Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist and entertainer. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, four of his solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), while his 1982 Thriller is the world's best-selling record of all time.
The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records. As a result of legal proceedings, the group was renamed The Jacksons. After the name change, the band continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984. From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel" and "Can You Feel It".
1982–1985: Thriller, Motown 25, We Are the World and business careerIn 1982, Jackson contributed the song "Someone In the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; the record won a Grammy for Best Album for Children. That year Jackson issued his second Epic album, Thriller. The album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks and 37 of those weeks at the peak position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" being on the charts at the same time. The apex of Jackson's career, Thriller sold upwards of 109 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time
On March 25, 1983, Jackson performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forevermoonwalk—his performances during the event were seen by 47 million viewers during its initial airing, and drew comparisons to Elvis Presley's and the The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. The New York Times said, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing". television special, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing "Billie Jean". Debuting his signature dance move—the
Jackson at the White House South Portico with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan, 1984
On the morning of June 25, 2009, Jackson reportedly collapsed at a rented home in Holmby Hills in Los Angeles. After he collapsed, Jackson's personal physician, who was with him at the time, attempted to resuscitate him. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a 911 call at 12:21 pm and arrived nine minutes later. Jackson was reportedly not breathing and CPR was quickly performed. Resuscitation efforts continued both en route to the UCLA Medical Center, and after arrival at approximately 1:14 pm (20:14 UTC), for a further hour. He fell into a coma and died shortly after arrival.The cause of death is as yet unknown, but he was noted to be already in cardiac arrest by the paramedics who attended him. Jackson was pronounced dead at about 2:26 pm local time