Portal:Michael Jackson

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Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful and one of the most influential entertainers of all time. His unique contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, as the eighth of ten children in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago, to an African American working-class family. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah's Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, a steel mill worker who performed with an R&B band called The Falcons. Jackson had three sisters: Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet, and six brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Brandon and Randy.

Alongside his brothers, he made his debut in 1964 as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5, and later began a successful solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.

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The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five, The Jackson 5ive, or The Jack5on Five), later known as The Jacksons, is an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1964 to 1989, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, pop and later disco. During their six and a half-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, the latter brother later transforming his early Motown solo fame into greater success as an adult artist.

The Jackson 5 were the first act in recording history to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the American charts. Several later singles, among them "Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine", were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart. Most of the early hits were written and produced by a specialized songwriting team known as "The Corporation"; later Jackson 5 hits were crafted chiefly by Hal Davis, while early Jacksons hits were compiled by the team of Gamble and Huff before The Jacksons began writing and producing themselves in the late 1970s.

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Dancing the Dream is a 1992 book of poems and reflections by United States recording artist Michael Jackson. His second book, it followed his 1988 autobiography Moonwalk. Dancing the Dream was dedicated to his mother Katherine, and is fore-worded by an introduction from Jackson's friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor. The book also contains an assortment of about 100 photographs of the entertainer. The book was published by Doubleday, on June 18, 1992. Despite receiving negative reviews on its content and prose, it became a best-seller for Jackson. Following Jackson's death in June 2009, the book was reissued by the British publisher Transworld the following month.

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"Billie Jean" is a dance-pop R&B song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was written by Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones for the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Originally disliked by Jones, the track was almost removed from the album after he and Jackson had numerous disagreements. The song's lyrics refer to a real-life experience, in which a mentally ill female fan claimed that Jackson had fathered one of her twins. The song is well known for its distinctive bass line and Jackson's vocal hiccups. The song was mixed 91 times by Bruce Swedien before it was finalized. Following the successful chart performance of "The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean" was released on January 2, 1983, as the album's second single. "Billie Jean" was a worldwide commercial and critical success; it became one of the best-selling singles of 1983, and topped both the US and UK charts simultaneously. Cited as one of the most revolutionary songs in history, "Billie Jean" was certified platinum in 1989.

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Thriller is Michael Jackson sixth studio album released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records as the follow-up to Jackson's critically and commercially successful 1979 album Off the Wall. Thriller explores similar genres to those of Off the Wall, including funk, soul, pop, easy listening, R&B, rock and post-disco music.

With a production budget of $750,000, recording sessions took place between April and November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California. Assisted by producer Quincy Jones, Jackson wrote four of Thriller's nine tracks. In just over a year, Thriller became—and currently remains—the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales 100-110 million copies worldwide, as well as the best-selling album in the United States. Seven of the album's nine songs were released as singles, and all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards at the 1984 Grammys.

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Statue of Michael Jackson in Eindhoven, the Netherlands


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