Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) June 25, 2009 -- He was not always the most loved person in the world, but he has certainly been one of the most controversial. Michael Jackson has died at the age of fifty, having collapsed at his home in Los Angeles. Taken to hospital in a coma, he was announced dead. Jackson's public life has spanned nearly forty years.
The seventh child of the Jackson family, he became a recording artist, entertainer extraordinaire and businessman. His sensational singing gift was discovered when he was only 6 years of age. He would later become referred to as the 'King of Pop', just as Elvis Presley was named the 'King of Rock and Roll'. Some have likened his unique dancing style to Fred Astaire and in particular Jackson's 'Moon Walk'.
Jackson revolutionized the world of music, when he made the first music videos. Music became visual rather than merely audio. Jackson was also the first African-American entertainer to break the barriers or race on MTV, an American music cable television network, based in New York. Jackson's distinctive high tenor singing style, combined with his unique dancing style heavily influenced hip hop, pop, as well as the majority of contemporary artists.
As well as donating and raising millions of dollars for benefits and his own charity, Jackson supported a further 39 charities. When Oprah Winfrey's interview with Jackson in 1993 it became the most-viewed non-sport program in the history of the United States.
In the later part of his life Jackson dramatically changed his appearance to a lighter skin and narrower nose. Jackson's behavior in his private life became controversial and at times bizarre, drastically damaging his public image. Reports of Jackson undergoing financial difficulties surfaced in 2006, after the child sex abuse trials of 2005. Jackson had succeeded in kicking a morphine and Demerol addiction, but experienced health concerns since the early 1990's.
Twice married, Having fathered three children and being twice married, Jackson created another wave of controversy. Jackson's closest companion was a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles. Elizabeth Taylor is a long time high profile friend of Jackson.
Jackson appears several times in the Guiness World Book of Records, including an entry as the 'Most Successful Entertainer Of All Time' and the biggest selling album of all time. Jackson is one of the few artists to be twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Jackson was to perform concerts to over one million people, from July 13, 2009 - March 6 2010, at London's arena. Several records were broken in the ticket sales for the concerts. The first ten concerts alone would have earned the singer around $100 million.