Throughout his long career, internationally acclaimed music superstar Michael Jacksonsporadically made film appearances as an actor, notably in his first starring role in The Wiz (1978), but he was best known for producing cutting-edge feature-film quality music videos such as "Thriller," "Billie Jean," and "Black or White." He also produced films for Disney virtual rides, the first of which was the extremely popular Francis Ford Coppola-directed Captain Eo (1985), which ran at Disney World in Orlando until 1997. Jackson also occasionally composed music and songs for movie soundtracks. He died of cardiac arrest in 2009, a couple of months before his 51st birthday.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Scored four No. 1 hits ("I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There") with the Jackson 5 in 1970 when he was 12.
- His first solo No. 1 single was "Ben," from the movie of the same name, in 1972.
- His Thriller is the best-selling album in history. From its debut in 1982 through 1995, it sold more than a million copies a year.
- Premiered his most famous dance move, the moonwalk, in 1983 on NBC's Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.
- In 1985, paid $40 million for the rights of much of the Beatles' song catalogue.
- A 1993 appearance on Oprah Winfrey drew 62 million viewers.
- Was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with his brothers, in 1997; was inducted again, as a solo artist, in 2001.