Portal:Michael Jackson

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Jackson performing in June 1988

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist during the year of his death. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Jackson's 1987 album Bad spawned the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror", and "Dirty Diana", becoming the first album to have five number-one singles in the nation. He continued to innovate with videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" throughout the 1990s, and forged a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.

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Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a music publishing company co-owned by The Michael Jackson Family Trust and Sony. The organisation was originally founded as Associated TeleVision (ATV) in 1955 by Lew Grade. In 1957, ATV acquired Pye Records as a wholly-owned subsidiary. At the time, Pye Records was one of the three major record companies in the UK and, along with EMI and Decca Records, accounted for the vast majority of music records sold in the country. ATV Music Publishing was then created to exploit the catalogue of songs written by artists on the Pye Record label, and for the themes to Independent Television Corporation and ATV programmes. Grade established ATV's headquarters alongside those of Pye Records; off of Edgware Road, beside the Marble Arch in central London.

ATV Music Publishing and Pye Records were at the forefront of the British music explosion in the 1960s. The businesses held contracts with several US companies, allowing them to manufacture and distribute records in the UK. ATV Music Publishing and Grade acquired the rights to the Lennon–McCartney song catalogue, Northern Songs, in 1968. The catalogue featured nearly every song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney until The Beatles' split in 1971.

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Michael Jackson Cannescropped.jpg

From the mid-1980s it became clear that Michael Jackson's health and appearance was changing dramatically. His skin tone became lighter, his nose and facial shape changed, and he lost weight. The lighter skin tone was initially caused by vitiligo and lupus — with which Jackson was diagnosed in 1986—and his use of make-up to cover the blotched skin. Surgeons speculated he also had a rhinoplasty, a forehead lift, cheekbone surgery, and altered his lips. Those close to the singer say that, by 1990, he had undergone around ten procedures. Jackson and some of his siblings said they had been physically and emotionally abused by their father, and in 2003, his father admitted whipping Jackson as a child. Jackson rarely spoke about it, but when he did, he became very emotional and said he would vomit before meeting his father. Mental health experts said he had the mind of a regressed ten-year-old, while other physicians said he suffered from body dysmorphic disorder.

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"We Are the World" is a 1985 song and charity single recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and co-produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. Following Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" project in the UK, an idea for the creation of an American benefit single for African famine relief came from activist Harry Belafonte, who, along with fundraiser Ken Kragen, was instrumental in bringing the vision to reality. Several musicians were contacted by the pair, before Jackson and Richie were assigned the task of writing the song. Following several months of working together, the duo completed the writing of "We Are the World" one night before the song's first recording session, in early 1985. The last recording session for the song was held on January 28, 1985. The historic event brought together some of the most famous artists in the music industry at the time.

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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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