Many people have some sort of inspiration or influence in their lives, individuals who make an impact and leave a lasting impression. For many, this person is someone that they look up to and learn from as human beings, but also for what they achieve professionally.
Michael Jackson was one such individual. He not only inspired his audience through his music, but he left an incredible legacy both as an artist and as a humanitarian. Not only did he bring us songs like “Thriller” and “Beat It!,” but he spent most of his adult life trying to help those around him.
He donated money and time towards helping injured veterans, donating over $100 million to various causes. He raised more than $20 million for AIDS charities and research, and even funded a plastic surgery training program for disadvantaged teenagers.
His philanthropy didn't stop there though. Since he had little children himself, he would often invite other kids onto stage so that they could enjoy his music while also inspiring them with his self-confidence.
He once said, "I've always wanted to do something special for the world for my whole career... I really want to be known for being a good guy." His desire to contribute extended beyond just his family and friends — he constantly gave back to others.
It's clear that Michael Jackson lived by his own set of standards; he wasn't interested in spending his energy on things that don’t matter.
Many of his songs have gone on to become classics, including “Beat It” (the music video for which was one of the most watched videos in YouTube history), “You Have Been Warned”, and his biggest hit, “Smooth Criminal”.
He also created several more popular songs such as “Remember The Time” and “Kiss From A Rose”. These two songs were later re-written by other artists but they are usually credited to him due to their similar structure and melody.
His best known song is probably “Thriller” though, with its catchy bass line and lyrics like, ‘Dance! Dance! / Shake it! Shake it!’ That song has sold over 40 million copies worldwide and won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written For Visual Media in 1983.
It also helped launch what is now called the dance or rhythm genre of music.
After meeting in high school, Katherine “Kelly” Macklem was immediately drawn to him. They went on two dates before she asked if he would like to be her roommate when she moved into an apartment with three other people. He agreed!
The two were inseparable throughout college, and after graduating they lived together as roommates. When their friends encouraged them to marry each other, they did!
They got married in 1986 at the age of 21 and had four children within six years. Their first child was a daughter named Paris who was born in 1988. Then came another girl name Aqdaria in 1990, followed by a boy name Prince in 1992.
Michael loved being a parent almost from the beginning, but it wasn’t always easy. He often wanted more time away from his family, which made things difficult. His career sometimes took over and he didn’t always put his family first. This caused problems for him and his wife.
He was constantly working and spending money, so they weren’t rich. But Kelly never complained about what he spent or how much money he had because she understood that this is how he needed to live his life.
She also knew that he loved his kids very much, even though he may not have shown it all the time. She hoped one day he would realize how important he was to his children and try to be around them more.
Before he was famous, Michael Jackson spent his time as a musician performing live at music venues across America and Europe. He would typically perform songs that people did not know or had never heard of him before.
He would sometimes bring along an instrument to play while he performed so that people could watch him work out how to use it. But most times, he would pick up the guitar himself and then learn some new chords and melodies for his favorite songs.
He always made sure to include some kind of performance in every city he visited. This included singing, dancing, or playing with toys or gadgets like guitars.
Michael loved to add little touches during his performances such as putting sweets and drinks into plastic cups for audience members to enjoy or giving away small items to children around the area where he was staying.
After he became more well-known, he would do even bigger things like holding concerts and having TV shows dedicated to him.
Born Robert Allen Bambrough in Chicago, Illinois in 1958, Michael Joseph Jackson was born into a family of musicians. His father, Jackie, played guitar while his mother Katherine is well known for her operatic singing voice. Both parents sang at home and influenced their son to do the same.
Jackson began performing as a child with local groups and eventually landed a job with The Motown Record Company. It was there that he first made an impression by playing the drums! He later switched over to bass drum and then to lead singer.
His talent soon caught the eye of record executive Harvey Kuberts who helped him get signed to MJJ Records. This is where his professional music career started. However, it would not last long before his success took off.
He released his debut album Dance With Me in 1984 and it quickly became popular. Since then, he has gone on to release many more albums and songs including some hit ones like “Beat It” and “Thriller.
After leaving The Jackson 5, Michael pursued his dreams as an individual musician. He began performing music he had written himself and recording songs that expressed how he was feeling at this stage in his life. These are often referred to as ‘solo’ albums because they only feature your average voice and rhythm track with no vocals from other artists.
He also released the album What Is And Isn’t Important? which is very self-reflective and contains some of his most well known tracks such as Beat It and Dirty Diana. This album is considered to be one of his best works due to its ability to show different sides of him as an artist.
His next solo project was simply titled Michael. Many believe it to be more personal than his previous albums due to the title alone. The song My Baby Just Called To Say Hello comes off of this album really nicely.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, as Monte Melanson, he was raised in Los Angeles, California. He grew up with two older sisters and one younger brother. His father worked as a dentist and his mother stayed at home to take care of her family.
He had an early love for music that included playing guitar and singing since he was twelve years old. At seventeen, he enrolled into Los Angeles Valley College where he majored in media production and marketing.
It wasn’t until he transferred to Pasadena City College that he really got serious about his songwriting career. There he wrote his first hit “I Want You Back,” which was later covered by Dua Lipa.
After graduating, he moved back to LA to pursue his dreams full-time. It didn’t take him long to get there! Since 1997, he has written or co-written over twenty songs that have been recorded by some of the biggest names out there.
His most recognizable collaborations include Rihanna‘s “Birthday Cake” and Taio Cruz‘s “Break Up With Me By Words.” Both of those songs reached number one on the Billboard charts. He also collaborated with Ariana Grande on her track “Problem.” That one peaked at No. 2.
Many musicians have been inspired by or paid tribute to the music of Michael Jackson. He did not retain copyright to most of his songs, however!
As such, he allowed others to use parts of his songs for their own compositions.
Many famous songs contain small portions of one of his songs as a lead element. For example, “We Are Never Alone” is a very popular Christian song that is often accompanied by people listening out for the part where the singer says, “I will always be here for you.”
The line in question comes right at the end of the verse, so it is left over. The rest of the song was written by the songwriter, but the writer gave up ownership of the portion that they included their work under. This is how lots of songs get into the public domain.
This does not mean that the person who wrote the additional lyrics cannot make money off of their creativity, only that they cannot claim credit for being the author of the piece. It also means that anyone can freely perform and/or modify the song without permission, which is another reason why musical tributes are so common.
He was famous for creating and incorporating dance moves into his songs, including many of his biggest hits. His most well-known dances include the moonwalk he made popular in 1983, the leg drop that is associated with his Dirty Dance as well as his signature move, the lollipop!
He would often invite audience members to join him onstage while singing a song or doing an extended version of one of his own songs. These collaborations are called crowd remixing.
Other notable dancer tracks include “You’re Not My Hero No More,” “Rock With You,” and his classic ballad, “Remember The Time.”
His dancing skills were so impressive that even professional dancers have done interviews talking about how they influenced their careers.