Michael Jackson in Pictures

1
Michael Jackson 'Got To Be There' - 1972

Michael Jackson - Got To Be There
Michael Jackson - Got To Be There. Courtesy Motown

A Photo Gallery

Michael Jackson was one of the top pop recording artists of all time. He recorded the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller. He is the first pop artist to release seven top 10 singles from one album and five #1 singles from one album. His music dominated the pop world for nearly 15 years. This is his story in pictures.

Got To Be There was Michael Jackson's debut solo album released in January 1972. He was 13 years old. The solo effort was in addition to his ongoing recording with his brothers as the Jackson 5. The album peaked at #14 on the US chart and included the top 5 singles "Got To Be There" and "Rockin' Robin."

2
Michael Jackson - "Ben" - 1972

Michael Jackson - Ben
Michael Jackson - Ben. Courtesy Motown

Michael Jackson's friendship ballad "Ben" became his first #1 pop single as a solo artist. It was written for the soundtrack to the movie Ben, a hit film about a killer rat. At age 14, Michael Jackson became the third youngest solo artist to have a #1 single. Both Donny Osmond and Stevie Wonder had been younger when they first hit #1.

3
Michael Jackson - Off the Wall - 1979

Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
Michael Jackson - Off the Wall. Courtesy Epic

Released in August 1979, Off the Wall signaled to the world that 21 year old Michael Jackson had become an adult pop star. The album became the first by a solo artist to generate four top 10 pop singles in the US. It also ultimately sold seven million copies in the US alone.

4
Michael Jackson - Thriller - 1982

Michael Jackson - Thriller
Michael Jackson - Thriller. Courtesy Epic

Thriller was released by Michael Jackson in November 1982. At first it seemed the album might be a relative flop after the major success of Off the Wall. However, the release of "Billie Jean" as a single in January 1983 and its rise to the top off the charts began the phenomenal success of Thriller. Ultimately the album topped the charts for 37 weeks, sold 28 million copies in the US alone, included seven top 10 pop singles, and it stands as the bestselling album ever.

5
Michael Jackson - 1983

Michael Jackson - 1983
Michael Jackson - 1983. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

Michael Jackson was at a solo career peak in 1983. During the course of the year he released five top 10 singles from the album Thriller including the #1 smash hits "Billie Jean" and "Beat It." Thriller was the top pop album of the year.

6
Michael Jackson's White Glove - 1984

Michael Jackson - 1984
Michael Jackson - 1984. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

Michael Jackson frequently sported a single white glove that was covered in sequins. It became a signature item in his performing wardrobe.

7
The Jacksons Victory Concert Tour - 1984

The Jacksons - 1984 - Victory Concert Tour
The Jacksons - 1984 - Victory Concert Tour. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

At the peak of his solo success with Thriller, Michael Jackson recorded the Victory album with his five brothers. It was promoted by the Victory Tour during the last half of 1984. The tour included 55 concerts for approximately two million fans. It was the last time the Jackson brothers would tour together.

8
Michael Jackson - 'Bad' - 1987

Michael Jackson - Bad
Michael Jackson - Bad. Courtesy Epic

Michael Jackson's Bad album followed Thriller and became another pop landmark. It is the only album to ever feature five singles that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Bad was Michael Jackson's first album to debut at #1 on the album chart and it sold over eight million copies in the US alone.

9
Michael Jackson - 1987

Michael Jackson - 1987
Michael Jackson - 1987. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

In 1987 Michael Jackson released Bad, his eagerly awaited follow up to the massive success of Thriller. The success continued unabated. Bad became the first Michael Jackson album to debut at #1 on the album chart.

10
Michael Jackson 'Bad' World Concert Tour - 1988

Michael Jackson - 1988 - Bad Concert Tour
Michael Jackson - 1988 - Bad Concert Tour. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

Michael Jackson's 1987 through 1989 tour in support of the album Bad was his first world concert tour as a solo artist. He played 123 concerts for 4.4 million fans in 15 different countries. The tour grossed $125 million.

11
Michael Jackson - Dangerous - 1991

Michael Jackson - Dangerous
Michael Jackson - Dangerous. Courtesy Epic

Michael Jackson continued his success into the 1990's with the release of Dangerous. It was his second album to debut at the top of the album chart, and it sold seven million copies in the US alone. Michael Jackson hit the top 10 of the pop singles chart four times with songs from Dangerous including the #1 smash "Black Or White."

12
Michael Jackson at Super Bowl XXVII - 1993

Michael Jackson - 1993 - Super Bowl XXVII
Michael Jackson - 1993 - Super Bowl XXVII. Photo by George Rose / Getty Images

Michael Jackson performed the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. Unlike many previous shows, he was the only performer. He was joined on the song "Heal the World" by a children's choir of 3,500 children.

13
Michael Jackson - HIStory - 1995

Michael Jackson - HIStory
Michael Jackson - HIStory. Courtesy Epic

The full title is HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It was a double album by Michael Jackson including one disc of greatest hits and a second disc of new material. The album sold over three million copies and included two top 10 pop singles. HIStory was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

14
Michael Jackson and Slash at the MTV Video Music Awards - 1995

Michael Jackson and Slash - 1995 - MTV Video Music Awards
Michael Jackson and Slash - 1995 - MTV Video Music Awards. Photo by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

Michael Jackson was joined by guitarist Slash of Guns 'n Roses to open the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards. He performed a medley of hits that included "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Scream," "Beat It," "Black or White," "Billie Jean," "Dangerous," "Smooth Criminal," and "You Are Not Alone." Michael Jackson's video for "Scream" with sister Janet Jackson won three awards.

15
Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour - 1996

Michael Jackson - 1996 - HIStory World Tour
Michael Jackson - 1996 - HIStory World Tour. Photo by Phil Walter / Getty Images

The HIStory World Tour was Michael Jackson's third and final world concert tour. It began in September 1996 and ended in October 1997. Over that time he performed 82 concerts for 4.5 million fans and earned $163.5 million.

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Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour - 1997

Michael Jackson - 1997 - HIStory Concert Tour
Michael Jackson - 1997 - HIStory Concert Tour. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

Michael Jackson's only US dates on his third final concert tour were two concerts in Honolulu, Hawaii.

17
Michael Jackson - Invincible - 2001

Michael Jackson - Invincible
Michael Jackson - Invincible. Courtesy Epic

Invincible was the final studio album released by Michael Jackson. In an effort to update his sound, Jackson worked with such producers as Rodney Jerkins and R. Kelly on the project. The album debuted at #1 on the album chart and ultimately sold two million copies, but it only generated one top 10 single, "You Rock My World," which peaked at #10.

18
Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Celebration - 2001

Michael Jackson - 2001 - 30th Anniversary Celebration - Madison Square Garden
Michael Jackson - 2001 - 30th Anniversary Celebration - Madison Square Garden. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

A grand 30th anniversary celebration to mark Michael Jackson's 30th year as a solo artist was held at Madison Square Garden in September 2001. It was also an event to promote the release of the album Invincible. At the event Michael Jackson performed onstage with his brothers for the first time since 1984.

19
Michael Jackson Visits Capitol Hill - 2004

Michael Jackson - 2004 - Capitol Hill Appearance
Michael Jackson - 2004 - Capitol Hill Appearance. Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images

In March 2004 Michael Jackson visited Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as a guest of congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee. He discussed with members of Congress his commitment to fighting the epidemic of AIDS in Africa.

20
Michael Jackson Trial - 2005

Michael Jackson Trial - June 2005
Michael Jackson Trial - June 2005. Photo by Carlo Allegri / Getty Images

In November 2003 Michael Jackson was arrested by California police on accusations of child molestation and abuse. After over a year of legal wrangling the trial commenced in March 2005. After months of being a media circus, the trial ended June 13, 2005 with Michael Jackson being acquitted of all charges.

21
Michael Jackson Announcing Concert Comeback - 2009

Michael Jackson - 2009 Concert Announcement
Michael Jackson - 2009 Concert Announcement. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

In March 2009 Michael Jackson held a press conference to announce that he would be returning to the concert stage. He was planning a multi-month residency at London's O2 Arena to begin in July 2009. Rehearsals for the comeback shows were underway when Michael Jackson died.