American superstar, citizen of the world, best selling artist of the millennium, king of pop, these are just a few of many titles Jackson was awarded in his lifetime. After his shocking and sudden death Jackson instantly became a musical legend. Here are the top 10 most interesting facts of his life.
Michael Jackson was physically and emotionally abused as a child. His father, Joseph Walter Jackson was as a Jehovah’s Witness and believer of a tough love discipline. He punished and abused Michael for as long as he could remember by name calling, whipping and forcing the young boy to endure never-ending rehearsals for their all boy band “Jackson 5”. In his appearance on “Oprah Winfrey interview” Jackson recalled the incidents of his father’s punishments sessions, and the long lasting aftermath impacts it had on him. Like when Joseph climbed into Michaels’s bedroom window wearing a fright mask, screaming and shouting, in order to teach him to lock bedroom windows before going to sleep. Long after the incident Jackson developed nightmares of being kidnapped from his bedroom. When Jackson was asked on how he co-opted with abuse, he cried and admitted to feeling depressed, lonely and robbed off his childhood by his abusive father. He recalled vomiting when he saw his father holding his belt, for it was often used to whip his for disobeying.
Upon joining his other siblings in their group Jackson 5, Jackson frequently performed in “black night” while being on tour. One of his most vivid memories from that time was that the group would often serve as an opening act for stripteases and other adult acts.
Throughout his lifetime Jackson admitted to having 4 rhinoplasty surgeries. The first one occurred in 1979, while Jackson was rehearsing a complex dance routine. His second surgery was the result of severe complication from the first surgery, he admitted to difficulty breathing that affected his music career. The third surgery occurred when Jackson suffered substantial second degree burns, while shooting commercial for Pepsi Co. The fourth and final rhinoplasty took place while shooting for sci-fi movie “Captain EO”, Jackson admitted to wanting more masculine face, he also added cleft to his chin.
In 1986 tabloids ran the story that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in order to slow the aging process. Although Jackson himself never admitted to the story, instead claiming that the picture, which at that time was circling the media sources was the promotion for his upcoming sci-fi movie. Jackson’s manager confirmed Jackson’s frequent use of hyperbaric oxygen chamber for his aggravated skin condition. He never addressed the rumours of Jackson actually sleeping in it.
Born from African-American descent, Jackson’s skin was medium- brown during his youth years. However as time went by, his skin was getting paler and paler. Media speculated that Jackson did not like the color of his skin, and wanted to “become white”. However, those speculations were dismissed when Jackson went public about his ongoing battle with vitiligo and lupus. Combination of the experimental treatment with makeup, to cover uneven blotches on his skin made him look as white as a ghost. He later developed a habit of wearing a mask in public to cover his decaying face from the spying lens of paparazzi.
One of the Jackson’s most famous and proudest project to this day was his “Never land Ranch”, which he had build it near Santa Ynez, California. The building cost of the ranch came to 17 million dollars US. The 2,700-acre (11 km2) property had Ferris wheels, a menagerie, zoo and a movie theater. The property was patrolled by 40 security staff. In 2003, the property was valued at approximately $100 million, three years later Jackson was forced to sell his “fairytale land” as a cost-cutting measure.
During the course of his life, Jackson was twice accused of being a pedophile and sexual molester of minor boys. The first incident occurred when a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler accused Jackson of sexual assault. The boy stated that he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer’s genitals. When investigation began Jackson was forced to submit to strip search and his Never land ranch. After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the lawsuit outside the court, Chandler agreed to settle for 22 million dollars in financial compensation. The second accusation came when Jackson was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit that felony on 14 years old boy, Gavin Arvizo. Despite Jackson publicly denied the allegations, the People v. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California, two years after Jackson was originally charged. During this period the singer became dependent on morphine and Demerol, a dependency which he subsequently overcame. He also suffered from stress-related illnesses, severe weight loss that significantly altered his appearance and serious financial troubles. The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005; he was acquitted on all counts. Jackson then relocated to the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain as a guest of Sheikh Abdullah.
In his early days, Jackson’s family were the Jehovah’s Witness followers. However after discovering that his brother Jermaine was converting into Islam, Jackson became interested in joining him on this spiritual quest. He had done a lot of soul searching and research on the subject of changing religions. His spiritual journey continued into 2008, at the Los Angeles home of one of his closest friends-Steve Porcaro and in the presence of British musician Yusuf Islam Jackson converted into Islam.
Although Jackson was a public figure, musician and a performer, used to living his life under the microscope. When it came to his children Jackson tried to shelter his three kids from the media maelstrom that surrounded him wherever he went – even making them wear masks and scarves in public. Some media sources speculated that the secrecy surrounding Jackson’s children was due to the fact that they were clearly of Caucasian descent, and were not his biological children. Others suggested that Jackson was simply trying to protect his children from the media circus that surrounded him and raise them as close to normal, giving the circumstances.
One of Jackson’s greatest achievements was: him being listed in the book of Guinness World Records for his support of 39 charities, more than any other entertainer or personality. He also received additional eight Guinness World Records among them: “First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 Million Dollars in a Year” and “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”. Jackson was awarded the Diamond Award on November 15, 2006, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards. His breakthrough album “Thriller” went on to sell upwards of 109 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time.