Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Michael Jackson through the years | 1958-2009

Posted in Celebrity Deaths, Music by Jacob Zinn on June 26, 2009

Yesterday, beloved pop icon Michael Jackson collapsed in his California home and was taken to the hospital where doctors attempted to revive him for an hour. He passed away unexpectedly at the age of 50.

Jackson was scheduled to play 50 sold out concerts from July through March to over a million people at the O2 Arena in London. It was named the “This Is It” concert series, meaning they were to be the last shows he would ever play.

Though fans with tickets can no longer look forward to seeing the King of Pop live on stage, they can look back at the legacy he has left behind.

1966 – Started the Jackson 5 with brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon.

1971 – Starred in the short-lived Saturday morning cartoon, The Jackson 5ive.

August 1979 – Released Off the Wall, which featured the singles “Rock with You” and “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough.”

November 1982 – Released the 28x platinum Thriller (which went on to sell over 100 million copies worldwide) with title tracks freaky music video and subsequent dance craze.

February 1983 – Released “Beat It” only for it to be covered 25 years later by emo/pop-punk/just-plain-crap band Fall Out Boy.

March 1983 – Had a career-changing performance of “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25th anniversary, where he introduced the Moonwalk with 47 million viewers watching at home.

1984 – Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Years later, adoring fans mistaken the star of Los Angeles radio personality Michael Jackson for that of the pop legend.

January 1984 – While on the set of a Pepsi commercial, Michael received second degree burns from a pyrotechnics accident.

February 1984 – Weird Al Yankovic releases “Eat It” with a shot-for-shot remake of Michael’s video for “Beat It.” Since video embedding is disabled, watch them side by side (dual monitors preferred) for maximum hilarity.

Also February 1984 – Received eight Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Best Recording for Children (it was for E.T., okay?), Best Engineered Recording and Best Male Pop, R&B, and Rock Vocal Performances.

May 1984 – Received award from then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan for his charity work.

1985“We Are The World”, a joint effort between the mid-’80s finest for foreign aid in Africa, goes on to reach number one in 17 countries.

February 1988 – Weird Al Yankovic releases “Fat,” a parody of Michael’s “Bad.” Not as good as “Eat It,” but alright. Two Weird Al parodies = major success.

March 1988 – Purchases property to build the $17 million Neverland Ranch.

1989 – Receives the Artist of the Decade award from Liz Taylor, who nicknames him the King of Pop.

1989Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker video game is released, the idea of the game being that you save kidnapped children. Eerie similarities occur in the future.

September 1991 – Appeared in the season three premiere of The Simpsons as a mental patient who claims to be Michael Jackson. In reality, Michael couldn’t admit to it being his own voice due to contractual obligations, but critics figured it was him.

May 1995 – Released the video for “Scream,” a collaboration with younger sister Janet. The video had $7 million in production costs, second only to the video for “From Yesterday” by 30 Seconds to Mars, which cost $13 million.

1997 – The Jackson 5 is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

March 2001 – Michael Jackson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

There are many other accomplishments by MJ, but these are just some of the highlights. He was one of the best entertainers to grace a stage and he’s set the bar high for future pop legends.

He might be gone, but generations to come won’t stop listening to his music ’til they get enough.

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