OFFICIAL MEMORIAL OF
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958.. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist and believing his sons had talent, he moulded them into a musical group in the early 1960s – The Jackson 5. Michael joined his siblings in the group when he was five, and emerged as the group's lead vocalist. A musical prodigy, Michael's singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of The Jackson 5.
Behind the scenes, Joseph Jackson pushed his sons to succeed. He was also reportedly known to become violent with them. Michael and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing up their act. The Jackson 5 moved on to working an opening act for such R&B artists as Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these performers were signed to the legendary Motown record label, and it has been reported that Gladys Knight (not Diana Ross) may have been the one to tell Motown founder Berry Gordy about The Jackson 5.
In 1977, Michael made his first film debut when he starred in the musical The Wiz playing Scarecrow with Diana Ross in the lead role of Dorothy. Solo success for Michael was inevitable, and by the 1980s, he had become infinitely more popular than his brotherly group. In 1982, Michael Jackson released the world's largest selling album of all time, Thriller. This album produced seven hit singles, breaking yet again more records, and went on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide. Michael was keen to use music video or short films, as he called them, to promote his singles from the album. He worked with the best directors and producers, using the latest technology and special effects for the hit song Billie Jean. The short film Thriller used the latest make-up artists technology combined with fantastic dancing and choreography, to produce a 14 minute video. So successful was this video that The Making Of Michael Jackson's Thriller became the world's largest selling home video combined with soaring album sales.
In 1983, Michael performed the now legendary moonwalk for the first time on the 'Motown 25 years' anniversary show. This performance alone set Michael undoubtedly into the realm of a superstar.
In 1984, Michael won a record-breaking 8 Grammy awards in one night. The awards were for his work on the Thriller album and his work on the narrative for the ET Storybook. In the same year, Michael announced he was splitting from the group and going solo.
In 1991, Michael signed with Sony Music the largest ever recording contract and released his fourth solo album, Dangerous. He toured world again in 1992, taking his concerts to countries that had never before been visited by a pop/rock artist. Also, Michael founded the 'Heal the World Foundation' to help improve the lives of children across the world.
Two brief marriages were forged. The first one to Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley. On November 14, 1996, Michael married for his second time to Debbie Rowe who was a nurse that Michael had met in the treatment of his skin pigment disorder. Together they had their first child Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr born on February 13, 1997 and a daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson born on April 3rd 1998.
In the 1990s, Michael grew terribly child-like and introverted by his peerless celebrity. A rather timorous, androgynous figure to begin with, his physical appearance began to change drastically, and his behaviour grew alarmingly bizarre, making him a consistent target for scandal making, despite his numerous charitable acts. Despite it all, Michael Jackson's passion and artistry as a singer, dancer, writer and businessman are unparalleled, and it is these prodigious talents that will ultimately prevail over the extremely negative aspects of his seriously troubled adult life.
In March 2009, Michael announced a shock comeback tour at the O2 Arena in London to start in July 2009, initially for 10 dates but the total grew to a sold out 50 dates with over 750,000 tickets sold. All sold tickets sold out within minutes of being released.
On June 25th 2009, Michael Jackson died suddenly of a reported cardiac arrest. He was 50 years old. Millions upon millions of dedicated fans will remember where they were "the day Michael died".
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958.. His father, Joe Jackson, … more >