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Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958), commonly known as MJ as well as the "King of Pop," is an American musician, entertainer, and pop icon whose successful career and controversial personal life have been a part of pop culture for the last three decades. He has three children: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. (known as 'Prince'), Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, and Prince Michael Joseph Jackson II (known as 'Blanket').
Michael Jackson is widely regarded as one of the greatest entertainers and most popular recording artists in human history, heralding and displaying complicated physical techniques, like the robot and the moonwalk, that have redefined mainstream dance and entertainment. His achievements in the music industry have included, among other things, a revolutionary transformation of music videos, epitomized by 1983's Thriller, often cited as the greatest music video of all time, establishing high-profile album releases and sales as a new trend for record companies to generate profits, dominating pop music during the 1980s, and becoming the first black entertainer to amass a strong following on MTV while leading the relatively young channel out of obscurity. Additionally, Michael Jackson has dabbled in various musical genres and collaborated with several other superstars in the music industry, occasionally also lending his talents to the work of other artists. His distinctive style, moves, and vocals have inspired, influenced, and spawned a whole generation of hip hop, pop, and R&B artists, including Mariah Carey, Usher, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Omarion, Ne-Yo, and Chris Brown, among others. In November 2006, he was named the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time" by Guinness World Records.
Jackson began his musical career at the age of seven as the lead singer of The Jackson 5 and released his first solo recording, Got to Be There, in 1971 while remaining a member of the group. He began a full-fledged solo career in 1979 and formally parted with his siblings in 1984. In his solo career, Jackson recorded and co-produced the best-selling album of all time, Thriller, which has worldwide sales exceeding 100 million. After Thriller, Jackson continued to release internationally chart-topping albums like Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory (1995), and Invincible (2001), his latest album of fully original material. Michael Jackson has received thirteen Grammy Awards and charted thirteen number-one singles in the United States, more than any other solo male artist in the Hot 100 era. In November 2006, the World Music Awards announced that Michael Jackson had sold over 750 million units worldwide, making Jackson one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
From 1988 to 2005, Jackson lived on his Neverland Ranch property, where he built an amusement park and private zoo that was frequently attended by disadvantaged and terminally ill children. Rumours of sleepover parties received disparaging media coverage after it was revealed that children frequently slept in his bed or bedroom. These first came to light when he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993. Michael Jackson's relationship with children was brought into the spotlight again in 2003 during the TV documentary Living with Michael Jackson. This resulted in Jackson being tried, and later acquitted, of more child molestation allegations and several other charges in 2005.