Jackson: Life and career

A look at the life and career of Michael Jackson:


AUG. 29, 1958: Michael Joseph Jackson is born in Gary, Ind., the seventh of nine children.

1963: After several years of training, the Jackson 5 begin to perform in public.

DEC. 14, 1969: The Jackson 5 appear on the The Ed Sullivan Show.

1970: Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, includes the hit singles I Want You Back and I'll Be There, which go to No. 1.

1972: While still singing with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson puts out his first solo album, Got to Be There.

1979: Mr. Jackson's first solo album as an adult, Off the Wall, is released. He becomes the first solo artist to place four singles from the same record in the top 10.

1982: His album Thriller wins a record eight Grammys and becomes the world's biggest selling record of all time. Along with the title track, it includes the songs Billie Jean and Beat It.

1983: Mr. Jackson electrifies the 50 million viewers of the Motown 25 television special by singing and dancing to Billie Jean while wearing a black fedora, one white glove and pants that end above his ankles.

1984: During production of a Pepsi-Cola commercial, Mr. Jackson's scalp suffers burns when an explosion sets his hair on fire.

1985: Mr. Jackson and Lionel Richie write what becomes one of the fastest-selling singles ever, We Are the World. The song was produced to raise money for victims of the Ethiopian famine.

1987: His album Bad produces five No. 1 singles and sells at least 22 million copies worldwide.

1993: In his first TV interview in 14 years, Mr. Jackson tells Oprah Winfrey that the change in his skin complexion is from a disorder called vitiligo. Also, a lawsuit claims that Mr. Jackson seduced and abused a 13-year-old boy.

1994: Mr. Jackson settles the lawsuit with substantial payment to the plaintiff. Los Angeles and Santa Barbara district attorneys don't file child molestation charges against him. He also marries Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis.

1995: Releases the album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I. In August, the song You Are Not Alone becomes the first single to enter the Billboard chart at No. 1.

1996: Ms. Presley files for divorce, and Mr. Jackson marries nurse Debbie Rowe.

1997: The album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, sells in the hundreds of thousands worldwide, disappointing numbers for Mr. Jackson. Ms. Rowe gives birth to son Prince Michael.

1997: The Jackson 5 are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1998: Ms. Rowe gives birth to daughter Paris Michael Katherine.

2001: The Invincible album is released with a respectable 2.1 million copies sold, but only two minor hits.

2002: Third child Prince Michael II is born.

2004: Mr. Jackson pleads not guilty to child molestation charges in January.

2005: In June, Mr. Jackson is acquitted of the charges.

Sources: Associated Press; Detroit Free Press archives; USA Today; Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll


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