August 29 1958 - June 25 2009
Michael Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he made his debut on the professional music scene in 1968 as a member of The Jackson 5. He then began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group and was referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years. Jackson's 1982 album Thriller remains the world's best-selling album of all time, and four of his other solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" — widely credited with transforming the music video from a promotional tool into an art form — helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists across several generations.
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