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Singer-songwriter Michael Jackson's award-winning career as the King of Pop transformed the face of pop music and popular culture. He released the best-selling album in history, Thriller, in 1982. He died unexpectedly in 2009.
The Jackson 5 - Full Biography (45:17)
The Jackson 5 - On Tour (1:38)
The Jackson 5 - Discovery (1:30)
In 1969, five young brothers from Gary, Indiana stepped out into the spotlight and changed the music world forever. Through Berry Gordy's Motown, The Jackson 5 recorded some of the most recognizable tunes in pop music history.
Michael Jackson and his brothers lived their childhoods on the road and toured in a volkswagon bus.
From the very beginning, no young star was as talented or passionate as Michael Jackson.
Smokey Robinson recalls how Michael Jackson and his brothers were discovered by Motown.
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Around this same time, the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he would be performing a series of concerts in London as his "final curtain call." There had been some speculation regarding whether the fragile singer would be able to handle the rigors of 50 concerts. Despite all of the allegations and stories of odd behavior, Jackson remained a figure of great interest, as demonstrated by the strong response to his concert plans; set to appear at the O2 Arena in London, England, beginning July 8, 2009,
Jackson saw all of the tickets to his "This Is It" tour sell out in only four hours.
Sadly, Michael Jackson would never get to experience the anticipated success of his comeback tour. On June 25, 2009, Jackson suffered cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. He was rushed to the hospital after his heart stopped and CPR attempts failed, and died later that morning. He was 50 years old.
News of Jackson's death resulted in an outpouring of public grief and sympathy. Memorials to Jackson were erected around the world, including one at the arena where he was set to perform and another at his childhood home in Gary, Indiana. On July 12, 2009, a televised memorial was held for fans of the "King of Pop" at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. While 17,500 free tickets were issued to fans via lottery, an estimated 1 billion viewers watched the memorial on TV or online.
The Jackson family held a private funeral on September 3, 2009, at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, for Michael Jackson's immediate family members and 200 guests. Celebrity mourners included former child star Macaulay Culkin; Jackson's ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley; and actress Elizabeth Taylor.
As dictated in his will, Jackson's children were placed in the care of their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. In respect to their father's wishes, Paris, Michael Joseph Jr. and Prince Michael II have been kept largely out of the limelight, appearing publicly only a few times in the last year. They stepped up to the mic in 2009 to speak to fans at their father's funeral, and again in January 2010 to accept a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for their father at the Grammys. In June of that year, it was announced that the children would be heading to private school in the fall.
A film documenting Jackson's preparations for his final performance, entitled This Is It, was released in October 2009. The film, featuring a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson, made $23 million in its opening weekend and sky-rocketed to No. 1 at the box office. This Is It would go on to make more than $260 million worldwide. With the success of this final tribute, the Jackson family hoped to finally have closure on the death of their beloved Michael.
Closure would soon prove to be a long time coming, however. More heartache came for the Jackson family in February 2010, when an official coroner's report detailing Michael Jackson's cause of death was released.
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Many African-Americans made their name performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, including Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. The roster of talented artists who made their careers after a successful amateur night at the Apollo grew so large, that the venue earned a reputation as the place to jump-start the career of an ambitious hopeful. Other performers, like Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, came to the theater after experiencing big professional success, adding further credibility to the historic New York concert hall. Explore the biographies of some of the more notable African-Americans who stepped out onto the Apollo stage, making entertainment history.
Apollo Legends 25 people in this group
Celebrity Bookings 31 people in this group
What is it with celebrities and sex scandals? Like love and marriage, famous people and sex scandals just seem to go hand in hand. They're some of society's most powerful people, but these actors, politicians, athletes and musicians just can't seem to control their desires. These days it seems like if you open the closet of nearly any celebrity, some kind of (sexy) skeleton is sure to fall out. Here are the famous people who have had their naughty indiscretions—often plastered all over the front page of the newspaper.
Famous People Involved in Sex Scandals 105 people in this group
Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
Explore our curated collections of African-American figures, including: