Michael Jackson was a singer signed to Motown in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He was the eight child of the Jackson family, and had a troubled relationship with his father (and a lonely and isolating childhood). He joined The Jackson Five in 1964 and began sharing lead with brother Jermaine the following year. He was then signed to Motown as part (and lead singer) of the group when they joined the label in 1969, but recorded as a solo artist while still with them from 1971.
After they left Motown in 1975, he continued his solo career under the Epic Records label. While providing lead on some of the groups most successful songs, he recorded his first solo album for the company, Off The Wall, in 1979. A clear transition from his earlier bubblegum pop-style to a more complex sound, he scored several hits singles like “Rock With You” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”. He had also begun a career in acting, starring in the musical film The Wiz with Diana Ross and recording its hit theme song “Ease On Down The Road”.
His 1982 album Thriller was a huge success and has since become the best-selling album of all time (like, ever). It spawned seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles (the first to do so), including “Billie Jean” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” and spurred Michael on to leave The Jacksons for a permanent solo career. Their music videos are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the music video into an art form and promotional tool.
He continued to record with consistent success throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with songs like “Man In The Mirror” and “Black Or White” continuing to innovate as well as hitting No.1 on the Pop Charts; his songs even charting into the 2000s.
He has won hundreds of awards, making him the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music, and became the first artist in history to have a top ten single in the Hot 100 in five different decades when “Love Never Felt So Good” charted in 2014. Despite aspects of his personal life, like his changing appearance, personal relationships, and behavior, generating controversy (as well as several accusations of child abuse), he has remained a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
While preparing for his comeback concert tour in 2009, This Is It, Michael died from a drug overdose, and his personal physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He is often honoured (quite rightly) with the title “The King of Pop”.
Marvellous Motown currently recommends two songs by Michael Jackson – click on the link above for our archive or click on a specific song below: