Michael Joseph Jackson – June 25th in African American History

Michael Joseph JacksonJune 25, 2009 Michael Joseph Jackson, the “King of Pop,” died.

Jackson was born August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He made his professional debut in 1964 as a member of the Jackson 5. In 1968, they signed with Motown Records and their first four singles, “I Want You Back” (1969), “ABC” (1970), “The Love You Save” (1970), and “I’ll Be There” (1970) all peaked at number one on the Billboard 100. In 1971, Jackson started his solo career while continuing to perform with his brothers. In 1978, he starred as the scarecrow in the musical “The Wiz.” His 1982 album “Thriller” is the best selling album of all time, with “Off The Wall” (1979), “Bad” (1987), and “Dangerous” (1991) among the best selling of all time.

Over his career, Jackson won 19 Grammy Awards, including a record eight in 1984. Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. He transformed the art of the music video and influenced scores of other artists, including Mariah Carey, Usher, and Justin Timberlake. Jackson was inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984 and throughout his career received numerous awards, including the World Music Award’s “Best Selling Pop Music Artist of the Millennium” and the American Music Award’s “Artist of the Century.”

He was a double inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1997 and as a solo artist in 2001. In 2010, Jackson was posthumously given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Several biographies have been written about Jackson, including “Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask” (2005).

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