Michael Jackson Biography
Pushed into music at age five by his father, Michael Jackson’s superstar career began as the lead vocalist of the Jackson 5 in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. After limited success opening for top performers like Gladys Knight and the Pips the Jacksons eventually relocated to Los Angeles in 1968 at the request of Motown record label executive Berry Gordy with whom the Jackson signed and lived while further developing their act. By the following year they released their first album and its title single “I Want You Back” hit #1 on the Billboard charts in January 1970.
Jackson went solo at age 13 while continuing to perform and tour with his brothers as well. After several #1 solo hits, he parted ways with Gordy and his family and continued to build upon his solo career which eventually reached a level of virtually unprecedented success. His unique and novel dance moves and videos, particularly the John Landis-directed “Thriller”, propelled Jackson’s iconic status within the pop world. “Thriller” was so successful that it yielded seven top-10 tracks, won eight Grammy awards out of 12 nominations, and remained on the Billboard list for a whopping 80 weeks with 37 of them in the top spot. “Bad” was Jackson’s follow-up album and while it enjoyed considerable success it was simply not in the same league as “Thriller” which is believed to epitomize the pinnacle of his career.