MICHAEL JACKSON Biography - Activists, Revolutionaries and other freedom fighters


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The most phenomenal popular - music success since Elvis Presley and the Beatles, singer - dancer Michael Joe Jackson, b. Gary, Ind., Aug. 29, 1958, is a brilliant entertainer. Born to a musical family, he and his brothers formed the Jackson Five in the early 1960s and, beginning in 1968, gained fame through their MOTOWN recordings and their television appearances. Young, talented, sexy, and cute, the group made a remarkable series of hits with Michael as lead singer. By the mid-1970s the brothers had grown up and their appeal began to wane.


In 1978, Michael introduced his new persona. He was no longer a child, but a child-man - delicate, frail, with a tremulous, often girlish voice - yet he was a powerful performer. His solo album Off the Wall (1978) catapulted him back to fame.Thriller (1982), boosted by Jackson’s elaborate music videos, soon became the best-selling album of all time, eventually selling over 40 million copies worldwide.


In 1984, Jackson reunited with his brothers for an album, Victory, and a six-month tour which broke attendance records. In 1985, he co-wrote the famine-relief anthem “We Are the World” with Lionel Richie.


Bad (1987) was a commercial letdown, in comparison to Thriller, yet it sold over 24 million copies worldwide. In 1991 Jackson signed a record and film deal with Sony Entertainment that Sony executives hoped would net the company $1 billion, and released Dangerous, which immediately topped the charts.