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Classic Thriller pose (circa 1982)
Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29, 1958 (Gary, Indiana)
June 25, 2009 (Los Angeles, California)
Rebbie, LaToya, Janet, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy
Captain EO, Moonwalker, Ghosts, Men in Black II, Miss Cast Away, This is It
Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory: Past, Present, Future - Book 1, Invincible
Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer, performer (a lot of things) whose music Joel Severe, and many other people in the world, enjoyed.
"Thriller. Thriller night. And no one is going to save you from the beast about to strike. You know, it is Thriller. Thriller night. You are fighting for your life inside a killer, Thriller tonight." - The King of Pop
The words of an icon. Taken from "Thriller", one of Jackson's most recognizable songs. He was hailed as a musical genius. The whole world froze when he died...
But enough about that, MJ was great no lie, and a musical master no doubt. A few rumors spread around during his lifetime but to Heck with those. He was an African-American hero who took music to the next level. His signature move was the Moonwalk, and though it had been done before, it wasn't done right til Michael executed it at Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, and Forever. We are here to tell the story of a King of Pop and, what the hey, let's get goin'. But first a little video to show you what we are dealing with. (See below.)
Billie Jean & the Moonwalk Edit
A great combination. Don't believe me? Then believe the video. thumb|right|322px|A teenage King of Pop performs Billie Jean at Motown 25. Executes his rendition of the moonwalk for the first time.
Childhood / The Jackson 5 Edit
On August 29, 1958, Michael Joseph Jackson was born to Joe and Katherine Jackson. He had three sisters (Rebbie, LaToya, and Janet) and five brothers (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy). Remember that now. From a young age, it was clear that little Michael had much talent. Not that his dad cared. Pretty much, Joe only cared about laying down the ol' SMACKeroonies on his children. That's right, he spanked his children. What a fool. Everyone knows that child abuse gets you nowhere. It just wastes you and the kids' time. But this is about Michael not his dad, so I'll carry on. Anyway, finally, Joe saw his son's potiential (and a chance to make some dough) so he created The Jackson 5, the best band of child singers since... well, you know, the last band of child singers whose name escapes me.
The Jackson 5 rocketed to pop band stardom, with hits such as "I'll Be There" and many more. They even had name changes (The Jackson 5ive, The Jacksons, e.t.c.). But the band was formed in the 60s and as they headed toward the late 70s, their music was declining in popularity as the New Stuff rolled in. Even Michael's lead singing voice couldn't save them (don't know how THAT could've happened). Well, the Jackson 5 continued anyway and Michael started making his own solo albums. "Got to be There", "Ben", "Music and Me", and "Forever, Michael" were released but at the time didn't really differ from the Jacksons' music. Then one album changed everything: Off the Wall.
The Beginning of an Era Edit
By the time, the Jacksons had switched from Motown Records to Epic Records. And Michael sold solo albums along with the Jacksons' albums. In 1978, he starred in The Wiz along with Diana Ross. "The Wiz" was a film adaptation of the broadway musical, which itself was a parody of The Wizard of Oz. Michael was praised for his performance, though the film got low ratings. Quincy Jones, who had produced the score for the movie, agreed to help Michael make his next album: Off the Wall. Well, Off the Wall became an instant hit and sold a LOT more than Jackson's previous solo albums. Sadly, the album only got one lousy Grammy nomination (What the --?). Anyway, the first track on the album: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, was released as a single and was the most popular song on said album. Many people regard this as the beginning of the Jackson era. His success began, and the money rolled in. What more could you ask for? The world's best-selling album, up next.
Jackson's next album would be one of his best. Thriller was an album that dealt with the supernatural. If you watched the video at the right you'd know what I mean. Well, the title song was supernatural but most of the others weren't. The album contained some of Michael's most popular songs: Thriller, Beat It, and Billie Jean. You're probably asking: Billie Jean? Isn't that the video we saw before? Well, my answer is: Yes. Yes it was. The album was the best selling album of ALL TIME says the Guiness World Records. And it was. It gained overwhelmingly positive reviews, I don't doubt it. The album even earned Jackson a spot on the newly formed MTV. In 2001, it was re-released as Thriller: Special Edition with new tracks and interviews. It was re-released again in 2009 as Thriller 25 to, as the title suggests, celebrate the album's 25th anniversary. It contained remixes of the songs and yadda-yadda-ya. What an album. Anyway, the music video for Thriller was considered a short film and many parodies of it were made: even ones where criminals starred in them: Thriller (viral video). The year that Thriller was released was also the year Jackson performed at Motown 25, coincidentally.
Pepsi Incident / We Are the World Edit
Jackson and his bros signed up to star in a Pepsi commercial. Yeah, that's right, Pepsi. Anyway, while rehearsing for said Pepsi commercial, Mike's hair caught on fire and he had to be rushed to the hospital. Anyway, after THAT tragety was over, Jackson jumped right back and headed on to bigger and better things.
One of the bigger and better things Jackson did was "We Are the World" by USA for Africa. United Support of Artists for Africa was basically one of those charity superbands in which a bunch of singers from the '80s sings some songs for a country that's in a famine, or something (in this case: Africa). The band was led by MJ and Lionel Richel, and included other artists (Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, the rest of the Jackson 5, e.t.c.). Well, said song was a hit single in the US and the UK, so MJ and friends had another hit on their hands. MJ later said that it was one of the most wonderful things he had ever done. Well in my opinion, it IS kinda impressive, I guess.
MJ's next album was Bad. No the album wasn't really bad, that was just the name of the album. The album featured 5 #1 hit singles and it was the last time Jackson worked with Quincy Jones on an album. Singles included: Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel, Speed Demon, Liberian Girl, Another Part of Me, Man in the Mirror, I Just Can't Stop Loving You (duet with Siedah Garret), Dirty Diana, Smooth Criminal (my favorite),and Leave Me Alone. The album was pretty popular, but didn't match the sales of Thriller, sadly (though the Bad music video was longer than Thriller). However, Bad was more important than Thriller in its own way. First of all, it was the first and currently only album to get that many #1 singles. And it was the first album to have a world tour. For those of you with no brains, a world tour is when a performer goes to some other country and performs a bunch of concerts. The Bad World Tour become the first of some of the most widely attended tours in the world by the King of Pop. In 1989, when he received an "Artist of the Decade" award from Liz Taylor, she called him "the king of pop,rock, and soul" creating his new title name. Also, Bad is one of Jackson's most advertised albums. Two films were made to tie-in with the album: Captain EO (Another Part of Me), and Moonwalker (Smooth Criminal). Captain EO was just a short film that was shown at Disneyland, but Moonwalker was a full-length film, with a theatrical release, video games, and everything! You can read more about it below.
First film: Moonwalker Edit
To promote the release of Bad, MJ released his very first full-length movie: Moonwalker. The movie is pretty much a bunch of Jackson's music videos bunched together, but it's actually kind of cool. Don't believe me? Well, you can go see the movie yourself or you can read the little plot I put together for you. If you can't read for some reason - which makes no sense if you are reading this - go watch the movie on Youtube OR if you think you're the big "know-it-all", read ahead.
Opening (Man in the Mirror) Edit
The opening of this beautiful film is a live performance during the Bad tour, with Jackson singing "Man in the Mirror." Playing in the background are clips of numerous historical figures, like that Gandhi guy, Martin Luther King, some kids in Africa, e.t.c.
The retrospective is basically a short biography about Jackson, showing clips of his life from the Jackson 5 up 'til the Bad tour. Excerpts of a lot of his songs are played, but I can't list them all, because we're already pushing the limit of info on this page, anyway.
Badder is nothing more than the regular Bad music video - with one major difference. All the adults have been replaced by kids. Yes, a young boy named Brandon Quinton Adams takes over the role of the King of Pop in this segment. It is kind of cool, seeing the children pull off the same dance moves as Michael. Everyone knows my little brother can't do that.
Speed Demon Edit
In this segment, we get to see how imaginative MJ is. To escape crazed fans (all of them who look suspiciously stop-motion animation like), Michael dons a rabbit suit, and rides away on a motor cycle, while Speed Demon plays in the background. When he is safe, MJ takes off the rabbit suit, only to see the rabbit suit come to life and challenge him to a dance contest. You really have to see it to believe it, folks.
Leave Me Alone Edit
Nothing more than the music video for Leave Me Alone. In the video, MJ lets out how he thinks about the media, tabloids, paparazzi, e.t.c. and their spreading out of lies about him. Lies. Secrets and lies. Secretive lies. Lies-a-tive secrets. You get the point.
Smooth Criminal Edit
Now we get into the real juice of the movie. This segment - about an hour in length - starts as MJ walks out of a store and is attacked by henchmen with machine guns! Intense as it sounds, we want to know why this suddenly happened, yes? So we backtrack, to a time when Michael is happily playing with three children: Sean, Katie, and Zeke, and their dog. The dog runs away, and Michael and Katie look for him, until they find the lair of Mr. Big, the villain of the movie! Mr. Big could very possibly be the most horrid villain in movie history, as he wants the entire Earth to be addicted to drugs - starting with children. MJ and Katie are spotted but are fortunately able to escape. We then go back to the present where Michael escapes the wrath of gunned mobsters, by using his lucky star to disappear. Mr. Big orders his henchmen to find Michael again, and as MJ is cornered, he uses his lucky star to transform into a car and mows through a bunch of bad guys. The rest of the bad guys pursue MJ until Michael is able to escape them. Meanwhile, the kids are over at the Club '30s, where Michael arrives. MJ enters the Club, full of people and starts singing and dancing "Smooth Criminal: while the kids watch from outside. As the song ends, Mr. Big and his henchmen come outta nowhere and kidnap Katie. MJ races to Mr. Big's lair, where Mr. Big threatens to inject Katie with drugs. Katie breaks free, only to be caught by Mr. Big again, and Mr. Big kicks a hurt MJ who lays on rhe floor. When all hope is lost, Transformers meets the King of Pop, as MJ uses his lucky star to turn into a giant robot and gives Big's henchmen a piece of his mind. Mr. Big arms a huge cannon while robot MJ turns into a spaceship. Mr. Big is disposed of, while the Michael Jackship rides off in the sky. But don't fret, he eventually comes back in his human form.
Come Together Edit
The movie ends with MJ singing his version of some Beatles' song: Come Together.
End Credits Edit
During the credits, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, or something, sings "The Moon is Walking." After that, there's the four-minute music video of Smooth Criminal.
Video Game Edit
The first and only Michael Jackson video game ever made. Based on the Smooth Criminal segment of the movie, this historic game was released for the Arcade and the Sega Genesis. Basically, what you have to do, is go through levels to save kids, and defeat Mr. Big. Several levels take you to different places, with different songs in the background.
The combat is pretty simple. Press a button and you can kick or throw a hat at someone. Today, press a button and you can kick, punch twice, and shoot the head off a guy without even lifting a finger. The combo was that you hold down a button, and then MJ and the surrounding people would start dancing - like in the videos - and then all the enemies would randomly die. Today, a combo would be slashing a guy with at least 10,000 swipes and taking as long as a Harry Potter movie, while only pressing two or three buttons. Video games have changed... a lot.
Single and multiplayer are available. The player is pretty much dressed as MJ is dressed during the movie, and the other players look just like the first player, except with different color belts. All levels you play as Michael, except for the last couple of levels where you play as Robo-Mike and the Michael Jackship. The console version of the game was released by Sega, the rival of Nintendo, at the time. Why, if Nintendo had released Moonwalker, MJ could've been in Super Smash Bros....
In some countries, Moonwalker was given a theatrical release. Here in America, it was just released on VHS. If that wasn't enough, several years later, Moonwalker was released on DVD.... but not here in America. In other countries, like Britain, Mexico, and Japan. It's not fair I tells ya. The movie was filmed HERE, and the main star lives HERE, yet they don't released it HERE! So if I want to watch a good movie on DVD, I have to have it imported from another country, and it probably won't even work in my DVD player!!!! My Gosh, surely the Michael Jackson Company will release the movie on DVD, or to a lesser extent Blu-ray, in the near future, maybe in a combo pack with another of his DVDs. And if possible, release the video game for the recent consoles. If you think I'm lame for asking for stuff on the internet, look at the guys selling stuff on eBay then point fingers.
Events in 1988Edit
Michael released his first autobiography: "Moon Walk" in 1988. The book basically talks about his childhood, the Jackson 5, surgeries, child abuse, e.t.c. The book was also released again in October 2009, with a new foreword. "Dancing the Dream: Poems and Reflections" was released in 1992, thought to be a sequel to Moon Walk, but was more of a poem/essay book than an autobiography.
Never Land Ranch Edit
Formerly Sycamore Valley Ranch, Jackson purchased this huge piece of land in 1988 and turned it into an amusement park named Neverland - named after the home of Peter Pan. Families came and visited, and if they were lucky, they'd be escorted by the King of Pop himself! The ranch also served as Jackson's home until it was shut down in 2003.
thumb|300px|right|Hear that? It don't matter if ya black or white. So make like the song and beat it, racist freaks! The next album was called Dangerous. No, it was not actually dangerous - it's just the name. Released in 1991, this had regular MJ music... except for one song in particular. "Black or White" was the name, discouraging racism was the game. The lead single from Dangerous called for racial equality, and lead to Dangerous being the second most-bought Jackson album... behind Thriller, that is. However, though as great as this song is, there was a bad side to it. Not in the song itself (the song was perfect) but in the music video. After about 6 minutes and 21 seconds of regular MJ videotation, the evil side kicked in. MJ transformed into a black panther and crept out of the studio. In the pouring rain, he went around smashing car windows, ripping off his shirt, and other stuff that would make you say "WHAT THE HECK?!!!" When the controversy occurred, Micheal edited the video so it only had the good stuff but not the bad stuff, ya hear? Anyway, without the emotionally-scarring sequences, the music video was actually pretty funny. The video began with Macalcay Culkin (that kid from Home Alone) blasting his dad through the roof with rock music at the "ARE YOU NUTS?!" level. At the end of the uncut video, there's a Simpsons ending - in which Bart Simpson is watching the Black or White video, and his dad Homer turns off the TV, ending the video. But Black or White wasn't the only cool video. The music video for "Jam" guess-starred NBA star Michael Jordan. Get it?: Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan. This album was the second album to have a World Tour. Fun Fact: The Dangerous World Tour ended with Jackson flying off the stage on a jet pack, no lie.
Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer of our time, wouldn't have time to sit down and watch cartoons is what the average person would think. Well, whoever thought that was a fool! See, not only had he time to watch it, but he guest-starred on it also. Impressive, ain't it? What? You're still not impressed?! What's wrong with you?! That's it, let me at 'em! Ugggh!! Duh... you fiend! Anyway, MJ never guest-starred on a show before and he never did again. So the Simpsons had a pretty big victory there, ya see? He was on the episode Stark Raving Dad which is the first one in the third season. First episode, that is.
Not only that, but he wrote a song for one of the Simpsons' CDs. Yes! That's right! You're dumbfounded aren't you? Yep, I'd like to see Family Guy have the King of Pop guest-star on their show and write a number-one hit single for them. The song was "Do the Bartman!" as featured on The Simpsons Sing the Blues CD. But at first, this was kept a secret, since MJ was under contract to another record label. So not only did he not receive credit for the song, but he couldn't even put his name in the credits for the episode he guest-starred on. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, not the publicity...
It's also said that MJ is a big fan of Bart Simpson.
Interview with Oprah Winfrey Edit
The best known entertainer in the world meets the best known talk show host in the world. Yep, Elvis Presley meets Tyra Banks. Wait a sec, what's that?.... It's not Elvis? It's not Tyra? Then who the heck is it? Oh. Well, then... I feel like an idiot.
Correction: It's Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey. Oprah arrives at Jackson's Never Land estate. MJ denies all those stupid lies about him, like the one about the bones of the Elephant Man. You're probably asking about who the Elephant Man is and why in the world would Michael have his bones. See, that proves how horrible tabloids are at turning lies into "truth." And what's more, they call Michael "Wacko Jacko." Why, those -! I'm getting ahead of myself. In other words, MJ gave Oprah a tour of his amusement park and even sang and performed the moonwalk for her. They had the world premiere of one of Jackson's new music videos. Also, Jackson revealed why his skin had changed color (if you look at the changes in the videos), that he had a disease called "vitiligo" that destroyed the pigments in his skin and denied rumors that he bleached his skin like the media said. He also talked about his child abuse, and that he hung out with kids 'cause he never got to have his own childhood - what with the Jackson 5 and whatnot - and that he found joy in them that he never had. I should also note that at the beginning of the interview before the King of Pop arrived at the scene, they had a short video-ic look at his life, that encluded a scene of the Jackson 5 at an audition in Motown and the young Michael singing "Baby, baby, baby!" As people say during a funny moment: "L.O.L" I should also note that this interview occured in 1993, and later that year one of the most horrific things of his life would occur.
What Happened in 1993: The Accusations Edit
What's more to say? MJ was larger than life, he had broken millions of records, and kids loved him. The perfect life, right? Yessir, but everyone has an enemy. A villain. A rival. An adversary. For popular stars, it was the media. Newspapers, tabloids, and whatnot simply LOVE to make stars look bad, it sells paper. Now, making up lies to get money, that is truly messed up. These people are fools. Mega-fools. Ultra-FOOLS! Foolish fools that engage in foolish acts of foolish foolishness. Anyway, the media had already made up lies about Michael before (the Elephant Man bones, sleeping in an oxygen chamber, etc) but they had all gone down the toilet. So they needed something BIG, something that could end MJ's career and perhaps drive him to insanity - but they did not care about that, they wanted to sell papers. Make moolah. Be filthy rich, while their prey was sadly sulking . So they came up with something so vile, so evil, so master-mindedly crazy, so intense that I can't explain its full-osity on the website. Let me explain it slowly.
MJ, being as generous as he is, invited families to his amusement park. And he even became friends with one of the families. He became best friends with the son of the family. They stayed up all night watching Walt Disney movies and whatnot. Now, that boy's dad ... for some strange reason - perhaps he was jealous of Jackson's success or something... pressured his son into telling a lie that Jackson did somethin' to him. The news got ahold of this and soon enough MJ was arrested. "Oh my gosh, people are so mean!", you may think. My reply is: Yes, yes they are. Jackson did not feel like going through the whole court thing so he just paid a fine and went back to his business. But he was forever scarred that the media would do such a hurtful thing to him, and expressed his anger through song in his next album, HIStory.
As you previously read before, MJ was accused of something he didn't do, and who was behind it?: the evil media, bent on world humiliation - just to make a quick buck. Angered but not wanting to be the same as the media (whatta guy!), he decided to release his mad-ness through in HIStory: Past, Present and Future - Book 1. This is also one of his most controversial albums. "Why?" you ask, well pipe down and I'll tell you.
1995, about two years after the accusation, Jackson returned to the music industry with HIStory. It was a two-disc album, disc one "HIStory Begins", had all of his previous popular songs, and the second disk "HIStory Continues" had his new songs. One of the songs was "Scream", a duet between Michael and his sister Janet about them being misrepresented in public. The next song "They Don't Care About Us" (seen at the right) was one of Jackson's most suspicious songs. The first "sus" thing were some stuff in the lyrics. It seemed that there was a Jewish curse word in one of the lines, which made the song "sus". Also, the first music video of the song had the setting in prison, with scenes of violence. Kids love violence, but for some reason adults don't, so another video was made, the setting in Brazil - that video seen above. They also censored out that Jewish word with a "STRIKE!" and stuff. The song "You Are Not Alone" is a sweet little song, but the music video is ugly. It showed Jackson and his wife Lisa Marie almost naked (yuck!). Did we talk about Jackson's marriage yet? No? Well, that comes next. My favorite song on the album is "Earth Song", one of Jackson's songs about nature. "Tabloid Junkie" was one of the songs that was aimed at the media. You know, the media deserves all this. The media is like one of the villains in the movies, except they don't get thrown in jail - which stinks since the media should be confined to like 200 years in prison. Also, statues of Jackson were posted throughout Europe to promote this album.
Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix Edit
This 1997 album was released while Jackson was in the midst of his HIStory World Tour. It contained about eight remixes from HIStory, and some new songs. One of the new songs Ghosts, got its own short film: Michael Jackson's Ghosts. It was originally supposed to be a music video though, so it was named the world's longest music video - over a half hour long.
Michael's Marriage Edit
Yes, that's right. For years, ladies have wanted to be Mrs. Michael Jackson. Well they got a slap in the face when they found out that MJ was marrying Lisa Marie Presley. "(Gasp)! Presley! Why does that name ring a bell?" you may ask. The old foxes from back in the day should know. "(To be read like an old lady) Elvis Presley was dee name. He purr-formed a whole bunch of songs. Like Hound Dog, Las Vegas, and whatnot", the old person would say, "He'd make us jiggle like a big bowl a jelly." Anyway, the point is: this lady was the daughter of Elvis. So basically, the King of Pop was marrying the daughter of the King of Rock. See, they had become good friends over the years, and Jackson had depended on Lisa during the whole allegation thing caused by the foolish media. And apparently, love snuck in and soon enough they got married . However, 'twas not to last. What seemed like the perfect couple got divorced. But they remained friends. (One of the most memorable moments was when Jackson kissed Lisa at an awards show. Kids think that is nasty, but adults like it for some strange and unknown reasons.)
Michael's Second Marriage Edit
This time MJ married Debbie R