Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), known as the "King of Pop", was an American musician and one of the most commercially successful and influential entertainers of all time. His unique contributions to music and dance, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent figure in popular culture for four decades.
Alongside his brothers, he made his debut in 1964 as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5, and began a successful solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) among the best selling. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form, with videos for his songs "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV.
While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people.
Michael Jackson was a very successful artist.