Posted by themusicsover on June 25, 2010
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson was arguably the most iconic and influential performer popular music has ever known. Coming from working class beginnings in Gary, Indiana, Jackson and his brothers began entertaining audiences along the chitlin’ circuit as the Jackson Five. Young Michael was just six years old at the time. Within just a few years, the group was topping the music charts with songs like “ABC” and “I’ll Be There,” while becoming a brand within itself thanks to many television appearances including a cartoon based on their likenesses. In 1978, now out on his own, Jackson played the part of the Scarecrow in the The Wiz, a musical adaptation of the Wizard Of Oz. It was while working on the film that Jackson met music producer, Quincy Jones who agreed to produce Off The Wall, his breakthrough album. In 1982, Thriller was released, and the world changed. With a slew of pop hits and the dynamic music videos that accompanied them, Jackson was tailor made for the young MTV. Jackson’s fame and record sales skyrocketed. Thriller went on to become one of the greatest selling albums of all times. On March 25, 1983 Jackson performed on a television special celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motown Records. During his performance of “Billie Jean,” Jackson shocked and amazed nearly 50 million viewers with his “moonwalk” dance move, a moment that has been likened to the Beatles’ and Elvis Presley’s appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. In the coming years, other notable Michael Jackson milestones included the release of Bad and Dangerous; his writing of, and performance in the superstar-studded charity anthem “We Are The World;” and a mind-blowing half-time performance at the 1993 Super Bowl. It was the first time a single entertainer had ever done the entire half-time show. In early 2009, after several years of legal and financial troubles, Michael Jackson began to put together plans for a comeback. Unfortunately, during the morning hours of June 25, Jackson reportedly collapsed in the home he was renting. After paramedics arrived and tried to revive him, Jackson apparently fell into a coma and was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead after going into cardiac arrest.
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