credited to be the beginning of Michael’s stardom.  

Solo Career

Soon after the Jackson 5 switched over to Epic Records, and renamed themselves the Jacksons, Michael had already released his fifth solo album “Off the Wall”. This album is the one that officially established him as a solo artist. It helped him transfer his image to what we know of him now as the “King of Pop” rather than “Michael from the Jackson 5”. This same album reached number 3 on the Billboard 200 charts and sold over 20 million copies. Michael had the opportunity to work with Pepsi in which the infamous commercial incident had occured. After his recovery, Michael released “We Are the World” co-written by Lionel Richie which raised $63 million for the poor in the United States and Africa. Michael has other hit albums such as “Bad” and “Dangerous” that kept his iconic image afloat through time. 

Social Involvement and Legacy

Right before Michael’s tragic death in 2009, he filmed a behind the scenes documentary of his upcoming tour, “This is It”. This film is treasured by many MJ fans as this was one of the last things that has videos of him actually performing. Nonetheless, Michael has left behind an impeccable legacy for himself. He was one of the first celebrities to use his popularity to establish his own charitable foundation. He also is still a big inspiration generations that came after him. Some of the artists that he has heavy influence on include Beyonce, Chris Brown, Usher, Ciara, Jaden Smith and his sister, Janet Jackson; without Michael Jackson, we would not have these artists that we know and love.

Some people remember singing “A-B-C-1-2-3” or and watched the “Thriller” music video for the first time which proves the impact he has on society. He even has an entire dance move that he created called the moonwalk that it demonstrated across the world. Michael not only pioneered a new era, but also contributed in saving it. He was a humanitarian before he was a musician hence his songs “Heal the World” and “We Are the World”. Michael wanted the best for the world that he would one day leave behind; therefore, he used his platform to create many charitable opportunities to give back to the communities that have supported him from the beginning. 

Awards and Accolades

Michael Jackson has collected over 300 awards including 13 Grammy Awards, 6 Brit Awards, 86 Billboard Music Awards and 26 American Music Awards and 15 Guinness World Records. Below are a couple of his greatest accomplishments. 


  • Grammy Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Grammy Living Legend Award
  • American Music Awards “Artist of the Century” 
  • First artist to have a Billboard 100 top ten single in five different decades: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
  • Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member of The Jackson Five and as a solo artist
  • 8 Grammy Awards on February 18, 1984 

Notable Discography

Billie Jean

Beat It

Rock With You 

The Way You Make Me Feel 

Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough 

Man in the Mirror  

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Smooth Criminal 

They Don’t Care About Us

You Rock My World 

Bad 

Remember the Time 

Dirty Diana 

P.Y.T 

Leave Me Alone 

Thriller 

Black or White 

Heal the World 

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You 

The Girl Is Mine 

Conclusion

Michael Jackson is one of the greatest performers of all time, and will always be respected as such. There are many that mimic him but can never imitate him. He was a trailblazer for the music, dance, and video industry in which he added something special to each aspect. All in all, Michael Jackson deserves much more respect and cud’s than he is given. Most artists that people love today were inspired by Michael Jackson; therefore, we need to respect the man that paved the way for those who followed him.

 

Thesis Statement: Michael Jackson is a trailblazer that not only broke down barriers, but also created outlets for people to express themselves to their fullest potential.  

Bibliography

Home. (2016, January 15). Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.michaeljackson.com/

 

“Michael Jackson.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 10 June 2020, www.biography.com/musician/michael-jackson.

 

“Michael Jackson Is Born.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 4 Mar. 2010, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/michael-jackson-is-born.

 

“Michael Jackson Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 Dec. 2019, www.cnn.com/2013/09/06/us/michael-jackson-fast-facts/index.html.

 

15, Jamie Hayes | Nov, et al. “48 Undeniable Facts About Michael Jackson, The King Of Pop.” Factinate, 17 Aug. 2020, www.factinate.com/people/40-little-known-facts-michael-jackson/.

 

Wilburn, Aly. “The King of Pop: How Michael Jackson Revolutionized the Music Industry.” Medium, Medium, 2 May 2018, medium.com/@aly.wilburn/the-king-of-pop-how-michael-jackson-revolutionized-the-music-industry-f90087dd2928.

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