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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 (45:19)
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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According to the report, the singer had died from acute propofol intoxication. The overdose had reportedly worked in combination with a lethal prescription drug cocktail—which included the pain killer Demerol, as well as lorazepam, midazolam, benzodiazepine, diazepine and ephedrine—to shut down the star's weakened heart. Aided by his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray,
Jackson had used the drugs to help him sleep at night. Murray later told police that he believed Jackson had developed a particular addiction to propofol, which Jackson had referred to as his "milk." Murray had reportedly administered the drug by IV in the evenings, in 50-milligram dosages, and was attempting to ween the pop star off the drug around the time of his death.
A police investigation soon revealed that Dr. Murray was not licensed to prescribe most controlled drugs in the state of California. The steps he had taken to save Jackson also came under scrutiny, as evidence showed that the standard of care for administering propofol had not been met, and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing and resuscitation had not been present. As a result, Jackson's death was ruled a homicide, and Murray found himself at the center of an involuntary manslaughter investigation. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death on November 7, 2011, and was later sentenced to a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
When Murray's trial ended, the Jackson family focused once again on moving forward with their lives. However, by the following year, the Jacksons were making new headlines. In July 2012, a judge temporarily suspended Katherine Jackson's guardianship of Paris, Michael Joseph Jr. and Prince Michael II—during which time T.J. Jackson, son of Tito, received temporary custody of the children—after she was erroneously reported missing by a relative. Before Katherine's location could be confirmed, speculation quickly grew regarding her whereabouts, with Paris, Prince and Blanket becoming concerned that they were being prevented from communicating with their grandmother by other family members. Katherine's "disappearance" came shortly after a dispute between her and several members of the Jackson clan, who raised questions about the validity of Michael Jackson's will, pointed fingers at the Jackson matriarch and called for the executors of his estate to resign.
It was soon discovered that Katherine wasn't missing, but had simply taken a trip to Arizona. Her guardianship suspension was not revoked, however, because she had been away and out of communication with the children for 10 days—a violation of her responsibilities as a legal guardian. On August 2, 2012, a judge restored Katherine Jackson as the primary guardian of Paris, Prince and Blanket, also approving a plan granting T.J. Jackson co-guardianship of the children.
Though closure on Michael Jackson's death seemed attainable by late 2012, it would only be a matter of months before the Jackson family encountered a new brand of turmoil. Believing that AEG Live—the company that promoted Michael Jackson's planned comeback series, "This Is It," in 2009—had failed to effectively protect the singer while he was under Conrad Murray's care, and that AEG was responsible for doing so, the Jackson family decided to take legal action against the entertainment company. Katherine Jackson officially filed a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG, and the trial began in April 2013. She is being represented by a lawyer named Brian Panish, who discussed AEG's alleged wrongdoing during his opening statements on April 29, 2013: "They wanted to be No. 1 at all costs," he said. "We're not looking for any sympathy ... we're looking for truth and justice."
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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.
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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: