Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), known as the "King of Pop", was an American musician and one of the most commercially successful entertainers of all time. His unique contributions to music and dance, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent figure in popular culture for four decades.
He started a solo career in 1971, having made his debut in 1964 as a member of The Jackson 5. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with four others — Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) — among the best selling. He popularized several intricate dance moves, such as the robot and the moonwalk. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form, with videos for his songs "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV, and has influenced scores of music artists.
Twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records — including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time" — 13 Grammy Awards, 17 number one singles (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales between 350 million and 750 million records worldwide. He was also a notable philanthropist and humanitarian who donated and raised millions of dollars through support of 39 charities and his own Heal the World Foundation.
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