Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is widely regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. He was also known for his unorthodox lifestyle, residing in a private amusement park he called Neverland Ranch, and often becoming the focus of tabloid scrutiny. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29, 1958
Gary, Indiana, US
|Died||June 25, 2009 (aged 50)|
|Cause of death||Cardiac arrest induced by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication|
|Burial place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, US|
|Other names||Michael Joe Jackson|
Lisa Marie Presley
(m. 1994; div. 1996)
(m. 1996; div. 1999)
|Awards||List of awards and nominations|
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records, and in the early 1980s, became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. Their popularity helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Bad (1987) was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.[nb 1] He continued to innovate throughout the 1990s with videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream", and forged a reputation as a touring artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized complicated dance techniques such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His sound and style have influenced artists of various genres.
Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of over 350 million records worldwide;[nb 2] Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of 66 million copies worldwide. His other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling. He won hundreds of awards (more than any other artist in the history of popular music), has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and is the only pop or rock artist to have been inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame. His other achievements include Guinness world records (including the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time), 15 Grammy Awards (including the Legend and Lifetime Achievement awards), 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist), and 13 number-one US singles (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era). Jackson was the first artist to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. In 2016, his estate earned $825 million, the highest yearly amount for a celebrity ever recorded by Forbes.
In the late 1980s, Jackson became a figure of controversy for his changing appearance, relationships, and behavior. In 1993, he was accused of sexually abusing the child of a family friend. The case led to an investigation and was settled out of court for $25 million in 1994. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges. In 2009, while preparing for a series of comeback concerts, This Is It, Jackson died from an overdose of propofol and benzodiazepine given to him by his personal physician, Conrad Murray. Jackson's fans around the world expressed their grief, and his public memorial service was broadcast live. In 2019, the documentary Leaving Neverland detailed renewed allegations of child sexual abuse and led to an international backlash against Jackson.
Life and career
1958–1975: Early life and the Jackson 5
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, near Chicago, on August 29, 1958. He was the eighth of ten children in the Jackson family, a working-class African-American family living in a two-bedroom house on Jackson Street. His mother, Katherine Esther Jackson (née Scruse), played clarinet and piano, had aspired to be a country-and-western performer, and worked part-time at Sears. She was a Jehovah's Witness. His father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, a former boxer, was a crane operator at U.S. Steel and played guitar with a local rhythm and blues band, the Falcons, to supplement the family's income. His father's great-grandfather, July "Jack" Gale, was a Native American medicine man and US Army scout. Michael grew up with three sisters (Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet) and five brothers (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy). A sixth brother, Marlon's twin Brandon, died shortly after birth.
Joe acknowledged that he regularly whipped Michael; Michael said his father told him he had a "fat nose", and regularly physically and emotionally abused him during rehearsals. He recalled that Joe often sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, ready to physically punish any mistakes. Katherine Jackson stated that although whipping is considered abuse in more modern times, it was a common way to discipline children when Michael was growing up. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon have said that their father was not abusive and that the whippings, which were harder on Michael because he was younger, kept them disciplined and out of trouble. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, Jackson said that his youth had been lonely and isolating.
In 1964, Michael and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by their father which included Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine. In 1965, Michael began sharing lead vocals with Jermaine, and the group's name was changed to the Jackson 5. The following year, the group won a talent show; Michael performed the dance to Robert Parker's 1965 song "Barefootin'" and singing lead to The Temptations' "My Girl". From 1966 to 1968 they toured the Midwest; they frequently played at a string of black clubs known as the "chitlin' circuit" as the opening act for artists such as Sam & Dave, the O'Jays, Gladys Knight, and Etta James. The Jackson 5 also performed at clubs and cocktail lounges, where striptease shows were featured, and at local auditoriums and high school dances. In August 1967, while touring the East Coast, the group won a weekly amateur night concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
The Jackson 5 recorded several songs for a Gary record label called Steeltown Records; their first single, "Big Boy", was released in 1968. The following year, the group signed with Motown and relocated from Gary to Los Angeles. Rolling Stone later described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts" who "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer." "I Want You Back" became the group's first song to reach number one the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1970; it stayed there for four weeks. Three more singles with Motown—"ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There"—also topped the chart. In May 1971, the Jackson family moved into a large house on a two-acre estate in Encino, California. During this period, Michael developed from a child performer into a teen idol. As he emerged as a solo performer in the early 1970s, he maintained ties to the Jackson 5. Between 1972 and 1975, Michael released four solo studio albums with Motown: Got to Be There (1972), Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973), and Forever, Michael (1975). "Got to Be There" and "Ben", the title tracks from his first two solo albums, sold well as singles, as did a cover of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin".
The Jackson 5 were later described as "a cutting-edge example of black crossover artists". They were frustrated by Motown's refusal to allow them creative input. Jackson's performance of their top five single "Dancing Machine" on Soul Train popularized the robot dance.
1975–1981: Move to Epic and Off the Wall
In 1975, the Jackson 5 left Motown. They signed with Epic Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records, and renamed themselves the Jacksons. Their younger brother Randy joined the band around this time; Jermaine stayed with Motown and pursued a solo career. The Jacksons continued to tour internationally, and released six more albums between 1976 and 1984. Michael, the group's main songwriter during this time, wrote songs such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" (1979), "This Place Hotel" (1980), and "Can You Feel It" (1980).
In 1978, Jackson moved to New York City to star as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, a musical directed by Sidney Lumet. It costarred Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross. The film was a box-office failure. Its score was arranged by Quincy Jones, who later produced three of Jackson's solo albums. During his time in New York, Jackson frequented the Studio 54 nightclub, where he heard early hip hop; this influenced his beatboxing on future tracks such as "Working Day and Night". In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a dance routine. A rhinoplasty led to breathing difficulties that later affected his career. He was referred to Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson's subsequent operations.
Jackson's fifth solo album, Off the Wall (1979) established him as a solo performer and helped him move from the bubblegum pop of his youth to more complex sounds. It produced four top 10 entries in the US: "Off the Wall", "She's Out of My Life", and the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You". The album reached number three on the US Billboard 200 and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 1980, Jackson won three American Music Awards for his solo work: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". He also won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for 1979 with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". In 1981 Jackson was the American Music Awards winner for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist. Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release. In 1980, he secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37 percent of wholesale album profit.
1982–1983: Thriller and Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever
Jackson recorded with Queen singer Freddie Mercury from 1981 to 1983, recording demos of "State of Shock", "Victory" and "There Must Be More to Life Than This". The recordings were intended for an album of duets but, according to Queen's manager Jim Beach, the relationship soured when Jackson brought a llama into the recording studio, and Jackson was upset by Mercury's drug use. The songs were released in 2014. Jackson went on to record "State of Shock" with Mick Jagger for the Jacksons' album Victory (1984). In 1982, Jackson contributed "Someone in the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The song, produced by Jones, won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children for 1983.
Jackson's sixth album, Thriller, was released in late 1982. It earned Jackson seven more Grammys and eight American Music Awards, and he became the youngest artist to win the Award of Merit. It was the best-selling album worldwide in 1983, and became the best-selling album of all time in the US and the best-selling album of all time worldwide, selling an estimated 66 million copies. It topped the Billboard 200 chart for 37 weeks and was in the top 10 of the 200 for 80 consecutive weeks. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It", and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". and it won Jackson and Quincy Jones the Grammy award for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) for 1983. It also won Album of the Year, with Jackson as the album's artist and Jones as its co-producer, and a Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, award for Jackson. "Beat It" won Record of the Year, with Jackson as artist and Jones as co-producer, and a Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, award for Jackson. "Billie Jean" won Jackson two Grammy awards, Best R&B Song, with Jackson as its songwriter, and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, as its artist. Thriller also won another Grammy for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical in 1984, awarding Bruce Swedien for his work on the album. The AMA Awards for 1984 gave Jackson an Award of Merit and AMAs for Favorite Male Artist, Soul/R&B, and Favorite Male Artist, Pop/Rock. "Beat It" won Jackson AMAs for Favorite Video, Soul/R&B, Favorite Video, Pop/Rock, and Favorite Single, Pop/Rock. Thriller won him AMAs for Favorite Album, Soul/R&B, and Favorite Album, Pop/Rock.
Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point, about $2 for every album sold, and was making record-breaking profits. Dolls modeled after Jackson appeared in stores in May 1984 for $12 each. In 1984, The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Longform. Time described Jackson's influence at that point as "star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too". The New York Times wrote that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else".
On March 25, 1983, Jackson reunited with his brothers for Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, an NBC television special. The show aired on May 16, 1983, to an estimated audience of 47 million, and featured the Jacksons and other Motown stars. Jackson's solo performance of "Billie Jean" earned him his first Emmy nomination. Wearing a glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his moonwalk dance, which Jeffrey Daniel had taught him three years earlier. Jackson had originally turned down the invitation to the show, believing he had been doing too much television; at the request of Motown founder Berry Gordy, he performed in exchange for time to do a solo performance. Rolling Stone reporter Mikal Gilmore called the performance "extraordinary". Jackson's performance drew comparisons to Elvis Presley's and the Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times writing in 1988 praised the perfect timing and technique involved in the dance. Gordy described being "mesmerized" by the performance.
1984–1985: Pepsi, "We Are the World", and business career
In November 1983, Jackson and his brothers partnered with PepsiCo in a $5 million promotional deal that broke records for a celebrity endorsement. The first Pepsi campaign, which ran in the US from 1983 to 1984 and launched its "New Generation" theme, included tour sponsorship, public relations events, and in-store displays. Jackson helped to create the advertisement, and suggested using his song "Billie Jean", with revised lyrics, as its jingle.
On January 27, 1984, Michael and other members of the Jacksons filmed a Pepsi commercial overseen by Phil Dusenberry, a BBDO ad agency executive, and Alan Pottasch, Pepsi's Worldwide Creative Director, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. During a simulated concert before a full house of fans, pyrotechnics accidentally set Jackson's hair on fire, causing second-degree burns to his scalp. Jackson underwent treatment to hide the scars and had his third rhinoplasty shortly thereafter. Pepsi settled out of court, and Jackson donated the $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California; its Michael Jackson Burn Center is named in his honor. Jackson signed a second agreement with Pepsi in the late 1980s for $10 million. The second campaign covered 20 countries and provided financial support for Jackson's Bad album and 1987–88 world tour. Jackson had endorsements and advertising deals with other companies, such as LA Gear, Suzuki, and Sony, but none were as significant as his deals with Pepsi.
On May 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave Jackson an award for his support of alcohol and drug abuse charities, and in recognition of his support for the Ad Council's and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Drunk Driving Prevention campaign. Jackson allowed the campaign to use "Beat It" for its public service announcements.
The Victory Tour of 1984 headlined the Jacksons and showcased Jackson's new solo material to more than two million Americans. It was the last tour he did with his brothers. Following controversy over the concert's ticket sales, Jackson donated his share of the proceeds, an estimated $3 to 5 million, to charity. His charitable work continued with the release of "We Are the World" (1985), co-written with Lionel Richie, which raised money for the poor in the US and Africa. It earned $63 million, and became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with 20 million copies sold. It won four Grammys for 1985, including Song of the Year for Jackson and Richie as its writers. The project's creators received two special American Music Awards honors: one for the creation of the song and another for the USA for Africa idea. Jackson, Jones, and promoter Ken Kragan received special awards for their roles in the song's creation.
Jackson collaborated with Paul McCartney in the early 1980s, and learned that McCartney was making $40 million a year from owning the rights to other artists' songs. By 1983, Jackson had begun buying publishing rights to others' songs, but he was careful with his acquisitions, bidding only on a few of the dozens that were offered to him. Jackson's early acquisitions of music catalogs and song copyrights such as the Sly Stone collection included "Everyday People" (1968), Len Barry's "1-2-3" (1965), and Dion DiMucci's "The Wanderer" (1961) and "Runaround Sue" (1961).
In 1984 Robert Holmes à Court announced he was selling the ATV Music Publishing catalog comprising the publishing rights to nearly 4000 songs, including most of the Beatles' material. In 1981, McCartney had been offered the catalog for £20 million ($40 million). Jackson submitted a bid of $46 million on November 20, 1984. When Jackson and McCartney were unable to make a joint purchase, McCartney did not want to be the sole owner of the Beatles' songs, and did not pursue an offer on his own. Jackson's agents were unable to come to a deal, and in May 1985 left talks after having spent more than $1 million and four months of due diligence work on the negotiations. In June 1985, Jackson and Branca learned that Charles Koppelman's and Marty Bandier's The Entertainment Company had made a tentative offer to buy ATV Music for $50 million; in early August, Holmes à Court contacted Jackson and talks resumed. Jackson's increased bid of $47.5 million was accepted because he could close the deal more quickly, having already completed due diligence. Jackson also agreed to visit Holmes à Court in Australia, where he would appear on the Channel Seven Perth Telethon. Jackson's purchase of ATV Music was finalized on August 10, 1985.
1986–1987: Changing appearance, tabloids, and films
Jackson's skin had been medium-brown during his youth, but from the mid-1980s gradually grew paler. The change drew widespread media coverage, including rumors that he had been bleaching his skin. According to biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo in 1984, which causes white patches on the skin, and had also been skin bleaching. He said that Jackson was diagnosed with lupus, which was in remission. Both conditions made Jackson's skin sensitive to sunlight. The treatments for his condition further lightened his skin, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he could appear even paler. Jackson said that he used makeup to control the patchy appearance of his skin, but never purposely bleached his skin. He said that he could not control his vitiligo.
In his autobiography, Jackson wrote that he had had two rhinoplasties and had a dimple created in his chin, but no further facial surgery. He said he had lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for "a dancer's body". Witnesses reported that he was often dizzy, and speculated he was suffering from anorexia nervosa. Periods of weight loss became a recurring problem later in his life. During his skin treatment, Jackson became friendly with his dermatologist, Arnold Klein, and Klein's nurse Debbie Rowe. Rowe later became Jackson's second wife and the mother of his first two children.
In 1986, tabloids reported that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow aging, and pictured him lying in a glass box. The claim was untrue, and tabloids reported that Jackson spread the story himself. When Jackson bought a chimpanzee named Bubbles from a laboratory, he was reported as being increasingly detached from reality. It was reported that Jackson had offered to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick (the "Elephant Man") and, although the story was untrue, Jackson did not deny it. He initially saw these stories as opportunities for publicity, but stopped leaking them to the press as they became more sensational. The media then began fabricating stories. These stories inspired the nickname "Wacko Jacko", which Jackson came to despise.
Jackson worked with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola on the 17-minute $30 million 3D film Captain EO, which ran from 1986 at Disneyland and Epcot, and later at Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disneyland. After having been removed by the late 1990s, it returned to the theme park for several years after Jackson's death. In 1987, Jackson disassociated himself from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Katherine Jackson said this might have been because some Witnesses strongly opposed the Thriller video. Jackson had denounced it in a Witness publication in 1984.
1987–1990: Bad, autobiography, and Neverland
Jackson's first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated, with the industry expecting another major success. It became the first album to produce five US number-one singles: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror", and "Dirty Diana". Another song, "Smooth Criminal", peaked at number seven. Bad won the 1988 Grammy for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical for "Leave Me Alone". Jackson won an Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards in 1989 after Bad generated five number-one singles, became the first album to top the charts in 25 countries and the best-selling album worldwide in 1987 and 1988. By 2012, it had sold between 30 and 45 million copies worldwide.
The Bad world tour ran from September 12, 1987 to January 14, 1989. In Japan, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record for a single tour. The 504,000 people who attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium set a new Guinness world record.
In 1988, Jackson released his autobiography, Moonwalk, with input from Stephen Davis and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It sold 200,000 copies, and reached the top of the New York Times bestsellers list. Jackson discussed his childhood, the abuse from his father, and the Jackson 5, and attributed his changing facial appearance to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hairstyle, and stage lighting. In October, Jackson released a film, Moonwalker, which featured live footage and short films starring Jackson and Joe Pesci. In the US it was released direct-to-video and became the best-selling video cassette. The RIAA certified it as Platinum.
In March 1988, Jackson purchased 2,700 acres (11 km2) of land near Santa Ynez, California, to build a new home, Neverland Ranch, at a cost of $17 million. He installed a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a movie theater and a zoo. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. Shortly afterwards, he appeared in the first Western television advertisement in the Soviet Union.
Jackson became known as the "King of Pop", a nickname that Jackson's publicists embraced. When Elizabeth Taylor presented him with the Soul Train Heritage Award in 1989, she called him "the true king of pop, rock and soul." President George H. W. Bush designated him the White House's "Artist of the Decade". From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $455,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity. His rendition of "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr.'s 60th birthday celebration won Jackson a second Emmy nomination.
1991–1993: Dangerous, Heal the World Foundation, and Super Bowl XXVII halftime show
In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million, a record-breaking deal, beating Neil Diamond's renewal contract with Columbia Records. In 1991, he released his eighth album, Dangerous, co-produced with Teddy Riley. It was certified seven times platinum in the US, and by 2008 had sold 30 million copies worldwide. In the US, the first single, "Black or White", was the album's highest charting song; it was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and achieved similar chart performances worldwide. The second single, "Remember the Time" peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. At the end of 1992, Dangerous was the best-selling album of the year worldwide and "Black or White" the best-selling single of the year worldwide at the Billboard Music Awards. Jackson was also the best-selling artist of the 1980s. In 1993, he performed "Black or White" at the Soul Train Music Awards in a chair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals. In the UK, "Heal the World" made number two in 1992.
Jackson founded the Heal the World Foundation in 1992. The charity brought underprivileged children to Jackson's ranch to use the theme park rides, and sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war, poverty, and disease. That July, Jackson published his second book, Dancing the Dream, a collection of poetry. The Dangerous World Tour ran between June 1992 and November 1993, having grossed $100 million; Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 70 concerts. He sold the broadcast rights to the tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands.
Following the death of HIV/AIDS spokesperson Ryan White, Jackson pleaded with the Clinton administration at Bill Clinton's inaugural gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research. Jackson visited Africa; on his first stop in Gabon he was greeted by more than 100,000 people, some of them carrying signs that read "Welcome Home Michael". During his trip to Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief. He thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed documents formalizing his kingship, and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.
In January 1993, Jackson performed at the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show in Pasadena, California. The NFL sought a big-name artist to keep ratings high during halftime following dwindling audience figures. It was the first Super Bowl whose half-time performance drew greater audience figures than the game. Jackson played "Jam", "Billie Jean", "Black or White", and "Heal the World". Dangerous rose 90 places in the album chart after the performance.
Jackson gave a 90-minute interview to Winfrey on February 10, 1993. He spoke of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood, and said that he often cried from loneliness. He denied tabloid rumors that he had bought the bones of the Elephant Man, slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or bleached his skin, and stated for the first time that he had vitiligo. Dangerous re-entered the album chart in the top 10, more than a year after its release.
In January 1993, Jackson won three American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album (Dangerous), Favorite Soul/R&B Single ("Remember the Time"), and was the first to win the International Artist Award of Excellence. In February, he won the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. He attended the award ceremony with Brooke Shields. Dangerous was nominated for Best Vocal Performance (for "Black or White"), Best R&B Vocal Performance ("Jam") and Best R&B Song ("Jam"), and Swedien and Riley won the award for Best Engineered – Non Classical.
1993–1995: Marriage to Lisa Marie Presley
In August 1993, a 13-year-old boy Jackson had shared a bed with accused him of sexual abuse. After a police investigation, no charges were brought. Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to cope with the stress of the allegations. By late 1993, he was addicted to the drugs. He relied on Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, for emotional support; she was concerned about his health and drug addictions. They had known each other since she was seven and attended one of Jackson's family engagements. The two stayed in contact every day on the phone. Presley sympathized with Jackson and believed he was innocent; she persuaded him to settle out of court with the boy's family, and go into rehabilitation.
Jackson proposed to Presley by phone in late 1993. They married secretly in the Dominican Republic in May 1994. The tabloid media speculated that the wedding was a ploy to prop up Jackson's public image, and staff at Neverland later told authorities that no woman ever stayed the night with Jackson. Their marriage ended less than two years later; they separated in December 1995, and she cited "irreconcilable differences" when filing for divorce the next month.
1995–1997: HIStory, second marriage, and fatherhood
In June 1995, Jackson released the double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, is a greatest hits album (reissued in 2001 as Greatest Hits: HIStory, Volume I). The second disc, HIStory Continues, contains 13 original songs and two cover versions. The album debuted at number one on the charts and has been certified for seven million shipments in the US. It is the best-selling multi-disc album of all time, with 20 million copies (40 million units) sold worldwide. HIStory received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The New York Times reviewed it as "the testimony of a musician whose self-pity now equals his talent".
The first single from HIStory was "Scream/Childhood". "Scream", a duet with Jackson's youngest sister Janet, protests the media's treatment of Jackson during the 1993 child abuse allegations. The single made number five on the Billboard Hot 100, and received a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals". The second single, "You Are Not Alone", holds the Guinness world record for the first song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It received a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Performance" in 1995.
In 1995 the Anti-Defamation League and other groups complained that the original lyrics of "They Don't Care About Us", 'Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me', were antisemitic; Jackson released a version with revised words.
In late 1995, Jackson was admitted to a hospital after collapsing during rehearsals for a televised performance, caused by a stress-related panic attack. In November, Jackson merged his ATV Music catalog with Sony's music publishing division, creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. He retained ownership of half the company, earning $95 million up front as well as the rights to more songs.
"Earth Song" was the third single released from HIStory, and topped the UK Singles Chart for six weeks over Christmas 1995. It became the 87th-best selling single in the nation. At the 1996 Brit Awards, Jackson's performance of "Earth Song" was disrupted by a drunken Jarvis Cocker and his Pulp band-mate Peter Mansell, who were protesting what Cocker saw as Jackson's "Christ-like" persona. Jackson said the stage invasion was "disgusting and cowardly".
Jackson promoted HIStory with the HIStory World Tour, from September 7, 1996 to October 15, 1997. He performed 82 concerts in five continents, 35 countries and 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans, his most attended tour. It grossed $165 million. During the tour, in Sydney, Australia, Jackson married Debbie Rowe, a dermatology nurse, who was six months pregnant with his first child. Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. (commonly known as Prince) was born on February 13, 1997; his sister Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born a year later on April 3, 1998. Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999, and Rowe conceded custody of the children, with an $8 million settlement. In 2004, after the second child abuse allegations against Jackson, she returned to court to reclaim custody. The suit was settled in 2006.
In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies, making it the best-selling remix album of all time. It reached number one in the UK, as did the title track. In the US, the album reached number 24 and was certified platinum.
1997–2005: Label dispute and Invincible
From October 1997 to September 2001, Jackson worked on his tenth solo album, Invincible, which cost $30 million to record. In June 1999, Jackson joined Luciano Pavarotti for a War Child benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show raised a million dollars for refugees of the Kosovo War, and additional funds for the children of Guatemala. Later that month, Jackson organized a series of "Michael Jackson & Friends" benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. Other artists involved included Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana, Andrea Bocelli, and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, the Red Cross and UNESCO. From August 1999 to 2000, he lived in New York City at 4 East 74th Street. At the turn of the century, Jackson won an American Music Award as Artist of the 1980s. In 2000, Guinness World Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities, more than any other entertainer.
In September 2001, two 30th Anniversary concerts were held at Madison Square Garden to mark Jackson's 30th year as a solo artist. Jackson performed with his brothers for the first time since 1984. The show also featured Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Monica, Liza Minnelli, and Slash. The first show was marred by technical lapses, and the crowd booed a speech by Marlon Brando. Almost 30 million people watched the television broadcast of the shows in November. After 9/11, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on October 21, 2001. Jackson performed "What More Can I Give" as the finale.
The release of Invincible was preceded by a dispute between Jackson and his record label, Sony Music Entertainment. Jackson had expected the licenses to the masters of his albums to revert to him in the early 2000s, after which he would be able to promote the material however he pleased and keep the profits, but clauses in the contract set the revert date years into the future. Jackson sought an early exit from his contract. Invincible was released on October 30, 2001. It was Jackson's first full-length album in six years, and the last album of original material he released in his lifetime. It debuted at number one in 13 countries and went on to sell 6 million copies worldwide, receiving double-platinum certification in the US.
On January 22, 2002, Jackson won his 22nd American Music Award for Artist of the Century. Later that year, an anonymous surrogate mother gave birth to his third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (nicknamed "Blanket"), who had been conceived by artificial insemination. On November 20, Jackson briefly held Blanket over the railing of his Berlin hotel room, four stories above ground level, prompting widespread criticism in the media. Jackson apologized for the incident, calling it "a terrible mistake".
Jackson alleged in July 2002 that Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola was a "devil" and "racist" who did not support his African-American artists, and used them only for his own gain. He charged that Mottola had called his colleague Irv Gotti a "fat nigger". Sony refused to renew Jackson's contract, and claimed that a $25 million promotional campaign had failed because Jackson refused to tour in the US.
Following a documentary made in 2002 and screened in 2003 in which Jackson discussed his practice of sharing a bed with young boys, he was arrested and tried for child molestation. He was acquitted in June 2005. After the trial, he largely withdrew from public life. On November 17, 2003, three days before his arrest, Sony had released Number Ones, a compilation of his songs on CD and DVD. In the US, the album was certified triple platinum by the RIAA; in the UK it was certified six times platinum for shipments of at least 1.2 million units.
2006–2009: Closure of Neverland, final years, and This Is It
In March 2006, Jackson failed to make repayments on a $270 million loan secured against his music publishing holdings, which were making him $75 million a year. Bank of America sold the debt to Fortress Investments. Sony proposed a restructuring deal which would give them a future option to buy half of Jackson's stake in their jointly-owned publishing company, leaving Jackson with a 25% stake. The main house at Neverland Ranch was closed as a cost-cutting measure. Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal in April 2006.
In early 2006, it was announced that Jackson had signed a contract with a Bahrain-based startup, Two Seas Records; nothing came of the deal, and Two Seas CEO Guy Holmes later stated that it had never been finalized. That October, Fox News entertainment reporter Roger Friedman said that Jackson had been recording at a studio in County Westmeath, Ireland. It was not known at the time what Jackson was working on, or who had paid for the sessions; his publicist had recently stated that he had left Two Seas.
In November 2006, Jackson invited an Access Hollywood camera crew into the studio in Westmeath, and MSNBC reported that he was working on a new album, produced by will.i.am. During his period in Ireland he sought out Patrick Treacy for cosmetic treatment after reading about his experience with HLA fillers and his charitable work in Africa. Treacy became Jackson's personal dermatologist. Jackson performed at the World Music Awards in London on November 15, 2006, and accepted a Diamond Award for selling over 100 million records. He returned to the US in December 2006 to attend James Brown's funeral in Augusta, Georgia, where he gave one of the eulogies, calling Brown his "greatest inspiration".
In 2007, Jackson and Sony bought another music publishing company, Famous Music LLC, formerly owned by Viacom. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem and Beck, among others. In March 2007, Jackson gave a brief interview to the Associated Press in Tokyo in which he said he had no regrets about his lifelong career. That month, Jackson visited a US Army post in Japan, Camp Zama, to greet over 3,000 troops and their families.
In September 2007, Jackson was still working on his next album, which he never completed. In 2008, Jackson and Sony released Thriller 25 to mark the 25th anniversary of the original Thriller. Two remixes were released as singles: "The Girl Is Mine 2008" (with will.i.am), based on an early demo version of the song without Paul McCartney, and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" (with Akon). For Jackson's 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a series of greatest hits albums, King of Pop. Different versions were released in various countries, based on polls of local fans.
In late 2008, Fortress Investments threatened to foreclose on Neverland Ranch, which Jackson had used as collateral for loans running into tens of millions of dollars. Fortress sold Jackson's debts to Colony Capital LLC. In November, Jackson transferred Neverland Ranch's title to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC, a joint venture between Jackson and Colony Capital LLC. The deal earned him $35 million. Jackson arranged to sell a large collection of memorabilia through Julien's Auction House. The auction was scheduled to take place between April 22 and 25, 2009. An exhibition of the lots opened, but Jackson canceled the auction.
In March 2009, at a press conference at London's O2 Arena, Jackson announced a series of comeback concerts titled This Is It, against a background of speculation about his finances and his health. The shows were to be his first major tour since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997. Jackson suggested he would retire after the shows. The initial plan was for 10 concerts in London, followed by shows in Paris, New York City and Mumbai. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, predicted that the first 10 dates would earn Jackson £50 million. The London residency was increased to 50 dates after record-breaking ticket sales: over one million were sold in less than two hours. The concerts were to run from July 13, 2009 to March 6, 2010. Jackson rehearsed in Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the tour under the direction of choreographer Kenny Ortega. Most rehearsals took place at the Staples Center, owned by AEG.
On June 25, 2009, less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died from a cardiac arrest. Conrad Murray, his personal physician, had given Jackson various medications to help him sleep at his rented mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. Paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 pm Pacific time (19:22 UTC), and arrived three minutes later. Jackson was not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for more than an hour after arriving there, but were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm Pacific time (21:26 UTC).
Jackson had taken propofol, lorazepam, and midazolam; his death was caused by a propofol overdose. News of his death spread quickly online, causing websites to slow down and crash from user overload, and putting unprecedented strain on services and websites including Google, AOL Instant Messenger, Twitter, and Wikipedia. Overall, web traffic rose by between 11% and 20%. MTV and BET aired marathons of Jackson's music videos. Jackson specials aired on television stations around the world. MTV briefly returned to its original music video format, and aired hours of Jackson's music videos, with live news specials featuring reactions from MTV personalities and other celebrities.
Jackson's memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park's Hall of Liberty. Over 1.6 million fans applied for tickets to the memorial; the 8,750 recipients were drawn at random, and each received two tickets. The memorial service was one of the most watched events in streaming history, with an estimated US audience of 31.1 million.
Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson, and Shaheen Jafargholi performed at the event. Smokey Robinson and Queen Latifah gave eulogies. Al Sharpton received a standing ovation with cheers when he told Jackson's children, "Wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway." Jackson's 11-year-old daughter Paris Katherine, speaking publicly for the first time, wept as she addressed the crowd. The Rev. Lucious Smith provided a closing prayer. Jackson's body was entombed on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Criminal investigation and prosecution
On June 25, 2010, the first anniversary of Jackson's death, fans, family and friends visited Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his family home, and Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Many left tributes at the sites.
Murray's trial took place from September 27 to November 7, 2011, and he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and held without bail to await sentencing. 22 days after the trial ended, Murray received the maximum sentence of four years in prison. He was released on October 28, 2013 due to California prison overcrowding and good behavior.
In April 2011, Mohamed Al-Fayed, chairman of Fulham Football Club, unveiled a statue of Jackson outside the club stadium, Craven Cottage. Fulham fans failed to see the relevance of the statue to the club; Al-Fayed defended it and told the fans to "go to hell" if they did not appreciate it. It was moved to the National Football Museum in Manchester in May 2014, then removed from display in March 2019.
In 2012, in an attempt to end a family dispute, Jackson's brother Jermaine retracted his signature on a public letter criticizing executors of Michael Jackson's estate and his mother's advisers over the legitimacy of his brother's will. T.J. Jackson, son of Tito Jackson, was given co-guardianship of Michael Jackson's children after false reports of Katherine Jackson going missing.
In 2013, a third round of child sexual abuse allegations were made against Jackson when two of his former sleepover guests accused him of molesting them and brought a civil suit for compensation against the estate. The claim failed because too much time had passed since the alleged events.
The first posthumous Jackson song, "This Is It", co-written in the 1980s with Paul Anka, was released in October 2009. The surviving Jackson brothers reunited to record backing vocals. On October 28, 2009, Sony released a documentary film about the rehearsals, Michael Jackson's This Is It. Despite a limited two-week engagement, it became the highest-grossing documentary or concert film ever, with earnings of more than $260 million worldwide. Jackson's estate received 90% of the profits. The film was accompanied by a compilation album of the same name. At the 2009 American Music Awards, Jackson won four posthumous awards, two for him and two for his album Number Ones, bringing his total American Music Awards to 26.
On March 16, 2010, following a surge in sales after Jackson's death, Sony Music Entertainment, spearheaded by its Columbia/Epic Label Group division, signed a $250 million deal with the Jackson estate to extend their distribution rights to Jackson's back catalog until at least 2017; it had been due to expire in 2015. It was the most expensive music contract for a single artist in history. They also agreed to release ten albums of previously unreleased material and new collections of released work. In late 2010, Sony released the first posthumous album, Michael and the promotional single "Breaking News". Some doubt was cast upon whether the voice on some tracks was genuinely Jackson's.
Video game developer Ubisoft released a music video game featuring Jackson for the 2010 holiday season, Michael Jackson: The Experience; it was among the first games to use Kinect and PlayStation Move, the motion-detecting camera systems for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively. Xscape, an album of unreleased material, was released on May 13, 2014. Later that year, Queen released three duets recorded with Jackson and Freddie Mercury in the 1980s. A compilation album, Scream, was released on September 29, 2017.
In October 2011, the theater company Cirque du Soleil launched Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour in Montreal, with a permanent show resident in Las Vegas. The 90-minute $57-million production combined Jackson's music and choreography with the Cirque's 65 aerial dancers. A larger and more theatrical Cirque show, Michael Jackson: One, designed for residency at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, opened on May 23, 2013 in a renovated theater.
In December 2015, Thriller was certified for 30 million shipments by the RIAA, one of only two albums to do so in the US. A year later, it was certified at 33× platinum, after Soundscan added streams and audio downloads to album certifications.[nb 3]
In 2017, Sony Music Entertainment extended its deal with the estate; that July, a Los Angeles court awarded Jones $9.4 million of disputed royalty payments for Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. In July 2018, Sony/ATV bought the estate's stake in EMI for $287.5 million.
A jukebox musical, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, is due to debut on Broadway in mid-2020. The musical is directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon and features a book by Lynn Nottage. It was delayed and a pre-Broadway run in Chicago was canceled in the wake of the renewed claims of child sexual abuse in the Leaving Neverland documentary.
Jackson was influenced by musicians including James Brown, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr., Gene Kelly, and David Ruffin. Little Richard had a substantial influence on Jackson, but Brown was his greatest inspiration; he later said that as a small child, his mother would waken him whenever Brown appeared on television. Jackson described being "mesmerized".
Jackson's vocal technique was influenced by Diana Ross; his use of the oooh interjection from a young age was something Ross had used on many of her songs with the Supremes. She was a mother figure to him, and he often watched her rehearse. He said he had learned a lot from watching how she moved and sang, and that she had encouraged him to have confidence in himself.
Choreographer David Winters, who met Jackson while choreographing the 1971 Diana Ross TV special Diana!, said that Jackson watched the musical West Side Story almost every week, and it was his favorite film; he paid tribute to it in "Beat It" and the "Bad" video.
Jackson had no formal music training and could not read or write music notation; he is credited for playing guitar, keyboard and drums, but was not proficient in them. When composing, he recorded ideas by beatboxing and imitating instruments vocally. Describing the process, he said: "I'll just sing the bass part into the tape recorder. I'll take that bass lick and put the chords of the melody over the bass lick and that's what inspires the melody." Engineer Robert Hoffman recalled Jackson dictating a guitar chord note by note and singing string arrangements part by part into a cassette recorder.
Themes and genres
Jackson explored genres including pop, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, rock, disco, post-disco, dance-pop and new jack swing. Steve Huey of AllMusic wrote that Thriller refined the strengths of Off the Wall; the dance and rock tracks were more aggressive, while the pop tunes and ballads were softer and more soulful. Its tracks included the ballads "The Lady in My Life", "Human Nature", and "The Girl Is Mine", the funk pieces "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", and the disco set "Baby Be Mine" and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)".
With Off the Wall, Jackson's "vocabulary of grunts, squeals, hiccups, moans, and asides" vividly showed his maturation into an adult, Robert Christgau wrote in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981). The album's title track suggested to the critic a parallel between Jackson and Stevie Wonder's "oddball" music personas: "Since childhood his main contact with the real world has been on stage and in bed." With Thriller, Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone commented that Jackson developed his long association with the subliminal theme of paranoia and darker imagery. AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted this on the songs "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". In "Billie Jean", Jackson depicts an obsessive fan who alleges he has fathered her child, and in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" he argues against gossip and the media. "Beat It" decried gang violence in a homage to West Side Story, and was Jackson's first successful rock cross-over piece, according to Huey. He also observed that the title track "Thriller" began Jackson's interest with the theme of the supernatural, a topic he revisited in subsequent years. In 1985, Jackson co-wrote the charity anthem "We Are the World"; humanitarian themes later became a recurring theme in his lyrics and public persona.
In Bad, Jackson's concept of the predatory lover is seen on the rock song "Dirty Diana". The lead single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" is a traditional love ballad, and "Man in the Mirror" is a ballad of confession and resolution. "Smooth Criminal" is an evocation of bloody assault, rape and likely murder. AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine states that Dangerous presents Jackson as a paradoxical person. The first half of the record is dedicated to new jack swing, including songs like "Jam" and "Remember the Time". It was the first Jackson album in which social ills became a primary theme; "Why You Wanna Trip on Me", for example, protests world hunger, AIDS, homelessness and drugs. Dangerous contains sexually charged songs such as "In the Closet". The title track continues the theme of the predatory lover and compulsive desire. The second half includes introspective, pop-gospel anthems such as "Will You Be There", "Heal the World" and "Keep the Faith". In the ballad "Gone Too Soon", Jackson gives tribute to Ryan White and the plight of those with AIDS.
HIStory creates an atmosphere of paranoia. In the new jack swing-funk rock tracks "Scream" and "Tabloid Junkie", and the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone", Jackson retaliates against the injustice and isolation he feels, and directs his anger at the media. In the introspective ballad "Stranger in Moscow", Jackson laments his "fall from grace"; "Earth Song", "Childhood", "Little Susie" and "Smile" are operatic pop songs. In the "D.S.", Jackson launched a verbal attack against the lawyer Tom Sneddon, who had prosecuted him in both child sexual abuse cases. He describes Sneddon as an antisocial white supremacist who wanted to "get my ass, dead or alive". Sneddon said he had not listened to the song. Invincible was produced by Rodney Jerkins. It includes urban soul tracks such as "Cry" and "The Lost Children", ballads such as "Speechless", "Break of Dawn", and "Butterflies" and mixes hip hop, pop, and R&B in "2000 Watts", "Heartbreaker" and "Invincible".
Jackson sang from childhood, and over time his voice and vocal style changed. Between 1971 and 1975, his voice descended from boy soprano to high tenor. He was known for his vocal range. With the arrival of Off the Wall in the late 1970s, Jackson's abilities as a vocalist were well regarded; Rolling Stone compared his vocals to the "breathless, dreamy stutter" of Stevie Wonder, and wrote that "Jackson's feathery-timbred tenor is extraordinarily beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that's used very daringly." By the time of 1982's Thriller, Rolling Stone wrote that Jackson was singing in a "fully adult voice" that was "tinged by sadness".
The turn of the 1990s saw the release of the introspective album Dangerous. The New York Times noted that on some tracks, "he gulps for breath, his voice quivers with anxiety or drops to a desperate whisper, hissing through clenched teeth" and he had a "wretched tone". When singing of brotherhood or self-esteem the musician would return to "smooth" vocals. Of Invincible, Rolling Stone wrote that, at 43, Jackson still performed "exquisitely voiced rhythm tracks and vibrating vocal harmonies". Joseph Vogel notes Jackson's ability to use non-verbal sounds to express emotion. Neil McCormick wrote that Jackson's unorthodox singing style "was original and utterly distinctive".
Music videos and choreography
Jackson released "Thriller", a 14-minute music video directed by John Landis, in 1983. The zombie-themed video "defined music videos and broke racial barriers" on MTV, which had launched two years earlier. Before Thriller, Jackson struggled to receive coverage on MTV, allegedly because he was African American. Pressure from CBS Records persuaded MTV to start showing "Billie Jean" and later "Beat It", which led to a lengthy partnership with Jackson, and helped other black music artists gain recognition. The popularity of his videos on MTV helped the relatively new channel's viewing figures, and MTV's focus shifted toward pop and R&B. His performance on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever changed the scope of live stage shows, making it acceptable for artists to lip-sync to music video on stage. The choreography in Thriller has been copied in Indian films and prisons in the Philippines. Thriller marked an increase in scale for music videos, and was named the most successful music video ever by the Guinness World Records.
In "Bad"'s 19-minute video—directed by Martin Scorsese—Jackson used sexual imagery and choreography, and touched his chest, torso and crotch. When asked by Winfrey in the 1993 interview about why he grabbed his crotch, he said it was spontaneously compelled by the music. Time magazine described the "Bad" video as "infamous". It featured Wesley Snipes; Jackson's later videos often featured famous cameo roles. For the "Smooth Criminal" video, Jackson experimented with leaning forward at a 45 degree angle, beyond the performer's center of gravity. To accomplish this live, Jackson and designers developed a special shoe to lock the performer's feet to the stage, allowing them to lean forward. They were granted U.S. Patent 5,255,452 for the device. The video for "Leave Me Alone" was not officially released in the US, but in 1989 was nominated for three Billboard Music Video Awards and won a Golden Lion Award for its special effects. It won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form.
He received the MTV Video Vanguard Award in 1988; in 2001 the award was renamed in his honor. The "Black or White" video simultaneously premiered on November 14, 1991, in 27 countries with an estimated audience of 500 million people, the largest audience ever for a music video at the time. Along with Jackson, it featured Macaulay Culkin, Peggy Lipton, and George Wendt. It helped introduce morphing to music videos. It was controversial for scenes in which Jackson rubs his crotch, vandalizes cars, and throws a garbage can through a storefront. He apologized and removed the final scene of the video.
"In the Closet" featured Naomi Campbell in a courtship dance with Jackson. "Remember the Time" was set in ancient Egypt, and featured Eddie Murphy, Iman, and Magic Johnson. The video for "Scream", directed by Mark Romanek and production designer Tom Foden, gained a record 11 MTV Video Music Award Nominations, and won "Best Dance Video", "Best Choreography", and "Best Art Direction". The song and its video are Jackson's response to being accused of child molestation in 1993. A year later, it won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form. It has been reported as the most expensive music video ever made, at $7 million; Romanek has contradicted this. The "Earth Song" video was nominated for the 1997 Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form.
Michael Jackson's Ghosts, a short film written by Jackson and Stephen King and directed by Stan Winston, premiered at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. At over 38 minutes long, it held the Guinness world record for the longest music video until 2013, when it was eclipsed by Pharrell Williams' "Happy". The 2001 video for "You Rock My World" lasts over 13 minutes, was directed by Paul Hunter, and features Chris Tucker and Marlon Brando. It won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Music Video in 2002.
In December 2009, the Library of Congress selected "Thriller" as the only music video to be preserved in the National Film Registry, as a work of "enduring importance to American culture". Huey wrote that Jackson transformed the music video into an art form and a promotional tool through complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and famous cameos, while breaking down racial barriers.
Allegations of child sexual abuse
In August 1993, Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old boy, Jordan Chandler, and his father, Evan Chandler. Jordan said he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex. Jordan's mother said that there had been no wrongdoing on Jackson's part. Evan was recorded discussing his intention to pursue charges, which Jackson used to argue that he was the victim of a jealous father trying to extort money. Jackson's older sister La Toya accused him of being a pedophile, which she later retracted.
Police raided Jackson's home in December and found books and photographs featuring young boys with little or no clothing. The books were legal to own, and Jackson was not indicted. Jordan Chandler gave police a description of Jackson's genitals. A strip search was made, and the jurors felt the description was not a match. In January 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandlers out of court for $25 million. The police never pressed criminal charges. Citing a lack of evidence without Jordan's testimony, the state closed its investigation on September 22, 1994.
Second allegations and trial
Beginning in May 2002, a film crew led by Martin Bashir followed Jackson for several months to make a documentary about him. The program was broadcast in March 2003 as Living with Michael Jackson. In the film, Jackson is seen holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with a young boy. Jackson stated in the documentary that he saw nothing wrong with sleeping with boys.
As soon as the documentary aired, the Santa Barbara county attorney's office began a criminal investigation. After the boy in the documentary and his mother told investigators that Jackson had behaved improperly, Jackson was arrested in November 2003 and charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of giving alcoholic drinks to the boy. Jackson denied the allegations, saying the sleepovers were not sexual in nature. The People v. Jackson trial began on January 31, 2005, in Santa Maria, California, and lasted until the end of May. Jackson found the experience stressful and it affected his health. If convicted he would have faced up to 20 years in prison. On June 13, 2005, Jackson was acquitted on all counts. After the trial, he moved to Bahrain as a guest of Sheikh Abdullah. Jermaine Jackson later said the family had planned to send him there had he been convicted.
Renewed allegations and Leaving Neverland
In 2013, choreographer Wade Robson filed a lawsuit alleging that Jackson had sexually abused him for seven years, beginning when he was seven years old. In 2014, a case was filed by James Safechuck, alleging sexual abuse over a four-year period from the age of ten. Both had testified in Jackson's defense at the 2005 trial. In 2015, Robson's case against Jackson's estate was dismissed on the grounds of being filed too late. In 2017, it was ruled that the corporations formerly owned by Jackson could not be held accountable for Jackson's alleged past actions. Neither ruling commented on the credibility of the allegations.
The 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland covers Robson and Shafechuck's allegations of Jackson sexually abusing them in graphic details. Its release led to an international backlash against Jackson. Radio stations in New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands removed Jackson's music from their playlists in response to the renewed allegations. Canadian rapper Drake removed the song "Don't Matter to Me", featuring Jackson vocals, from his performances. Jackson's family condemned the film as a "public lynching."
As of 2019, five boys who shared a bed with Jackson when they were preteens (Jordan Chandler, Gavin Arvizo, Jason Francia, Robson, and Safechuck) have alleged that he sexually abused them. At least seven people formerly employed by Jackson have accused him of sexually abusing or behaving inappropriately with young boys.
Legacy and influence
Jackson has been referred to as the "King of Pop" because he transformed the art of music videos and paved the way for modern pop music. For much of Jackson's career, he had an unparalleled worldwide influence over the younger generation. His music and videos, such as Thriller, fostered racial diversity in MTV's roster and steered its focus from rock to pop music and R&B, shaping the channel into a form that proved enduring. He is recognized as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time by Guinness World Records. He is considered one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, and his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Danyel Smith, the chief content officer of Vibe Media Group and the editor-in-chief of Vibe describes Jackson as "The Greatest Star". Huey calls Jackson "an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the skills to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and loads of sheer star power". BET said Jackson was "quite simply the greatest entertainer of all time" and someone who "revolutionized the music video and brought dances like the moonwalk to the world. Jackson's sound, style, movement and legacy continues to inspire artists of all genres."
In 1984, Time magazine's pop critic Jay Cocks wrote that "Jackson is the biggest thing since the Beatles. He is the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley. He just may be the most popular black singer ever." In 2003, The Daily Telegraph writer Tom Utley described Jackson as "extremely important" and a "genius". In 2007, Jackson said: "Music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in this world. Through it, my music, I know I will live forever."
At Jackson's memorial service on July 7, 2009, Motown founder Berry Gordy called Jackson "the greatest entertainer that ever lived". In a June 28, 2009 Baltimore Sun article, Jill Rosen wrote that Jackson's legacy influenced fields including sound, dance, fashion, music videos and celebrity.
In July 2009, the Lunar Republic Society named a crater on the Moon after Jackson. In August, for what would have been Jackson's 51st birthday, Google dedicated their Google Doodle to him. In 2010, two university librarians found that there were references to Jackson in academic writing on music, popular culture, chemistry and other topics. On December 19, 2014, the British Council of Cultural Relations deemed Jackson's life one of the 80 most important cultural moments of the 20th century.
Robert Christgau wrote that Jackson's work from the 1970s to the early 1990s showed "immense originality, adaptability, and ambition" that "generate[d] genius beats, hooks, arrangements, and vocals (though not lyrics)"; music that "will stand forever as a reproach to the puritanical notion that pop music is slick or shallow and that's the end of it." During the 1990s as Jackson lost control of his "troubling life", his music suffered and began to shape "an arc not merely of promise fulfilled and outlived, but of something approaching tragedy: a phenomenally ebullient child star tops himself like none before, only to transmute audibly into a lost weirdo." Jackson's image by the 2000s—his "obsession with fame, his grotesque life magnified by his grotesque wealth"—had become what Christgau called "such an offense to rock aesthetes that the fact that he's a great musician is now often forgotten."
Honors and awards
Jackson was inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1980 as a member of the Jacksons, and in 1984 as a solo artist. He also won the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997, and again as a solo artist in 2001. In 2002 he was added to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2010, Jackson was the first pop and rock 'n' roll performer inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame, and in 2014 he was posthumously inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.
Jackson won hundreds of awards, more than any other popular music recording artist. His awards include many Guinness world records (eight in 2006 alone), including Most Successful Entertainer of All Time, 13 Grammy Awards the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a record 26 American Music Awards (including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s").
Jackson received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Fisk University in 1988. On December 29, 2009, the American Film Institute recognized Jackson's death as a "moment of significance".
Jackson had 13 number-one singles in the US in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and estimated sales of over 350 million records worldwide[Note 2] making him one of the best-selling artists in music history.
In 1989, Jackson's annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts were estimated at $125 million. Forbes placed Jackson's annual income at $35 million in 1996 and $20 million in 1997. In the year after his death, more than 8.2 million of Jackson's albums sold in the US, and 35 million albums worldwide, more than any other artist in 2009. In 2014, Jackson became the first artist to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. He became the first artist to sell one million music downloads in a week, with 2.6 million song downloads. Thriller, Number Ones and The Essential Michael Jackson became the first catalog albums to outsell any new album. Jackson also became the first artist to have four of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year in the US.
Forbes reported in August 2018 that Jackson's total career pretax earnings in life and death were $4.2 billion. Sales of his recordings through Sony's music unit earned him an estimated $300 million in royalties. He may have earned another $400 million from concerts, music publishing (including his share of the Beatles catalog), endorsements, merchandising and music videos.
Estimates of Jackson's net worth during his life range from negative $285 million to positive $350 million for 2002, 2003 and 2007. In 2013, the executors of Jackson's estate filed a petition in the United States Tax Court as a result of a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over US federal estate taxes. The executors claim that it was worth about $7 million, the IRS that it was worth over $1.1 billion. In February 2014, the IRS reported that Jackson's estate owed $702 million; $505 million in taxes, and $197 million in penalties. A trial was held from February 6 to 24, 2017, and a decision is expected in 2019.
In 2016, Forbes estimated annual gross earnings by the Jackson estate at $825 million, the largest ever recorded for a celebrity, mostly due to the sale of the Sony/ATV catalog. It was the seventh consecutive year since his death in which Jackson's annual earnings were over $100 million. In 2018 the figure was $400 million. According to Forbes in 2016, Jackson had been the top-earning dead celebrity each year since his death.
- The Wiz (1978)
- Captain EO (1986)
- Moonwalker (1988)
- Michael Jackson's Ghosts (1997)
- Men in Black II (2002)
- Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls (2004)
- Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009)
- Bad 25 (2012)
- Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot (2014)
- Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall (2016)
- "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror", and "Dirty Diana".
- The Wall Street Journal and other news sites report that the 750 million units sold by Michael Jackson is an inflated figure, initially claimed in 2006 by Raymone Bain, Jackson's publicist at that time, without any evidence and probably in an effort to boost album sales. Since 2006, several sources such as RIAA, Rolling Stone, and Time have claimed that Michael Jackson has sold 750 million units (or even 1 billion); Adrian Strain, a representative from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has disputed this figure.
- In 2018, its US sales record was overtaken by the Eagles' album Greatest Hits 1971–75, with 38× platinum.
- Bain, Raymone K. (October 31, 2006). "Statement from Raymone Bain to all fans and fanclubs". Mjtmc.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007.
- Lara, David (May 12, 2012). "Michael Jackson's 'Bad' Gets a Revamp and More Inflated Sales!". ImpreMedia. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Bialik, Carl (July 15, 2009). "Spun: The Off-the-Wall Accounting of Record Sales". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' First Ever 30X Multi-Platinum RIAA Certification". Recording Industry Association of America. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- Grow, Kory (December 16, 2015). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Is First Album to Sell 30 Million Copies". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
- Adamczyk, Alicia (December 16, 2015). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Just Smashed Another Record". Time. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
- County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services (2009). Michael Jackson death certificate.
- Huey, Steve. "Michael Jackson – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson: 10 Achievements That Made Him The King Of Pop". Grammy.com. June 24, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- Jackson 2009, p. 26.
- Young 2009, p. 18.
- Young 2009, pp. 17, 19.
- Petridis, Alexis (June 27, 2018). "Joe Jackson was one of the most monstrous fathers in pop". The Guardian. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
- Sweeting, Adam (June 27, 2018). "Joe Jackson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Young 2009, pp. 18–19.
- Knopper 2016, p. 6.
- Morris, Chris (June 27, 2018). "Joe Jackson, Jackson Family Patriarch, Dies at 89". Variety. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- "Can Michael Jackson's demons be explained?". BBC News Online. June 27, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson interview seen by 14m". BBC News Online. February 4, 2003. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Lewis Jones 2005, pp. 165–168.
- Katherine Jackson: Michael's strict upbringing not abuse (video). CNN. May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Duke, Alan (July 21, 2009). "Joe Jackson denies abusing Michael" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson Brothers: Was Joe Jackson Abusive?". Yahoo! Celebrity. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Young 2009, p. 24.
- "The Jackson 5 Biography". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Burton, Charlie (February 7, 2018). "Inside the Jackson machine". GQ. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 13–14.
- Young 2009, pp. 21–22.
- "Triumph & Tragedy: The Life of Michael Jackson". Rolling Stone India. August 25, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Young 2009, p. 22.
- Young 2009, p. 21.
- Huey, Steve. "The Jackson – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 59–69.
- "Michael Jackson – Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 2, 2008.
- Bronson, Fred (November 15, 2017). "48 Years Ago Today, 'I Want You Back' Kicked It All Off for the Jackson 5". Billboard. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 81–82.
- Young 2009, p. 25.
- McNulty, Bernadette (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson's music: the solo albums". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 98–99.
- Alban, Debra (June 28, 2009). "Michael Jackson broke down racial barriers" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Brown, Helen (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson and Motown: the boy behind the marketing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Mansour 2005, p. 403: 'The Robot was a mimelike dance, popularized by The Jackson 5 and their Top Ten hit "Dancing Machine"'
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 138–144.
- Gibron, Bill (July 7, 2009). "You Can't Win Michael Jackson and 'The Wiz'". PopMatters. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 178–179.
- Bronson 2003, p. 207.
- "Who's bad? Michael Jackson's estate owes Quincy Jones $9.4m in royalties, jury decides". The Guardian. Associated Press. July 27, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Leight, Elias (February 5, 2015). "10 Things We Learned From Spike Lee's Michael Jackson Doc". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 205–210.
- Trust, Gary (January 21, 2018). "Ask Billboard: Remembering the Time When Michael Jackson Kept Hitting the Hot 100's Top 10, From 'Thriller' to 'Dangerous'". Billboard. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson: Off The Wall". Virgin Media. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Donna Summer and Michael Jackson sweep Annual American Music Awards". The Ledger. Associated Press. January 20, 1980. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Peters, Ida (February 2, 1980). "Donna No. 1, Pop and Soul; Michael Jackson King of Soul". The Afro-American. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson". Grammy.com. February 15, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- "Few Surprises In Music Awards". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. February 1, 1981. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 188.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 191.
- Locker, Melissa (July 29, 2013). "Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury: Three Duets Coming Out This Fall". Time. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "The real Freddie Mercury: why the Queen biopic tells only part of the story". The Times. October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- Greene, Andy (September 19, 2014). "Hear Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury's Long-Lost Duet". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Earls, John (August 2, 2014). "Producer of new Queen album featuring Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson vocals is revealed". NME. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson sweeps American Music Awards". Daily News. Associated Press. January 17, 1984. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- "Michael: He's Not Just the Rock Star of the Year, He's the Rock Star of the '80s". The Philadelphia Inquirer. December 20, 1983. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
- "Cash register's ring sweet music to record industry". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press. March 26, 1984. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
- "Diamond Awards". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Best-selling album". Guinness World Records. May 11, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Lewis Jones 2005, p. 47.
- "Past Winners Search: Bruce Swedien". The Recording Academy. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
- "Winners Database: Search Results for "Michael Jackson"". American Music Award. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- Cocks, Jay (March 19, 1984). "Why He's a Thriller". Time. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- Pareles, Jon (January 14, 1984). "Michael Jackson at 25: A Musical Phenomenon". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Williams, Janette (June 24, 2009). "Michael Jackson left indelible mark on Pasadena". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Fatal Cardiac Arrest Strikes Michael Jackson". Emmys.com. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson glove sells for $350,000". BBC News Online. November 22, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Daniel, Jeffrey (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson 1958–2009". Time. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 234–237.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 238–241.
- Kisselgoff, Anna (March 6, 1988). "Stage: The Dancing Feet Of Michael Jackson". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Berry Gordy Addresses Michael Jackson Memorial Service". Hark. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Herrera, Monica (July 3, 2009). "Michael Jackson, Pepsi Made Marketing History". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Story, Louise (December 31, 2007). "Philip B. Dusenberry, 71, Adman, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 279–287.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 304–307.
- "Drunk Driving Prevention (1983 – Present)". Advertising Education Foundation. 2003. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 320.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 314–320.
- "Past Winners Search: "We Are The World"". The Recording Academy. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- Doyle, Jack (July 7, 2009). ""Michael & McCartney": 1980s–2009". The Pop History Dig. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Breznican, Anthony (June 30, 2009). "The many faces of Michael Jackson". USA Today. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- "Bruce shows who's Boss". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. January 28, 1986. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- Campbell 1993, p. 114.
- Young 2009, pp. 340–344.
- Hilburn, Robert (September 22, 1985). "The long and winding road". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Paul McCartney refused an offer to buy the ATV Catalog for £20 million ($40 million)". Mjjinfo.blogspot.fr. November 13, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 333–338.
- "Michael Jackson 1958–2009". Today Tonight. June 25, 2009. Coverage of the sale of ATV Music at 2:36 minutes in. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- Campbell 1995, pp. 14–16.
- Parameswaran 2011, pp. 75–77.
- DeMello 2012, p. 152.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 434–436.
- "The Michael Jackson Interview: Oprah Reflects". The Oprah Winfrey Show. September 16, 2009. p. 3. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- Jackson 2009, pp. 229–230.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 312–313.
- Seal, Mark (March 2012). "The Doctor Will Sue You Now". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Music's misunderstood superstar". BBC News Online. June 13, 2005. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Goldberg, Michael; Handelman, David (September 24, 1987). "Is Michael Jackson for Real?". Rolling Stone.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 355–361.
- Abimboye, Demola (July 5, 2009). "The Man, His Weird Ways". Newswatch. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010.
- Jackson, Michael (September 12, 1997). "Jackson interview with Barbara Walters". 20/20 (Interview). Interviewed by Barbara Walters. ABC.
- Bevil, Dewayne (June 30, 2010). "What's old is new again as 'Captain EO' returns to Epcot". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- "Captain EO is Back to Change the World". IGN. February 23, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Johnson, Robert E. (September 1987). "Michael Jackson Comes Back!". Ebony. Vol. 42 no. 11. pp. 143, 148–9. ISSN 0012-9011.
- Jackson, Katherine (October 1990). "Mother of Jackson Family Tells All". Ebony. Vol. 45 no. 12. p. 66. ISSN 0012-9011.
In 1987, he left the Jehovah's Witnesses. There was strong opposition to his "Thriller" video on the part of some Witnesses. Perhaps the controversy figured into his decision to leave. But I don't know that for a fact because I didn't talk to him about what he'd done. I couldn't. Witnesses do not discuss spiritual matters with a person who has disassociated himself from the Witnesses, including family members. But I want to stress that, contrary to published reports, I was not required to "shun" my son. Our relationship is as loving today as it was when he was a Witness. I just can't ask him, "Why, Michael?"
- "I Would Never Do It Again!". Awake. Jehovah's Witnesses. May 22, 1984. p. 20. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Cocks, Jay (September 14, 1987). "Music: The Badder They Come". Time. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "Michael, Travis top Music Award winners". Lodi News-Sentinel. UPI. January 30, 1989. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- "Jackson tour on its way to u.s." San Jose Mercury News. January 12, 1988. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
- "50 fastest selling albums ever". NME. April 27, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Sinha-Roy, Piya (May 21, 2012). "Michael Jackson is still "Bad," 25 years after album" (Press release). Reuters.
- Lewis Jones 2005, pp. 95–96.
- Harrington, Richard (January 12, 1988). "Jackson to Make First Solo U.S. Tour". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "16 of Michael Jackson's Greatest Non-Musical Achievements". Brainz.org. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Vincent, Alice (March 11, 2019). "When Michael Jackson (almost) told all: the story of his bizarre autobiography Moonwalk". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Shanahan, Mark; Golstein, Meredith (June 27, 2009). "Remembering Michael". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Best Seller List a Cakewalk for Moonwalk" (Press release). Associated Press. May 6, 1988. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Jackson 2009, pp. 29–31.
- "Michael Jackson's Moonwalker at 25". Clash. November 7, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Entertainment Notes: Moonwalker Tops Thriller". Deseret News. February 6, 1989. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson's Neverland on sale". Times of Malta. Reuters. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson – Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 20, 2008.
- Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (August 1, 2014). "Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch expected to fetch up to $85m". The Guardian. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- Mull, Marison (May 6, 1988). "Pepsi Ads to Run on Soviet TV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Tannenbaum & Marks 2011, Chapter 41, "I Want to Have a Nickname".
- Browne, David (June 25, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Black or White". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
[A] highly placed source at MTV says the network was obligated to refer to Jackson on air as the King of Pop in order to be allowed to show "Black or White." An MTV spokeswoman denies that, but the phrase was part of MTV's ads for the video and was repeatedly used by its VJs. A source at Fox confirms that Jackson's people did request that Bart use the phrase "King of Pop" in the video and that the phrase also be used in the network's press releases; 'King of Pop' also crops up in Fox's print ads for the video and in press releases by Jackson's publicists, Solters/Roskin/Friedman.
- Campbell 1993, pp. 260–263.
- "Remarks on the Upcoming Summit With President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union". Presidency.ucsb.edu. April 5, 1990. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Blacks Who Give Something Back". Ebony. Vol. 45 no. 3. March 1990. p. 68. ISSN 0012-9011.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 382.
- Montgomery, James (July 6, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Life & Legacy: The Eccentric King Of Pop (1986–1999)". MTV News.
- Gray, Chris; Shah, Saeed (October 3, 2002). "Robbie swings historic record deal with EMI". The Independent. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Willman, Chris (November 24, 1991). "Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – Jackson, Michael". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Carter, Kelley L. (August 10, 2008). "5 Things You Can Learn About ... New jack swing". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "The return of the King of Pop". Today. November 2, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson Chart History". Billboard.
- "Garth Brooks ropes in most Billboard awards". The Beaver County Times. Associated Press. December 10, 1992. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 459.
- "Michael Jackson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- Harrington, Richard (February 5, 1992). "Jackson to Tour Overseas". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 452–454.
- "Stars line up for Clinton celebration". Los Angeles Daily News. January 19, 1993.
- Smith, Patricia (January 20, 1992). "Facing the music and the masses at the presidential gala". The Boston Globe.
- "Michael Jackson: Crowned in Africa, Pop Music King Tells Real Story Of Controversial Trip". Ebony. Vol. 47 no. 5. May 1992. pp. 34–43. ISSN 0012-9011.
- Sandomir, Richard (June 29, 2009). "How Jackson Redefined the Super Bowl". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
- Rosenthal, Phil (February 6, 2011). "Goal of spectacle colors NFL's thinking about Super Bowl halftime show". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- "Cyrus, Bolton please the fans". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. January 27, 1993. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- Rosen, Craig (February 6, 1993). "Michael Jackson Cops 3 Top Prizes". Billboard. Vol. 105 no. 6. p. 12. ISSN 0006-2510.
- McShane, Larry (February 25, 1983). "Grammy moments – memorable and forgettable". Deseret News. p. C3. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "1993: Michael Jackson accused of child abuse". BBC News Online. February 8, 2003. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 518–520.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 500–507.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 510, 518–520.
- "She's out of his life" (Press release). CNN. January 18, 1996. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Orth, Maureen (March 1, 2019). "10 Undeniable Facts About the Michael Jackson Sexual-Abuse Allegations". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 580–581.
- "Top 100 Albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson's best selling studio albums". The Daily Telegraph. June 26, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- Pareles, Jon (June 18, 1995). "Pop View; Michael Jackson Is Angry, Understand?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "News – Jackson receives his World Records". Yahoo!. November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011.
- Weinraub, Bernard (June 15, 1995). "In New Lyrics, Jackson Uses Slurs". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "ADL Welcomes Michael Jackson's Decision To Remove Anti-Semitic Lyrics From Song". Anti-Defamation League. June 22, 1995. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 576–577.
- "Company News; Michael Jackson sells rights to Beatles songs to Sony". The New York Times. Associated Press. November 8, 1995. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Leeds, Jeff; Sorkin, Andrew Ross (April 13, 2006). "Michael Jackson Bailout Said to Be Close". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2008.
- Myers, Justin (December 14, 2018). "The best-selling singles of all time on the Official UK Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- McKie, John (February 21, 1996). "Brits brawl as Cocker 'pulps' Jackson chorus". The Independent. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- "Brit Awards: Brits behaving badly". BBC News Online. March 4, 2000. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Christensen, Thor (January 30, 1996). "Brooks turns down award for favorite artist of the year". Rome News-Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 570–586.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 580–581, 597.
- "Jackson child custody fight ends". BBC News Online. September 30, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Rojek 2007, p. 74.
- Burkeman, Oliver (July 7, 2002). "Jacko gets tough: but is he a race crusader or just a falling star?". The Guardian. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Others To Join Pavarotti For Benefit". VH1. MTV Networks. May 5, 1999. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Slash, Scorpions, Others Scheduled For "Michael Jackson & Friends"". VH1. MTV Networks. May 27, 1999. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Rozhon, Tracie (November 16, 2000). "Big Deal; An Old Chagall Haunt, Repainted". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Basham, David (January 18, 2000). "Lauryn Hill, Backstreet Boys, DMX Honored With American Music Awards". MTV. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Orth, Maureen (April 2003). "Losing His Grip". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008.
- Aiese, Eric. "Billboard: Michael Jackson Concert Review". Classicwhitney.com. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- "Jackson's CBS Special Moonwalks Over Rivals". Billboard. November 15, 2001. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 614–617.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 610–611.
- "Keys, Destiny's Child, McGraw win at American Music Awards". Lodi News-Sentinel. Associated Press. January 10, 2002. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 599–600.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (November 20, 2002). "Michael Jackson Calls Baby-Dangling Incident A 'Terrible Mistake'". MTV. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Jackson, Jermaine (December 31, 2002). "Interview with Jermaine Jackson". Connie Chung Tonight (Interview). Interviewed by Connie Chung. CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
- "Michael Jackson: The fantastic possessions revealed". The Independent. Reuters. June 26, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Really Odd Facts About Michael Jackson". Forbes. June 14, 2005. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson Closes Neverland House". CBS News. July 6, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson strikes deal over loans". BBC News Online. April 14, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson Sails With Two Seas". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson parts with Bahrain label". BBC News Online. September 26, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Friedman, Roger (October 21, 2006). "Who's Funding Jackson's Retreat to Irish Recording Studio?". Fox News Channel. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
- Maher, Rebecca (October 9, 2015). "Michael Jackson's Irish doctor releases memoir". Irish Examiner. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- "Dr. Patrick Treacy's New Book : "Behind The Mask" (the Irishman who became Michael Jackson's doctor)". LMJ Magazine. August 4, 2015. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- "2006 World Music Awards". Chiff. Archived from the original on February 4, 2008.
- Reid, Shaheem (December 30, 2006). "James Brown Saluted By Michael Jackson at Public Funeral Service". MTV. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson buys rights to Eminem tunes and more". Rolling Stone. May 31, 2007.
- RedOne (March 23, 2009). "Interview with RedOne, producer and songwriter for Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Akon, Kat DeLuna and Darin" (Interview). Interviewed by Jan Blumentrath. HitQuarters. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Talmadge, Eric (March 8, 2007). "Michael Jackson 'wouldn't change' career". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
I've been in the entertainment industry since I was 6 years old, and as Charles Dickens would say, 'It's been the best of times, the worst of times.' But I would not change my career ... While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me.
- "Michael Jackson Greets Troops in Japan". CBS News. March 10, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson wows US troops during lavish Japan stint". ABC News. March 11, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- Goodman, Elizabeth (September 24, 2007). "Will.i.am On Working With Michael Jackson". Rolling Stone.
- Friedman, Roger (May 16, 2008). "Jacko: Neverland East in Upstate New York". Fox News Channel. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2008.
- "Choose The Tracks On Michael Jackson's 50th Birthday Album!". Sony BMG. June 20, 2008. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008.
- "Neverland peters out for pop's Peter Pan". The Sydney Morning Herald. Press Association. November 13, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Susan, Susab (April 14, 2009). "Ten Most Expensive Michael Jackson Collectibles". Forbes. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Adams, Guy (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson: The final decline of a pop legend". The Independent. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Foster, Patrick (March 6, 2009). "Michael Jackson grand finale curtain-raiser". The Times. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011.
- Kreps, Daniel (March 12, 2009). "Michael Jackson's "This Is It!" Tour Balloons to 50-Show Run Stretching Into 2010". Rolling Stone.
- "Michael Jackson: The Last Rehearsal". Life. June 29, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson dead at 50 after cardiac arrest" (Press release). CNN. June 25, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
- "Los Angeles Fire Department recording of the emergency phone call made from Michael Jackson's home". June 26, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
- "Partial transcript of Calif. 911 call". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. March 4, 2013.
- "Michael Jackson's life cut shockingly short". Associated Press. June 26, 2009.
- Whitcraft, Teri; Pisarcik, Kristin; Brown, Kimberly (June 23, 2010). "Timeline: Michael Jackson's Final Days". ABC News. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
- Harvey, Michael (June 26, 2009). "Fans mourn artist for whom it didn't matter if you were black or white". The Times. Archived from the original on September 20, 2011.
- Moore, Matthew (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson, King of Pop, dies of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles". The Daily Telegraph.
- Whitcomb, Dan; Isensee, Laura (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson death still unsolved after autopsy" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Doheny, Kathleen (August 24, 2009). "Propofol Linked to Michael Jackson's Death". WebMD. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Duke, Alan (February 10, 2010). "Coroner releases new details about Michael Jackson's death" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- Rawlinson, Linnie; Hunt, Nick (June 26, 2009). "Jackson dies, almost takes Internet with him" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Wood, Daniel B. (June 27, 2009). "Outpouring over Michael Jackson unlike anything since Princess Di". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Shiels, Maggie (June 26, 2009). "Web slows after Jackson's death". BBC News Online. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Skok, David (June 26, 2009). "Internet stretched to limit as fans flock for Michael Jackson news". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009.
- Krazit, Tom; McCullagh, Declan (June 26, 2009). "Debate: Can the Internet handle big breaking news?". CNET. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Dtelter, Brian (June 26, 2009). "MTV's Jackson Marathon". The New York Times. ArtsBeat. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jacko news spreads to Eastenders". Metro. June 26, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Barnes, Brokes (June 25, 2009). "A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50". The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
- "More adds, loose ends, and lament". The 120 Minutes Archive. July 25, 2009. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "Over 1.6M apply for Jackson memorial tickets" (Press release). Associated Press. July 4, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson memorial draws crowds online" (Press release). CNN. July 8, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Scott, Andrew (July 9, 2009). "Michael Jackson Memorial Earns 31 Million Viewers & More TV News". AOL TV. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Allen, Nick (July 7, 2009). "Michael Jackson memorial service: the biggest celebrity send-off of all time". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Potter, Andrew (July 7, 2009). "There was nothing strange about your daddy". Maclean's. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Branigan, Tania (September 8, 2001). "Jackson spends £20m to be Invincible". The Guardian.
- "Top Moments: Michael Jackson Memorial". TV Guide. July 7, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Rev Lucious Smith on conducting the memorial service for Michael Jackson". Radio Live. June 28, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Coleman, Mark (September 4, 2009). "Michael Jackson finally laid to rest in Los Angeles". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Reid, Tim (August 25, 2009). "LA coroner to treat Michael Jackson's death as a homicide". The Times.
- "Jackson 'had lethal drug levels'". BBC News Online. August 25, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson's doctor denies manslaughter charge". BBC News Online. February 9, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Wells, Jason; Rocha, Veroniac (June 25, 2010). "One year later: Fans gather to pay tribute to Michael Jackson". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- McCartney, Anthony (June 23, 2010). "A year after Michael Jackson's death, fan base remains committed to keeping memory alive". The Gaea Times. Associated Press.
- "Conrad Murray guilty of Michael Jackson manslaughter". BBC News Online. November 8, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- Leonard, Jack; Blankstein, Andrew; Winton, Richard (November 8, 2011). "Conrad Murray could face significant prison time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- Kasindorf, Martin (November 29, 2011). "Conrad Murray sentenced to four years in Jackson death". USA Today. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson's doctor released from jail". Entertainment Weekly. The Associated Press. October 28, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- Cocca, Christina; Lloyd, Jonathan; Tokumatsu, Gordon (October 28, 2013). "Conrad Murray "Ready to Go On" After Release from Jail". KNBC. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson Fulham FC statue defended by Al Fayed". BBC News Online. April 3, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Ronay, Barney (April 1, 2011). "Fulham fans cry foul over 'bizarre' Michael Jackson statue". The Guardian. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson statue moves to National Football Museum". BBC News Online. May 6, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
- "Michael Jackson statue: National Football Museum removes artwork". BBC News Online. March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- "Jermaine calls for an end to Jackson family feud". BBC News Online. August 2, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson nephew made co-guardian of children". BBC News Online. August 23, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Selby, Jenn (August 6, 2014). "Michael Jackson hit with new child sex abuse claims more than five years after his death". The Independent. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Freeman, Hadley (March 4, 2019). "The Michael Jackson accusers: 'The abuse didn't feel strange, because he was like a god'". The Guardian. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- Goodman, Dean (October 13, 2009). "'New' Michael Jackson Single Written In 1983". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Eng, Joyce (August 10, 2009). "Judge Approves Michael Jackson Film". TV Guide. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson's This Is It". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Judge OKs Jackson performance film deal" (Press release). Associated Press. August 10, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Herrera, Monica (September 23, 2009). "New Michael Jackson Song, Album Due In October". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Martens, Todd (October 13, 2009). "Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson dominate American Music Awards nominations [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "2009 American Music Awards: Scorecard". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. November 22, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Smith, Ethan (March 16, 2010). "Sony Places Big Bet on a Fallen 'King'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson in 'record' $200m music deal". BBC Online. March 16, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Kreps, Daniel (March 16, 2010). "Michael Jackson Estate, Sony Strike Massive $250 Million Deal to Release King of Pop's Music". Rolling Stone.
- "Exclusive: Will.i.am Explains His 'Disgust' for New Michael Jackson Album". Rolling Stone. December 13, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson Fans Will Moonwalk In Motion-Sensing Game". Billboard. Associated Press. June 15, 2010.
- "New Michael Jackson album to be released in May". BBC News Online. March 31, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Leight, Elias (September 6, 2017). "Michael Jackson's Estate Details 'Scream' Compilation". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- Hicks, Tony. "People: Cirque du Soleil mounting Michael Jackson tour". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
- "Cirque plans $57M touring Jackson show". CBC News. November 3, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Jones, Chris (July 13, 2013). "'Michael Jackson ONE' in Las Vegas: Cirque du Soleil refinds its way". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- O'Malley Greenburg, Zack (February 2, 2013). "Michael Jackson's New Vegas Show 'One' Will Double The Fun". Forbes. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- McIntyre, Hugh (February 16, 2017). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Has Now Been Certified 33-Times Platinum". Forbes. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- Daly, Rhian (August 20, 2018). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is no longer the best-selling album of all time in the US". NME. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Christman, Ed (December 14, 2017). "Michael Jackson Estate, Sony Music Extend Partnership for Recordings". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Christman, Ed (July 31, 2018). "Sony Completes Acquisition of Michael Jackson Estate's Share of EMI Music Publishing". Billboard. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- Paulson, Michael (February 14, 2019). "Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Chicago Musical Run". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Jevens, Darel (January 23, 2019). "Michael Jackson musical to premiere in Chicago before Broadway". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Bakare, Lanre (March 7, 2019). "Michael Jackson estate launches PR blitz as documentary airs in UK". The Guardian. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
...and does not feature on the playlists of BBC Radio 2.
- "Breaking: Michael Jackson Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Cancels Chicago Premiere, Opens Cold on Broadway Summer 2020". BroadwayWorld. February 14, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Tucker, Ken (June 5, 1988). "Summer Reading; Firing Your Father Isn't Easy". The New York Times. p. 751. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "100 Greatest Singers: 65 – David Ruffin". Rolling Stone. November 27, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Herron, Martin (June 27, 2009). "'Michael Jackson saved my life'". Scarborough Evening News. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson Attends Brown's Public Funeral". Contactmusic.com. January 2, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 64.
- Simon, Mallory (July 3, 2009). "Jackson shared bond with 'very dear friend Diana Ross'" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 60.
- Lewis Jones 2005, pp. 6, 54.
- Winters, David (June 26, 2009). "David Winters remembers Michael Jackson". Magick Papers. Archived from the original on July 2, 2015.
- Hernandez, Eugene (June 27, 2009). "Remembering Michael Jackson, On Screen". IndieWire. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009.
- Jones, Lucy (April 2, 2014). "The Incredible Way Michael Jackson Wrote Music". NME. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- "Michael Jackson Turns 30!". Jet. Vol. 74 no. 35. August 29, 1988. p. 58. ISSN 0021-5996.
- Heyliger, M. "A State-of-the-Art Pop Album: Thriller by Michael". Consumerhelpweb.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2008.
Not many artists could pull off such a variety of styles (funk, post-disco, rock, easy listening, ballads)...
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall – Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- Palmer 1995, p. 285.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Thriller – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Connelly, Christopher (January 28, 1983). "Michael Jackson: Thriller". Rolling Stone.
- Henderson, Eric (October 18, 2003). "Michael Jackson – Thriller". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Christgau 1981, Consumer Guide '70s: J.
- George 2004, p. 23.
- George 2004, p. 24.
- "Dangerous (Remastered)". Sony BMG. 2001. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005.
- Ramage, Bean & Johnson 2001, p. 491: "Black or White, described by the record company as 'a rock 'n' roll dance song about racial harmony."
- Pareles, Jon (September 3, 1987). "Critic's Notebook; How Good Is Jackson's 'Bad'?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Dangerous – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- Pareles, Jon (November 24, 1991). "Recordings View; Michael Jackson in the Electronic Wilderness". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Harrington, Richard (November 24, 1991). "Jackson's 'Dangerous' Departures; Stylistic Shifts Mar His First Album in 4 Years". The Washington Post.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – HIStory – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Hunter, James (August 10, 1995). "Michael Jackson: HIStory: Past, Present, Future, Book I". Rolling Stone.
- "Thomas W. (Tom) Sneddon Jr". National Defense Authorization Act. Archived from the original on June 27, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Invincible – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- Beaumont, Mark (November 30, 2001). "Michael Jackson: Invincible". NME. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Brackett & Hoard 2004, p. 414.
- "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". Rolling Stone. December 3, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Holden, Stephen (November 1, 1979). "Michael Jackson: Off The Wall". Rolling Stone.
- Hunter, James (December 6, 2001). "Michael Jackson: Invincible". Rolling Stone.
- Vogel 2012, p. 9.
- McCormick, Neil (June 30, 2009). "Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen & Bono". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Dobuzinskis, Alex (December 30, 2009). "Jackson "Thriller" film picked for U.S. registry" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean," directed by Steve Barron, produced by Simon Fields & Paul Flattery". Blender. October 2005.
- Gundersen, Edna (August 25, 2005). "Music videos changing places". USA Today. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Robinson, Bryan (February 23, 2005). "Why Are Michael Jackson's Fans So Devoted?". ABC News. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Inglis 2006, pp. 119, 127: "That Jackson lip-synced 'Billie Jean' is, in itself, not extraordinary, but the fact that it did not change the impact of the performance is extraordinary; whether the performance was live or lip-synced made no difference to the audience."
- "Philippine jailhouse rocks to Thriller". BBC News Online. July 26, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 370–373.
- Corliss, Richard (September 6, 1993). "Michael Jackson: Who's Bad?". Time. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- US Michael J. Jackson, Michael L. Bush, Dennis Tompkins: "Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion", filed June 29, 1992, issued October 26, 1993 5255452
- Campbell 1993, p. 273.
- Anderson, Kyle (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Video Vanguard Award, In MJ's Top MTV Moments". MTV News. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Campbell 1993, p. 303.
- "Michael Jackson Co-Directs Music Film, 'In the Closet'". Jet. April 27, 1992. p. 56.
- Campbell 1993, pp. 313–314.
- Boepple 1995, p. 52.
- Bark, Ed (June 26, 1995). "Michael Jackson Interview Raises Questions, Answers". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 06E.
- McIntyre, Hugh (August 24, 2014). "The 5 Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time". Forbes. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- Gottlieb, Steven (August 28, 2014). ""Scream" Gets Named Most Expensive Video Ever; Director Mark Romanek Disagrees". VideoStatic. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- Kot, Greg (January 8, 1997). "Pumpkins a Smash Hit with 7 Grammy Nominations". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Longest music video". Guinness World Records. November 21, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- Montgomery, James (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Video Co-Stars: From Eddie Murphy to Marlon Brando". MTV News. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
- "NAACP Image Award Spotlight Black' Achievements". Jet. Vol. 101 no. 13. March 18, 2002. p. 36. ISSN 0021-5996.
- "Zorro, Nemo, Muppets & More: Wide Variety Tapped for 2009 Film Registry". Library of Congress. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Itzkoff, Dave (December 30, 2009). "'Thriller' Video Added to U.S. Film Registry". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 496–498.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 477–478.
- Taraborrelli 2009, pp. 534–540.
- "Jackson Vs. the State of California – Michael Jackson" (PDF). Superior Court of California. 2005. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Broder, John M. (April 30, 2005). "Jackson's Books About Boys Are Allowed as Evidence in Trial". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Photos May Contradict Michael's Accuser". USA Today. May 2, 1994. Archived from the original on April 28, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- Halperin, Ian (2009). Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-7719-8.
- Ebert, John David (2010). Dead Celebrities, Living Icons: Tragedy and Fame in the Age of the Multimedia Superstar. Praeger. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-313-37764-8.
- Mankiewicz, Josh (September 3, 2004). "New details about 1993 Jackson case" (Press release). NBC News.
- "Jackson's 'past' allowed in court". BBC News Online. March 29, 2005. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Mydans, Seth (September 22, 1994). "No Charges for Now Against Michael Jackson". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Taraborrelli 2009, p. 640.
- Davis, Matthews (June 6, 2005). "Trial health problems for Jackson". BBC News Online. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson cleared of child molestation". The Guardian. Associated Press. June 13, 2005. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Toumi, Habib (January 23, 2006). "Jackson settles down to his new life in the Gulf". Gulf News. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jermaine Jackson reveals escape plan for Michael". The Washington Times. Associated Press. September 10, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- "Choreographer: Michael Jackson 'sexually abused me'". Today. May 16, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- Stone, Ken (July 7, 2017). "Sex abuse by long-dead Michael Jackson? Judge rejects lawsuit". MyNewsLA.com. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Broder, John M. (May 6, 2005). "2 Witnesses Say They Shared Jackson's Bed and Were Never Molested". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Sperling, Nicole (February 21, 2019). ""Michael Is Everywhere": Two Michael Jackson Accusers Explain Why They're Speaking Out in HBO's Leaving Neverland". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Dalton, Andrew (December 20, 2017). "APNewsBreak: Michael Jackson Sex Abuse Lawsuit Dismissed" (Press release). Associated Press. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "Michael Jackson sex abuse lawsuit dismissed". CBC.ca. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "Michael Jackson 'abused us hundreds of times'". BBC News Online. February 28, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Stelter, Brian (March 5, 2019). "'Leaving Neverland' sparks a re-examination of Michael Jackson's legacy" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Roy, Eleanor Ainge (March 6, 2019). "Michael Jackson songs pulled from radio stations in New Zealand and Canada". The Guardian. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Pieters, Janene (March 6, 2019). "First Dutch radio station boycotts Michael Jackson music". NL Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Young, Alex (March 12, 2019). "Drake removes Michael Jackson song "Don't Matter to Me" from concert setlist". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson's Family Calls 'Leaving Neverland' Documentary a 'Public Lynching". Variety. January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
- Glaister, Dan (April 5, 2005). "Jackson abused me and gave me money to keep silent, witness says". The Guardian. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- Miller, Julie (March 4, 2019). "The Neverland Insiders Who Spoke Out Against Michael Jackson". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson Named Most Successful Entertainer Of All Time". CityNews. November 15, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Ditzian, Eric (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Groundbreaking Career, By The Numbers". MTV. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Dodson, Howard (July 7, 2009). "Michael Jackson: Icon". New York Public Library. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Fernandes, Kasmin (June 25, 2014). "Why Michael Jackson was a style icon". The Times of India. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Lemon, Don (June 23, 2010). "Michael Jackson's style influence lives on" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Vena, Jocelyn (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Style Legacy, From Military Jackets To One Glove". MTV. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Smith, Danyel (June 26, 2009). "Commentary: Michael Jackson, the greatest star" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Michael Jackson". Search.bet.com. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Utley, Tom (February 7, 2003). "Of course Jackson's odd—but his genius is what matters". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Monroe, Bryan (December 2007). "Michael Jackson in His Own Words". Ebony.
- "Gordy Brings Mourners To Their Feet With Jackson Tribute". July 7, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Tourtellotte, Bob (July 8, 2009). "Michael Jackson hailed as greatest entertainer, best dad" (Press release). Reuters UK. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Rosen, Jill (June 28, 2009). "7 Ways Michael Jackson Changed The World". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- Leach, Ben (July 9, 2009). "Moon crater named after Michael Jackson". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- Chivers, Tom (September 28, 2009). "Google's Doodles: 10 of the best including UFOs and Google". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- Chandler, Cory (May 20, 2010). "Librarians Prove Michael Jackson Was a Rock Star in Academic Literature". Texas Tech University. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Hidalgo & Weiner 2010, pp. 14–28.
- "80 Moments That Shaped the World" (PDF). British Council. 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Christgau, Robert (December 2004). "Michael Jackson: 'The Ultimate Collection'". Blender. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- Christgau, Robert (January 15, 2002). "Consumer Guide: Popstakes". The Village Voice. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- Iqbal, Nosheen (March 9, 2019). "Is it still OK to listen to Michael Jackson? Fans give their verdict". The Guardian. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "Michael Jackson and Halle Berry Pick Up Bambi Awards in Berlin". Hello!. November 22, 2002. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Masley, Ed (March 28, 2019). "Stevie Nicks is about to join these 22 men as a two-time Rock and Rock Hall of Fame inductee". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- Sanneh, Kelefa (June 15, 2002). "Hall of Fame Inducts Songwriters". The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Keiser, Tom (August 15, 2010). "Photos: Michael Jackson induction ceremony". The News-Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Yarborough, Chuck (August 19, 2014). "R&B Music Hall of Fame sets big weekend to induct sophomore class featuring Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Norm N. Nite and more". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Lewis, Monica (June 14, 2007). "20 People Who Changed Black Music: Michael Jackson, the Child Star-Turned-Adult Enigma". The Miami Herald. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Collett-White, Mike (March 11, 2009). "Michael Jackson to add concerts after sellout" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Grammy Legend Award". Grammy.org. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Lifetime Achievement Award". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Doctorates of Rock". Rolling Stone. July 19, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- Serjeant, Jill (December 29, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Death Among 2009's Major Moments" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Hot 100 Anniversary: Most No. 1s By Artist". Billboard. August 6, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Wilkinson, Peter (June 26, 2009). "Jackson was star the world could not ignore" (Press release). CNN. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- Gundersen, Edna (November 24, 2003). "For Jackson, scandal could spell financial ruin". USA Today. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
- Caulfield, Keith (January 6, 2010). "Taylor Swift Edges Susan Boyle For 2009's Top-Selling Album". Billboard. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "Jackson sells 35 million albums since death". Today. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Trust, Gary (May 21, 2014). "Michael Jackson, Coldplay Hit Hot 100's Top 10; John Legend Still No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- Van Buskirk, Eliot (July 1, 2009). "Michael Jackson First Artist to Sell Over 1 Million Downloads in a Single Week". Wired. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Greenburg, Zack O'Malley (August 29, 2018). "Michael Jackson at 60: The King of Pop by the Numbers". Forbes. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
- "Stress killed MJ, says ex-publicist". The Times of India. June 27, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- O'Brien, Timothy L (May 14, 2006). "What Happened to the Fortune Michael Jackson Made?". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Deutsch, Linda (May 4, 2005). "Forensic accountant tells court Jackson is in financial straits". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
- Pulley, Brett (November 21, 2003). "Michael Jackson's Ups And Downs". Forbes. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Estate of Michael J. Jackson, Deceased, John G. Branca, Co-Executor and John McClain, Co-Executor". August 19, 2016.
- Gottlieb, Jeff (February 7, 2014). "Michael Jackson estate embroiled in tax fight with IRS". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "United States Tax Court: Washington, DC 20217". February 2, 2016.
- Reilly, Peter J. (July 27, 2018). "We May Have to Wait a Year for Decision in Michael Jackson Estate Tax Case". Forbes. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Greenburg, Zack O'Malley (October 14, 2016). "Michael Jackson's Earnings: $825 Million In 2016". Forbes. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
- Greenburg, Zack O'Malley; Robehmed, Natalie (October 31, 2017). "The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2018". Forbes. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Boepple, Leanne (1995). Scream: Space Odyssey, Jackson-Style. (video production; Michael and Janet Jackson video). 29. Theatre Crafts International. ISSN 1063-9497.
- Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Fireside. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits (3rd ed.). Billboard Books. ISBN 978-0-8230-7738-0.
- Campbell, Lisa D (1993). Michael Jackson: The King of Pop. Branden. ISBN 978-0-8283-1957-7.
- Campbell, Lisa D (1995). Michael Jackson: The King of Pop's Darkest Hour. Branden. ISBN 978-0-8283-2003-0.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: J". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- DeMello, Margo (2012). Faces Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia of the Human Face. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-618-8.
- George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection (booklet). Sony BMG.
- Hidalgo, Susan; Weiner, Robert G. (2010). "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin': MJ in the Scholarly Literature: A Selected Bibliographic Guide" (PDF). The Journal of Pan African Studies. 3 (7). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2010.
- Inglis, Ian (2006). Performance and Popular Music: History, Place and Time. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-4057-8.
- Jackson, Michael (2009) [First published 1988]. Moonwalk. Random House. ISBN 978-0-307-71698-9.
- Knopper, Steve (2016). MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson. Scribner. ISBN 978-1-4767-3037-0.
- Lewis Jones, Jel D. (2005). Michael Jackson, the King of Pop: The Big Picture: the Music! the Man! the Legend! the Interviews: an Anthology. Amber Books Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9749779-0-4.
- Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2.
- Orth, Maureen (2005). The Importance of Being Famous: Behind the Scenes of the Celebrity-Industrial Complex. Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-7847-3.
- Palmer, Robert (1995). Rock & Roll: An Unruly History. Harmony Books. ISBN 978-0-517-70050-1.
- Parameswaran, Radhika (2011). "E-Race-ing Color: Gender and Transnational Visual Economies of Beauty in India". In Sarma Hegde, Radha (ed.). Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-9060-1.
- Ramage, John D.; Bean, John C.; Johnson, June (2001). Writing arguments: a rhetoric with readings. Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 978-0-205-31745-5.
- Rojek, Chris (2007). Cultural Studies. Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-3683-2.
- Tannenbaum, Rob; Marks, Craig (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-1-101-52641-5.
- Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2009). Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958–2009. Grand Central Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-0-446-56474-8.
- Vogel, Joseph (2012). Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. New York: Sterling. ISBN 978-1-40277-938-1.
- Young, Julie (Fall 2009). "A Hoosier Thriller: Gary, Indiana's Michael Jackson". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 21 (4). Archived from the original on April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2014.