Happy Birthday to The King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The late great Jackson would have turned 60 today. Jackson is undoubtedly known as the greatest entertainer of all time. Born in Gary, IN to Catherine and Joseph Jackson, Michael starred as the lead singer in the Jackson 5 with his four brothers. Despite his father’s early reluctance to include the younger Jacksons due to their age, he soon realized Michael’s superstardom.
After winning Apollo’s Theatre’s Amateur Night, the group signed with Motown Records after auditioning for the label’s founder, Berry Gordy. With Motown, Michael and his brothers grew into America’s favorite group with countless hits such as, “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “I’ll Be There, and many more. In addition, The Jackson 5 scored 16 top forty singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, while signed to Motown. The group would leave Motown for Epic Records to record two more hit albums, Destiny (1978) and Triumph (1980).
In 1979, Michael teamed up with Quincy Jones to released his first major debut after disbanding from the Jackson 5, Off The Wall. The two would become a rockstar duo and go on to create Jackson’s next two albums, Thriller (1982) and Bad (1987). One of the Jackson’s most defining moment of stardom came during The Motown 25 television special in 1983. He united with his brothers for a performance medley of their past hits but stole the show with his solo performance.
Draped in a sparkly black blazer, sparkly silver socks, and his signature glove, Jackson gave the world and everlasting moment to remember. On that Motown 25 stage, he birthed another signature, “The Moonwalk.” Peep the nostalgic moment below.
The release of Thriller made Jackson a bonafide solo superstar. Michael would be awarded 8 Grammys at the 1984 Grammy Awards. 7 of those would come from Thriller.
His next album, Bad would produce hits such as “The Way You Make Me Feel, “Man In the Mirror,” and “Dirty Diana.”
Jackson would redefine his sound to the late 80s, early 90s sound of new jack swing. With the help of Teddy Riley, he released Dangerous (1991).
Jackson continued to release singles throughout the 90s including the collaboration “Scream” with younger sister, Janet. The video budgeted at $7 million.
Jackson would release Invincible (2001) as one of his final albums, leading the single, “You Rock My World.” 8 years later he prepared to go on his final tour, This Is It, until Jackson’s untimely death in 2009. The tour’s preparation was documented with a movie of the same title, released four months after his passing.
Michael Jackson’s legacy continues to live through the generation of artists he inspired today. From Usher to Chris Brown, each artist has displayed Jackson’s influence in more ways than one.
Long live the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.