Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958), commonly known as MJ[1] as well as the "King of Pop",[2] is an American musician, entertainer, and pop icon whose successful career and controversial personal life have been a part of pop culture for almost 40 years.[3]

Michael Jackson is widely regarded as one of the greatest entertainers and most popular recording artists in history, displaying complicated physical techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, that have redefined mainstream dance and entertainment.[4] His achievements in the music industry have included a revolutionary transformation of music videos,[5] establishing high-profile album releases and sales as a new trend for record companies to generate profits,[6] dominating pop music during the 1980s,[7] and becoming the first black entertainer to amass a strong following on MTV while leading the relatively young channel out of obscurity.[8] His distinctive style, moves, and vocals have inspired, influenced, and spawned a whole generation of hip hop, pop, and R&B artists. He has been symbolically named the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time" by Guinness World Records.

Jackson began his musical career at the age of seven as the lead singer of The Jackson 5. He released his first solo recording, Got to Be There, in 1971, while remaining a member of the group.[10] In his solo career, Jackson recorded and co-produced the best-selling album of all time, Thriller, which has worldwide sales exceeding 104 million.[11] After Thriller, Jackson continued to release internationally chart-topping albums like Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory (1995), and Invincible (2001), his latest album of fully original material. Michael Jackson has received thirteen Grammy Awards[12] and charted thirteen #1 singles in the United States, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era.[13] In November 2006, the World Music Awards announced that Michael Jackson had sold over 750 million units worldwide and given $300 million to charity,[14] making Jackson one of the best-selling music artists and one of the most charitable humanitarians of all time, whose efforts on the latter front have been acknowledged with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.[15]

From 1988 to 2005, Jackson lived on his Neverland Ranch property, where he built an amusement park and private zoo that was frequently attended by disadvantaged and terminally ill children. Rumours of sleepover parties received negative media coverage after it was revealed that children frequently slept in his bed or bedroom. These first came to light when he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993. Michael Jackson's relationship with children was brought into the spotlight again in 2003 when the TV documentary Living with Michael Jackson aired. This resulted in Jackson being tried, and later acquitted, of more child molestation allegations and several other charges in 2005. Since then, Michael Jackson has lived in countries such as Bahrain and Ireland, but has since returned to the United States. Jackson is putting the "finishing touches on his new music" to be released this year.

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