Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 and died on June 25, 2009. But he lived a giant sized life as the King of Pop and as an icon of music and dance. He was a genius and an enigma too.
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago and is the seventh son of African-American parents Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson and Katherine Esther Scruse. Jackson’s father, a steel mill employee, performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther. The family lived at 2300 Jackson St., near Roosevelt Park;
Michael Jackson he made his debut as a singer and dancer in 1968 as a member of The Jackson 5. The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including “Big Boy”, for the local record label Steeltown in 1967 and signed with Motown Records in 1968.
Michael Jackson: A Genius and an EnigmaStarting in 1972, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown, among them “Got to Be There” and “Ben”. and a remake of Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin”.
The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division and later Epic Records. From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”, “This Place Hotel” and “Can You Feel It”.
In 1979 Jones and Jackson jointly produced “Off the Wall” which reached number three on the Billboard 200 and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for “Off the Wall”.
Michael Jackson: A Genius and an EnigmaEpic issued his second album, “Thriller” which remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks. Seven singles from Thriller concurrently hit the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”. Thriller went on to sell upwards of 109 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time. His album “Bad” was released in 1987.
In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million and released his eighth album “Dangerous” and “Heal the World” was the biggest hit from the album.
Jackson released the double album “HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I” in 1995. The first disc, “HIStory Begins”, was a 15-track greatest hits album, and was later reissued as “Greatest Hits – HIStory Vol. I” in 2001. The second disc, “HIStory Continues” contained 15 new songs. Later he released “Invincible”
Jackson co-wrote the charity single “We Are the World” with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US and sold nearly 20 million copies.
Jackson’s versatility allowed him to experiment with various themes and genres. As a musician, he ranged from dance fare and ballads to techno-edged new jack swing to work that incorporates both funk rhythms and hard rock guitar
Jackson’s “Off the Wall” was crafted from funk, disco-pop, soul, soft rock, jazz and pop ballads. Prominent examples include the ballad “She’s out of My Life”, and the two disco tunes “Workin’ Day and Night” and “Get on the Floor”.
Jackson transformed the music video into an art form and a promotional tool through complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and famous cameo appearances.
Michael Jackson: A Genius and an EnigmaJackson had suffered from ailments quite often and had some sort of skin disease which was not made public but necessitated plastic surgery. In fact, he died because of excessive medication.
There is no doubt that he is a genius. But he is an enigma with his personal life in shambles. He had two divorces and married a third wife and has three children. He had been accused of drug abuse and child molesting.
Whatever be truth, his songs will reverberate in the world for a long time.