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Preview: Michael


Updated: 2014-03-19T02:40:16.916-07:00


1958–1980: Early life and career


Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana. He is the second-youngest brother of seven and the eighth of ten children of Joseph and Katherine Jackson. He showed musical talent early on and joined his brothers when they formed a group in 1964. In 1966, after taking co-lead singing duties with brother Jermaine, the group's name changed from "The Jackson Brothers" to "The Jackson 5". The group played at local clubs and bars, building up a following and eventually signing a contract with Motown Records in 1968. The group hit stardom, with their first four singles which charted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. As a solo artist, Jackson released Got to Be There and Ben in 1972. These were released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise and produced successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben", and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin".

The group's sales declined after 1973, and the group chafed under Motown's strict refusal to allow the Jacksons creative control or input. In 1976, the group signed a new contract with CBS Records (first joining the Philadelphia International division and then Epic Records). When this became apparent to Motown Records, they sued the group for breach of contract.

As a result of the legal proceedings, which were complicated further by the fact that Jermaine Jackson was married to the daughter of Motown president (Berry Gordy), the Jacksons lost the rights to use the "Jackson 5" name and logo and also Jermaine, who wanted to stay at Motown. They changed their name to "The Jacksons", featuring youngest brother Randy in Jermaine's place, and continued their successful career, touring internationally and releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984, with Jermaine eventually re-joining in 1983, making them a sextet.

In 1978, Jackson starred as the scarecrow in The Wiz with former-label mate Diana Ross playing Dorothy. The songs for the musical were arranged by Quincy Jones, who established a partnership with Jackson during the film's production and agreed to produce his first solo album in four years. Off the Wall, released in 1979, was a worldwide hit, and became the first album in history to spawn four top-ten hits, including "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You".

In January 1980, Jackson won his first awards for his solo efforts at the American Music Awards. He won "Favorite Soul/R&B Album" (for Off the Wall), "Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist" and Favorite Soul/R&B Single (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"). Later that month, he also won two Billboard Awards (for "Top Black Artist" and "Top Black Album").

On February 27, 1980, Jackson won a Grammy Award for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough").

Michael Jackson


The Bio History of Michael Joseph Jackson began when he was born on the 29th of August 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He was the 7th of nine children. (brothers: Sigmund "Jackie", Toriano "Tito", Jermaine, Marlon, Steven "Randy", and sisters Rebbie, Janet and La-Toya JacksonMichael began his musical career at the age of 5 as the lead singer of the Jackson 5 who formed in 1964. In these early years the Jackson 5, Jackie, Jermaine,Tito,Marlon and lead singer Michael played local clubs and bars in Gary Indiana and moving further afield as there talents grew and they could compete in bigger competitions. From these early days Michael would be at the same clubs as big talented stars of there days, such as Jackie Wilson and would be learning from them even back then. In 1968 the Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers discovered the Jackson five and from there they got an audition for Berry Gordy of Motown Records. The Jackson 5 signed for Motown and moved to California. Their first 4 singles, "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There" all made US No1 hits. The Jackson 5 recorded 14 albums and Michael recorded 4 solo albums with Motown. The Jackson 5 stayed with Motown until 1976, wanting more artistic freedom they felt they had to move on and signed up with Epic. The group name Jackson 5 had to be changed as it was owned by Motown, so they reverted to The Jacksons as they had be known in the early days. Brother Jermaine married Berry Gordy's daughter and stayed with Motown. Youngest brother Randy joined in his place. The Jacksons had a number of hit recordsand in total made 6 albums between the years of 1976 and 1984. In 1977 Michael made his first film debut when he starred in the musical 'The Wiz' playing Scarecrow with Diana Ross in the lead role of Dorothy. It was at this time Michael met Quincy Jones who was doing the score for the film. Michael teamed up with Quincey Jones as his producer for his first solo album with Epic Records. The album titled "Off The Wall" was a big success around the world and the first ever album to release a record breaking 4 No1 singles in the US. In 1982 Michael Jackson released the world's largest selling album of all time, 'Thriller'. This album produced 7 hit singles, breaking yet again more records, and went on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide. Michael was keen to use music video or short films as he called them to promote his singles from the album. He worked with the best directors and producers, using the latest technology and special effects.for the hit song 'Billie Jean' The short film 'Thriller' used the latest make-up artists technolgy combined with fantastic dancing and cherography, to produce a 14 minute video, with a start, a middle and an ending. So successful was this video that 'The Making Of Michael Jackson's Thriller' became the world's largest selling home video combined with soaring album sales. In 1983 Michael performed the now legendary moonwalk for the first time on the 'Motown 25 years' anniversary show. This performance alone set Michael undoubtable into the realm of a superstar. In 1984 Michael won a record breaking 8 Grammy awards in one night. The awards were for his work on the 'Thriller' album and his work on the narrative for the 'ET Storybook'. In 1987 Michael released his much awaited third solo album, titled 'Bad', and lauched his record breaking first solo world tour. 1988, Michael wrote his first autobiography talking for the first time on his childhood and his career. At the end of the 1980s Michael was named 'Artist Of The Decade' for his success off of his 'Thriller' and 'Bad' albums. In 1991 Michael signed with Sony Music the largest ever recording contract and released his fourth solo album, 'Dangerous'. He toured world again in 1992, taking his concerts to countries that had never before been visited by a pop/rock artist. Also Michael founded the 'Heal the World Foundation' to help improve the lives of children across the world. In 1994 Michael married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock legend Elvis Pres[...]