THE KING OF POP
“Michael Joseph Jackson” (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world and one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. Michael Jackson was the eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5.
In his first outing with the move, he adapted the moonwalk into his choreography at carefully selected moments within a sequence of moves: There’s the moonwalk, followed by a spin and then his trademark toe-stand with its freeze-frame pose that makes the crowd go wild.
“Michael Jackson was really good at doing the robot style and isolations. So he incorporated that into the moonwalk,” said Jared Grimes, an entertainer and Broadway dancer.
There are countless reasons why Michael Jackson is a pop culture icon. His “moonwalk” dance move is just one of them, and the King of Pop had help learning this signature showstopper. Jackson’s fame cut across all demographics with the 1982 album Thriller, and “Billie Jean” was one of the top hits from it.
“The backslide — you slide backwards and [you] make you look like you’re walking forward. So it’s an illusion,” Jaxson said. “The moonwalk is in a circular motion … like you’re floating in the air. … And you keep continuing in a circle.
While Jackson’s “moonwalk” was his most famous, the “Smooth Criminal” lean is also a legendary Jackson move. “Smooth Criminal” was one of the hit songs on Jackson’s 1987 “Bad” album.
During live performances of “Smooth Criminal,” Jackson and his dancers leaned at a gravity-defying 45-degree angle with the help of a special patented shoe design.
Michael’s humanitarian legacy will never be forgotten. While he was touring Japan in 1987, he learned of the tragic story of Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy who had been kidnapped and killed. Michael donated $20,000 to the boy’s family and dedicated his Japanese shows to his legacy. He then honoured the boy on the single vinyl release of “Man in the Mirror,” stating, “May such a terrible thing never happen again. I will always love you. Michael Jackson.”
Michael Jackson made his debut at the age of six with the Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons), who were prominent performers during the 1970s. Jackson’s early solo career that same decade included albums such as Got to Be There and Ben. His two follow-ups, Music & Me and Forever, Michael, failed to sell well. In 1979, Jackson released Off the Wall, which became his first best-selling album. Three years later, Jackson issued his best-selling album to date, Thriller, which topped several international charts and became the best-selling album of all time. Jackson’s follow-ups, Bad, Dangerous, and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, also became international successes. Jackson’s tenth and final studio album, Invincible, was released in 2001 and topped international charts, with total confirmed sales of 6 million copies worldwide.
Following Jackson’s death in 2009, sales of his previous work skyrocketed, with his compilation album, Number Ones, becoming one of the best-selling albums internationally.