Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most successful entertainer of all time, and one ofthe most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Alongside hisbrothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall(1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an artform with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances andmusic videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited withstretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.
Final years (2006–09)
Reports offinancial problems for Jackson became frequent in 2006, after the closure of the main house on the Neverland Ranch as a cost-cutting measure. One prominent financial issue concerned a $270 millionloan secured against his music publishing holdings. After delayed repayments on the loan, a refinancing package shifted the loans from Bank of America to debt specialists Fortress Investments. A newpackage proposed by Sony would have had Jackson borrow an additional $300 million and reduce the interest rate payable on the loan, while giving Sony the future option to buy half of Jackson's stake in...
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