_____The life of Michael Joseph Jackson began when he was born on the 29th of August 1958 in Gary, Indiana.The son of African-American parents Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson and Katherine Esther (née Scruse).Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther. Jackson was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his devout mother. He was the 7th of nine children. (brothers: Sigmund "Jackie", Toriano "Tito", Jermaine, Marlon, Steven "Randy", and sisters Rebbie, Janet and La-Toya Jackson.
___Michael began his musical career at the age of 5 as the lead singer of the Jackson 5 who formed in 1964. In these early years the Jackson 5, Jackie, Jermaine,Tito,Marlon and lead singer Michael played local clubs and bars in Gary Indiana and moving further afield as there talents grew and they could compete in bigger competitions. From these early days Michael would be at the same clubs as big talented stars of there days, such as Jackie Wilson and would be learning from them even back then. In 1968 the Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers discovered the Jackson five and from there they got an audition for Berry Gordy of Motown Records. The Jackson 5 signed for Motown and moved to California. Their first 4 singles, "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There" all made US No1 hits. The Jackson 5 recorded 14 albums and Michael recorded 4 solo albums with Motown.
___The Jackson 5 stayed with Motown until 1976, wanting more artistic freedom they felt they had to move on and signed up with Epic. The group name Jackson 5 had to be changed as it was owned by Motown, so they reverted to The Jacksons as they had be known in the early days. Brother Jermaine married Berry Gordy's daughter and stayed with Motown. Youngest brother Randy joined in his place. The Jacksons had a number of hit recordsand in total made 6 albums between the years of 1976 and 1984.
___Jackson said that he was physically and emotionally abused by his father from a young age, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. However, he also credited his father's strict discipline as playing a large part in his success. In one altercation — later recalled by Marlon Jackson — Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks".Joseph would also trip or push his male children into walls. One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterwards, Jackson said he suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom. In 2003, Joseph admitted to the BBC that he had whipped Jackson as a child.Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes start to vomit upon seeing his father. In Jackson's other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse. Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that "if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you".
___In 1977 Michael made his first film debut when he starred in the musical 'The Wiz' playing Scarecrow with Diana Ross in the lead role of Dorothy. It was at this time Michael met Quincy Jones who was doing the score for the film.
<<<1975–81: Move to Epic and Off the Wall>>>
___The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records. As a result of legal proceedings, the group was renamed The Jacksons. After the name change, the band continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984. From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel" and "Can You Feel It".In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine. His subsequent rhinoplasty surgery was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. He was referred to Dr. Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson's second rhinoplasty and other subsequent operations.
___Jones and Jackson jointly produced Off the Wall. Songwriters included Jackson, Heatwave's Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. Released in 1979, it was the first album to generate four U.S. top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You". Off the Wall reached number three on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified for 7 million shipments in the U.S. and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
___In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". That year, he also won Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"). Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release. In 1980, Jackson secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37% of wholesale album profit.
<<<1982–85: Thriller, Motown 25, We Are the World and business career>>>
___After Jackson's early 1982 contribution, "Someone In the Dark", to the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which won him a Grammy for Best Album for Children, Epic issued his second album, Thriller. In what would turn out to be the apex of his career, the album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks, 37 at the peak. Seven singles from Thriller concurrently hit the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". Thriller went on to sell upwards of 109 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time, causing Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli to muse that "at some point, Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item — like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie — and started selling like a household staple."
___The period of Thriller was an extraordinarily lucrative one for Jackson, whose lawyer John Branca had negotiated what he boasted then as the highest royalty rate ever in the music industry, approximately $2 per album. Meanwhile, Jackson raked in profits from The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller, a documentary by Jackson and John Landis which quickly sold over 350,000 copies. In addition, he began profiting from his image in earnest, as Michael Jackson dolls and other novelties hit the market.
___Beyond its record-breaking success among fans, Thriller instituted multiple changes within the music industry. First, it raised the importance of albums, while challenging notions about how many prospective hits an album should contain. Second, it restored to the industry a sense of confidence in its ability to release high-level artistry during a time when profits had been sinking due to what one industry analyst called "the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop". Third, it helped bring MTV into its heyday, even as MTV helped fuel Thriller's success. Fourth, Thriller paved the way for other well-profitable acts such as Prince. In many ways, Jackson was a one-man rescue team for the music business. At its 25th anniversary, Thriller retained important influence over the music industry, artists, and American culture.
___On March 25, 1983, he performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing "Billie Jean". Debuting his signature dance move — the moonwalk — his performances during the event were seen by 47 million viewers during its initial airing, and drew comparisons to Elvis Presley's and the The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. The New York Times said, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing".Michael did not invent the move, but perfected it and made it his own.
___Jackson suffered a setback on January 27, 1984. While filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, he suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. Happening in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, the incident was the subject of heavy media scrutiny and elicited an outpouring of sympathy. PepsiCo settled a lawsuit out of court, and Jackson gave his $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California, where he had been treated, allowing the hospital to acquire the best available technology for treating severe burns; Brotman subsequently renamed its burn ward "Michael Jackson Burn Center" in his honor. Jackson had his third rhinoplasty shortly afterwards and grew self conscious about his appearance.
___On May 14, 1984, Jackson was invited to the White House to receive an award presented by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The award was given for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse. He won eight awards during the 1984 Grammys. Unlike later albums, Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of his new solo material to more than two million Americans. He donated his $5 million share from the Victory Tour to charity.
___In January 1985, Michael was asked to participate in an all-star recording to raise funds for charity United Support of Artists for Africa. U.S.A for Africa would raise funds to administer essential supplies and famine relief in Africa. Michael, who has always been sensitive to the plight of Africa, was so excited about the song that he offered to write it with Lionel Ritchie.Michael and Lionel worked for a week at Michael’s Encino home and finally finished the music and lyrics for “We Are The World” the day prior to the scheduled recording of the song. The all-star cast to record the song included forty five chart topping artists. Quincy Jones was enlisted as producer and co-arranger with Tom Bahler.The recording took place on 28th of January 1985. Michael told his fellow recording artists that night that “We Are The World” was a “love song to inspire concern about a faraway place close to home”. After the recording was finished, none of the artists were prepared for the impact the song would have. It was released on March 7th 1985 and sold approximately 800,000 copies in its first three days of release. The song stayed at number one in America for a month and enjoyed similar success in many other countries.By 1986, the song had sold in excess of 7.5 million copies and raised $8 million dollars for famine relief. The song went on to win three Grammy Awards: “Song of the Year”, “Record of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group”. It also won two American Music Awards: “Award of Appreciation” for Michael Jackson and “Song of the Year”.In March 1985, Michael Jackson topped off an incredible era when he purchased ATV Music Publishing Company for $47.5 million. ATV’s music catalogue included the rights to more than 4000 songs, including 251 of The Beatles’ compositions. This purchase made Michael Jackson one of the top music publishers in the world and proved Michael to be a successful and savvy businessman at the age of 26.
<<<1986–90: Tabloids, appearance, Bad, autobiography and films>>>
___The Bad Era years, 1986-1989, would confirm Michael Jackson’s super-stardom and popularity and prove him to be the entertainer of the 1980’s.Starting a new and exciting era, Michael Jackson broke another world record in 1986. In February, Pepsi-Cola Corporation signed a 3 year deal with Michael Jackson for a whopping $15 million. The endorsement deal would include two Pepsi commercials and the sponsorship of Michael’s first solo tour. It was the largest endorsement deal of its kind in history.
___Michael Jackson’s first major project for 1986 would be a 3D movie called “Captain Eo”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas. Michael wrote and recorded two songs for the 17 minute epic; “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me”.
___In the movie, Michael plays Captain Eo; a young man on a quest to transform a miserable planet and its evil Supreme Ruler (played by Angelica Huston) into a peace loving nation through the power of song and dance. The movie took almost a year to produce and estimated costs were between $17- $30 million, making it the most expensive movie ever made, minute for minute.
___“Captain Eo” was released at Disneyland in California and the Epcot Center in Florida on September 12 September 1986. Michael also helped create a “Captain Eo” ride for Disneyland. The movie was extremely successful and ran for 8 years at Disneyland and 10 years at Epcot. It was also released at Tokyo Disneyland where it ran for 9 years and Disneyland Park in Paris where it ran for 6 years. Jackson bought and befriended a pet chimpanzee called Bubbles, an act which extended his eccentric persona. In 2003, the singer claimed that Bubbles shared his toilet and cleaned his bedroom. Later, it was reported that Jackson bought the bones of The Elephant Man. Although untrue, it was a story that Jackson again disseminated to the tabloid press. These stories inspired the pejorative nickname "Wacko Jacko", which Jackson acquired the following year. He would eventually come to despise the nickname. Realizing his mistake, he stopped leaking untruths to the press. However due to the profit being made, the media began making up their own stories.
___Jackson's skin was a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the early 1980s, his skin gradually grew paler. This change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that Jackson was bleaching his skin. In the mid-1980s, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the latter was in remission in Jackson's case, and both illnesses made him sensitive to sunlight. The treatments he used for his condition further lightened his skin tone, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he could appear very pale. ___The structure of his face changed as well; several surgeons have speculated that Jackson had undergone multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips and a cheekbone surgery. Changes to his face were, in part, due to periods of significant weight loss. Jackson lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for "a dancer's body". Witnesses reported that Jackson was often dizzy and speculated that he was suffering from anorexia nervosa; periods of weight loss would become a recurring problem for the singer later in life. Some medical professionals have publicly stated their belief that the singer had body dysmorphic disorder, a psychological condition whereby the sufferer has no concept of how he is perceived by others.
___Michael began recording demos for the follow up to the Thriller album just after the end of the Victory Tour in 1984. Michael took on a massive task of writing over 60 numbers for the new album and recording approximately 30. The recording of the Bad album took place between January 5 - July 9, 1987 (except for “Another Part of Me” which was recorded for “Captain Eo” in 1986).
___Once again, Michael teamed up with Quincy Jones as producer. Michael wrote nine of the eleven tracks himself; “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Speed Demon”, “Liberian Girl”, “Another Part of Me”, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Dirty Diana”, “Smooth Criminal” and “Leave Me Alone”. Contributions from other songwriters and musicians were “Just Good Friends”, (written by Terry Buttan and Graham Lyle) which was sung as a duet with Stevie Wonder, and “Man In The Mirror” (Written by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard), which was recorded with The Andre Crouch Choir. Steve Stevens contributed a killer guitar solo for the rock-infused “Dirty Diana”.
___The first single from the Bad album was a duet with Siedah Garrett called “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, released on July 27, 1987. It travelled to number 1 on the US, UK and other European charts. The song became the highest debuting single of 1987.The highly anticipated Bad album was released worldwide on August 31, 1987. Bad sold 500,000 copies within five days in the UK; a first for any artist in the UK. It debuted at number one in both the US and UK and many other countries around the world. The album’s title track “Bad” was released on 31st August 1987 (the same day as the Bad album) with an amazing 18 minute long short film, directed by Martin Scorsese. The film was shot on location in New York and starred Wesley Snipes. It reportedly took six weeks to make with an estimated budget of $2 million. The reaction to the short film and single was massive: it shot to number 1 in the U.S. and many other countries around the world.
___In September 1987, Michael kicked off his “Bad World Tour” in Tokyo, Japan on September 12th. The show included a 90-member crew, state of the art light show, special effects and massive video screens. The show reportedly cost $500,000 per week to create. Michael had said at the beginning of the tour that it would be his “first and final” tour and that all proceeds from the shows would be donated to charity. In addition, at every stop on the tour, Michael set aside a portion of free tickets for under-privileged youths who would not otherwise be able to attend his concerts.
___The tour in Japan was greeted with mass hysteria and the Japanese press dubbed Michael Jackson “Typhoon Michael”. He played nine sold out shows to thousands of fans and grossed approximately $20 million. His concert on the 26th of September at Yokohama Stadium was filmed by Nippon Television and later televised in Asia. While in Japan, a young boy called Yoshiaki was kidnapped and murdered. Michael was so moved by the story that he donated $20,000 to the family of the boy and also dedicated his entire Japanese tour to the child’s memory. He also donated millions of dollars to schools, hospitals and charities in Japan.The reaction and demand was so impressive that Michael returned to Japan a year later to play nine more sold out shows.The tour moved onto Australia in November where Michael played five sold out shows. Stevie Wonder, also on tour in Australia, joined Michael onstage in Sydney where they treated fans to a special performance of the duet “Just Good Friends”.
___The third single from the Bad album, ‘The Way You Make Me Feel”, was released on November 21, 1987. The 9 minute short film featured beautiful model, Tatiana Thumbtzen as Michael’s love interest. The single shot to number 1 and stayed in the top 10 for 6 weeks in the US. It became the third number one single from the Bad album. The forth single, “Man in the Mirror”, was released in January 1988 and became the forth consecutive number one single from the Bad album.By February 1988, the Bad album sales were at approximately 7 million copies and it was number one in 21 different countries. After a short break for rehearsals, Michael took his Bad World Tour to the United States, starting in Kansas, Missouri on February 23rd, 1988. The Bad show was now bigger than ever with several new songs, new choreography and a new stage. The reviews of the show were glittering and music and movie stars flocked to the see the show along with adoring fans.
___In 1988, Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, which took four years to complete and sold 200,000 copies. Jackson told of his childhood, his experience in The Jackson 5 and the abuse he suffered as a child. He also spoke of his plastic surgery, saying he had two rhinoplastic surgeries and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin. In the book, he attributed the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style and stage lighting. Moon Walk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers' list. The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage, music videos, and a feature film that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci.The movie also featured the short film to “Smooth Criminal”, a ten minute 1930’s-style dance loaded clip. The single for “Smooth Criminal” was released around the same time, reaching number 7 in the US. Moonwalker debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.
___On March 2nd, 1988, Michael performed at the Grammy Awards at Radio City Hall in Los Angeles. He had also received four nominations for the Bad album. It was his first televised performance in five years, since Motown 25. Despite not taking home any Grammy wins, his performances of “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Man in the Mirror” were truly moving and he received a standing ovation. Some have said that it was one of the greatest performances in the history of the Grammy awards.Michael received many other awards and honours in 1988 including four Billboard Awards, three NAACP Awards, two Soul Train Awards and the MTV Video Vanguard Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Music Video Production”.
___On the 3rd of March, 1988, Michael performed a private concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. With Pepsi, Michael presented a cheque for all the proceeds of the special concert, $600,000, to the United Negro College Fund. The UNCF had created the Michael Jackson Scholars program four years earlier while Michael was on the Victory Tour. By 1988, 78 students had received Michael Jackson scholarships. Michael also received an Honorary Doctorate Of Humane Letters Degree from Fisk University and the Frederik D. Patterson Award in recognition of his contribution to the UNCF. The concert also generated media attention when Tatiana Thumbtzen kissed Michael onstage during a performance of “The Way You Make Me Feel”.
___The same month, March 1988, Michael finalised the purchase of his new home, the 2,700 acre Neverland Valley Ranch on 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California. Michael had previously been there to film the music video for “Say Say Say” with Paul McCartney in 1983. Originally called Sycamore Ranch, Michael purchased the property for $17 million. Michael promptly built a zoo and amusement park on the property and officially opened Neverland Valley at the end of 1988.
___The Bad album’s fifth single, “Dirty Diana”, was released in April 1988, with a music video that was filmed in front of a live audience. It went to number one in the US and became the fifth consecutive number one single from the Bad album. Michael Jackson became the first artist in history to have five consecutive number one singles from an album.
___In May 1988, Michael embarked on his European leg of the Bad World Tour, selling out shows at most venues in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Austria and other countries. Michael broke all existing attendance records when he played seven sold out shows at London’s 72,000-seat Wembley Stadium in July and August. 504,000 fans attended these shows in total and Michael was presented with a special award from Wembley Stadium.The third Wembley show on the 16th of June was attended by Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Prior to taking the stage, Michael presented the Prince and Princess with a ₤300,000 cheque for the proceeds of the Wembley concerts for the Prince’s Trust, a charity that supports disadvantaged children. Michael also presented Princess Diana with two custom made Bad World Tour jackets; one each for her young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
___The sixth single from the Bad album, “Another Part of Me”, was released in July 1988, peaking at number 11 on the US chart. The music video to accompany the single was a compilation of footage from Michael’s performances of the song at London and Paris. On 27 January, 1989, Michael played his final show of the Bad World Tour at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. The Bad World Tour had finally come to an end after 16 months. The Tour was the largest any entertainer had undertaken- with 123 shows in 15 countries on 4 continents and played to approximately 4.4 million fans. The Tour grossed an amazing $125 million, with all proceeds going to charities around the world.
___“Leave Me Alone” was the eighth single released from the Bad album in January 1989. It was only released in Australia and Europe and reached number 1 in the UK. The short film, included on “Moonwalker”, won the 1990 Grammy Award for “Best Short Form Music Video”.
___On February 13 1989, Michael Jackson announced that he and manager Frank DiLeo were parting ways.
Prior to shutting down the Bad album campaign, the ninth and final single, “Liberian Girl”, was released in July 1989. The song was dedicated to Michael’s good friend, Elizabeth Taylor. The short film starred thirty-five of Michael’s celebrity friends and the single went to number one in the UK.
___On November 13, 1989, Michael performed at the Sammy Davis Jr 60th Anniversary TV Special. He wrote and performed a special song he had written, called “You Were There”. The reaction to the moving performance was so strong that Michael Jackson was nominated for an Emmy Award for composing the song.
___By this time, the Bad album had sold an incredible 17 million copies and had become the second biggest selling album of all time. It is also the ninth largest-selling album in British history. Today, the Bad album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide. Michael Jackson had also become the first (and still only) artist to generate five consecutive US number one singles from one album. He had taken music videos a step further again and in recognition, he received several awards for his contribution to music video production in 1988 and 1989. Also, in 1989 at the Soul Train Awards, Michael received the first annual Sammy Davis Jr Award and Heritage Award, where Elizabeth Taylor named him “The true King of pop, rock and soul”.
___Michael Jackson had certainly proved himself to be the greatest entertainer of the 1980’s and the biggest selling artist of all time. He’d had the two biggest tours of the 1980’s and the two biggest selling albums in the history of music. He had also broken six world records, which he still holds today: Most Successful Music Video for “Thriller”, The Biggest Selling Album of all Time for “Thriller”, Most Weeks at the Top of the US Albums Chart for “Thriller”, Highest Paid Entertainer of All Time, First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 million Dollars in a Year and Largest Ever Endorsement for Product Promotion.
<<<1991–93: Dangerous and Super Bowl XXVII>>>
___The Dangerous Era, 1990-1994, would usher in a new decade with brand new sounds and the best in contemporary concert entertainment. Michael Jackson set new recording, filming and entertainment standards that were legendary.
___Starting the new Era off, in 1990, Michael was honoured with many awards, including several “Entertainer of the Decade” awards from Soul Train, MTV and Sony. He was honoured at the White House by President George Bush, who presented him with a special “Entertainer of the Decade Award”. He also received the American Cinema Award for “Entertainer of the Decade”, presented to him by Elizabeth Taylor. Michael Jackson originally planned to release a compilation album of previous hits along with 3 new songs to be called “Decade” in 1990. However, Michael had written and recorded several songs and had plenty of material to release an album of all new songs. In March of 1991, Michael renegotiated his contract with Sony, which included a 15 year 6 album deal. The royalty rates included were the largest for any artist at 25% of the retail price of every album sold. The deal also included Michael’s own record label. The deal landed Michael Jackson in the Guinness World Records again, for the Largest Entertainment Contract Ever, worth $890 million.
___Michael started recording the new album on June 25, 1990. During the year, Michael lent his voice to an episode of the Simpsons, called "Stark Raving Dad", under the pseudonym "John Jay Smith". The use of Michael's voice in the episode was not confirmed until many years later. He also wrote a song for the Simpsons, called "Do The Bartman", with Bryan Loren, which was released as a single in early 1991. In September, Michael was honoured by MTV when they renamed the “Video Vanguard Award” to “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award”.
___On November 14, 1991, Michael released the first single and short film from the Dangerous album, called “Black or White”. For the 11 minute short film, Michael again asked John Landis to direct. The film also starred Macaulay Culkin, Peggy Lipton and George Wendt. The film cost an estimated $4 million to create and included amazing dancing and special effects. The “Black or White” short film was one of the earliest films to employ the technique of morphing to change one face to another at the end of the clip.The debut of the short film was shown in 27 countries simultaneously and viewed by approximately 500 million people; the largest audience to ever view a music video. The short film created controversy due to the last four minutes, where Michael dances a Capella in the streets of L.A. Some audiences and critics saw the dance as violent and not suitable for family viewing. The day after its release, Michael cut the last four minutes from the film and issued an apologetic statement. To date, the video is often shown with the final segment cut and is considered one of the most controversial music videos of all time. Controversy aside, “Black of White” went to number one in 13 countries; staying at the top spot in the US for 7 weeks and Australia for 8 weeks.
___The Dangerous album was released worldwide on November 26, 1991. After 16 months of recording, Michael had a spectacular album with 15 new songs. Michael had ended his association with producer Quincy Jones and enlisted new producers Teddy Riley and Bill Botrell. The album had a “New Jack Swing” sound as a result and was more influenced by gospel and hip hop. Michael had written over 60 songs for the new project; 13 of those going on the album: “Jam”, “In The Closet”, “She Drives Me Wild”, “Remember the Time”, “Can’t Let Her Get Away”, “Heal The World”, “Black Or White”, “Who Is It”, “Give In To Me”, “Will You Be There”, “Keep The Faith”, and “Dangerous”. Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle contributed “Why You Wanna Trip on Me” and Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan contributed the haunting “Gone Too Soon”. Michael again teamed up with Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard to write “Keep the Faith”. Guitarist Slash played on two of the songs: “Black or White” and “Give in to Me”. Also enlisted were three different rappers: Heavy D on “Jam”, Wrecks ‘N Effect on “She Drives Me Wild” and LTB on “Black or White”. A “Mystery Girl” was asked to contribute to the sexy “In the Closet”. It was later revealed that the “Mystery Girl” was in fact Princess Stephanie of Monaco. The stunning cover art was created by Mark Ryden and the first pressing of Dangerous came with a pop up artwork cover.
___ Dangerous was one of the most anticipated albums of the 1990’s- so much so that armed robbers stole approximately 30,000 copies when the first shipment arrived at the L.A. Airport. Dangerous received amazing reviews and went straight to number one in several countries; also becoming the highest selling album of 1992.
On November 27, Michael performed “Black or White” and “Will You Be There” on MTV’s 10th Anniversary TV special. Joining Michael onstage was Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist, Slash.
On February 14, 1992, Michael Jackson announced at a Pepsi press conference that he would indeed be touring again. Michael made it clear that he was touring for one reason: to raise funds for his newly formed “Heal the World” foundation. His goal was to gross $100 million by Christmas 1993. The announcement of the tour coincided with a new deal between Michael Jackson and Pepsi: a reported $20 million to sponsor the Dangerous World Tour.
Also in February, Michael released the single “Remember the Time” with a spectacular short film directed by John Singleton. The 9-minute clip starred Eddie Murphy, supermodel Iman and Magic Johnson. The film had amazing dance sequences and special effects. The single went to number one on the US R&B chart and it became a top ten single in nine different countries.
___ In Early March 1992, Michael went on a tour of five different African nations. His first visit there in 19 years was greeted with 100,000 fans on his arrival in Gabon. He was presented two awards in Gabon: the “National Honour of Merit Award” and the “National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters: Lifetime Achievement Award”. He attended historic African ceremonies and was crowned “King Sani” by tribal leaders on the Ivory Coast.
In May, Michael released “In the Closet”. The short film to accompany the song was directed by renowned photographer, Herb Ritts and starred supermodel Naomi Campbell as Michael’s love interest. The steamy clip was filmed in the desert in Palm Springs, California and also featured real white oxen. The song was a top ten hit in five countries.
In June, Michael released a new book called “Dancing the Dream”. The book featured poems, songs and reflections written by Michael and featured loads of photos from his private collection, photo shoots and short films. It also featured pictures and paintings by some of Michael’s favourite artists.
___On June 27, 1992, Michael kicked off his Dangerous World Tour in Munich, Germany. The show featured special effects by David Copperfield, a specially built stage, special lighting and pyrotechnics, new and original choreography and amazing costumes. It took tow 747 jets to transport the equipment from country to country. Michael greeted the crowd at each concert by popping out from below the stage. When Michael performed “Smooth Criminal”, he performed ‘the lean” live on stage with a newly created and patented device.
In London, Michael again sold out Wembley Stadium and grossed $13 million in just three shows. HBO offered Michael Jackson a staggering $21 million to film and televise the last of his European shows at Bucharest, Romania. It was the most ever paid to televise a concert and it became the highest rated show in cable history.
___“Jam” was released in July 1992. The video was directed by Michael Jackson along with David Kellogg. It featured Michael Jordan and Kriss Kross. The song became a top ten smash in five countries.In November, “Heal the World”; the album’s fifth single was released. The song was a top ten hit in four countries. Also in November 1992, “The Jacksons: An American Dream” was broadcast on ABC. It was the story of the rise of the Jackson Five and was produced by Jermaine Jackson. It featured an all-star cast with Angela Bassett, Billy Dee Williams and Vanessa Williams. The amazing Wylie Dryper played a teen to twenties Michael Jackson. The film became one of the most successful music biographies of the 1990’s and received high ratings. The film was nominated for seven Emmy awards and won four, including “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography”. On December 31st in Tokyo, Japan, Slash joined Michael onstage for a special performance of “Black or White”. It was the last concert of the first leg of the Dangerous World Tour. Michael had many exciting projects in store for 1993 and he began rehearsals for the Superbowl halftime show.
___In January 1993, Michael attended the NAACP awards where he received the “25th Silver Anniversary Entertainer of the Year Award” and “Outstanding Music Video Award” for “Black or White”. He then attended and performed “Gone Too Soon”, “Heal the World” and “We Are the World” at President Clinton’s Inaugural Ball. On the 25th of January, Michael performed the song “Dangerous” at the American Music Awards, where he received 3 awards including “Best Pop/Rock Album”, “Best Soul/R&B Single” and the first “Michael Jackson International Artist Award” for record sales and humanitarian efforts.
___Topping off a fabulous month, Michael performed at the 1993 Superbowl Halftime show on the 31st of January. The show included “Jam”, “Billie Jean”, “Black or White” and “Heal the World”, which included a 98,000 audience card stunt, and a 750 member choir. Approximately 120 million people tuned into the event; one of the largest viewing audiences in TV history.As the performances began, Jackson was catapulted onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him. As he landed on the canvass, he maintained a motionless "clenched fist, standing statue stance", dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained completely motionless for several minutes while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and began to sing and dance.
January 1993 also marked the release of the sixth single off Dangerous, “Who Is It”. The short film was directed by David Fincher and had a story about a cheating lover. The single became a top ten hit in five countries and number one on the US dance chart.
___On February 10, 1993, Michael was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey at his Neverland Ranch. It was Michael’s first live TV interview in 14 years. During the 90 minute special, Michael spoke about his personal life and career and gave Oprah a night time tour of his ranch. He also danced live in his theatre and gave the audience a special a Capella performance of “Who Is It”. The show became the fourth highest rated entertainment show in history. Michael also debuted his seventh single from dangerous: “Give in to Me”. After the Interview, the Dangerous album had a boost in sales, reaching the top 10 once again in several countries.
___Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old child named Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler. The friendship between Jackson and Evan Chandler broke down. Sometime afterwards, Evan Chandler was tape-recorded saying amongst other things, "If I go through with this, I win big-time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever...Michael's career will be over". A year after they had met, under the influence of sodium amytal, a controversial sedative, Jordan Chandler told his father that Jackson had touched his penis. Evan Chandler and Jackson, represented by their legal teams, then engaged in unsuccessful negotiations to resolve the issue in a financial settlement; the negotiations were initiated by Chandler but Jackson did make several counter offers. Jordan Chandler then told a psychiatrist and later police that he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer's genitals.
___An official investigation began, with Jordan Chandler's mother adamant that there was no wrongdoing on Jackson's part. Neverland Ranch was searched; multiple children and family members denied that he was a pedophile. Jackson's image took a further turn for the worse when his older sister La Toya Jackson accused him of being a pedophile, a statement she later retracted. Jackson agreed to a 25-minute strip search, conducted at his ranch. The search was required to see if a description provided by Jordan Chandler was accurate. Doctors concluded that there were some strong similarities, but it was not a definitive match. Jackson made an emotional public statement on the events; he proclaimed his innocence, criticized what he perceived as biased media coverage and told of his strip search.
___Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium and Ativan to help him cope with chronic pain a consequence to an accident involving the collapse of stage rigging during the Dangerous Tour and for joint inflammation from Lupus. Jackson started taking Xanax for panic attacks and stress stemming from the allegations made against him of child abuse. By the fall of 1993, Jackson was addicted to the drugs. His health deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into drug rehabilitation for a few months. The stress of the allegations also caused Jackson to stop eating, and he lost a significant amount of weight. With his health in decline, Jackson's friends and legal advisers took over his defense and finances; they called on him to settle the allegations out of court, believing that he could not endure a lengthy trial.Tabloid reaction to the allegations put Jackson in an unfavorable light. Complaints about the coverage and media included everything from bias against Jackson, accepting stories of alleged criminal activity for money to accepting confidential leaked material from the police investigation in return for money paid. On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandler family and their legal team out of court, in a civil lawsuit for $22 million. After the settlement Jordan Chandler refused to continue with police regarding criminal proceedings. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence.
___“Give in to Me” was officially released in Europe in February with a video clip featuring Slash, filmed in Germany in two hours in front of a live audience. The single was not released in North America, but became a top ten hit in five countries.
On March 15th, Michael attended the Grammy Awards and was honoured with the “Legend Award”, presented to him by his sister, Janet. The same month, Michael attended the Soul Train Awards, where he performed “Remember the Time” and received three awards including “Humanitarian of the Year”. Michael was then honoured again at the World Music Awards in Monaco where he received three awards including “World’s Best Selling Artist of the Era”.
In July 1993, “Will You Be There”, the eighth single from Dangerous was released. The song received an amazing reception all over the world, staying in the top 10 in the US and top 40 in the UK for over six weeks. The song was also on the soundtrack for the movie, “Free Willy”.
___In December, the ninth and last single off Dangerous was released: “Gone Too Soon”. The song enjoyed top 40 success in the UK. Also around this time, “Dangerous: The Short Films” was released by Sony. It featured all the short films from the Dangerous album plus footage from Michael’s Superbowl performance and award ceremonies.
The Dangerous album had been received amazingly well and had spent 117 weeks in the US charts. At the end of the Era, it had sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Currently, Dangerous is at sales of over 32 million copies!
___After a well deserved break from touring and performing, Michael recovered and all investigations were dropped in early 1994. On the 26th of May, 1994, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley in a ceremony at the Dominican Republic. They did not announce their union until two months later. During 1994, Michael began work on a new album. He had already written several songs while on tour and was ready to get back to recording and performing.
Michael Jackson had certainly dominated the headlines in the Dangerous Era with spectacular performances, an amazing world tour and controversy. He had introduced a new sound to the 1990’s and had again changed the face of music videos, making use of new and expensive technology. The album Dangerous had dominated the charts for two years and had won 16 awards. Michael was honoured everywhere he went with awards and ceremonies, setting an example in the music world and as an incredible humanitarian.
<<<1995–99: HIStory, second marriage and fatherhood>>>
___The HIStory / Blood on the Dance Floor Era, 1995-1999, was one of Michael’s busiest eras with two albums, his biggest world tour, some of the most expensive and stunning short films and a heavy media schedule.
At the end of 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley made their first television appearance together at the MTV Movie Awards, where Michael collected an award for “Will You Be There”. Michael was soon back in the studio during 1994 to create his new album.On the 23rd of February 1995 Michael gave a special preview of some of the songs off the forthcoming album to the National Association of Recording Merchandisers. The NARM presented him with the Harold Chapin Humanitarian Award at the preview.The massive promotional campaign for the forthcoming album, HIStory, was launched on MTV and around the world on the 22nd of May 1995, with a stunning teaser film. The 4 minute “HIStory Teaser” was filmed in Budapest in early August 1994, and directed by Rupert Wainwright. Fans were invited to participate in the film, which featured a huge army and stunning special effects. The film created a stir around the world and generated massive interest in Michael’s forthcoming album.
___Finally, on the 29th of May, the first single from the HIStory album was released. “Scream” was a duet with Michael and Janet Jackson. The short film for “Scream” was directed by Mark Romanek and had a massive budget of $7 million. It was a futuristic film in black and white with an amazing dancing, morphing and other special effects. The 6 minute film smashed the record for the Most Expensive Music Video, a record it still holds today. “Scream” had an AA-side release; “Childhood”, which had a stunning short film, directed by Nicholas Brandt. The song was also the theme to the movie, Free Willy 2. The single debuted at number 5 on the US charts, making it the highest debuting single in the history of the Billboard Chart. The single went to number 1 in 19 countries.
___On June 14th, Michael and Lisa Marie Presley appeared on Prime Time Live in an interview with Diane Sawyer. During the 60-minute interview, Michael discussed his music and career and along with Lisa Marie, revealed details of their marriage. The programme was watched by 60 million viewers and was the most watched program of 1995.
The following day, Sony continued its $30 million dollar promotional campaign for HIStory, by floating a huge statue of Michael Jackson down the River Thames in the UK. There were a total of nine statues throughout Europe. Each statue was 10 meters tall, 2,100 kilograms in weight and made from steel and fibreglass. The promotion for HIStory was the largest campaign for a single album at that time.It is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, with 20 million copies (40 million units) sold worldwide.
___HIStory- Past, Present and Future, Book 1 was released worldwide on June 18th, 1995. The two disc album was a combination of greatest hits and new material. The first disc; “HIStory Begins” featured 15 greatest hits from 1979-1991 and the second disc; “HIStory Continues” featured 15 brand new tracks. The album took a year in the studio to create and Michael showed more independence on HIStory, by producing the album himself, playing several instruments and writing and co-writing 12 of the new tracks: "Scream", "They Don't Care About Us", "Stranger in Moscow", "This Time Around", "Earth Song", "D.S.", "Money", "Childhood” "Tabloid Junkie" “2 Bad”, "HIStory" and "Little Susie". He recorded two covers for the album: “Come Together” (originally recorded in 1988 for “Moonwalker”) and “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin. R. Kelly contributed the ballad “You Are Not Alone”. He also collaborated with rappers Shaquille O’Neill and Notorious B.I.G, singers Boyz II Men and guitarist Slash. The album came with a 52-page colour booklet with photos, lyrics, artwork by Gottfried Helnwein and details of every award Michael had won up until 1995.
___HIStory broke sales records in its first week on the charts. In the UK it sold 100,000 copies in just two days and in Australia the advance order of 130,000 copies was the largest initial shipment in Sony Australia’s history. Similar sales figures were witnessed all over Europe and in the US, the album went to number 1. By the end of June, HIStory had sold a staggering 7.5 million copies world wide.The release of HIStory was also met with controversy, as Michael was accused of anti-Semitism because of the lyrics in the song “They Don’t Care About Us”. Michael immediately issued an apology and took the album off the shelves. He re-recorded the song and re-released HIStory, funding the cost himself.On the 25th of June, Michael attended a press conference in New York, where it was announced that Michael & Janet Jackson had been nominated for a record 11 MTV Video Music Awards for “Scream”. Michael also announced that he would be performing at a concert for HBO called “One Night Only” at the end of the year. He was then interviewed by Bill Bellamy for a special called “Michael Jackson Changes HIStory” which was televised shortly after.
___“You Are Not Alone”, the second single from the album was released on August 15th, 1995. The short film to accompany the song was directed by Wayne Isham and featured Lisa Marie Presley. The single debuted at number 1 on the US charts, smashing the previous record set by “Scream”. “You Are Not Alone” was the first and still only song to ever debut at number one on the US Billboard Chart. The single was a worldwide smash, reaching number 1 in six countries and record sales for HIStory soared.On the 17th of August, Michael Jackson participated in his first ever internet Simulcast. It was the largest ever cyber chat at the time and drew in over 16,000 fans, who asked Michael questions about his music and life.
___On November 27, HIStory’s third single, “Earth Song”, was released world wide, but not in the US. The short film for the song was directed by Nicholas Brandt and was filmed in four countries. The single went to number 1 in the UK and stayed at the top spot for six weeks. The song also reached the top 10 in 16 different countries and sold 3.5 million copies world wide. The short film was also nominated for a Grammy Award.While rehearsing for the special “One Night Only”, on December 6th 1995, Michael collapsed and was rushed to hospital suffering dehydration, low blood pressure and a viral infection. He spent several days in hospital. The special was eventually called off due to HBO management changes and insurance reasons.
___While rehearsing for the special “One Night Only”, on December 6th 1995, Michael collapsed and was rushed to hospital suffering dehydration, low blood pressure and a viral infection. He spent several days in hospital. The special was eventually called off due to HBO management changes and insurance reasons.On January 18th, 1996, it was announced that Lisa Marie Presley had filed for divorce from Michael Jackson. The divorce would become final on August 20th, 1995.
___In April, Michael released the fourth single from HIStory, “They Don’t Care About Us”. The single was supported by two music videos, both directed by Spike Lee. One was shot in Brazil with cultural group Olodum, and the other was shot in a New York prison. The “prison version” created controversy due to the use of news footage depicting violence. This version was taken off MTV’s play list and Michael released the “Olodum version” in its place. The single became a top 10 hit in nine countries, including the US.
In May, Michael attended the 1996 World Music Awards and received a record five awards: “Best Selling Artist Ever”, “Best Selling Record of All Time” (for Thriller), “Best Selling Male Artist of 1996”, “Best Selling American Artist” and “Best Selling R&B Artist”. No other artist has won five WMA’s in a single year.
___Michael then embarked on his HIStory World Tour on September 7th, 1996, starting in Prague, Czech Republic. The amazing show featured 20 songs, special effects in several performances, a bigger light show than ever before, a specially built stage, breathtaking costumes and stunning choreography.
___While on tour, it was revealed that Michael was expecting a baby with his long time friend, Debbie Rowe. They married on the 14th of November 1996, at Sheraton on The Park in Sydney, Australia in a private ceremony.
Tickets for Michael’s concerts in Australia and New Zealand broke records when they sold out in just a few hours. While in Australia, Michael attended the premiere of his new film, Ghosts. The 38-minute film was written by Michael Jackson and Stephen King and directed by Stan Winston. The film tells the story of a man being forced out of his small town home by the Mayor. Michael starred as multiple characters, (including the Maestro, the Mayor and as an incredible dancing skeleton!) with mind-blowing dance sequences, special effects and makeup. Three of Michael’s songs were used in the film: “2Bad”, “Is It Scary” and “Ghosts”. The film Ghosts currently holds the record for the world’s longest music video. It was released on home video in the form of a special box set in 1997. The film won the Bob Fosse Award for “Best Choreography in a Music Video”.
___During the Australian leg of the HIStory World Tour, Jackson married dermatologist nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe, who bore him two children, a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also known as "Prince"), and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. The pair first met in the mid-1980s, when Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo. She spent many years treating his illness as well as providing emotional support. They built a strong friendship, then became romantically involved. Originally there were no plans to marry, but following Rowe's first pregnancy, Jackson's mother intervened and persuaded them to do so. Jackson later claimed that he was in such a rush to leave the hospital with daughter Paris in 1998 that he cut the cord and left with the baby covered in blood, taking the placenta with him in his haste. After the couple divorced in 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Jackson, they remained friends.
___The second leg of Michael’s HIStory World Tour began in Bremen, Germany on 31st of May and concluded on October 15th in South Africa. Michael sold his millionth concert ticket at the Wembley Stadium and sold out four concerts in a row there. He also played on his 38th birthday in Copenhagen where 50,000 fans wished him Happy Birthday. Michael did not tour North America, but the tour was so successful that he had played 82 concerts to 4.5 million fans in 35 countries on 5 continents. The estimated grosses totalled more than $160 million and again, it was the biggest concert tour of its time.While on tour, Michael was interviewed by Barbara Walters shortly after Princess Diana’s death, to discuss the paparazzi, fatherhood and the impact of the Princess’s death.
___In June 1999, Michael held two special concerts for charity, called “Michael Jackson and Friends”. The first concert was held on June 25th in Seoul, Korea and the second concert was held on June 27 in Munich, Germany. His celebrity guests included All Saints, Andrea Bocelli, Luther Vandross and Status Quo. Michael’s set list included performances of “Billie Jean”, “Dangerous” and “Earth Song”. The concerts raised approximately $3.3 million for charities Red Cross, UNESCO and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Both concerts were televised in Europe and Asia to a massive viewer response.
___By the end of 1999, Michael had released two albums, had seven singles, released a feature film, toured the world and broke several records. The HIStory album to date has sold over 18 million copies (36 million units) and is currently listed as one of the best selling double albums of all time. Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix has sold approximately 6 million copies to date and is currently listed as the best selling remix album of all time.
Michael had dominated media headlines and the music charts throughout the era. He had the two biggest tours and two of the biggest selling albums of the 1990’s. Michael had had more interviews than ever before and created a stir wherever he went. He’d set many records, most of which remain unbroken today.
<<<2000–02: Label dispute, Invincible and third child>>>
___During the Invincible Era, 2000-2003, Michael would be honoured with many awards as “Artist of the Millennium”, and usher in new sounds for a new century. He gave many interviews and appearances in his 30th year as a solo artist.
During 1999, Michael went back into the studio to prepare a new album. In October, he gave an interview with TV Guide where he discussed his upcoming projects and his past projects, such as Thriller.In October 2000, Michael was presented with the Best Selling Male Pop Artist of the Millennium Award at the World Music Awards.In March 2001, Michael was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. He had been inducted just four years prior as a member of the Jacksons.
___Michael made a surprise appearance with N*Sync during their performance of “Pop” on 6th September 2001 at the MTV Video Music Awards. The appearance was unannounced and came as a surprise to fans all over the world.
The next day, Michael performed at the first of two concerts in honour of his 30th anniversary as a solo artist. “Michael Jackson: The 30th Anniversary Celebration” was organised by David Gest and held at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The two part special celebration was held on September 7th and September 10th, 2001. Guest performers included: Luther Vandross, Destiny’s Child, Liza Minelli, Usher, Mya and many more who paid tribute to Michael by singing songs from his musical career and their current material. The concert also included a special Jacksons reunion performance with a set that included “Can You Feel It”, “I Want You Back” and “Shake Your Body” and a special performance of “Dancing Machine” with N*Sync. Michael closed the concerts with a special performance of his greatest hits, including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Black or White” (with Slash), “You Rock My World”, and “The Way You Make Me Feel” (with Britney Spears). The show broadcasted in November to over 26 million viewers in the US and featured a mix of the two concerts. The show won two NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Variety Series / Special” and “Outstanding Performance in a Variety Series / Special”.
___Michael released the first single from his forthcoming album; “You Rock My World”, on September 21st, 2001. The R & B dance number was written by Michael and producers Darkchild and featured a spoken comedic intro with Chris Tucker. The short film was 12 minutes long and featured Marlon Brando, Chris Tucker, Billy Drago and Michael Madsen. It was directed by Paul Hunter and choreographed by Michael. The single went to number 1 in eight countries, peaked at number 2 in the UK and number 10 in the US. It was a top 10 hit in a total of 30 countries and was nominated for a Grammy Award. The short film won the NAACP Image Award for Best Music Video.
___The album Invincible was released world wide on October 30th, 2001. The album was the Michael’s first in 10 years that featured all new material. Invincible spent two years in production and cost approximately $30 million to make; reportedly the most expensive album ever made. The album featured 16 tracks, 14 of which Michael wrote or co-wrote; “Unbreakable”, “Heartbreaker”, “Invincible”, “Heaven Can Wait”, “You Rock My World”, “Speechless”, “2000 Watts”, “You Are My Life”, “Privacy”, “Don’t Walk Away”, “The Lost Children” and “Threatened”. R. Kelly contributed the anthem track “Cry” and UK duo Floetry contributed the beautiful “Butterflies”. Slash performed a guitar solo on “Privacy” and Santana contributed a guitar performance to “Whatever Happens”. The album featured two posthumous appearances; a rap performance by Notorious B.I.G on “Unbreakable” and samples of Rod Sterling’s voice on “Threatened”. Brandy contributed additional vocals to “Unbreakable”. Michael brought in Rodney Jerkins of Darkchild to produce and write on six of the tracks. Again, Michael produced the entire project himself and played many of the musical instruments. The album was initially released with cover art that came in five limited edition colours. Invincible went to number 1 in 13 countries including the US, UK and Australia. The album showed incredible first week sales in the US, selling over 300,000 copies. Invincible sold a massive 5.4 million copies in just two months of its release.
___On January 9, 2002, Michael appeared at the American Music Awards to accept the “Artist of the Century Award”.
In Early 2002, Sony Music suddenly cancelled its promotion of Invincible. The third single, “Butterflies” was due for release in early February, but Sony pulled the single’s commercial release for unknown reasons. The single was released to radio stations and reached number 14 on the US chart and number 2 on the US R&B chart based on radio play alone. The single was also promotionally released in Europe.
___In June, 2002, Michael Jackson was inducted into the Songwriter’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his achievements as a songwriter. Also in June, Michael was presented with a special “30th Anniversary Award” by designer Nijel. Fans from all over the world had helped to create the award. Also in June, Michael launched an attack on Sony Music Entertainment and head Tommy Mottola, because of their decision to cancel promotion of Invincible. Just prior to the release of Invincible, Michael had informed Tommy Mottola that he would not be renewing his contract with Sony Music, which was due to expire in 2002. All single releases, video shooting and promotion was cancelled as a result of the feud. Michael joined forces with Johnnie Cochrane and Rev. Al Sharpton and held press conferences and protests to speak out against Sony Music in June and July. Michael accused record companies of conspiring against their artists and he also personally attacked Tommy Mottola.Fans staged a peaceful protest outside Sony Music’s offices in London on 15th of June, where Michael joined in. On the same day, Michael attended the Killer Thriller party, held by MJNI at The Equinox at Leicester Square, along with 2,200 fans. Michael announced that Invincible was indeed his last studio album for Sony. Tommy Mottola resigned from Sony Music Entertainment in January 2003.
___In August 2002, it was announced that Michael had become the father of a third child. Prince Michael II (nicknamed “Blanket”) was born in February 2002 with the help of an unknown surrogate mother.In November 2002, Michael was presented an award for “Pop Artist of the Milennium” at the Bambi Awards in Berlin, Germany. It was at this award show that the official music video for “What More Can I Give” was debuted.
Michael was presented a special Billboard Award: “Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Thriller” by Chris Tucker in December 2002.
___On November 18th, 2003, Michael released “Number Ones”; a new compilation album. The album featured 18 tracks- 16 number one hits from Michael’s solo career with Epic / Sony and two bonus tracks; “Break of Dawn” (from Invincible) and a new single; “One More Chance”. A DVD was released to accompany the album which featured 15 short films from Michael’s career.
___One of Jackson's first documented public appearances since his trial was in November 2006, when he visited the London office of the Guinness World Records. He received eight records, among them "First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 Million Dollars in a Year" and "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time". Jackson was awarded the Diamond Award on November 15, 2006, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards. Following the death of James Brown, Jackson returned to the U.S. to pay his respects. He, along with more than 8,000 people, paid tribute during Brown's public funeral on December 30, 2006. In late 2006, Jackson agreed to share joint custody of his first two children with ex-wife Debbie Rowe. Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom in 2007. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others.
___I've been in the entertainment industry since I was six-years-old... As Charles Dickens says, "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-
<<<2008–09: Milestones, real estate, planned return to live performance>>>
___To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thriller, Jackson issued Thriller 25, comprising original material from the album, re-mixes, the previously unreleased song "For All Time" and a DVD. Two singles were released to moderate success: "The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008". Thriller 25 was a commercial success, having done particularly well as a re-issue, peaking at number one in eight countries and Europe. It reached number three in the UK and top 10 on over 30 national charts. It was ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart as a re-release, but entered atop the Pop Catalog chart, where it stayed for 11 non-consecutive weeks and had the best sales on that chart since December 1996. In 12 weeks Thriller 25 sold over three million copies worldwide. As of November 2008, U.S. sales of Thriller 25 stood at 688,000 copies, making it the best-selling catalog album of 2008. To date, it sold 774,000 copies in the US.
___To celebrate Jackson's 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a compilation album called King of Pop in various countries. These albums included tracks from Jackson's group and solo career, all voted for by fans. The albums had different tracklists, according to how the fans of each nation voted. Although it was not released in the US, King of Pop did reach the top 10 in the vast majority of countries where it was issued. It also charted in other countries, albeit lower, from imported sales.Fortress Investments considered a foreclosure sale of Neverland Ranch to service a loan Jackson owed on the property, but ultimately sold the loan to Colony Capital LLC. In November, Jackson transferred the title of Neverland Ranch to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC.
___In March 2009, Jackson announced at London's O2 arena that he would perform in major comeback concerts titled This Is It, at the said arena. The shows were to be Jackson's first major series of concerts since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997, and had been cited as one of the year's most important musical events with over one million people attending in total. Jackson suggested possible retirement after the shows; in his own words it would be his "final curtain call". Although initially a 10 date concert, it was increased to 50 dates after record breaking ticket sales. Jackson rehearsed in Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the tour under the direction of choreographer/director Kenny Ortega. The concerts would have commenced on July 13, 2009 and finished on March 6, 2010. Less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London and with all concerts being sold out, Jackson died of a cardiac arrest.AEG Live, the concert promoters, released a promotional video that took up an entire commercial break, setting a record for ITV. According to Jackson's website, ticket sales for the concerts broke several records. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned the singer approximately £50 million. It has now been confirmed that Columbia Pictures are to make a feature documentary concert-film from the rehearsal and pre-recorded footage. The contract for the film stipulates that a cut of the film must be screened for Jackson's estate, which stands to receive 90 percent of the profits. A final cut is due October 28, 2009, for a limited 2 week run in theatres worldwide. A new single titled "This Is It" was released on October 12, 2009 with a new album of the same name, This Is It which will be released worldwide on October 26 and in North America on October 27, the day before the Michael Jackson's This Is It documentary film. Two versions of the new song appear on the second "This Is It" album's first disc, which also features original masters of Michael Jackson's hits in the order in which they appear in the movie. The album's second disc features previously unreleased versions of more Jackson hits, as well as a previously unheard spoken word poem entitled "Planet Earth."
<<< death and memorial >>>
___On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at his rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 p.m. (PDT), arriving three minutes later at Jackson's location. He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour after arriving there at 1:13 p.m. (20:13 UTC). He was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. local time (21:26 UTC). The 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. Jackson's casket was present during the memorial but no information was released about the final disposition of the body. While some unofficial reports claimed a worldwide audience as high as one billion people the U.S. audience was estimated by Nielsen to be 31.1 million, an amount comparable to the estimated 35.1 million that watched the 2004 burial of President Ronald Reagan, and the estimated 33.1 million Americans who watched the 1997 funeral for Princess Diana. Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, and Shaheen Jafargholi performed at the event. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson gave eulogies, while Queen Latifah read, "We had him," a poem written for the occasion by Maya Angelou. The Reverend 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, cried as she told the crowd, "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine ... I just wanted to say I love him ... so much." On August 24, multiple news outlets quoted anonymous sources as stating that the Los Angeles coroner had decided to treat Jackson's death as a homicide; this was later confirmed by the coroner on August 28. At the time of death, Jackson had been administered propofol, lorazepam and midazolam. Law enforcement officials are currently conducting a manslaughter investigation of his personal physician, Conrad Murray. Jackson was buried on September 3, 2009 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.