From the Jackson 5 to being one of the most recognizable names in the world, Michael Jackson is without doubt a musical icon. Born in 1958 he became one of the most popular artists in the world and even earned himself the title “King of Pop”, such was his influence.

Reaching for Fame

MJ, as he became affectionately known, started his musical career at just six years old when he became part of the family group – the Jackson 5. It wasn’t until 1971 that he began his solo career at Motown Records. By the early 80s, MJ had become hugely popular in popular music with songs such as Beat It, Billie Jean and, of course, Thriller – which made him hugely successful and garnered him a lot of awards. The Thriller album was the highest selling record in history with 65 million copies being sold. It was through his music that he was able to break down prevailing racial barriers and be instrumental in turning pop music into an art form and elevating it to higher levels. An innovator as well, he created a series of dance moves such as the robot and moonwalk, the latter an iconic move that many people try to replicate to this day. Hugely influential in his style, he has influenced many artists to this day even after his death.

Passing of a Legend

Whilst this may seem like a tale of unremitting success, there is a sad undertone. Being in the spotlight for his entire life clearly took its toll. In his later life, MJ was suffering financial problems as well as a number of drug-related problems. Things got worse, and by 2008 his Neverland Ranch was up for foreclosure. In an effort to remedy his financial problems, he signed a deal in March 2009 for a set of comeback concerts to be performed around the world, entitled “This Is It”. He planned to retire after this tour, but sadly no-one could foresee what came next. The world reeled in shock on June 25th 2009 when it was reported that Michael Jackson had died of a heart attack, mere weeks before the shows were to commence.

Despite his sudden departure from this world, he remains a legend in the music industry, continuing to inspire long after his death.