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Michael Jackson
This man’s career has spanned over four decades, earning him countless awards and breaking and creating countless records. He has sold well over 200 million albums around the globe and performed in every continent. He has lead the world and created the precedent that all artistsand directors go by when creating music videos and continues to guide the entertainment industry with his innovative albums, live performances, and short films. His album Thriller became the most successful album in history, selling over 50 million worldwide.

And it's easy to see why. Michael Jackson is simply good at what he does. His music is irresistible; you can't help but dance or sing along. You couldn’t have a “Michael Jackson” these days, for the entire apparatus of the music industry is now different. The music business has changed, and with the Internet, downloading Mp3’s and the advent of CD burning, it’s all so splintered now. Way before all of this, Jackson’s music cut across the world, touching the hearts of various ages, races, and cultures, unifying them. No musician of today has managed to do that again. In this time of uncertainty and doubt of the future of the leadership in our world, when it seems our elected officials aren’t listening to their people and are seizing power for themselves, we could use some semblance of unity in humanity. At one time, Michael Jackson with his music certainly provided that. Now that we could use it again, it’s seemingly gone forever.

Clearly we’ve become aware of the void in modern music, of knowing that something that used to be there, is now gone. We’ve started to remember and revalue what it is that Michael Jackson brought to our lives and his contribution to popular culture. Hopefully, it’s not too late for us that all we’ll have left are those memories…for Michael Jackson is not dead (sadly, like some music artists we could all name), nor has he made any real decisions that have damaged his career and credibility. (Likewise some other musical artists we could all name) So it’s time to let go of all the confusion and cheer not only those who invoke the music of Michael Jackson, but Michael Jackson himself.

THE EARLY YEARS: Katherine and Joe Jackson were married on November 5, 1940, under the Jehovah’s Witness faith; they soon began to raise their family in a quiet little city called Gary, Indiana, USA. Nine years later, their seventh son, born August 29, 1958, Michael Joseph Jackson's destiny was set in stone from day one. Being musically inclined, Katherine and Joe shared their talents among their nine children. The Jackson children soon began to sing at the church choir and perform at school programs and town pageants. Michael, who began studying at Garnett Elementary School already, was winning various talents contests at the age of five. A few months later, his older brothers formed a band and decided to enter various talent searches and amateur contests. It was only a few years later that Michael joined his brothers to form The Jackson Five. Joe Jackson arranged for The Jackson Five to perform at small clubhouses for a few bucks a night. Their talents did not go unnoticed.

THE JACKSON FIVE: After being discovered, The Jackson Five released their first single in 1968. In that same year, they released their second single. Due to its success, they performed in the same shows as The Supremes, James Brown and Sammy Davis, Jr. After a number of performances, The Jackson Five signed a contract with Motown Records. I Want You Back / Who’s Loving You, their debut single with Motown, sold two million copies in six weeks and earned them their first gold record.

You can read the rest of our feature on Michael Jackson in the January 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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