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Thursday, June 25, 2009

TweetThis! Text & Video: RIP pop megastar Michael Jackson

Part of news information was obtained from washingtonpost.com, follow the link to read the full length of it.
These two are some of his many songs I love to listen to. RIP Michael.

Live version of Will Be There can be seen: here youtube.com (click)

Singer Michael Jackson, a child Motown sensation who grew into a moonwalking megastar, died in Los Angeles today, a county coroner said.

Jackson, 50, suffered an apparent heart attack at his Bel-Air home and was rushed to UCLA Medical Center around 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. His death was confirmed by Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. Hospital officials were expected to make an announcement shortly.

"I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him," said devastated Quincy Jones.

As news spread, a large crowd gathered outside the hospital awaiting word on the performer who had sold 750 million albums, was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received 14 Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement. People snapped photos and called friends.

Jackson was planning to appear in a sold-out series of concerts in London next month that would have run until March. Promoters of the concerts had recently said that the singer had passed a physical examination to assauge any doubts he was ready for a comeback.

"Everybody had the sense that there was not going to be a happy ending to this story," Light said.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary, Ind., a steel-manufacturing center near Chicago. He was the fifth of nine children born to Joe Jackson, a crane operator in a steel plant, and Katherine Jackson, a Sears employee. His sister Janet also became a major pop star.

Jackson's father, the dominant figure in the household, had been a guitarist in the 1950s with a short-lived Chicago rhythm-and-blues group called the Falcons, and his mother nurtured a love of singing in her children.

From an early age, Michael and his four older brothers -- Jermaine as bassist and lead singer, Jackie as choreographer, Tito and Marlon -- were molded by their demanding father into a singing group. Michael, originally on bongos, proved the charismatic dynamo and replaced Jermaine as lead singer. He was said to have a prodigy's knack for imitating the dance moves of James Brown and other leading R&B performers of the day. In short, he was hypertalented and angelically cute.

As the Jackson 5, the group moved in comparably short time from local talent contests to a professional date at a Gary nightclub and then to national stardom, with the encouragement of established artists including Glays Knight. Driven by their father in a borrowed Volkswagen van, the Jackson 5 appeared in Chicago, at New York's Apollo Theatre and as the opening act for such top Motown stars as Temptations and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. At Knight's urging, Motown owner Berry Gordy signed the group to a contract in 1968.

Two years later, when Michael was 12, the Jackson 5 had four No. 1 hits, "ABC" (which won a Grammy Award as best pop song), "I Want You Back," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There." Under Gordy's intensive grooming, the Jackson 5 achieved an astounding degree of mass popularity among black and white audiences. Their concerts caused near-riots, with young Michael, singing songs like "Shake it Baby," becoming an unlikely prepubescent sex symbol.

Around this time, the Jackson 5 became the subject of an animated Saturday morning television series on ABC, which featured their singing voices. Michael Jackson, meanwhile, began to emerge as a solo artist with the album "Got to Be There" (1971), which inclued the hit song "Rockin' Robin." When he turned 15, his voice broke, giving the boy soprano a mature tenor voice. At the same time, the Jacksons began to chafe under the strict artistic control Gordy and demanded greater artistic freedom.

According to Michael Jackson's autobiography, he confronted Gordy with a family ultimatum: "Let us have creative control or we're gone." In 1975, the Jacksons left Motown for CBS's Epic label, but Gordy managed to keep the rights to the Jackson 5 name. Brother Jermaine also stayed with Gordy, having married his daughter Hazel.

By Hank Stuever and Adam Bernstein, Washington Post Staff Writers, Thursday, June 25, 2009 8:59 PM. Matt Schudel, DeNeen L. Brown and Ashley Surdin contributed to the report.

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