Jackson was born Michael Joseph Jackson in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained fans nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, was a guitarist and through his direction, the older boys Jackie, Tito and Jermaine began performing and by 1964, Michael and Marlon had joined the group.
A musical prodigy, Michael’s singing and dancing talents were few mature for young Michael. He soon became the dominant voice and focus of the Jackson 5 and influenced by the likes of James Brown. I recall an interview I had with Gladys Knight, I said, “Now Gladys, we both know who really brought the Jackson 5 to Berry Gordy’s attention, don’t we? It was you, and not Diana Ross, we both chuckled and procceded with the interview. I also mentioned to Gladys, I was there when she hosted a talent showcase at the Fox Theater in Detroit where the Jackson 5 performed. Later that summer, the group had back-to-back chart-busting hits like “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Got to Be There,” etc.
It was inevitable Michael would soon become a solo artist and by the 1980’s he was just a popular as his brothers. The release of “Thriller” sent his career to another level with the release of his elaborate music videos.
Despite Jackson drastically changing his physical appearance and often aloof behavior, he had a true passion for his craft as an artist, singer, dancer, writer and businessman despite the negativity that plagued his troubled adult life.