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Michael's Bio

Born August 29, 1958, to a musically inclined working-class family in Gary, Indiana, Michael Joseph Jackson's destiny was set in stone from day one. While showing a devout interest in music early on in his childhood -- as did the rest of his older brothers -- Michael began performing at a young age.

His allegedly controlling father apparently forced young Michael and his brothers to form a musical group called the Jackson 5. The group's popularity immediately skyrocketed after relentlessly performing in a countless number of local talent shows. In 1968, the Jackson 5 was signed to Motown Records and gained recognition for its early chart-toppers, including "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I'll Be There." Michael led the pack as the group's lead singer and dancer.

Jackson one

Although the group released thirteen albums in only seven years and charted several No. 1 R&B hits during that time, Michael felt the need to begin his solo career. In 1979, Michael moved to New York and collaborated with established R&B hit-maker Quincy Jones on Jackson's first solo effort, Off the Wall. The album was a success as it reached the No. 3 spot and delivered four Top 10 hits for MJ, including two US number one singles, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You."

After the successful debut of Off the Wall, Michael reunited with his brothers to record another album and go back on tour. However, his solo career exploded in 1982 when he released one of the most commercially successful albums of all-time, Thriller. At this point, Michael transformed into a media icon and instantly became one of the biggest artists in the history of pop music. The album spawned a countless number of hit singles, each accompanied by a promotional music video on MTV.

In 1987, Jackson returned with his highly anticipated follow-up, Bad. Although the album reached the No. 1 spot once again, it wasn't nearly as successful as his previous effort. MJ tried his luck once again in 1991 with the release of his fourth solo effort, Dangerous, however, the rise of grunge music drowned out the seemingly stale sounds of Michael's pop music. Times were changing and musical preferences were shifting accordingly.

this week, in michael jackson news

The next several years proved to be trying times for Michael, as success reared its ugly head. His erratic side started to shine through and Michael quickly became the target of tabloids and media hounds alike. His visual appearance undertook a dramatic change and he developed an image as an abnormally shy character that held a fond appreciation for children. Rumors of child abuse and pedophilia began to surface, leading to Michael's disappearance from the public eye.

In 1994, Michael reappeared in the spotlight by marrying Lisa Marie Presley, a stunt seen by many as an attempt to clean up his image. The marriage barely lasted two years and Michael, once again ridiculed for his actions, tied the knot in 1996 to his newfound acquaintance, Debbie Rowe. The couple had their first child together in February 1997, Prince Michel Jackson Jr.

what a history it is

1995 marked the year of Michael's triumphant return to the music scene. HIStory: Past, Present and Future -- Book 1 was a retaliation of sorts for MJ. The double album contained material that clearly proved to the world that Michael was fed up with the rumors and controversy surrounding his private life. It was time to fight back; and fight back he did.

Pop princess Janet accompanied her brother on the Top 5 single "Scream," which demonstrated the duo's distaste for the media surrounding their family life. Michael also fought back on the song "They Don't Care About Us," which became the subject of controversy due to anti-Semitic lyrics. This retaliation of sorts cleared the way for his 6th solo release in 1997, Blood On The Dance Floor.

Just recently, Michael returned with his latest album, Invincible. The late October 2001 album release came around the same time that Jackson celebrated his 30th Anniversary Celebration as a solo artist. The sold-out concert included guest appearances from the likes of *N Sync, Usher and Whitney Houston, among others. The concert celebration was broadcast on cable in an effort to promote the King of Pop's defiant return to the music scene.

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