Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the “King of Pop” in subsequent years, five of his solo studio albums are among the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Cited as one of the world’s most famous men, Jackson’s highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.
On June 25, 2009, he collapsed at his home in Los Angeles. After being taken to the hospital in a coma, Jackson was pronounced dead.
There's not much needed to be said about Jackson's importance in popular music in the last 40 years. He encapsulated the pinnacle of 'entertainer', and was ultimately a victim of the media that catapaulted his career. His songs are SO well-known, that it would be somewhat redundant to post a majority of them. Instead, here is a relatively unknown Jackson Five song, from a relatively unsuccessful album, from a relatively unhappy period of the band. The Jacksons were demanding to be able to write some of their own songs, a request to which Motown chief Barry Gordy flat-out refused. The album, "Skywriter", was the first to start showing the cracks in the group's energy, plainly evident by their unhappiness on the cover! The album did moderately well, but was a step back from previous heights.
This track is a b-side from the album, written by The Corporation, and is a forgotten funky soul gem. The brothers are singing as well as ever, and the rhythm is infectious. I would LIKE to think that Tito and Jermaine were playing the guitar and bass, respectively, but who knows when it comes to Motown?
Song : "You Made Me What I Am" by Jackson 5ive
From the LP "SKYWRITER" (Motown) Mar. 1973
Get it here : You Made Me What I Am