From The King of Pop's early days in The Jackson 5, through the Thriller era right up to one of his last public appearances earlier this year...
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29th 1958.
At the tender age of eight he became lead singer in his famous family band, The Jackson 5. By 1970 their first four singles including ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘ABC’ topped the charts at No.1.
The young singer began his solo career in 1971, with hits like ‘Ben’ and in 1973 he recorded ‘Dancing Machine’ with The Jackson 5 and wowed everyone with his robot dance.
In 1979 Jackson released his solo album ‘Off the Wall’, with hits like ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’.
The singer also broke his nose during a dance routine and this was when he got his first taste of plastic surgery.
In 1983 ‘Thriller’ became the best-selling album of all time, with 109 million copies sold worldwide.
The legend showed off his signature Moonwalk for the first time, while performing his hit single Billie Jean on live TV.
His seventh solo album ‘Bad’ was released in 1987 with top hits like ‘The Man in the Mirror’ and ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’.
It was his ‘friendship’ with pet chimpanzee Bubbles that got him the nickname Wacko Jacko. It was widely reported that Bubbles shared his toilet and slept in a crib at the end of Michael’s bed. Bubbles had to be given away to an animal sanctuary when he grew aggressive.
In was in his first autobiography, Moon Walk, released in 1988, that Michael wrote about the abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his father. It was also the year he started building his ranch, Neverland.
1994 wasn’t a good year for Jacko – allegations of him abusing a young boy came to a head with an out of court settlement with the child’s family. Later the same year Michael married Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
In 1999, having just finished his world tour HIStory, the now divorced Jacko re-married his former nurse Deborah Rowe and they had two kids, Prince and Paris. His third child, a boy nick-named Blanket, was born to a mystery woman in 2002.
One of Michael Jackson’s most controversial moments was when he dangled his youngest son ‘Blanket’ over the balcony of his hotel room in Berlin. This caused widespread fears for the safety of his children.
2005 was another difficult year. Michael was taken to court accused of sexually abusing a child. He was acquitted on all counts but suffered from stress-related illness throughout the trial and appeared frail.
Money troubles which had been plaguing Michael came to a head in 2006 when he was forced to close Neverland. In the next few years he began planning a comeback and had signed up for a 50-date residency at the O2 Arena in London.
On June 25th 2009, after collapsing at his home in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson was rushed to hospital where he died at 2.26pm that afternoon. His brother Jermaine broke the news to the press and asked for the privacy of the family to be respected ‘during this tough time’.
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