Michael's career has spanned over 30 years at the top of the music industry. From child star with the Jackson 5 in 1969 he has grown up in the public eye. As he grew as a musical artist he broke through many boundaries and broke many more world records.
The Michael Jackson history is so long that we decided to split the bio up into the two main stages of his career with his brothers and as a solo artist. Apart from the Jacksons and Off The Wall years which were very intertwined we split Michael years as a solo artist (which he was after leaving the Jacksons in 1984)into biographic sections of album years and the promotions events that went on during those time periods of which you can read more details indepth on each one.
The Jackson 5 Years
The Jackson 5 with a young Michael started out competing in talent shows before being signed up by the Motown record label. The Jackson 5's first 3 singles went to the U.S number one spot as well as being hits worldwide. The tour the world and even have there own TV cartyoon series.
Michael also released solosingles and albums in these Mowtown years having hits with tracks such as Ben and Got To Be There.
The Jacksons and The Off The Wall Years
The Jackson 5 split from Mowtown and leave Jermaine behind. Youngest brother Randy Jackson becomes full fledge member of the group and the brothers take more control over there musical career direction by writing and producing there own songs.
They star in the hit CBS Jacksons Variety Shows contine to do world tours and have hit singles and albums all around the world.
When Off the Wall was released in 1979, it marked Michael’s first time out as a solo artist. Working with Quincy Jones, the album marked a transition for Michael as he moved from the little brother in the Jackson 5 – later The Jacksons – to a young man a solo artist. The album, full of catchy dance tunes, sold about 20 million copies worldwide.
Although Michael won many solo awards for this effort (Top Black Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album), he though that it should have won more, specifically mainstream awards.
Again teaming with Quincy Jones, Michael produces Thriller, the best selling album of all time. It also was the first album to have seven top-ten Billboard Hot 100. When the video for “Thriller” was released, it received incredible airplay and was critically acclaimed. The album was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and received eight.
This era was the major milestone in Michael’s career. When he performed “Billie Jean” at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever concert, Michael unveiled his moonwalk step. The electrifying performance is still talked about today.
This Era also was the time Michael was badly burnt while filming a commercial for Pepsi-Cola. Some say the pain lingers to this day and began the start of the decline of his personal life. After the mishap and Michael’s purchase of shares of ATV Music Publishing (which owned the Beatles’ songs), outlandish stories about Michael appeared in tabloids around the world.
In 1987, Michael once again teamed with Quincy Jones. When Michael released BAD he went on a solo world tour which was filmed behind the scenes and shown repeatedly on MTV. Although the album and tour are widely successful, Michael is reportedly disappointed that sales did not match those of Thriller.
When the Martin Scorsese directed “Bad” video was released, much controversy was generated because it appeared Michael’s appearance had radically changed.
Michael also lauchesa recording breaking solo world tour. A feature length movie based on a story by Michael, Moonwalker is released.
Dangerous, released in 1992, continued Michael’s streak of high-selling albums. In fact, Dangerous became the biggest selling album in 1992. The biggest single in the U.S. was Black or White. The single was accompanied by a controversial video which many claimed was overly violent and sexual. The offending scenes in the final half of the fourteen minute version of "Black or White" were edited out to prevent the video from being banned.
HIStory was a double album of both new material and greatest hits released in 1995. In support of the album, Michael undertook another world tour. He also released a remix album with new tracks and a 38-minute movie Ghosts.” While grand promotions were planned for the album, most media about Michael focused on child molestation charges and his controversial marriage to Lisa Marie Presley.
At the 1996 Brit Award, Pulp lead singer Jarvis Cocker jumped on the stage as Michael performed and pretended to expose his rear. It was later stated that three children performing with Michael at the time were injured when a scuffle began to remove Cocker from the stage. Cocker said he jumped on the stage to protest what he said was Michael’s self portrayal as a God-like figure.
Blood On the Dancefloor Years
A direct follow on from the History years, Michael releases a remix album which contains a number of new tracks as well as remixes of History album tracks. He also releases a short minute musical film entitled "Ghosts" .
When Invincible was released in 2001 Michael became involved in a huge battle with Sony Music. He reportedly stated he would not renew his contract. He also held a huge press conference in Harlem, New York City, where he claimed that Tommy Mottola, chairman of Sony, was racist. This racism, Michael said, is why Invincible was not properly promoted.
Only two singles from Invincible were released before Sony pulled the plug on all promotions for the album. After Michael’s press conference, black leaders including the Rev. Al Sharpton, publicly stated they did not believe that Mottola was racist.