Michael Jackson is arguably the greatest performer to ever live. Today would have marked his birthday. See Michael Jackson Behind The Mask.
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THE BIRTHDAY OF THE KING OF POP
Michael Jackson was born in the 1960’s and would have been 60 years today during the height of the Civil Rights movement, so to see this young kid out of Gary, Indiana was a sight to see on television. He was groomed for the entertainment world by his father Joe Jackson who passed away a few months ago. The family was also entertaining fans as brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Jackie, and Tito who later added Randy Jackson was the first true African-American musical family dynasty.
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$4.2 billion: Michael Jackson’s total career pretax earnings, in life and in death, adjusted for inflation.*
Michael Jackson became a worldwide phenomenon during his lifetime.
$2.1 billion: The King of Pop’s inflation-adjusted earnings since his death in 2009.
Before the record breaking hits as a solo artist, Michael Jackson made waves as the front man for his group The Jackson 5ive at a young age. The legend began when they were featured on the top rated television shows of the days such as The Ed Sullivan Show.
From that era the future King Of Pop was able to sustain a fanbase that was cultivated with his brothers to have one of the most memorable solo careers in music history. As a vibrant new solo artist at the tale end of the 70’s and beginning of the 80’s Michael Jackson was the new breed of artist that would forever change how music was consumed with a new medium called the music video.
He joined forces with Quincy Jones who was considered only a Jazz producer for what some call the greatest rhythm and blues album of all time in “Off The Wall”.
A lot of purists call it the best album Michael Jackson ever created although it would soon be eclipsed by the monster known as “Thriller”. The album proved Jackson had the chops to go solo and break away from the very successful Jackson Five.
$825 million: His annual earnings in 2016, the highest single-year payday ever recorded by a front-of-camera celebrity.
8 million: U.S. album sales for Jackson’s 1979 solo debut, Off the Wall.
33 million: U.S. album sales for Jackson’s 1982 follow-up, Thriller.
1982 saw Michael Jackson take off from being the Prince of R & B to the King Of Pop when he dropped the ultimate album Thriller. When the music video “Billie Jean” hit the airwaves there was nowhere, but up for the young kid in his early 20’s.
This year there was the drama about Drake having a kid in the world by a fan and whether it was true or not. It turned out to be true as Drake confirmed he had a son, but in the 1980’s this was a regular occurrence with Michael Jackson to the point he made a song about it. Everyone knows the magical music video that set trends with “Billie Jean”.
The song was the lead single in what would become the world’s greatest selling album of all-time. The project saw hit after hit after hit with the likes of “Beat It”, “Human Nature”, and of course the title cut “Thriller”.
This album would propel Michael Jackson to the ultimate celebrity of the 1980’s and forever cement him as the King Of Pop. This in a time before streaming and when fans had to physically go to stores and purchase the album. The opening track of “Wanna Be Startin Something” was fire coming out of the cauldron and with the African chants people knew he was onto something special right out the gate.
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