Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actor, and philanthropist. Dubbed the "King of Pop", his contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. He was one of the most popular entertainers in the world and was the best-selling music artist at the time of his death.
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 at Motown Records with the 1972 albums Got to Be There and Ben; the title tracks "Got to Be There" and "Ben" sold well as singles, as did a cover of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin". 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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