The King of Pop, a genius, a phenomenon, a legend, an icon of his time…these are just some of the countless names that adorn the unsurpassed Michael Jackson. The value of his legacy in music and popular culture is priceless. There are few musicians who have created so many big hits that are constantly listened to in all parts of the world. He has set new standards and permanently enriched popular music and culture. According to many, Jackson is the greatest musician of all time and certainly one of the world’s most famous personalities.
He started working with music at an early age, under the watchful supervision of his father Joseph, who often abused him under the guise of the fact that he was always seeking more and better. He was only 5 years old when he joined the family group “The Jackson Brothers,” which later changed its name to “The Jackson 5.” Jackson was only 8 when he became one of the two leading singers. The band was extremely popular, but Michael attracted the most attention with his singing and dancing, and was becoming a real superstar.
When he was 14 he began to perform independently and released his first albums: “Got To Be There” and “Ben.” In the next three years, he released another two new albums. He was still a member of the band, but it was already clear that his future lay in his solo career. “Off the Wall” from 1979 is his fifth album and the first one on which he worked with Quincy Jones. The album sold 20 million copies, which placed it among the best-selling of all time. For the first single, “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” he was awarded with a Grammy, as well as with numerous other music awards.
He was extremely ambitious in creating music. His ambition was most evident during the work on the album of all albums, and this is of course, “Thriller” from 1982. His coworkers did not expect to repeat the success of the previous album, but Michael was convinced that success would be even greater. It soon turned out that he was right. The album broke all records and became more than just an album, as it is still known as the best selling album of all time. It is believed it sold over 65 million copies, although some estimates speak of more than 100 million. The album has won eight Grammy Awards and hundreds of others throughout the world, as well as staying on top of the charts. The songs “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” “Wanna Be Startin ‘Somethin” and “Beat It” became a part of the general popular culture.
After enjoying huge glory, Jackson released the album “Bad” in 1987. Five singles from the album became number one on Billboard, which was a record. “Bad” old over 30 million copies. That same year, Jackson started the “Bad World Tour,” the first of his three major tours. As expected, the tour also set records, especially in attendance and earnings. The successes of the famous singer continued with the albums “Dangerous” from 1991 and “History” from 1995, with which he also broke various records. These albums were accompanied by big tours with huge production, great opening bands and never before seen performances.
His tenth, and as it turned out, last album, was released in 2001. After criticism and poor reception by audiences he withdrew for a long time. He did not appear until 2009, when he announced a series of comeback concerts, called “This Is It.” Unfortunately, there were no concerts, because he died on June 25, 2009.
Michael Jackson is not only an icon in music. He also left his mark in fashion. The clothing the King of Pop wore during his tours and appearances remain marked by honor and pride. Among the countless possible combinations, the most famous pieces are: the hat, gloves and a red and black jacket Jackson wore in the music video for “Thriller.”
Michael Jackson has sold almost 1 billion records worldwide and released 13 No.1 songs. He became one of the few artist to be twice introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His album “Thriller” is the biggest selling album of all time and Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time. He received 17 Grammy Awards, including the “Grammy Legend Award” and the “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award” and 26 American Awards, including the “Artist of the Century Award.”
Although the singer has been dead for almost five years, his legacy lives on. To the great joy of his fans, he has left behind enough unfinished material and very soon there will be a fresh album. The upcoming release of Michael Jackson’s posthumous album Xscape in May has only confirmed that he is truly an icon of his time. He may be dead, but his songs will continue to bring joy to many fans around the world.
By: Janette Verdnik