‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson

Black History Month Profile

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Beginning his musical career at the young age of five, Michael Jackson, was a legendary influence for many musical artists after him.

Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana. His father Joe Jackson, saw potential in his son’s music and thus began, The Jackson 5. The Jackson 5 consisted of Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, Michael and Marlon Jackson. Once the band began, Michael took the role of lead vocalist. Their first single didn’t do well until the band finally signed to Motown records. They created many hit singles in 1969 such as, ‘I want you back,’ ‘ABC’ and “I’ll be there.’ However, in 1976 the Jackson 5 left Motown and became The Jacksons. The band signed with Epic Records and released many songs including ‘Destiny’ in 1978.

The band split when Michael departed and decided to pursue his solo career. As a soloist, he released well-known albums such as ‘Off the Wall’ in 1979 and the more well known ‘Thriller’ album in 1982. ‘Thriller’ was the first album to have seven Top 10s on the Billboard Top 100. Soon after the release of ‘Thriller,’ in 1983, the legendary moonwalk took the stage for the first time, during Jackson’s performance of ‘Billie Jean.’ He made history in 1984 for receiving eight Grammys during the 26th annual Grammy awards, he became the first person to take home multiple Grammys in one night. Jackson went on to create many other albums including ‘Bad’ in 1987, ‘Dangerous’ in 1991, ‘History: Past, Present and Future Book I’ in 1995, and many more.

Jackson had three children during his lifetime, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson II. His life came to an end soon after, at the age of 51, on June 25, 2009.

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