Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller", were credited with breaking down racial barriers and with transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then-relatively-new television channel MTV to fame. With videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream", he continued to innovate the medium throughout the 1990s, as well as forging a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop, and rock artists.
Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best selling album of all time. His other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best selling albums. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame as the first and only dancer from pop and rock music. His other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards, as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 26 American Music Awards—more than any other artist—including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s"; 13 number-one singles in the United States during his solo career, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era; and the estimated sale of over 400 million records worldwide. Jackson has won hundreds of awards, making him the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music. Jackson became the first artist in history to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades when "Love Never Felt So Good" reached number nine on May 21, 2014. Jackson traveled the world attending events honoring his humanitarianism, and, in 2000, the Guinness World Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities, more than any other entertainer.
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Categories: Famous Singers of the 20th Century | Famous Singers of the 21st Century | Famous Songwriters of the 20th Century | Famous Songwriters of the 21st Century | Famous Entertainers of the 20th Century | Famous African Americans | Famous Entertainers of the 21st Century | Rock and Roll Hall of Fame | Indiana, Notables | Notables