Celebrate The Late King of Pop On His BirthdayAug 29, 2021 11:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, IN. Michael’s mother, Katherine was a homemaker, and his father, Joseph, was a boxer and guitarist turned crane operator. He and his 9 siblings, Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy, and Janet were raised in a musical house and were encouraged, sometimes violently, to succeed.
At the age of 5, Michael Jackson joined his family’s musical group, quickly earning the title of lead vocalist. His incredible talent, stage presence, and smile made him the standout. The Jackson 5 began performing locally and gained a following almost immediately. They began opening for famous acts like Gladys Knight and the Pips and James Brown, and it wasn’t long before they caught the eye of Berry Gordy, Jr., the founder of Motown Records. They were signed in 1969. Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, included hit singles “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, and “I’ll Be There.”
The group reached such success that the Jackson 5 got their own cartoon. Michael Jackson also began a solo career at this time. After years of touring successfully, the Jackson 5 left Motown Records after several disagreements occurred between Berry Gordy and Joe Jackson about creative control. While still a part of The Jackson 5s, Michael released his solo album, Off The Wall in 1979, which aided in the group’s success. He continued touring with The Jackson 5 until 1983. Off The Wall included the Grammy-winning single, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.
Michael Jackson’s sixth studio album, Thriller, was released in 1982, boasting seven Top 10 hits. It would go on to become the best-selling album in history, maintaining its spot on the charts for 80 weeks, and No. 1 spot for 37 weeks. Thriller also won 12 Grammy award nominations and eight wins.
In addition to the album itself, Jackson filmed an incredibly elaborate music video for the song, “Thriller”. The horror-themed video became a massive success, with people learning the intense choreography that is still performed today. Jackson released a number of albums following the success of Thriller including, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, Invincible, and Michael, a posthumous album. His extensive success earned him the title “King of Pop”.
During this time of musical success, Michael Jackson became the subject of rumors, showing up frequently on the covers of tabloids. He had a short-lived marriage to Lisa Marie Pressley, and married Debbie Rowe, with whom he had two children through artificial insemination. He also had another child with an unknown surrogate. His appearance would also come into question, as it changed drastically over the course of his career. His complexion changed significantly, as well as the shape of his nose.
Michael Jackson remained in the spotlight for the rest of his life, if not always for his music. He had become known for his eccentric lifestyle, exotic animals, and almost hermit-like behavior. He also went through a number of sexual assault allegations, regarding children, always maintaining his innocence. Jackson died in his Los Angeles home after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50.
Kassidy Garland has had a great appreciation for reading and writing since she was young. She graduated from West Chester University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English & Women and Gender Studies. With a concentration in creative writing, Kassidy has 5 years of experience writing blogs, articles, and for social media. Kassidy is also pursuing a Master’s degree in IT with a concentration in Web Development. Based out of Philadelphia, Kassidy loves to write about a number of topics and looks forward to sharing her passion with those at FunTimes Magazine.
Read more from Kassidy Garland:
In 1985, her debut album, Whitney Houston was released. The album got her three number one singles in the US including Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love For You, and How Will I Kno... Read More »
Obama ran with the campaign promise of change and won the election. Some 1.8 million people attended his presidential inauguration and watched as he was sworn in using the very same Bible... Read More »