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Michael Jackson (29 August 58 - 25 June 09)

A superstar who spanned pop, disco and MTV, Michael Jackson was one of the great music heroes of the late 20th century. But by the time of his sudden death at age 50 in 2009, he was known less for his music than for his erratic behavior, wild spending, and many plastic surgeries. Jackson became a singing star at age 11, when he had four consecutive #1 hits with his youthful band of brothers, The Jackson Five. He went solo in 1972 with the album Got to Be There and embraced the glitter of disco with Off the Wall (1979). After his smash 1982 album Thriller yielded seven top-ten hits (including "Billie Jean" and "Beat It"), Jackson was dubbed "The King of Pop." Jackson was an early star of MTV and an international hitmaker. His distinctive wardrobe featured glittery suits and pseudo-military uniforms matched with the single white glove that became his signature; he also developed a signature dance move, the sliding reverse stroll known as the "moonwalk."

Jackson's next album, Bad, topped the charts in 1987. Then his eccentric lifestyle began to overwhelm his recording career, and Jackson became a favorite of the gossip sheets. In 1994 he married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis (a.k.a. "The King"), but they divorced in 1996. Also notorious were Jackson's long series of cosmetic surgeries, rumors of exotic pets and superstar peccadilloes at Jackson's ranch estate (which he dubbed "Neverland", a reference to the story of Peter Pan), followed by another brief marriage to Deborah Rowe (1996-99) and multiple accusations of inappropriate conduct with children. In 2005 he was tried on charges of child molestation and conspiracy related to his relationship with a 13-year-old boy. Jackson was acquitted on all charges after a trial that year. He became increasingly reclusive, appearing in public only behind sunglasses, tinted car windows and silk face masks; reports of lavish spending and unpaid bills became standard fare. Jackson popped back up in London in 2009 to announce a new series of 50 performances in the city's O2 Arena, but died of cardiac arrest before the concerts could take place.

Extra credit: Jackson played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie The Wiz, a takeoff on The Wizard of Oz; the role was played by Ray Bolger in the original 1939 film... Jackson's sister, Janet Jackson, was a pop superstar of the 1990s... Michael Jackson did not buy the bones of the Elephant Man, despite rumors to the contrary... Jackson had two children with Rowe: son Prince Michael (b. 1997) and daughter Paris Michael Katherine (b. 1998). He also had a third child, Prince Michael II (2002), whose mother has not been publicly named... The name of Jackson's famous pet chimp was Bubbles... Thriller has sold over 100 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time.
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(source: www
.FactMonster.com)

THRILLER (1982)
(plus bonus tracks from the 25th Anniversary Album released 2008)


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OFF THE WALL (1979)


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