Michael Jackson, was born August 28th, 1958. He grew up in Gary, Indiana with 9 siblings. He was one of many talented siblings in his family. Four of his brothers were gifted as well. His father took notice and formed a group with five of his sons. He called them, Jackson 5. The group included: Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito. It was evident that Michael was the star. As a result of this, he was treated differently compared to his siblings. His father transferred all of his own hopes and dreams of success into his youngest child. He didn’t have a close relationship with his father, as he was only allowed to call him on a first name basis. Some of his father’s teaching for his children to excel were tough. His father was known for physically hitting his children. The hitting resulted in Michael being fearful of his own father “Michael described beatings with the switch of a tree branch, and a fear so great of his father that he would sometimes vomit at the sight of him” (CBS News, 2018). His father was too focused on making sure his kids made it in the industry and less on building valuable relationships with each of them. This created a level of distance on both sides of the relationship.
The Jackson 5 got things started when signing with Motown. “Sporting the loudest fashions, the largest Afros, the snappiest choreography, and a youthful, soulful exuberance, the Jackson 5 became an immediate success” (Vincent p. 2). Motown was one of the top labels for soulful singers. The brothers stood out in a good way at the time because of the way that they carried themselves. They would sing and dance along with having an upbeat attitude. They were extremely successful and had numerous top charting songs. Due to the group starting when the brothers were young, they were still growing up. Michael, in particular, was going through changes. His voice changed, and this affected the group. Michael began to have more opportunities compared to his siblings. Tensions at that time were extremely high over differences. Jackson 5 ended splitting up and the siblings all ventured out.
Michael Jackson came out with his own album in 1979. It became the top selling album of that year. His album did well due to him incorporating popular music genres of the time that included disco and pop. His music appealed to the masses from kids to adults. People found joy in his music and made them want to have a good time. Additionally, his music drew people from all different races to come together. His hit songs made him into one of the most well-known artists of the 80’s. His success further propelled his career and he was known as an icon by the end of the 90’s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. The induction solidified his title “King of Pop” (Vincent p. 5). With his major success in his career, he suffered in his personal life.
While being an icon, Michael had some business ventures. He spent his earned money frivolously but made smart investments. “He blew the profits from sales of $750 million records on extravagances ranging from $10,000-a-night hotel stays to the construction and upkeep of his sprawling Neverland Ranch” (Forbes, 2011). Neverland Ranch was where he mainly lived. At the residence there was an amusement park, foreign animals, and themed train station. The name Neverland Ranch was a play on the Disney character Peter Pan. Peter pan was a boy who never grew up. Michael seemed to relate to the character as he did not have a normal childhood. He spent his childhood either practicing or performing. Once he became older and had his wealth, he wanted to create what he did not have as a child. Michael’s renovations to his ranch totaled well over thirty million. Some of the updates to the ranch included: a main home, 2 guest homes, staff area, barns, dance studio, movie theater, and pool. Although he made reckless purchases, he made an impressive investment. He purchased the Beatle’s publishing catalog. Included in the catalog is around 250 songs. The catalog is valued at well over a billion dollars to this day. Some of his spending habits were questionable yet his investment in the catalog has created continuous revenue for his family.
Michael’s greatest impact was in music. He was able to successfully navigate the music industry. He managed to transform himself into a successful solo artist. Michael had a way of entertaining that was different from other performers. He dominated both pop and rhythmic charts. Some accolades include Billboard achievements, Grammys, number one songs, lifetime achievement awards, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame twice, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Artists that are on top of the music charts today are still inspired by Michael. They hope to achieve all the success he had within his career. Michael sadly passed away on June 25th, 2009 from an overdose. Although he has passed, his music is still played in mainstream music as it is truly timeless. In conclusion Michael Jackson has left a huge impact in the music industry that is still felt today.
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