REMEMBERING MICHAEL JACKSON
Four years ago today (June 25th), Michael Jackson died at age 50 of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, after suffering from cardiac arrest. At the time of his death, Michael was preparing for his comeback tour at London's 02 Arena.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. At age 9, MJ and his brothers -- who went byThe Jackson Five signed a record deal with Motown. They rose to fame in 1969 with their hit "I Want You Back." The song entered Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 90. It hit number one on January 31, 1970. The group's album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, spawned the hits "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There." Between 1972-1975, MJ also recorded four solo albums with Motown, producing hits like "Got to Be There", "Ben", and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin."
In June 1975, the group left Motown Records and signed to Epic Records. After changing their name to The Jacksons in 1976, the group released three albums on the label, The Jacksons, Goin' Places and Destiny. They scored top ten hits with "Enjoy Yourself" and "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)."
In 1979, Michael released his debut solo album Off The Wall. The project was produced by Quincy Jones and went on to sell 7 million copies. His sophomore album Thriller was released in 1982 and sold 40 million copies. In 1985, MJ co-wrote "We Are The World" along with Lionel Richie. In 1987, Michael released Bad -- which went on the sell 40 million copies. In 1988, MJ released his first autobiography Moonwalk. That same year, Michael built his $17 million dollar home, which he named Neverland Ranch.
The 90's proved to be very controversial for Michael Jackson. In 1991, he released Dangerous, then in 1995, Michael releasedHIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. In 1993, he was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy. The following year, Michael settled out of court with the boy's family. He maintained his innocence.
In 1994, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley in a secret ceremony. Their marriage lasted only for 18 months. In 1998, MJ married nurse Debbie Rowe. They split three years later. Michael and Debbie had two kids: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. -- known asPrince,born on February 13, 1997 and Paris Katherine Jackson ,born on April 3, 1998.
In 2001, Michael released Invincible. He was entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time in 2001. He was first inducted as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997. In 2002, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
That same year, Michael's third child, Prince Michael Jackson II aka Blanket, was born . The identity of his mother is unknown, but MJ admitted that the child was the result of artificial insemination from a surrogate mother and his sperm. Michael made headlines when he dangled Blanket over a hotel balcony in Berlin.
In 2005, MJ was cleared of charges that he molested a 13-year-old boy back in 2003.
In 2006, the Neverland Ranch was closed due to financial troubles.
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
On July 12th 2009, a televised memorial was held for Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Jackson family held a private funeral on September 3, 2009 at Forest Lawn Memorial park in Los Angeles.
In October 2009, This Is It -- a film that documented MJ's rehearsals for his final performances in London hit theaters. The film hit #1 and made $23 million in its opening weekend. It went on to make more than $260 million worldwide.
On November 7, 2011, Michael's physician Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
On April 29, 2013, the wrongful death trial against concert promoter AEG Live began in Los Angeles. Michael's mother Katherine sued the company for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray -- who was convicted of killing Michael Jackson.