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Happy 55th Birthday, Michael Jackson!
August 29 marks the birthday of one of the most accomplished legends of history, the undisputed ‘king of pop’, Michael Jackson. Had he been alive, it would have been his 55th birthday. Michael Jackson died four years ago but it is no surprise that his music and legacy live on and are a constant source of inspiration for fans from all over the world. Every year, the commemoration of Michael Jackson’s birthday is accompanied by tributes from his fans as they travel to Los Angeles and visit Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as his family’s home and Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Let us remember the great star on his birthday by revisiting his life events and I have, in my own humble way, tried to pay tribute to him by writing a few, simple words about his life.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was a singer, businessman, songwriter, dancer and philanthropist. Termed as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records (as the nickname ‘king of pop’ suggests), Michael Jackson has made numerous contributions to the musical industry in his 40 years of his music career, starting from 1969 when he began his career. He launched his solo career just two years later in 1971, with the song “Got to Be There” making its way to the charts. From them onward, there was no stopping him as he slowly climbed his way up the world of music to reach the very apex.
Jackson’s numerous records have been ranked among the world’s best-selling albums, which include Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and History (1995), with his album Thriller (1982) ranked as the best-selling album of all time. He has been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, an exemplary feat achieved by only a few. He has also been given the award of “Artist of the Century” and “Artist of the 1980s”. He has earned hundreds of awards in his career including 13 Grammy Awards, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy Legend Award and multiple Guinness World Records. He also constantly travelled the world in relation to humanitarianism and got his name registered in Guinness for supporting 39 charities.
Despite his undisputed success, Michael Jackson’s personal life was a strained one, problems starting as early as childhood and continuing throughout his life. He often complained that his childhood had been a very difficult one and that he had missed out on much of his early years, even adding that he used to cry from loneliness. He stated during an interview that he had been abused by his father and that he used to beat him. Jackson was further put into limelight when he was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13 year old boy, Jordan Chandler. Although the investigation that followed was inconclusive and no charges were filed, Jackson never recovered from the humiliation of the strip search, which was a part of the investigation procedure. In 1994, he married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley. But the marriage only lasted two years and ended with a divorce settlement. Jackson’s second marriage was to Deborah Jeanne Rowe, a dermatology nurse and longtime friend but this marriage also didn’t work out, ending in divorce in after 3 years.
The death of Michael Jackson can also be described as a tragic event due to the fact that he died while under heavy sedation. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician, Conrad Murray were unsuccessful and later, Conrad was prosecuted and convicted. This was a huge shock to fans all around the world and immediately, websites began to slow down due to overload as people across the globe began searching for news relating to Michael Jackson. But career wise, the aftermath of his death was huge. In United States alone, he sold over 8.2 million albums while 35 million albums around the world. He also became the first singer in history to have 4 of the top 20 best sellers in one year! Thus Michael Jackson’s success did not abate even after he passed away, rather one could say that it increased as fans paid homage to him in their own way, reliving his past songs and never forgetting the king of pop who revolutionized the very concept of music.