Michael Jackson Would Have Been 56 Today: Profile (Video)

The late Michael Jackson was born on August 29th, 1958. He would have been 56 today (Friday).

  • Michael Jackson grew up the fifth of six brothers in Gary, Indiana.
  • He first rose to fame in the family group The Jackson 5. Their first four singles — “I Want You Back,” “A-B-C,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There” — all reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • His solo debut, 1979’s Off the Wall, featured the hits “Rock With You” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”
  • But 1982’s Thriller made him a superstar, with such classics as the iconic title track, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.”
  • Jackson spearheaded the star-studded “We Are the World” charity single for famine relief in 1985.
  • Although later albums such as 1987’s Bad and 2001’s Invincible did well, Michael never repeated the success of Thriller.
  • Jackson’s behavior and appearance became more and more bizarre throughout the years. He went through two divorces — with Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe — underwent numerous plastic surgeries, appeared to have bleached his skin (though he said it was a result of a genetic disorder) and was tried and acquitted of child molestation.
  • While preparing for his comeback concert series This Is It, Jackson died of cardiac arrest on June 25th, 2009 after collapsing at home in Los Angeles. His death was ruled a homicide, and his personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the anesthetic propofol and then trying to cover it up.
  • Michael’s death triggered a global outpouring of grief and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world.
  • After his death, Jackson became the best-selling albums artist of 2009. He sold over 8.2 million albums in the United States, and a total of 35 million albums worldwide, in the 12 months that followed his death.

Fast Facts About Michael Jackson:

  • Thriller has gone 29 times platinum and is the best-selling album in history.
  • Thriller spent 37 straight weeks at number-one.
  • In 1984, Jackson won a record eight Grammys.
  • Jackson won a total of 19 Grammys in his career.
  • Jackson holds 14 Guinness World Records.
  • Jackson had nine platinum singles and 16 gold singles in the U.S.
  • Jackson had 13 number-one singles in the U.S.
  • Jackson had 28 Top 10 hits in the U.S.
  • Jackson has three albums in the Grammy Hall of Fame — I Want You Back, Thriller andOff the Wall.
  • Jackson’s “Billie Jean” was the first video by a black artist to be shown regularly on MTV.
  • Jackson has sold more than 70 million albums in the U.S. and more than 750 million records worldwide.
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