Michael Jackson - The King of Pop
Michael Jackson was in born August 29th, 1958 in Gary, Indiana (USA), as the seventh of nine children born to Joseph and Katherine Jackson. Katherine worked part-time in a local department store. Joseph was a steel-mill worker, but had always dreamed of having a musical career. Joseph and his band, The Falcons, frequently rehearsed in the living-room of the four-room house on Jackson Street in Gary. As the children grew older, Joseph and Katherine became increasingly uneasy with the dangers of allowing their children to run the streets of Gary. They were very strict parents and did not allow the kids to play with other neighbourhood kids. But they encouraged them to be interested in music as a pastime. The four older boys (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon) began to imitate their father’s singing. Michael joined the group at the age of five and then he had his first solo at a school program at the age of six. Even then, he possessed a voice that brought his teachers to tears. The Jackson 5 performed in local clubs and shopping malls and talent shows. Eventually, they came to the attention of Berry Gordy, the famous founder of the Motown “Sound“. Berry recognised the groups potential and Michael Jackson became a professional entertainer. He was nine years old. During their tenure with Motown Records, the Jackson 5 recorded and released the following albums:
« 1970: Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5
« 1970: ABC 24994dfm45eqr2e
« 1970: Third Album
« 1971: Maybe Tomorrow
« 1972: Going Back To Indiana
« 1972: Looking Through The Windows fq994d4245eqqr
« 1972: Greatest Hits (Sampler)
« 1973: Skywriter
« 1974: Dancing Machine
« 1974: Get It Together
« 1975: Moving Violation
« 1976: The Best of … (Sampler)
« 1976: Joyful Jukebox Music
« 1979: Jackson Five (Sampler)
Michael Jackson at Motown Records:
In addition to recording with his brothers, Michael recorded the following solo albums with Motown Records:
« 1972: Got To Be There
« 1972: Ben
« 1973: Music And Me
« 1975: Forever Michael
In 1976, the Jackson 5 left Motown Records, because, in Michael’s words, “We didn’t like the way we were being recorded.“ Though 16-year-old Michael had met with Berry Gordy to request approval to write and produce their own music, Berry refused to allow the Jacksons this freedom. Eventually, the brothers signed with EPIC Records. However, Jermaine remained with Motown. He was replaced by Michael’s youngest brother, Randy, both on stage and in the recording studio. The Jacksons’ first two EPIC releases were produced by Gamble and Huff, except for two tracks each, which were written and produced by the Jacksons. They are:
« 1976: Jacksons
« 1977: Goin’ Places
All the tracks on these albums were written and produced by The Jacksons:
« 1978: Destiny
« 1980: Triumph
« 1981: Live
« 1984: Victory
« 1989: 2300 Jackson Street
Michael Jackson at EPIC Records:
In 1979, Michael started as the Scarecrow in „The Wiz“ with Diana Ross. During the filming, he renewed his old acquaintanceship with Quincy Jones. Later, they would join forces to make musical history repeatedly. With Quincy as producer, Michael recorded:
« 1979: Off The Wall
« 1982: Thriller
« 1987: BAD
The collaboration between Michael and Quincy broke so many records, that it would be too difficult to list them all. Suffice it to say that with Quincy, Michael rose to his present status as “The King of Pop“. Thriller is the best-selling album in the history of recorded music. It won an unheard-of seven Grammy Awards and many international awards and is still selling well over one million copies per year, 16 years after its release. The latest figures we have seen list Thriller at over 50 million units sold world-wide. The last figures of BAD were around 30 million, so the album Dangerous must have recently beaten that! BAD has held the top two spot in world-wide sales for several years. However, it’s our understanding that it has very recently been surpassed by: Dangerous, released 1991, was Michael’s fourth solo release with EPIC Records, giving Michael Jackson the top three spots in world-wide sales in the history of recorded music. Needless to say, that no other artist, male, female or group, has consistently maintained such a long-standing level of excellence.
Then, in 1995, Michael released the sampler “HIStory“, which shows his story in music. It is sold as well as Dangerous or even better. In 1996, Michael started also the HIStory world tour. During that tour, on May 14th in 1997, he released the remix-album “Blood on the Dancefloor“ which contains four new songs. Some of these songs are also played on the HIStory world tour.
The tour in 1992:
On June 19th the scenery was transported from Los Angeles to Rotterdam with two Boeing 747. In Rotterdam were 65 38t-trucks ready to bring the scenery to Munich. It took three days to put the components for the 77x27 metres scenery together. Also were 18 hours necessary to install the light and sound technic for all the special effects. After the concerts, they usually needed three days to deinstall the scenery. Including two video-screens, Michael Jackson used up so much current, so that they had to use two extra generators (with these, a town with a population of 30,000 could be provided easily!).
On June 27th, the tour began in Munich, Olympiastadium. Michael sang his songs in the presence of 70,000 fans. At the end of the show, he left the stadium with the aid of a rocket belt, destination galaxy.
During that tour, was the children-sex-matter. Michael paid $20 million hush-money to the parents of the boy.
The HIStory world tour:
It took as much pains as the Dangerous-tour in 1992. To install the scenery, the technical engineers needed four or five days. Because Michael didn’t want such long breaks between two concerts, they used three sceneries which were looking all the same. To transport the scenery which had a weight of 300t, it took two planes and 15 trucks. The towers of the loud-speakers were about 12 metres wide and 20 metres high. They also needed at least 100 metres of cables. That sounds if that’s very big, but if you see that stage in reality, it does not look very big. There were also 700 spotlight which took, with the phonetic systems, about 750,000 watt, that is enough for a city with 80,000 inhabitants for one evening. On the left and on the right of scene were installed two video-screens. The two other screens were in the middle of the scenery. These two could move together to one big screen.
The tour began in September 1996 in Prag. In the EU, the tour started on May 10th in Monte Carlo. The last concert in Germany was on August 10th in Hockenheim at the Hockenheimring, where the car races take place. On his 39th birthday, Michael gave a concert in Denmark. The last concert was in South Africa, in Johannesburg in the end of October. The tour took one and a half years and was the biggest tour generally.
On May 16th in 1994, Michael married Lisa-Marie Presley, the daughter of “The King of Rock’n’Roll“ Elvis Presley, in La Vega, Dominican Republic. In August ’94, Michael and Lisa went to Budapest where they gave toys, whose value was about $20,000, to the children of two hospitals. There, they made also the propaganda-video of the sampler HIStory. On September 8th, Michael and Lisa kissed each other during one minute in the presence of recording cameras with the rejoicing of his fans, like in Budapest. Christmas ’94, they spent in Hidden Valley, California with the two children by Lisa’s first marriage. Lisa’s ex-husband Danny was also invited to pass Christmas with them. Michael and he had a good relationship. In April ’95, Michael and Lisa were visited by 46 children at Neverland Valley Ranch in scope of “World’s Children Congress“. On June 14th, Michael and Lisa gave an one-hour-interview to the famous US-reporter Diane Sawyer in which they said, that they had also sex with each other and that the marriage is not a stupid joke. They want a baby in nearer future. On July 28th, they made the naked scenes for the video to “You are not alone“. That song, Michael wrote just for Lisa. But after the video, they argued more than in the past. She said that workaholic Michael hadn’t any time for her and the children. So, she took her children and spent three weeks with them and Danny on Hawaii. Lisa had no appreciation for Michael’s work. He had to decide between his work and his wife. But she forgot his contract with EPIC Records. On December 6th, Michael collapsed on stage. Lisa left him during he was lying in danger of death in hospital. Since January 4th, they are divorced. To forget this, he concentrated on his work.
On November 14th in 1996, shortly before midnight, he married his girlfriend Debbie Rowe secretly in Sydney, Sheraton Park Hotel. In a personal statement to the German magazine Bravo, Michael said: “I am thrilled that I will soon be a father and I’m looking forward, with great anticipation, to having this child. This is my Dream coming true!“
Debbie and Michael got to know each other when Michael came to his dermatologist Dr. Klein in Beverly Hills. She was the one who cared about him during his treatment. He was there because of his pigment-disturbance Vitiligo, that was why the doctor bleached him. That happened in the beginning of the 80ies. Debbie hasn’t any children by her first marriage with the high-school-teacher Richard Edelmann.
Michael’s son Prince Michael Junior was born on February 12th 1997, in Los Angeles. Nowadays, Debbie is pregnant. The girl will be born in spring. She will be called Paris, like the city of the fathering.
Over the years, Michael has received an enormous amount of awards. A selection is: NAACP Image Awards, Golden Bravo Otto, Grammy awards, American music awards, Billboard awards, MTV awards, People choice awards, Soultrain awards, World Music awards and the Legendary King Of Pop award.
It is not only Michael’s musical ability which sets him apart from other artists. He is also well-known for his devotion to detail, his perfectionism. Michael “refuses“ to release marginal material to his fans. He doesn’t care about deadlines or schedules - if it is not right, if it does not make him feel complete, satisfied - it is not good enough for his fans. This attitude has frequently been responsible for the lengthy delays which attend his releases.
Michael Jackson is also legendary for his humanitarian commitment to children all over the world and for the exceptional, symbiotic relationship he enjoys with his international fans. He has contributed to many organisations through the years, including the United Negro College Found, Make A Wish, Dreamstreet, D.A.R.E. program as well as allowing the use of his songs in national campaigns against drunk driving and drug abuse. In 1991, Michael Jackson founded the Heal The World Foundation. Its goal is, in Michael’s words, “healing - poor and simply“. Under the auspices of this international children’s charity, Michael has spearheaded an airlift of food and medical supplies to war-town Sarajevo, instituted a mentoring, immunisation and drug abuse education program called “Heal LA“ for embattled Los Angeles after the Rodney King debacle, and paid for a 4-year-olds liver transplant in Hungary.
Michael Jackson has spent the majority of his live in the harsh glare of public eye. He is a very shy, private person who magically transforms himself into a whirling dervish during his performances - a perpetual-motion machine when involved in a stage show. As a result of his dedication to his own privacy when off stage, Michael has limited the amount of personal publicity he willingly gives. Many of the rumours that have been circulated about Michael’s life are totally false. He has explained them in his publications “Moonwalk“ and “Dancing the Dream“. Yet, the media has an endless fascination with printing lies, rumours and innuendoes regarding Michael Jackson.
On May 8th in 1997, his musical-film “Ghosts“ was presented at the Cannes film festival. The film is about 35 minutes long and it is about a man (starring Michael Jackson) who lives in a castle. The people of the town are scared by him. And in the film, he often asks: “Is this scary?“
The MTV top three of Michael Jackson are:
« Billie Jean
« Earth Song