The name Michael Jackson illicit many emotions from people, from awe to suspicion but there is one truth none can deny, his music is extraordinary. The Michael Jackson music and fame walk began many years ago in the unassuming town of Gary Indiana.
Jackson was born on August 29, 1959 to Joe and Katherine Jackson, he was the seventh child born out of nine. By the age of five years old, Michael was already showing musical promise performing in recitals at school. Before long, he joined his brothers and the group toured under the name The Jackson 5.
It quickly became apparent that little Michael was a true musical prodigy and he moved up in ranks to be the lead singer of his brothers musical group. The Jackson 5 would go on to set chart-breaking records with Michael in the lead with songs such as:
• I Want You Back
• The Love You Save
• I’ll Be There
These were the group’s first four songs with Michael and they would all hit number one on Billboard’s top 100. During this time Jackson also released several solo songs among them were Ben, Gotta Be There and a remake of Rockin Robin.By the mid 70’s Michael was the songwriter of the group, he penned greats like This Place Hotel, Shake Your Body and Can You Feel It and moved closer to beginning his solo career. In 1978 he teamed up with Quincy Jones after starring as the Scarecrow in The Whiz, an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. He and Jones would begin a long time partnership and Michael Jackson music went solo.
Off the Wall was the first Michael Jackson music album Quincy Jones produced. The album eventually sold over 20 million copies and earned Jackson three American Music Awards. The awards were:
• Favorite Male Soul R&B artist
• Favorite Soul R&B Album
• Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough
Even though Off the Wall was, a huge success Jackson felt he could do much better and as time would tell, he was right. No album in history has been as popular as Michael Jackson’s music album Thriller.
You simply cannot talk about Michael Jackson music without Thriller. This would be the album that launched Jackson from great to out of this world and was so socially significant that it has been preserved in the Library of Congress as a culturally significant piece.
Thriller contained nine songs, seven of which were released as singles and made it to the top ten on Billboard’s Hot 100. In addition, the album garnered Jackson 8 Grammy Awards in 1984, they are as follows:
• Best Rock Vocal Performance Male – Beat It
• Best R&B Song- Billie Jean
• Best R&B Vocal Performance- Billie Jean
• Producer of the Year- Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones
• Best Pop Vocal Performance Male- Thriller
• Record of The Year- Beat It
• Album of The Year- Thriller
• Best Engineered Recording- Thriller
Thriller eventually made its way to number 20 on Rolling Stones list of top 500 albums of all time. There came a point in time when Thriller stopped being a sensation or leisure item and became more of a household staple which is probably why this Michael Jackson music album has sold nearly 109 million copies and counting, achieving Double Diamond Status. Time called Jackson a one-man rescue team for the music industry as a whole.
At this point in his career Jackson could have retired on top of the mountain, instead he went on to release his seventh studio album Bad. This marked a turn in Michael Jackson music and image giving him an edgier “Bad” persona. Though not as popular as Thriller, Bad would give Jackson two more Grammy Awards and score him a second spot on Rolling Stones top 500 Albums of all time. Bad ranked 202 on this list and 43 on the Top 100 Albums of the MTV Generation created by VH1.
Throughout his long and prosperous career Michael Jackson, music has ranged from R&B to Pop and even Rock showcasing the immense talents of the man. His music has forever changed a generation, broken down racial boundaries and paved the way for stars such as Prince to leave their mark on the music world. Michael Jackson may have left this world but his music, dance moves and influence will be felt for generations to come.