1. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
2. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music.
3. The music videos for his songs, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, were credited with breaking down racial barriers and with transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool.
4. The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then-relatively-new television channel MTV to fame.
5. His 1987 album Bad spawned the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”, becoming the first album to have five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. With videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream”, he continued to innovate the medium throughout the 1990s, as well as forging a reputation as a touring solo artist.
7. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name.
8. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.
9. Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of 65 million copies worldwide.
10. His other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling albums.
11. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
12. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame as the first and only dancer from pop and rock music.
13. Aspects of Michael Jackson’s personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships, and behavior, generated controversy.
14. In the mid-1990s, he was accused of child sexual abuse, but the civil case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount and no formal charges were brought. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges after the jury found him not guilty on all counts.
15. While preparing for his comeback concert series titled This Is It, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest.
16. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, and his personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
17. Jackson’s death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world.
18. He was the eighth of ten children in an African-American working-class family who lived in a two-bedroom house on Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana, an industrial city and a part of the Chicago metropolitan area. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah’s Witness.
19. She once aspired to be a country-and-western performer who played clarinet and piano, but worked part-time at Sears to help support the family. His father, Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson, a former boxer, was a steelworker at U.S. Steel.
20. Joe also performed on guitar with a local rhythm and blues band called the Falcons to supplement the family’s household income.
21. The Jackson 5 also performed at clubs and cocktail lounges, where striptease shows and other adult acts were featured, and at local auditoriums and high school dances.