Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958), often referred to as The King of Pop, is the biggest-selling solo artist of all time since Elvis Presley with over 750,000,000 sales. Jackson is an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and double inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. His awards include 8 Guinness World Records, 13 Grammy Awards, and 26 Billboard Awards. Jackson is credited for popularizing many physically complicated dances, such as the robot and the moonwalk, and has influenced and spawned a whole generation of a wide variety of artists, including Justin Timberlake, Buckethead, Mariah Carey, Usher, Insane Clown Posse, neyo and Chris Brown among others.
Jackson began his musical career at the age of five as the lead singer of The Jackson 5 and made his first solo recordings in 1971 while remaining a member of the group. He began a full-fledged solo career in 1979 and formally parted with his siblings in 1984. In his solo career, Jackson recorded and co-produced the best-selling album of all-time Thriller (with worldwide sales over 100 million), received thirteen Grammy awards and charted thirteen number-one singles in the U.S. Throughout his four-decade career, Michael Jackson has been awarded numerous honors, including the World Music Awards Best-selling pop male artist of the Millennium and he is a double-inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and in 2001 as a solo artist. He is also a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Time Magazine called Jackson the biggest solo star since Elvis Presley. He has had a notable impact on music and culture throughout the world while also tearing down racial barriers and paving the way for modern pop music.
From 1988 to 2005, Jackson lived on his Neverland Ranch property, on which he built an amusement park and private zoo for the enjoyment of economically disadvantaged and terminally ill children. The attention grew particularly intense when he was accused of child sexual abuse both in 1993 and 2003, where he received disparaging media coverage. He was tried and vindicated of the latter allegations in 2005 and moved out of the USA. He later returned to Las Vegas in early 2007.
Over the past few years Jackson has made numerous public appearances including MTV Japan’s VMA awards where he accepted the legends award. The World Music Awards where he accepted the Diamond Award for selling over 100 million records. James Brown’s funeral where he paid tribute and delivered his sermon. And a fan appreciation event in Tokyo Japan, where he also greeted troops at US Army base Camp Zama. In early 2008, Jackson issued Thriller 25th Anniversary, a critical, and commercial success that is currently the second biggest selling album of 2008 with over 2.1 million copies sold worldwide.