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Michael Jackson's Biography

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Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on 29 August 1958.

His extraordinary musical career started at the age of five as the lead singer of the Jackson Five, alongside four of his brothers. These early days saw the Jacksons play the local clubs and bars near their hometown. They were soon discovered by another artist and got to audition for Motown in 1968.

Immediately after their signing the Jacksons moved to California and the hits started rolling in. ABC and I'll be there were among the No.1 hits in the US and they went on to record 14 albums.

In 1976, The Jackson Five became The Jacksons and they signed a deal with Epic with whom they went on to record a further six albums up until 1984. In 1977 Michael Jackson teamed up with Quincy Jones who produced his first solo album Off The Wall which became a huge success around the world and realised four No.1 singles in the US.

However, it was in 1982 that Jackson was to find true stardom as a solo artist with the release of Thriller.

Selling over 50 million copies worldwide and producing no fewer than seven No.1 singles, Thriller is the world's largest selling album of all time. In conjunction with this, working with the best film directors and producers, Jackson used state of the art video technology and special effects to create a 14 minute film to accompany the title track of the album. Thriller led to Jackson winning 8 Grammy awards.

An album, Bad and a world tour followed in 1987 and in 1991 Jackson signed to Sony and released his fourth solo album Dangerous. In 1994 Jackson wed the daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley. The marriage lasted only 19 months and they divorced in 1996.

Following the release of his fifth album HIStory, Michael Jackson married for a second time to a nurse, Debbie Rowe. Their first child, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr was born in 1997 and daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson was born the following year in 1998.

Recent years have revealed a darker side to Jackson's life. Rumours of child molestation in 1993, an accusation denied by Jackson, led to an out of court settlement and in 2005 the singer stood accused of a similar act committed at his ranch, Neverland, in Santa Barbara County.

Michael Jackson stood trial on 10 felony counts revolving around allegations that he molested a 13-year-old in February 2003, gave the boy alcohol, and then conspired to hold his family captive.

The trial itself opened on 28 February 2005 and the main highlights of the prosecution case were the evidence of Martin Bashir, Gavin Arvizo, the 15 year old who accused Michael Jackson of molestation, Janet Arvizo - Gavin's mother, and Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe.

The first celebrity witness called by the defence was Macaulay Culkin, who agreed that he had shared a bed with Michael Jackson but said that allegations that Jackson had abused him were 'absolutely ridiculous'.

In June 2005, Michael Jackson was found not guilty of all charges.

The BBC's Michael Jackson on Trial provides excellent background on the Michael Jackson trial.

Michael Jackson's apparent obsession with plastic surgery and his ever changing appearance, have also kept him in the media spotlight.

In March 2006, Jackson, who at the time resided in Bahrain, closed down the house on his Neverland ranch. He also paid overdue staff costs after threats of legal action.

In November 2008, the BBC reported that Michael Jackson had transferred the deeds of Neverland to a company he has a share in.

On 25 June 2009, Michael Jackson died in Los Angeles, aged 50. He had stopped breathing and reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest.

Michael Jackson had been due in the month following his death to begin 50 sold-out concerts at London's O2 Arena.

On July 1, 2009, Smoking Gun reproduced the will signed by Michael Jackson in 2002.

On 25 August 2009, the BBC reported that the coroner's office documents showed that Michael Jackson had lethal levels of the anaesthetic propofol in his body when he died.

Four days later, the Los Angeles coroner confirmed that Michael Jackson's death was homicide, primarily caused by Propofol.

On 8 February 2010, Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in regard to Jackson's death.

Suggested other biographies: Jermaine Jackson and La Toya Jackson.

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