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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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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"Blood on the Dance Floor" is a song that was released as the first single from the remix album, Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix. Jackson and Teddy Riley created the track in time for the 1991 release of Dangerous. However, it did not appear on that record and was minimally altered before commercial release in 1997. The song is about a predatory woman by the name of Susie, who seduces Jackson before plotting to stab him with a knife. The composition explores a variety of genres ranging from rock to funk.

Commentators compared "Blood on the Dance Floor" to music from Dangerous. Others commented on the songs perceived aggressive tone and the vocal style, the broad genres heard and possible lyrical interpretations of the song. Reviews at the time of release were largely mixed, but contemporary reviews have been favourable. The song was promoted with a music video that premiered on Top of the Pops. It centred around Susie seducing Jackson in a courtship dance, before opening a switchblade.

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King of Pop is a compilation album released in commemoration of Michael Jackson's 50th birthday. The album differs significantly from each country where it was released as fan voting was employed to determine the songs for each country's version. The album's title comes from the title Jackson acquired approximately 20 years earlier. The album's launch was made public on June 20, 2008 with the official announcement of the Australian version. The first release came with the German edition (which is identical to the Swiss edition) on August 22, 2008.

Fans in countries where Sony BMG operates national offices were given the opportunity to vote for songs from a list of Jackson's back catalogue to be included in their country's version of the album. Aside from the tracks selected by fans, a megamix of songs from the Thriller album by Jason Nevins was also included in the pool.

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The Reagan's and Michael Jackson at the White House 1984


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