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Michael Jackson Fast Facts


Here is a look at the life of Grammy Award-winning artist Michael Jackson.


Birth date: August 29, 1958

Death date: June 25, 2009

Birth place: Gary, Indiana

Birth name: Michael Joseph Jackson

Father: Joseph Jackson, crane operator/The Jackson 5 manager

Mother: Katherine (Scruse) Jackson

Marriages: Debbie Rowe (November 15, 1996-October 8, 1999, divorced); Lisa-Marie Presley (May 18, 1994-January 18, 1996, divorced)

Children: with an anonymous surrogate: Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), 2002; with Debbie Rowe: Paris, April 3, 1998; Prince Michael Joseph Jr., February 12, 1997

Other Facts

Nicknamed “The King of Pop.”

Seventh of nine children.

His sister, Janet Jackson, is a Grammy award-winning singer and entertainer.

Began performing at age 5 with four of his five brothers (Marlon, Jermaine, Tito and Jackie), as The Jackson 5.

Nominated for 38 Grammy awards, with 13 wins. Posthumously honored with the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and received the Grammy Legend Award in 1993.


1968 – The Jackson 5 is signed by Motown Records.

November 1969 – The first single by the Jackson 5, “I Want You Back,” is released.

1971 – “Got to Be There” is released as Jackson’s first solo single.

1972 – “Ben” is Jackson’s first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100.

1975 – The group leaves Motown for Epic Records and changes its name to The Jacksons.

1978 – Jackson plays the Scarecrow in “The Wiz.” “Ease On Down the Road,” a duet with Diana Ross, is a hit single.

1979 – Debut solo album with Epic Records, “Off The Wall,” sells over 20 million copies and has four Top 10 singles. Released in August, the album is certified platinum in December.

February 27, 1980 – Wins his first Grammy for the song, “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” in the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male category.

November 30, 1982 – “Thriller” is released and is certified platinum the following January. That album and the song, “Billie Jean,” make him the first artist to have a number one pop single, pop album, R&B single and R&B album charts simultaneously.

1984 – Jackson wins eight Grammy Awards for “Thriller,” including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, male. He sets a record for the most Grammy wins on a single night.

1985 – Co-writes and performs on “We Are The World,” to help raise money for African famine relief.

1987 – “Bad” is released in August and is certified 4x platinum in December. Its five number-one singles set a record for a solo artist on one album.

November 1991 – Jackson’s 11-minute video for “Black or White” debuts during primetime on FOX, MTV and BET.

February 10, 1993 – Oprah Winfrey interviews Jackson in a live special. Winfrey asks the pop star about his skin. He says he is suffering from an inherited skin disorder that causes a blotchy complexion. Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, later says the pop star has a skin disease called vitiligo, which causes a person to lose pigment in patches or all over the body and affects between .5% and 1% of the population worldwide.

February 24, 1993Receives the honorary Grammy Legend Award.

August 1993 – A 13-year-old boy accuses Jackson of sexually molesting him repeatedly over a five-month period. The boy says that Jackson bathed with him, shared a bed with him, gave him gifts and trips, and fondled him.

September 22, 1994 – District attorneys for Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties announce they will not file criminal child molestation charges because the primary alleged victim decided not to testify.

1997 – The Jackson 5 are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

March 19, 2001 – Jackson is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.

September 7 and September 10, 2001 – Performs two concerts at Madison Square Garden, “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years,” his first shows in the continental US since 1989.

June 13, 2002 – Jackson is inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

November 2002 – Jackson is caught on video dangling his baby over a fourth story balcony in Berlin in front of hundreds of fans.

November 20, 2003 – Jackson is booked in Santa Barbara, California, on suspicion of child molestation. A source close to the victim’s family tells CNN that the accuser is a boy who at 12 years old participated in a documentary about Jackson.

December 18, 2003 – Jackson is formally charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony.

June 16, 2004 – Jackson pays out approximately $25 million to settle civil suit by the 13-year-old boy who accused him of molesting him in 1993.

June 13, 2005 – Found not guilty.

March 16, 2006 – The state of California closes Neverland Ranch and lays off most of the employees after learning about unpaid wages and lapsed workers’ compensation insurance.

October 2006 – Settles with ex-wife Debbie Rowe, receiving full custody of the children in exchange for an undisclosed lump sum, reported to be in the millions.

November 2008 – Jackson, pressured by his financial problems, gives up sole ownership of Neverland Ranch. The property is now owned by Sycamore Valley Ranch Co. LLC, of which Jackson is a part owner.

February 2, 2009 – Is sued by John Landis over royalty rights to the new “Thriller” production on Broadway.

March 5, 2009 – Files a lawsuit against an auction house that is scheduled to sell thousands of Jackson’s personal items, including his trademark white glove, the gates to Neverland Ranch and numerous statues of children. The auction is scheduled for April 22-25 in Beverly Hills, California.

March 5, 2009 – Jackson announces his “This Is It” concert tour.

June 25, 2009 – Jackson is rushed by ambulance to a Los Angeles hospital after going into cardiac arrest and is later pronounced dead.

August 3, 2009 – Jackson’s mother, Katherine, is awarded permanent custody of the singer’s three children.

August 28, 2009 – The Los Angeles County coroner rules that Jackson’s death was a homicide, caused by “acute propofol intoxication.”

September 3, 2009 – Jackson is buried at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California.

October 28, 2009 – The documentary “This Is It” is released. The film consists of footage from Jackson’s rehearsals for shows in London that were scheduled to take place in July 2009. An album by the same name was released October 27, 2009 in the United States.

January 31, 2010 Posthumously receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

June 26, 2011 – Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket is sold at auction for $1.8 million to Milton Verret of Austin, Texas.

November 7, 2011 – Jackson’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, is found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson in 2009.

November 21, 2011 – Jackson’s second posthumous album, “Immortal,” is released.

October 2, 2013 – A Los Angeles jury decides that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray, but also concludes that the concert promoter is not liable for Jackson’s drug overdose death.

August 20, 2018 – The Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” surpasses Jackson’s “Thriller” as the best-selling album of all time in the United States, with 38 million units sold or streamed since its release in 1976, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Thriller is certified 33x platinum, with 33 million copies sold or streamed since its release in 1982.

January 25, 2019 – “Leaving Neverland,” a four-hour documentary featuring interviews with two men who accuse Jackson of molesting them as children, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

January 28, 2019 – Jackson’s family releases a statement condemning “Finding Neverland,” referring to the film and the surrounding hype as a “public lynching.”

February 21, 2019 – Jackson’s estate files a breach of contract lawsuit against HBO, which is set to air “Leaving Neverland” in two parts on March 3 and 4. In a statement, HBO says it will not postpone the airdate, despite the suit. (HBO is owned by parent company WarnerMedia, which also owns CNN).

March 3-4, 2019 – HBO airs “Leaving Neverland.”

March 5, 2019 – Radio stations in Canada and New Zealand drop Jackson from their playlists in the wake of the documentary.

December 26, 2020 – Neverland Ranch has been purchased by Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, Burkle’s spokesman confirms to CNN.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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