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Happy Birthday to The King of Pop!


M.Caulfield/WireImageMonday marks what would have been the 58th birthday of Michael Joseph Jackson, born on August 29, 1958.

The King of Pop began his career as a young child, performing with his brothers in The Jackson 5. His first solo studio album, Got to Be There, was released in 1972 when Jackson was fourteen years old.  

His fifth solo studio album, Off The Wall, earned Michael the artist his first Grammy Award, for Soul/R&B Album. But it was his sixth studio album, 1982’s Thriller, that solidified Jackson as a bonafide crossover music superstar.  

The groundbreaking music videos for the album’s singles, such as “Beat It” and “Billie Jean,” were among the first by an African-American artist to air on MTV.

Michael’s music video for “Thriller” remains as one of music history’s most iconic, as are other MJ videos such as “Bad,” “Black and White” and “Remember the Time.”  There’s a reason that MTV’s Video Vanguard award was re-named the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

As his career progressed, Jackson continued to captivate fans and the world with his cinematic music videos, otherworldly dance moves, progressive fashion sense and socially-relevant hit songs.  

He earned numerous awards during his lifetime, including 13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  His widespread influence continues to be seen in the music industry today.  

Michael Jackson married twice — the first time to Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and the second time to nurse Debbie Rowe. Jackson and Rowe had three children: Paris-Michael Katherine JacksonPrince Michael Jackson II and Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., known as “Blanket.”

On June 25, 2009, Jackson died after his doctor, Conrad Murray, administered a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.  Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and was released from jail in 2014 after serving two years of a four-year sentence. At the time of his death, Michael was rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts in London called This Is It.  

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