Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music, dance and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades and one of the best-selling artists in modern music history.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5, and began his solo career in 1971.
In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. He continued to innovate with videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" throughout the 1990s, and forged a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.
Jackson was influenced by musicians including Little Richard, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr., Gene Kelly, David Ruffin, the Isley Brothers, and the Bee Gees. He explored a variety of music genres, including pop, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, rock, disco, post-disco, dance-pop and new jack swing. Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write his songs on paper and instead dictated into a sound recorder.[ When composing music, he preferred to beatbox and imitate instruments vocally rather than use instruments