Michael Jackson

Photo: Getty Images/ Dave Hogan

— Aug. 29, 1958: Michael Joseph Jackson is born in Gary, Ind., the seventh of nine children. His father, Joe, is a crane operator at U.S. steel who once played guitar in an R&B band. His mother, Katharine, is a Jehovah’s Witness. In 1987, Michael disassociated himself from the religion.

— 1968: [lastfm]The Jackson 5[/lastfm] signs with Motown Records. Michael is lead singer, joined by brothers Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Jermaine.

— Dec. 14, 1969: The Jackson 5 appear on the “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

— 1969-70: Jackson 5’s first four singles, “I Want You Back,” ”ABC,” ”The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There” reach No. 1. The group also releases its first album, “Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5.”

— 1972: While still singing with the Jackson 5, Michael puts out his first solo album, “Got to Be There.” It includes his first No. 1 single, “Ben.”

— Sept. 11, 1971: “Jackson 5ive” kids’ cartoon series makes debut on ABC. It airs until 1973.

— 1978: Jackson stars as the Scarecrow with Diana Ross in “The Wiz,” an all-black version of “The Wizard of Oz.”

— 1979: 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, with 26 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. Along with the title track, it includes the songs “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.”

— 1983: Jackson electrifies the 50 million viewers of the “Motown 25” television special by singing, dancing, and debuting the “moonwalk” to “Billie Jean.” He wears a black fedora, one white glove, and pants that end above his ankles. The same year, he becomes the first black artist to get extensive video play on MTV when his “Thriller” video premieres. The network takes to playing it every hour on the hour. An MTV executive says ratings were up to four times greater than usual every time “Thriller” came on. The same year, Jane Fonda says in an interview that she once told Jackson, “‘I realize you’re Peter Pan.’ She says he started to cry and responded, ‘I totally identify with Peter Pan, the lost boy of never-never land.'”

— Jan. 27, 1984: During production of a Pepsi-Cola commercial, Jackson’s scalp is burned when a pyrotechnic special effect sets his hair on fire.

— 1985: Jackson, Lionel Richie, and 43 other singers record what becomes one of the fastest-selling singles ever: “We Are the World.” Written by Jackson and Richie, the song was produced to raise money for victims of the famine in Ethiopia. The same year, Jackson pays $47.5 million for the rights to more than 250 songs written by [lastfm]John Lennon[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Paul McCartney[/lastfm].

— 1986: The Walt Disney Co. opens a 3-D movie at its theme parks called “Captain EO (EE’-oh),” featuring Jackson. It is executive produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The last attraction, in Paris, closes 12 years later.

— 1987: His album “Bad” produces five No. 1 singles and sells at least 22 million copies worldwide. The “Bad” video is directed by Martin Scorsese. CBS deems it worthy of a prime-time special.

— 1988: Jackson pays $14.6 million for a 2,500-acre property in Santa Barbara, Calif., wine country. He names it “Neverland” and creates a sprawling children’s playground complete with amusement park rides and a zoo.

— February 1988: Jackson’s autobiography, “Moonwalk,” is published. He writes that his father “was a great trainer,” but adds, “We’d perform for him and he’d critique us. If you messed up, you got hit, sometimes with a belt, sometimes with a switch.” He also writes that as a child, he’d see kids playing and wish he could be with them instead of working. He maintains he’s had plastic surgery only on his nose and his chin, to create a cleft.

— 1991: The album “Dangerous” is released. The same year, in an episode of “The Simpsons,” Jackson provides the voice for the character of a 300-pound white man whom Homer Simpson meets in a mental institution. The character tells Homer that, “People thought I was crazy for the way I dressed…one white glove, covered with rhinestones.”

— 1992: HBO airs “[lastfm]Michael Jackson [/lastfm]in Concert in Bucharest.”

— Feb. 10, 1993: Jackson reveals in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey that he has the inherited disorder vitiligo, which caused his skin color to fade. Two days later, A.C. Nielsen reports that 62.3 million people watched the program.

— Feb. 24, 1993, Jackson receives the Grammy Legend Award.

— Nov. 1993: Jackson cancels the rest of his sold-out “Dangerous” world tour to seek treatment for addiction to painkillers prescribed after reconstructive scalp surgery. Addiction was allegedly worsened by anguish over claims he molested a 13-year-old boy.

— Dec. 22, 1993: In a live broadcast from Neverland carried worldwide by satellite, Jackson defends himself against molestation charges. He asks, “Don’t treat me like a criminal, because I am innocent.” He says he was humiliated by a court-ordered body search that included nude photographs taken to corroborate the allegations against him.

— Jan. 25, 1994: Without admitting guilt, Jackson pays a reported $20 million to settle child molestation accusations. Criminal charges were never filed.

— May 1994: Jackson marries Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic. They divorce two years later.

— Sept. 1994: Presley seems visibly uncomfortable when Jackson kisses her to open the MTV Music Awards.

— June 14, 1995: In an interview on ABC-TV, Diane Sawyer asks the couple if they have sex. Presley replies, “Do we have sex? Yes! Yes! Yes!”

— Aug., 1995: The song “You Are Not Alone,” from the recently released album, “HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I,” becomes the first single in pop music history to enter the Billboard chart at No. 1. Jackson and Presley both appear topless in the song’s video.

— Dec. 7, 1995: Jackson collapses on stage, suffering from low blood pressure and apparent dehydration after rehearsing all day for an international TV concert.

— Jan. 18, 1996: Presley files for divorce due to irreconcilable differences.

— Nov., 1996: Jackson marries Debbie Rowe (roh), who worked in the office of his dermatologist.

— 1997: The album, “Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix,” sells in the hundreds of thousands worldwide, disappointing numbers for Jackson. The same year, The Jackson 5 is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

— Feb. 13, 1997: Debbie Rowe gives birth to Jackson’s first child, Prince Michael.

— April 3, 1998: Jackson’s second child with Debbie Rowe is born. She is named Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.

— 1999: Jackson and Rowe divorce. The children remain with their father.

— March 19, 2001: Jackson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.

— Nov. 7, 2001: Sales figures show his album “Invincible,” in its first week of release, debuts at No. 1 in the U.S. and in more than a dozen countries overseas. But it fades quickly. It sells about 2 million copies — a low number compared to sales of his previous albums.

— Feb. 21, 2002: Jackson’s third child, Prince Michael II, nicknamed “Blanket,” is born to Jackson and a surrogate mother, whose identity is not disclosed. Later that year, Jackson playfully dangles the baby over a hotel balcony in Berlin while fans watch from below. Jackson later calls the incident a “terrible mistake.”

— July 2002: Jackson blames Sony Music for “Invincible’s” poor sales, saying the record label did not support the album, even though Sony spent about $25 million promoting it. He calls Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola (muh-TOH’-luh) “racist” and “devilish,” and accuses the record industry of ripping off black artists.

— August 2002: At MTV’s Video Music Awards, Jackson accepts a birthday cake and offers his thanks for being given an “Artist of the Millennium” award — but no such award exists.

— Nov. 13, 2002: Jackson testifies in a $21 million lawsuit against him by a concert organizer who accuses Jackson of backing out of two concerts on New Year’s Eve 1999. Jackson has wide, ghostly eyes, unusually pale skin, and traces of a beard and mustache. He also appears to have a bandage hanging from his nose. A jury later decides that Jackson must pay the organizer $5.3 million.

— 2003: ABC airs the British documentary, “Living With Michael Jackson,” in which Jackson says he has shared his bed with children. During an interview with Martin Bashir (buh-SHEER’), he says, “When you say ‘bed’ you’re thinking sexual…It’s not sexual, we’re going to sleep. I tuck them in…It’s very charming, it’s very sweet.” One boy shown in the documentary subsequently accuses Jackson of molesting him.

— Nov. 18, 2003: Jackson releases a greatest hits album, “Number Ones.” The same day, about 760 law enforcement officers spend 12 hours searching Neverland, seeking evidence of child molestation.

— Nov. 20, 2003: Jackson walks in handcuffs into the Santa Barbara County jail to be booked on molestation charges. He is freed on $3 million bond.

— Jan. 16, 2004: Jackson is arraigned and pleads not guilty to charges of molestation and giving alcohol to a minor. Afterward, he responds to cheers from fans by jumping atop an SUV and doing some dance steps.

— April 21, 2004: A grand jury returns an indictment against Jackson on four counts of molestation, one count of attempted molestation, one count of conspiracy and four counts of supplying alcohol to a minor.

— Dec. 14, 2004: Jackson hosts 200 children at Neverland. A spokesman says charitable and civic groups bring children to Neverland at least three times a month.

— June, 13, 2005: A jury acquits Jackson of all charges in the 2003 child molestation case. He could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison. After Jackson’s death, his lawyer, Thomas Mesereau (MEHZ’-ur-oh) Jr., said the star never fully recovered from the trial. Mesereau recalled Jackson visibly withering, losing weight, his cheeks sunken, his skin pale. Twice he was taken to a hospital emergency room for treatment. After once such visit, he arrived at court late, wearing pajamas. Also during the trial, a forensic accountant testified that the singer was spending up to $30 million more per year than he earned.

— Sept. 2005: Jackson moves with his children to the Persian Gulf country Bahrain. Three months after the verdict in his child molestation trial, he tells The Associated Press that the trial was “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Jackson said he was “constantly working on” a charity song for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The song was never released.

— 2005: Jackson owned a patent on a shoe that allowed wearers to lean past their center of gravity, as he did in the “Smooth Criminal” video. The patent expires because Jackson doesn’t pay a $2,480 maintenance fee.

— 2006: Plagued by financial problems since his trial, Jackson closes his house at Neverland, laying off most of the staff after agreeing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages to avoid a lawsuit by state labor officials.

— June 13, 2007: Beverly Hills pharmacy sues Jackson, claiming the singer owes more than $100,000 for prescription drugs during the past two years. The suit was later settled.

— Nov. 2007: Jackson tells Ebony magazine he ignores negative stories and gossip about him. He is quoted saying, “In my opinion, it’s ignorance.”

— 2008: Jackson releases “Thriller 25,” an album marking the 25th anniversary of “Thriller.” It includes the new song “For All Time,” as well as five remixes that involved will.i.am, Kanye (KAHN’-yay) West, Akon (AY’-kahn) and Fergie.

— March, 2008: An eleventh-hour deal is cut allowing Jackson to keep Neverland Ranch off the auction block. Financial Title Co. of San Francisco said he owed $24.5 million on the property.

2009:

— Jan.: Jackson signs a yearlong lease on a mansion in Bel Air, California.

— March 5: Jackson announces he will perform a series of 10 shows called “This Is It” at London’s O2 Arena. Over the next eight days, the number of shows is increased to 20, then 50. Tickets sell out within hours.

— March through June: Jackson prepares for his comeback shows. He trains with Lou Ferrigno (fur-IHG’-noh), the star of TV’s “Incredible Hulk,” becomes heavily involved in all aspects of the concert rehearsals, practices with backup dancers and choreographers several hours a day.

— June 25: Michael Jackson is pronounced dead at age 50 after being taken to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. His doctor later says he discovered Jackson at home not breathing and was unable to revive him. It’s estimated Jackson was $400 million in debt. Within hours, fans inundate Web sites selling his music, and physical stores report they have been cleaned out of Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 CDs.

— June 26: An autopsy is performed, but cause of death is not determined. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office says toxicology tests could take weeks. The same day, all 10 albums on Amazon.com’s bestseller list are Jackson’s; the 25th anniversary edition of “Thriller” is No. 1.

— June 27: Jackson’s family is reported to want a private autopsy, in part because of concerns about Jackson’s cardiologist, Conrad Murray.

— June 29: A judge grants temporary custody of Jackson’s three children to their grandmother, Katharine Jackson.

— June 30: Cherilyn Lee, a registered nurse, says she repeatedly rejected Jackson’s demands for the anesthetic Diprivan (DIHP’-ruh-van), the brand name of the anesthetic propofol (PROH’-puh-fahl), which is given intravenously to cause unconsciousness before surgery. Lee says Jackson wanted to use the drug to help him sleep.

— July 4: A law enforcement official says Diprivan was found in Jackson’s home.

— July 7: A memorial service attended by about 20,000 people is held for Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Jackson’s daughter Paris calls him “the best father” she could imagine.

— July 2009: Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, says he used Demerol (DEM’-ur-ahl) to sedate the star for painful medical procedures, but told Jackson he was “insane” to use the drug Diprivan as a sleep aid. Klein says Jackson suffered from the immune system disease lupus (LOO’-puhs) in addition to the skin disease vitiligo (viht-uh-LY’-goh), and says Jackson went through drug rehab.

— June and July 2009: Some who knew Jackson make contradictory statements about his health in the days before his death. Video shows him appearing healthy and doing signature dance moves including the moonwalk, but reports persist that he was thin, frail, and dependent on painkillers.

— July 13: Hundreds gather outside London’s O2 arena to pay tribute to the star on what would have been the evening of his first of 50 concerts.

— July 15: Sales figures from Nielsen SoundScan show that in the three weeks following his death, 2.3 million Jackson CDs have been sold.

— July 2009: Neighbors of Neverland start organizing against turning it into a tourist destination, which they say could disturb the area’s rural tranquility.

— July 22: Los Angeles police and federal drug agents raid the Houston office of Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray. The Los Angeles County Coroner subpoenas records related to nutritionist Cherilyn Lee’s treatment of Jackson.

— July 23: Court documents say Dr. Conrad Murray is the target of a manslaughter investigation into the singer’s death.

— July 27: A law enforcement source tells AP that Jackson’s personal doctor gave him the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid on the last night of Jackson’s life. The source says investigators are working under the theory that propofol caused Jackson’s heart to stop. The lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray says the doctor “didn’t prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson.”

— July 28: Police and federal drug agents search Murray’s Las Vegas home and medical office as part of their manslaughter investigation.

— July 31: Katharine Jackson and Debbie Rowe agree that Michael Jackson’s children should be cared for by their grandmother Katherine, but that Rowe should be able to visit the two eldest children, as she is their biological mother.

— Aug. 3: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge gives Katharine Jackson permanent custody of her late son’s three children.

— Aug. 7: A law enforcement source tells The Associated Press that hours before Jackson died, Dr. Conrad Murray gave him benzodiazepines, which are sedatives used to calm surgical patients, along with the anesthetic propofol. Murray’s lawyer dismissed the assertion that Murray give Jackson multiple drugs as “ridiculous.”

— Aug. 10: The Los Angeles County coroner’s office finishes Jackson’s autopsy, but will not release results as long as police continue investigating events leading to the singer’s death. The same day, a Los Angeles judge approves a deal by which Jackson’s estate, concert promoter AEG Live, and Columbia Pictures will produce a movie featuring footage of Jackson’s final rehearsals for his comeback concerts.

— Aug. 11: Authorities search a Las Vegas pharmacy for records showing Michael Jackson’s doctor or his employees bought the potent anesthetic propofol.

— Aug. 17: Her attorney says Katherine Jackson might file a wrongful death suit, and that the main name mentioned has been Conrad Murray’s.

— Aug. 18: In a YouTube video, Dr. Conrad Murray speaks publicly for the first time since Jackson died. Murray thanks supporters for giving him “strength and courage.” A spokesman says Murray has received death threats.

— Aug. 28: The Los Angeles County coroner releases a statement saying Jackson’s death has been ruled a homicide. The cause of death is said to be acute intoxication from the anesthetic propofol, with other sedatives contributing to the death. Jackson’s death certificate is subsequently amended to say his fatal injury was “injection by another.”

— Aug. 29: Fans remember Jackson on what would have been his 51st birthday. In Brooklyn, New York, filmmaker Spike Lee hosts a dance party attended by several thousand. In Mexico City, a crowd of 13,597 dances to “Thriller,” setting a world’s record for the most people dancing to the song simultaneously in one place.

— Sept. 3: Jackson is entombed at Forest Lawn Glendale cemetery, about eight miles north of downtown Los Angeles, in a mausoleum alongside legendary stars including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow (HAR’-loh) and W.C. Fields. Court documents later show that the private family funeral cost the Jackson estate $1 million, including burial, flowers, cars, security and a post-funeral dinner.

— Sept. 11: A global video tribute to Jackson is moved from Vienna to London, and postponed from September 2009 to June 2010, after organizers conclude they need more time to schedule top performers.

— Sept. 17: Newly unsealed court records show Katherine Jackson is receiving $86,204 per month from her son’s estate for herself and her three grandchildren. Documents also show that she will be allowed to challenge administrators of the estate without losing her substantial stake.

— Sept. 24: Though sales won’t begin until Sunday, Sept. 27, a line for tickets to the first public screenings of the “This Is It” documentary opens in Los Angeles. Tickets sell out in two hours. By Monday, Sept. 28, hundreds of show times have sold out around the world.

— Sept. 25: Former Jackson confidant Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (SHMOO’-lee boh-TAY’-ahk) releases recorded conversations in which Jackson talked about such personal matters as how he feared growing old, believed he looked like a lizard, and was too shy to ask women out on dates.

— Oct. 1: An autopsy report from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office says that when he died, Jackson was in relatively good health had no illegal drugs in his system.

— Oct. 12: Jackson’s posthumous single, “This Is It,” debuts on his official Web site.

— Oct. 13: Jackson is nominated for five American Music Awards, including artist of the year.

— Oct. 27: The film “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” premieres. It pulls in $103 million worldwide in its first five days, and is No. 1 in the U.S. Halloween weekend.

— Nov. 10: Katherine Jackson withdraws her objections to her son’s longtime associates John McClain and John Branca (BRANK’-uh) as executors of his will. Her lawyer says she believes the move is in the best interests of her grandchildren. The same day, a judge rules that Joe Jackson cannot inherit any of his son’s assets, but can try to obtain an allowance. Joe Jackson claimed he had been relying on support from his son to survive. Michael Jackson left his father out of his will.

— Nov. 11: In New York, a “Thriller”-era silk-screened portrait of Michael Jackson, created by Andy Warhol, sells for $812,500 to an anonymous collector.

— Nov. 16: The Los Angeles city attorney confirms plans to seek reimbursement of the $3 million the city spent for Jackson’s July memorial, though an audit concludes the event pumped $4 million into the local economy.

— Nov. 21: The shimmering white glove Jackson wore when he first moonwalked on TV is auctioned in New York for $350,000, plus taxes and fees, bringing its total cost to $420,000. The buyer is a resort hotel in Macau (muh-KOW’), near Hong Kong.

— Nov. 22: Jackson wins a record four posthumous American Music Awards, bringing his career AMA total to 23. This makes him the most honored artist in AMA history. He is voted favorite male artist in the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories. His 2003 greatest-hits album, “Number Ones,” wins favorite album in both categories.

— Dec. 1: Yahoo announces that Michael Jackson is No. 1 on its list of Top 10 searches of 2009.

— Dec. 21: In an Associated Press survey of U.S. broadcast and newspaper editors, the death of Michael Jackson is voted top entertainment news story of 2009.

— Dec. 22: FBI documents reveal that the bureau monitored Jackson for a more than decade through 2005, and never found solid evidence that he molested children.

— Dec. 30: “Thriller” becomes the first music video chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress — the world’s largest archive of film, TV and sound recordings.

2010:

— Jan. 6: Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks the nation’s album sales, reports that Michael Jackson was the top-selling artist of 2009, selling 8.2 million recordings.

— Jan. 31: Jackson is given a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. Two of Jackson’s children, Prince and Paris, accept the award on Michael’s behalf, with Prince vowing that the children will continue to spread their father’s message of love. The televised ceremony includes a 3-D film in which Jackson sings his “Earth Song,” expressing his sadness about the destruction of nature and animals by humans.

— Feb. 1: Twenty-five years after Jackson’s and Lionel Richie’s “We Are the World” raised $30 million for famine relief in Africa, producer Quincy Jones gathers a new group of singers to re-record it to help Haiti recover from a massive earthquake three weeks earlier. In the song’s new music video, Jackson is shown in a clip from the original.

— Feb. 8: Dr. Conrad Murray pleads not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death. If convicted, Murray could face up to four years in prison.

— Feb. 13: The Vatican’s newspaper includes “Thriller” on its list of 10 classics to pack for desert island listening.

— Feb. 23: Disneyland begins re-showing “Captain EO” (EE’-oh), the 3-D sci-fi film starring Michael Jackson as an intergalactic commander. The film debuted in 1986 and ran for more than a decade. Disney says it will now run indefinitely.

— Feb. 26: Jackson’s televised memorial service wins the NAACP Image award for outstanding variety series or special.

— March 16: Jackson’s estate signs the biggest recording deal in history: a $200 million guaranteed contract with Sony Music Entertainment for 10 projects over seven years. Dozens of Jackson’s recordings had not been released when he died.

— March 22: The Associated Press learns that according to a Jackson employee, as the singer was dying, Dr. Conrad Murray interrupted CPR and delayed calling paramedics so he could collect drug vials. The employee says Prince and Paris Jackson cried when they briefly saw Murray doing CPR before a nanny took them out of the room.

—March 31: Harlem’s Apollo Theatre announces that Michael Jackson will be inducted into its hall of fame at a ceremony on June 14. Jackson and four of his brothers first performed at the Apollo in the late 1960s, winning the theatre’s Amateur Night talent show.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Comments (2)
  1. verival says:

    Thank you for this timeline.

  2. Ariel says:

    Why is he being inducted into Apollo Theatre’s hall of fame on June 14? What’s so special about June 14 that it has to be then?

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