Michael Jackson

Michael Joe Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, musician and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the mid-1960s, and began his solo career in 1971.

In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs including “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller”, were credited with transforming the medium into an art form and a promotional tool, and the popularity of these videos helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made him a staple on MTV in the 1990s. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced numerous hip hop, pop, contemporary R&B and rock artists.

Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the “Artist of the Century”); 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era); and the estimated sale of over 750 million records worldwide. Jackson won hundreds of awards, which have made him one of the most-awarded recording artist in the history of music. He was also a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for beneficial causes and supporting more than 39 charities.

Early life and The Jackson 5 (1958–1975)

A house surrounded by yellow colored grass, flowers, trees, and a light blue colored sky can be seen. The house has white walls, two windows, a white door with a black door frame, and a black roof. In front of the house there is a walk way, yellow grass and multiple colored flowers and memorabilia. In the background, there are two tall trees and a light blue colored sky that has multiple clouds.

Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, the eighth of ten children in an African American working-class family who lived in a small 3-room house in Gary, Indiana,[2] an industrial suburb of Chicago. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson, was a steel mill worker who performed with an R&B band called The Falcons. Jackson had three sisters: Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet, and five brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy.[3] A sixth brother, Brandon, died shortly after birth.[4]

Jackson had a troubled relationship with his father, Joe.[5][6][7] Joseph acknowledged in 2003 that he regularly whipped Jackson as a child.[7] Jackson stated that he was physically and emotionally abused during incessant rehearsals, though he also credited his father’s strict discipline with playing a large role in his success.[5] Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, broadcast in February 1993. He admitted that he had often cried from loneliness and he would vomit on the sight of his father. Jackson’s father was also said to have verbally abused Jackson, saying that he had a fat nose on numerous occasions.[8] In fact, Michael Jackson’s deep dissatisfaction with his appearance, his nightmares and chronic sleep problems, his tendency to remain hyper-compliant especially with his father, and to remain child-like throughout his adult life are in many ways consistent with the effects of this chronic maltreatment he endured as a young child.[9] Also, U.S.-based research studies on impact of “adverse childhood experiences” or ACEs (e.g. a child being abused, violence in the family, extreme stress of poverty, etc.) have shown that having a number of ACEs exponentially increases the risk of addiction (e.g. a male child with six ACEs has a 4,600%/46-fold increase in risk of addiction), mental illnesses, physical illnesses, and early death.[10]

In an interview with Martin Bashir, later included in the 2003 broadcast of Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson acknowledged that his father hurt him when he was a child, but was nonetheless a “genius”, as he admitted his father’s strict discipline played a huge role in his success. When Bashir dismissed the positive remark and continued asking about beatings, Jackson put his hand over his face and objected to the questions. He recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, and that “if you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you”.[11][12]

In 1964, Michael and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine. Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing. When he was eight, Jackson began sharing the lead vocals with his older brother Jermaine, and the group’s name was changed to The Jackson 5.[3] The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968, frequently performing at a string of black clubs known as the “chitlin’ circuit”, where they often opened stripteases and other adult acts. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)”, led by Michael.[13]

The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including “Big Boy”, for the local record label Steeltown in 1967, before signing with Motown Records in 1968.[3] Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as “a prodigy” with “overwhelming musical gifts,” writing that he “quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer.”[14] The group set a chart record when its first four singles (“I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save”, and “I’ll Be There”) peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] Between 1972 and 1975, Jackson released four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben, released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise, and producing successful singles such as “Got to Be There”, “Ben”, and a remake of Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin”. The group’s sales began declining in 1973, and the band members chafed under Motown’s strict refusal to allow them creative control or input. Although they scored several top 40 hits, including the top 5 disco single “Dancing Machine” and the top 20 hit “I Am Love”, the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975.[15]

Move to Epic and Off the Wall (1975–1981)

In June 1975, the Jackson 5 signed with Epic Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records[15] and renamed themselves the Jacksons. Younger brother Randy formally joined the band around this time, while Jermaine left to pursue a solo career.[16] They continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984, during which Jackson was the lead songwriter, writing hits such as “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”, “This Place Hotel,” and “Can You Feel It”.[13] In 1978, he starred as the scarecrow in the musical, The Wiz, a box-office disaster. It was here that he teamed up with Quincy Jones, who was arranging the film’s musical score. Jones agreed to produce Jackson’s next solo album, Off the Wall.[17] In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine. His subsequent rhinoplasty was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. He was referred to Dr. Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson’s second rhinoplasty and subsequent operations.[18]

Jones and Jackson produced the Off the Wall album together. Songwriters for the album included Jackson, Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney. Released in 1979, it was the first solo album to generate four U.S. top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and “Rock with You”.[19][20] It reached number three on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide.[21] In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.[22][23] That year, he also won Billboard Year-End for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, also for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.[19] Jackson again won at the American Music Awards in 1981 for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist.[24] Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.[25] In 1980, he secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37 percent of wholesale album profit.[26]

Thriller and Motown 25 (1982–83)

In 1982, Jackson contributed the song “Someone In the Dark” to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; the record won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children in 1984. In the same year he won another seven Grammys and eight American Music Awards (including the Award of Merit, the youngest artist to win it), making him the most awarded in one night for both award shows.[27][28] These awards were thanks to the Thriller album, released in late 1982, which was the 1983’s best-selling album worldwide[29][30] and became the best-selling album of all time in the United States,[31] as well as the best-selling album of all time worldwide, selling an estimated 110 million copies so far.[32] The album topped the Billboard 200 chart for 37 weeks and was in the top 10 of the 200 for 80 consecutive weeks. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It,” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”[33] Thriller was certified for 29 million shipments by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond status in the United States. The album won also another Grammy for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical in 1984, awarding Bruce Swedien for his work.[34] Jackson’s attorney John Branca noted that Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point: approximately $2 for every album sold. He was also making record-breaking profits from sales of his recordings. The videocassette of the documentary The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller sold over 350,000 copies in a few months. The era saw the arrival of novelties like dolls modeled after Michael Jackson, which appeared in stores in May 1984 at a price of $12.[35] Biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli writes that, “Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item—like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie—and started selling like a household staple.”[36] In 1985, The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Longform.[27] In December 2009, the music video for “Thriller” was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, “Thriller” is the first music video ever to be inducted.[37][38][39]

Time described Jackson’s influence at that point as “Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too”.[35] The New York Times wrote that, “in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else”.[40]

In March 1983, Jackson reunited with his brothers for a legendary live performance which was taped for a Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special. The show aired on May 16, 1983, to an audience of 47 million viewers, and featured the Jacksons and a number of other Motown stars. It is best remembered for Jackson’s solo performance of “Billie Jean”. Wearing a distinctive black sequin jacket and golf glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his signature dance move, the moonwalk, which former Soul Train dancer and Shalamar member, Jeffrey Daniel had taught him three years before. The Jacksons’ performance drew comparisons to Elvis Presley’s and The Beatles’ appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.[41] Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times later wrote, “The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing.”[42]

Pepsi, “We Are the World” and business career (1984–85)

In the center of the photo four people can be seen. To the farthest left a medium skin colored man wearing a black suit with a white shirt can be seen. Second to the left a Caucasian man wearing a black suit with a white shirt and brown tie has his head turned to the right. To the right of the Caucasian male there is an African American man wearing a white shirt with a blue jacket that has a yellow strap across his chest. He is raising his right hand, which is covered with a white glove. To the farthest right, a Caucasian female with short blonde hair, who is wearing a white outfit, can be seen. In the background a cream colored building with an opened green door can be seen.

On January 27, 1984, Michael and other members of the Jacksons filmed a Pepsi Cola commercial, overseen by executive Phil Dusenberry,[43] from ad agency BBDO and Pepsi’s Worldwide Creative Director, Alan Pottasch at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, pyrotechnics accidentally set Jackson’s hair on fire. He suffered second-degree burns to his scalp. Jackson underwent treatment to hide the scars on his scalp, and he also had his third rhinoplasty shortly thereafter.[18] Jackson never recovered from this injury. Pepsi settled out of court, and Jackson donated his $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California, which now has a “Michael Jackson Burn Center” in honor of his donation.[44] Dusenberry later recounted the episode in his memoir, Then We Set His Hair on Fire: Insights and Accidents from a Hall of Fame Career in Advertising.

On May 14, 1984, Jackson was invited to the White House to receive an award from President Ronald Reagan for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.[45] Jackson won eight awards during the Grammys that year. Unlike later albums, Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of Jackson’s new solo material to more than two million Americans. He donated all the funds (around $8 million) raised from the Victory Tour to charity.[46] He also co-wrote the charity single “We Are the World” in 1985 with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in the U.S. and Africa. It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 30 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief. In 1986, “We Are the World” won four Grammys (one for Jackson for Song of the Year). American Music Award directors removed the charity song from the competition because they felt it would be inappropriate, but recognised it with two special honors (one for the creation of the song and one for the USA for Africa idea). They are the only AMAs that Jackson won as non-solo artist.[47][48][49][50]

In 1984, ATV Music Publishing, which had the copyrights to nearly 4000 songs, including the Northern Songs catalog that contained the majority of the Lennon/McCartney compositions recorded by The Beatles, was put up for sale by Robert Holmes à Court.[51] Jackson had become interested in owning music catalogs after working with Paul McCartney in the early 1980s: Jackson had learned McCartney made approximately $40 million a year from other people’s songs.[52] In 1981,[53] McCartney was offered the ATV music catalog for £20 million ($40 million USD).[52][54] According to McCartney, he contacted Yoko Ono about making a joint purchase by splitting the cost equally at £10 million each, but Ono thought they could buy it for £5 million each.[52][54] When they were unable to make the joint purchase, McCartney let the offer fall through, not wanting to be the sole owner of the Beatles’ songs.[53][54]

According to a negotiator for Holmes à Court in the 1984 sale, “We had given Paul McCartney first right of refusal but Paul didn’t want it at that time.”[55] Also, an attorney for McCartney assured Jackson’s attorney, John Branca, that McCartney was not interested in bidding: McCartney reportedly said “It’s too pricey”[52][53] But there were several other companies and investors bidding. In September 1984, Jackson was first informed about the sale by Branca and sent a bid of $46 million on November 20, 1984.[51] Jackson’s agents thought they had a deal several times, but encountered new bidders or new areas of debate.[51] In May 1985, Jackson’s team walked away from talks after having spent over $1 million on four months of due diligence and on the negotiations.[51]

In June 1985, Jackson and Branca learned that Charles Koppelman’s and Marty Bandier’s The Entertainment Co. had made a tentative agreement with Holmes à Court to buy ATV Music for $50 million.[51] But in early August, Holmes à Court’s team contacted Jackson and talks resumed. Jackson raised his bid to $47.5 million and it was accepted because he could close the deal more quickly, having already completed due diligence of ATV Music.[51] He also agreed to visit Holmes à Court in Australia, where he would appear on the Channel Seven Perth Telethon.[51][55] Jackson’s purchase of ATV Music was finalized August 10, 1985.

Autobiography, changing appearance and Neverland (1988–1990)

A male with black hair singing into a microphone. The man is wearing a blue jacket and a white shirt with black pants and a white belt.

Jackson performing “The Way You Make Me Feel”

In 1988, Jackson released his first and only autobiography, Moonwalk, which took four years to complete and sold 200,000 copies.[83] Jackson wrote about his childhood, The Jackson 5, and the abuse he had suffered.[84] He also wrote about his facial appearance, saying he had had two rhinoplastic surgeries and a dimple created in his chin.[60] He attributed much of the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style, and stage lighting.[60] Moonwalk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers’ list.[85] The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage and short films that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. The film was originally intended to be released to theaters but due to financial issues, the film was released direct to video. It debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.[86]

In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California, to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of $17 million. He installed Ferris wheels, a menagerie, and a movie theater on the 2,700-acre (11 km2) property. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. In 2003, it was valued at approximately $100 million.[14][87] In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts was estimated at $125 million for that year alone.[88] Shortly afterwards, he became the first Westerner to appear in a television ad in the Soviet Union.[86]

His success resulted in his being dubbed the “King of Pop”.[89][90][91][92] The nickname was popularized by Elizabeth Taylor when she presented him with the Soul Train Heritage Award in 1989, proclaiming him “the true king of pop, rock and soul.”[93] President George H. W. Bush designated him the White House’s “Artist of the Decade”.[94] From 1985 to 1990, he donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single “Man in the Mirror” went to charity.[95][96] Jackson’s live rendition of “You Were There” at Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.[86]

Influences

A silver colored statue of a male. The statue is placed standing up with its arms bent inward and both legs spaced apart. The statue's clothes have wrinkles and it is wearing heeled shoes. In the background, a tree and a light blue sky with multiple clouds can be seen.

One of many identical statues, positioned throughout Europe to promote HIStory

Jackson’s music took root in R&B, pop and soul. He had been influenced by the work of contemporary musicians such as Little Richard, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross, David Ruffin, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Isley Brothers, and the Bee Gees.[258] While Little Richard had a substantial influence on Jackson,[259] James Brown was Jackson’s greatest inspiration. In reference to Brown, Jackson declared: “Ever since I was a small child, no more than like six years old, my mother would wake me no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I had never seen a performer perform like James Brown, and right then and there I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown.”[260]

The young Michael Jackson owed his vocal technique in large part to Diana Ross. In October 1969, it was decided[why?][by whom?] that Jackson would live with Ross. Not only a mother figure to him, she was often observed in rehearsal as an accomplished performer. He later expressed: “I got to know her well. She taught me so much. I used to just sit in the corner and watch the way she moved. She was art in motion. I studied the way she moved, the way she sang – just the way she was.” He told her: “I want to be just like you, Diana.” She said: “You just be yourself.”[261] But Jackson owed part of his enduring style—especially his use of the oooh interjection—to Ross. From a young age, Jackson often punctuated his verses with a sudden exclamation of oooh. Diana Ross had used this effect on many of the songs recorded with The Supremes.[262]

Musical themes and genres

Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write his songs on paper. Instead he would dictate into a sound recorder, and when recording he would sing the lyrics from memory.[263] In most of his songs, such as “Billie Jean”, “Who Is It”, and “Tabloid Junkie”, he would beatbox and imitate the instruments using his voice instead of playing the actual instruments, along with other sounds. Jackson noted that it is easier to sing a drum line, or sing a bass, instead of playing a drum line or a bass with an instrument. Several critics have said that Jackson’s distinct voice is able to replace any instrument convincingly. Steve Huey of Allmusic said that, throughout his solo career, Jackson’s versatility allowed him to experiment with various themes and genres.[264] As a musician, he ranged from Motown’s dance fare and ballads to techno and house-edged new jack swing to work that incorporates both funk rhythms and hard rock guitar.[14]

According to Huey, Thriller refined the strengths of Off the Wall; the dance and rock tracks were more aggressive, while the pop tunes and ballads were softer and more soulful.[264] Notable tracks included the ballads “The Lady in My Life”, “Human Nature” and “The Girl Is Mine”; the funk pieces “Billie Jean” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”; and the disco set “Baby Be Mine” and “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”.[264][265][266][267] With Thriller, Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone commented that Jackson developed his long association with the subliminal theme of paranoia and darker imagery.[267] Allmusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted this is evident on the songs “Billie Jean” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”.[266] In “Billie Jean”, Jackson sings about an obsessive fan who alleges he has fathered a child of hers.[264] In “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” he argues against gossip and the media.[267] “Beat It” decried gang violence in an homage to West Side Story, and was Jackson’s first successful rock cross-over piece, according to Huey.[14][264] He also observed that the title track “Thriller” began Jackson’s interest with the theme of the supernatural, a topic he revisited in subsequent years.[264] In 1985, Jackson co-wrote the charity anthem “We Are the World”; humanitarian themes later became a recurring theme in his lyrics and public persona.

Vocal style

Jackson sang from childhood, and over time his voice and vocal style changed noticeably. Between 1971 and 1975, Jackson’s voice descended from boy soprano to high tenor.[278] Jackson first used a technique called the “vocal hiccup” in 1973, starting with the song “It’s Too Late to Change the Time” from The Jackson 5’s G.I.T.: Get It Together album.[279] Jackson did not use the hiccup technique— somewhat like a gulping for air or gasping— fully until the recording of Off the Wall: it can be seen in full force in the “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” promotional video.[15] With the arrival of Off the Wall in the late 1970s, Jackson’s abilities as a vocalist were well regarded. At the time, Rolling Stone compared his vocals to the “breathless, dreamy stutter” of Stevie Wonder. Their analysis was also that “Jackson’s feathery-timbred tenor is extraordinarily beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that’s used very daringly”.[280][281] 1982 saw the release of Thriller, and Rolling Stone was of the opinion that Jackson was then singing in a “fully adult voice” that was “tinged by sadness”.A distinctive deliberate mispronunciation of “come on”, used frequently by Jackson, occasionally spelt “cha’mone” or “shamone”, is also a staple in impressions and caricatures of him.[285] The turn of the 1990s saw the release of the introspective album Dangerous. The New York Times noted that on some tracks, “he gulps for breath, his voice quivers with anxiety or drops to a desperate whisper, hissing through clenched teeth” and he had a “wretched tone”.[271] When singing of brotherhood or self-esteem the musician would return to “smooth” vocals.[271] When commenting on Invincible, Rolling Stone were of the opinion that—at the age of 43—Jackson still performed “exquisitely voiced rhythm tracks and vibrating vocal harmonies”.[286] Nelson George summed up Jackson’s vocals by stating “The grace, the aggression, the growling, the natural boyishness, the falsetto, the smoothness—that combination of elements mark him as a major vocalist”.

Lifetime earnings

His total lifetime earnings from royalties on his solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million; some analysts have speculated that his music catalog holdings could be worth billions of dollars.[87][336] This speculation however is contradicted by financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, which showed that as of March 31, 2007, Jackson’s 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog (his most prized asset) was worth $390.6 million and Michael Jackson’s net worth was $236 million.[337]Billboard has estimated that Jackson has generated at least $1 billion in revenue in the year following his death.

Michael Jackson
A mid-twenties African American man wearing a sequined military jacket and dark sunglasses. He is walking while waving his right hand, which is adorned with a white glove. His left hand is bare.
Jackson at the White House in 1984
Background information
Birth name Michael Joe Jackson[1]
Also known as Michael Joseph Jackson, King of Pop
Born August 29, 1958(1958-08-29)
Gary, Indiana, U.S.
Died June 25, 2009(2009-06-25) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres R&B, pop, rock, soul, funk
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, composer, musician, dancer, choreographer, actor, businessman, philanthropist
Instruments Vocals, piano, drums, beatbox, guitar
Years active 1964–2009
Labels Motown, Epic, Legacy
Associated acts

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