#19 | Short Bio: Michael Jackson

Short Bio: Michael Jackson

Vocabulário:

SIBLINGS = irmãos. “Jackson joined his siblings when he was five years old.”
FAD = mania, modismo, novidade.  “[The songs] capitalized on the contemporary disco dance fad.”
YIELD = produzir; gerar; render. “The record yielded two hits, “You Are Not Alone” and his duet with sister Janet Jackson, “Scream.””

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in August 29, 1958 in Indiana in the USA.   Michael Jackson was the youngest and most talented of five brothers whom his father, Joseph, shaped into an extraordinary group of child stars known as the Jackson 5.

At first, the Jackson Family performers consisted of Jackson’s older brothers, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie. Jackson joined his siblings when he was five years old, and emerged as the group’s lead vocalist. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young performer, impressing audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions. Older brother Marlon also became a member of the group, which evolved into the Jackson 5.

Jackson and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing their act. Michael said his father told him he had a “fat nose,” and regularly physically and emotionally abused him during rehearsals. He recalled that his father often sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, ready to physically punish any mistakes.

Michael Jackson talks about his relation with his father

Motown Records president Berry Gordy Jr was impressed with the group and signed them in 1969. Jackson and his brothers moved to Los Angeles, where they lived with Gordy and with Diana Ross of the Supremes as they got settled. The Jackson 5 was introduced to the music industry at a special event in August 1969, and the group later opened for the Supremes. 

Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, hit the charts in December 1969, with its single, “I Want You Back,” reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart shortly afterward. More chart-topping singles quickly followed, such as “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There.”

For several years, Jackson and the Jackson 5 maintained a busy tour and recording schedule, under the supervision of Berry Gordy and his Motown staff. The group became so popular that they even had their own self-titled cartoon show, which ran from 1971 to 1972. At the same time, Jackson launched his solo career. 

Despite the group’s great success, there was trouble behind the scenes. Tensions grew between Gordy and Joseph Jackson over the management of his children’s careers, with the Jacksons wanting more creative control over their material. The group officially cut ties with Motown in 1976, though Jermaine Jackson remained with the label to follow his solo career.

Now calling themselves the Jacksons, the group signed a new recording deal with Epic Records. By the release of their third album for the label, 1978’s Destiny, the brothers had emerged as talented songwriters.

The positive response to Michael Jackson’s 1979 solo album Off the Wall helped the Jacksons as a group. Their album Triumph sold more than 1 million copies, and the brothers went on an extensive tour. At the same time, Michael Jackson continued exploring more ways to expand on his own.

Off the Wall exceeded all expectations and was the best-selling album of the year (it eventually sold more than 20 million copies). Produced by industry veteran Quincy Jones, Off the Wall yielded the massive international hit singles “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and “Rock with You,” both of which showcased Michael’s energetic style and capitalized on the contemporary disco dance fad.

Three years later he returned with another collaboration with Jones, Thriller, a great accomplishment that featured a large number of guest stars and elevated him to worldwide superstardom. Thriller captured a lot of awards, including a record-setting eight Grammys; remained on the charts for more than two years; and sold more than 40 million copies, long holding the distinction of being the best-selling album in history. The first single on the album, “The Girl Is Mine,” an easygoing duet with Paul McCartney, went to number one on the rhythm-and-blues charts and number two on the pop charts in the fall of 1982.

Jackson filmed an elaborate music video for the album’s title track. John Landis directed the horror videoclip, which featured complex dance scenes, special effects and a voice-over by actor Vincent Price. The “Thriller” video was an immense success, boosting sales for the already successful record.

On a 1983 television special honoring Motown, Jackson performed his No. 1 hit “Billie Jean” and debuted his soon-to-be-famous dance move, the Moonwalk. Jackson, a veteran performer by this time, created this step himself and choreographed the dance sequences for the video of the album’s other No. 1 hit, “Beat It,” which helped break down the artificial barriers between black and white artists on the radio and in the emerging format of music videos on television.

Michal Jackson talks about the moonwalk

Michael Jackson was filming a staged concert performance for a new advertising campaign by Pepsi with members of his family, when sparks from a pyrotechnic explosion ignited his hair. Jackson briefly continued performing, then hurried to the back of the set where he was pushed to the ground and extinguished by stage hands and his brothers. The singer was initially taken to a hospital, where he was “noted to be quite shaken up with palm-sized area of second-degree and small area of third-degree burns”. His wounds were treated, and then he was given a number of different painkillers and prescribed a powerful sedative to calm his nerves and help him sleep.

By 1984 Jackson was renowned worldwide as the “King of Pop.” His much anticipated Victory reunion tour with his brothers was one of the most popular concert events of 1984. In 1985 Jackson and Lionel Richie cowrote “We Are the World,” the signature single for USA for Africa, an all-star project aimed at famine relief.

His following album Bad produced five chart-topping hits. The album included “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the title track. Jackson spent more than a year on the road, playing concerts to promote the album. While highly successful, Bad was unable to duplicate the phenomenal sales of Thriller.

In 1991, Jackson released Dangerous, featuring the hit “Black or White.” The video for this song included an appearance by child star Macaulay Culkin. In the video’s final minutes, Jackson caused some controversy with his sexual gesturing and violent actions. Many were surprised to see the Peter Pan-like Jackson act in this manner. 

Jackson’s music continued to enjoy widespread popularity in the following years.

Michael Jackson’s speech on The Grammys Awards

In 1993, he performed at several important events, including the halftime show of Superbowl XXVII.

Jackson’s musical career began to decline with the unenthusiastic reception to 1995’s HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, which featured some of his earlier hits as well as new material. The record yielded two hits, “You Are Not Alone” and his duet with sister Janet Jackson, “Scream.” 

“They Don’t Care About Us” is the fifth single of the album and brought Jackson intense criticism for using an anti-Semitic term. It was accompanied by two music videos directed by Spike Lee. The first was shot in two locations in Brazil, in Pelourinho, the historic city center of Salvador, and in a favela of Rio de Janeiro called Dona Marta, where the state authorities had tried to ban all production over fears the video would damage their image, the area and prospects of Rio de Janeiro staging the 2004 Olympics. Still, the residents of the area were happy to see the singer, hoping their problems would be made visible to a wider audience. The second video was shot in a prison and contained video footage of multiple references to human rights abuses.

Invincible was Michael Jackson’s last studio album, released in 2001 before his death in 2009. An extensive and laborious album to make, Jackson started the multi genre production in 1997, and did not finish until eight weeks before the album’s release. It was reported that it cost $30 million to make the album, making it the most expensive album ever made. There was no concert tour to promote Invincible; a tour was planned, but canceled due to conflicts between Jackson and Sony Music Entertainment. Following Sony’s decision to abruptly end promotion for the album, Jackson made allegations in July 2002 that Tommy Mottola was a “devil” and a “racist” who did not support his African-American artists but used them for personal gain.

Jackson’s eccentric, secluded lifestyle grew increasingly controversial in the early 1990s. His reputation was seriously damaged in 1993 when he was accused of child molestation by a 13-year-old boy he had befriended; a civil suit was settled out of court.

In 1994 Jackson secretly married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, but their marriage lasted less than two years. Shortly after that Jackson married again, this marriage producing children, though it also ended in divorce. While he remained an international celebrity, his image in the United States was slow to recover, and it suffered even more in November 2003 when he was arrested and charged with child molestation. After a 14-week trial that became something of a media circus, Jackson was found innocent in 2005.

In the wake of these events, Jackson suffered a financial collapse that resulted in the sale of many of his considerable assets, including, ultimately, his Neverland ranch. He was preparing for a series of high-profile concerts he hoped would spark a comeback when he died suddenly of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009—prompting a widespread outpouring of grief from his fans.

In August 2009 the coroner ruled Jackson’s death a homicide; the cause was a lethal combination of sedatives and propofol, an anesthetic. In November 2011 Jackson’s personal physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

This Is It was a planned concert residency to take place at the O2 Arena, in London, between 2009 and 2010. However, the concerts never took place, as the singer died on June 25, 2009. The documentary film This Is It, which drew from more than 100 hours of footage compiled during rehearsals for Jackson’s scheduled 50-concert comeback engagement in London, premiered in October 2009.

Michael Jackson’s last public speech about the upcoming concert residency

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