|MICHAEL JACKSON - BIOGRAPHY||
As part of the Jackson 5, a group made up of his brothers, Michael Jackson was among the most popular singing stars of the '70s. On his own, he was the biggest pop star of the '80s. Jackson was always the visual and vocal focus of the Jackson 5, who broke through to national success on the Motown label in 1970, when he was 11, with the first of four straight #1 hits, "I Want You Back." Jackson was also promoted as a solo artist, and he scored his first hit, "Got to Be There, " in 1971. Subsequent hits included his remake of "Rockin' Robin" and "Ben" in 1972.
Jackson's and the Jackson 5's fortunes declined somewhat after the early '70s, and the group moved to Epic at mid-decade, with Michael temporarily abandoning his solo career and subsuming his group leadership to other members of what was now called the Jacksons. The group gradually built back its popularity by writing its own material. Jackson returned to solo work in 1979 with Off the Wall, a mature combination of driving dance songs ("Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough") and feelingly sung ballads ("She's Out of My Life") that outsold any previous group or solo effort, and spawned four Top Ten hits.
Jackson again recorded and toured with the Jacksons, but his next album, Thriller (1982), became a musical phenomenon. It was the biggest-selling album of all time, moving 20 million copies in the U.S. alone and including seven Top Ten hits. Clearly Jackson had grown beyond his brothers, but he stayed with them for one more album and tour in 1984.
His follow-up album, Bad (1987), accompanied by a solo world tour, sold six million copies domestically. Only six of its seven singles hit the Top Ten, but five in a row hit #1.
In late 1991, Jackson returned with Dangerous, which, by mid-1992, had sold four million copies and spawned the hits "Black and White, " "Remember the Time, " "In the Closet, " and "Jam." Jackson's second world tour, launched in Europe in June 1992, continued into 1993.
Although numerous rumors had circled around Jackson throughout his career, his reputation remained clean. It wasn't until 1993 that he suffered serious damage to his image. Jackson was accused of child abuse by a teenage friend, sparking a major media frenzy. Through it all, Jackson vehemently denied the accusations. The civil case was settled out of court in early 1994. Jackson began working on HIStory soon after the settlement. HIStory contained one disc of Jackson's greatest hits and one disc of new material. It was released on June 20, 1995.