In the history of music, has there ever been an icon bigger than Michael Jackson?
It’s very unlikely! The Gary, Indiana born singer, songwriter, dancer and philanthropist made his professional debut at the very young age of six years old. He joined his four older brothers and formed the Jackson 5. After experiencing seven highly successful years with the group, Michael decided it was time to begin his solo career. He released four albums under Motown Records before moving on to Epic Records and becoming the larger than life superstar we all love.
The King of Pop solidified himself as a solo star with the release of his 1979 album Off The Wall. He then followed that up with the highest selling album of all time in 1982, Thriller. Jackson is credited for the impact of his videos for the album because they broke racial barriers and transformed the medium into an art form and promotional tool. Every album that followed Thriller (Bad(1987), Dangerous(1991), HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1(1995), Invincible(2001) further increased his legacy.
Michael Jackson is one of the most significant culture figures we have ever seen. He has estimated sales of over 400 million records worldwide. He has 13 Billboard Top 100 number one singles and was the first artist to have a top-ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. He is the most awarded individual music artist in history. His countless awards and accolades include 15 Grammys, a Golden Globe, being inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame (the only recording artist to be inducted), and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. Jackson is lauded for transforming the art of music videos and paving the way for modern pop music. His influence extended beyond the music industry. He impacted dance, led fashion trends and raised awareness for global affairs.
Today, the GOAT would’ve turned 65 years old. To celebrate his legacy, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite photos of him! Happy Birthday MJ!
1. YOUNG MIKE
4. ALL SMILES
8. THEE PERFORMER
9. THE WIZ
10. THE KING OF POP & THE GODFATHER OF SOUL
11. DANCIN’ DANCIN’
12. THE COOLEST KID
13. SWEET 16 W/ THE FAM
14. IN A ZONE