Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, and a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Alongside his brothers, Jackson made his debut in 1964 as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5. His solo career began in 1971, he recorded 10 studio albums. His 1982 album Thriller sold more than 110 million copies, and remains the best-selling album ever.
His videos for Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller made him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. He popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk.
Jackson's creative sense of style has also made a huge impact on the younger generation. He has been described as having an innovative sense of style that impacted the trendsetters of today who mimmick his fashion like Usher, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, and many others. His style has inspired the fashion-forward for two decades and continues to do so.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from a drug overdose, amidst preparations for his This Is It concert series. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide. Jackson's death was a big loss in world of music. It was estimated that as many as a billion people around the world may have watched his public memorial service on live broadcast television.
The memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park's Hall of Liberty.