The late Michael Jackson was born on August 29th, 1958. He would have been 55 today.
Michael Jackson grew up the fifth of six brothers in Gary, Indiana.
He first rose to fame in the family group The Jackson 5. Their first four singles -- "I Want You Back," "A-B-C," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" -- all reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100.
His solo debut, 1979's Off the Wall, featured the hits "Rock With You," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."
But 1982's Thriller made him a superstar, with such classics as the iconic title track, "Billie Jean" and "Beat It."
Jackson spearheaded the star-studded "We Are the World" charity single for famine relief in 1985.
Although later albums such as 1987's Bad and 2001's Invincible did well, Michael never repeated the success of Thriller.
Jackson's behavior and appearance became more and more bizarre throughout the years. He went through two divorces -- with Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe -- underwent numerous plastic surgeries, appeared to have bleached his skin (though he said it was a result of a genetic disorder) and was tried and acquitted of child molestation.
While preparing for his comeback concert series This Is It, Jackson died of cardiac arrest on June 25th, 2009 after collapsing at home in Los Angeles. His death was ruled a homicide, and his personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the anesthetic propofol and then trying to cover it up.
Michael's death triggered a global outpouring of grief and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world.
After his death, Jackson became the best-selling albums artist of 2009. He sold over 8.2 million albums in the United States, and a total of 35 million albums worldwide, in the 12 months that followed his death.
Fast Facts About Michael Jackson:
Thriller has gone 29 times platinum and is the best-selling album in history.
Thriller spent37 straight weeks at number-one.
In 1984, Jackson won a record eight Grammys.
Jackson won a total of 19 Grammys in his career.
Jackson holds 14 Guinness World Records.
Jackson had nine platinum singles and 16 gold singles in the U.S.
Jackson had 13 number-one singles in the U.S.
Jackson had 28 Top 10 hits in the U.S.
Jackson has three albums in the Grammy Hall of Fame -- I Want You Back,Thriller and Off the Wall.
Jackson's "Billie Jean" was the first video by a black artist to be shown regularly on MTV.
Jackson has sold more than 70 million albums in the U.S. and more than 750 million records worldwide.