The life and death of pop star Michael Jackson

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 1996 file photo, Michael Jackson performs in Sydney. Jackson, 50, died in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, file)

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 1996 file photo, Michael Jackson performs in Sydney. Jackson, 50, died in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, file)

Published Sep 7, 2011


The trial of Michael Jackson's former physician, Dr. Conrad Murray who is accused of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death, begins Thursday with jury selection. Here are some key facts about Jackson:


* Jackson was born on Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children of his parents Joseph and Katherine Jackson. His father worked in a steel mill.

* Five Jackson brothers - Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael - first performed together at a talent show when Michael was six. They walked off with first prize.

* Their group was signed by Motown Records in the late 1960s and became The Jackson 5. Michael Jackson made his first solo album in 1972.

* Jackson said he missed out on normal childhood experiences, such as simply playing at the park, because of all the work he had to shoulder as an entertainer.


* At age 24, Jackson released “Thriller'' in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-10 singles. It remains the world's biggest selling album of all time, with as many as 21 million copies sold in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide.

* The next year, he unveiled his signature ``moonwalk'' dance move while performing ``Billie Jean'' during an NBC special.

* Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His lifetime sales tally is believed to be about 750 million records.


* In 1993, Jackson was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, and police raided his California ranch ''Neverland.''

* The same year, Jackson announced he had become addicted to painkillers and abruptly canceled a world tour that had been intended to promote his album, “Dangerous.''

* He reached an out-of-court settlement in 1994, later reported to be $23 million, with the family of the boy he was accused of abusing.

* A television documentary “Living with Michael Jackson'' was aired in 2003, saying that Jackson had sleepovers with young boys and had his third child with a surrogate mother. Jackson aired his own rebuttal.

* He went on trial in 2005 on charges of molesting another 13-year-old boy, as well as conspiring to abduct him, but the four-month hearing ended in June 2005 with his being acquitted of all charges.


* In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie, but the couple divorced in 1996. Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999. They never lived together.

* Jackson has three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for his brief public appearance when his father held him over the railing of a hotel balcony, causing widespread criticism.

* Jackson died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009, three weeks before he was to begin a sold-out series of 50 comeback concerts in London.

* His estate was left in a trust benefiting his children, mother and various charities.


* In August 2009, Los Angeles County coroners ruled Jackson's death a homicide by drug overdose, and prosecutors quickly focused on Murray, who was caring for Jackson when he stopped breathing at his Los Angeles mansion.

* While coroners said the powerful anesthetic propofol and lorazepam were the key drugs involved in his death, the full autopsy listed “acute propofol intoxication'' as the principal cause. Other drugs in Jackson's body included diazepam, midozolam, lidocaine and ephedrine.

* Court documents have described Jackson as an insomniac who, with the assistance of Murray, used propofol to sleep. Jackson is said to have called propofol his “milk.'' The drug is often used to sedate patients and anesthetize them before surgeries.

* Jackson was given a televised public memorial in Los Angeles in July 2009 and was finally put to rest at a private funeral on Sept 3.

*”This Is It'' and an album of the same name were released, based on 80 hours of rehearsal video intended for Jackson's personal use. Sony's Columbia Pictures bought the film rights for $60 million. The movie opened around the world in Oct. 2009 and went on to take in more than $260 million at the worldwide box offices as the most successful concert movie ever.

* Some of his family members, including his mother, have backed a new concert tribute for October 8, in Cardiff, Wales. But some fans have objected citing, among other reasons, their concern over a tribute while Dr. Murray's trial is ongoing. - Reuters

Related Topics: