Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives. Posted by
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Jackson is seen here during a reheasal for This Is It, a planned concert residency that was made impossible by Jackson's death (which occurred just two days after this photo was taken).
“She told me her name was Billie Jean, as she caused a scene. Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one who will dance on the floor in the round.” Known around the world as the “King of Pop,” it’s no surprise that Michael Jackson is considered to be the greatest entertainer of all time. He launched his music career alongside his brothers in the 1960s as a member of the Jackson 5 before moving out on his own in the 1970s with Motown Records. By the 1980s, he dominated the music industry thanks to his impressive dance moves like the robot and the moonwalk and catchy lyrics in hits like “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller.”
Also known for his unorthodox lifestyle at his Neverland Ranch, Jackson’s intense need for privacy shrouded him in mystery throughout his life as he constantly changed his appearance and defended his decisions. In the new millennium, he was accused of sexual assault and was tried and acquitted, but the damage was already done to his reputation. In 2009, he prepared to make a huge comeback with his This Is It concert tour when he died of an overdose on June 25, 2009, at only 50 years old. Leaving his family, children, and millions of adoring fans behind, let’s take a closer look at the life of the King of Pop.
Life and Career
Michael Joseph Jackson came into this world on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, as the eighth of ten children born to Katherine and Joe Jackson. Jackson’s parents loved music and introduced their children to the industry at an early age, which is how Jackson joined his brothers—Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy—on stage with the Jackson 5 in the late 1960s. The group performed at local clubs and lounges before they signed their first record deal and released the single, “Big Boy,” in 1968. They followed up with chart-topping hits like “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” and “I’ll be There,” which made the Jacksons overnight stars in the music business.
Jackson transitioned from a child performer into a teen idol and later emerged as a solo artist in the early 1970s. He released his first four studio albums—Got to Be There (1972), Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973), and Forever Michael (1975)—and continued performing with the Jackson 5. Before long, his solo career took off and, in the 1980s, he focused on his own music as he churned out singles like “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” and “Rock with You.” In 1982, he released his sixth album, Thriller, and earned seven more Grammy Awards and eight American Music Awards. The album was the best-selling record worldwide in 1983 and became the best-selling album of all time in the United States as it topped the music charts thanks to seven hit singles including “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.”
Popularizing dance moves like the moonwalk, Jackson was quickly dubbed the “King of Pop” and became a staple in the tabloids thanks to his ever-changing appearance and his unorthodox lifestyle at the Neverland Ranch. Constantly seeking perfection and privacy in all aspects of his life, Jackson underwent several plastic surgeries to correct his nose while engaging in a highly publicized relationship with Lisa Marie Presley from 1994 to 1996 and Debbie Row from 1996 to 1999. In the new millennium, he was accused and put on trial for sexually abusing a minor and, because of the backlash in the media, retreated even further from the spotlight to focus on his life at home with his children Michael Jr., Paris, and Blanket.
Death and Legacy
In 2009, Jackson was in the midst of making a huge comeback as a performer with his This Is It concert tour. However, he never made it on the road. Just three weeks before his first show, he died of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, at 50 years old. Living in a rented mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, Jackson was found unresponsive in his bed after taking a handful of prescribed medications. He was rushed to the nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The autopsy report later confirmed that he died of a heart attack caused by overdosing on Propofol, lorazepam, and Midazolam, all of which were prescribed by his personal physician, Conrad Murray.
As news of Jackson’s death spread, the world mourned the King of Pop as numerous websites like Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter crashed as fans tried to gather more information. Days later, Jackson’s memorial was held on July 7, 2009, with over 1.6 million fans applying for tickets to the service, which was broadcast on television and became one of the most-watched events in streaming history with over 31.1 million watching in the United States alone. Following the service, Jackson’s body was entombed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
In the years since Jackson’s death, Conrad Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles in February 2010. A year later, he was found guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in October 2013 for good behavior.
As for Jackson, his legacy lives on in his music and through his millions of fans who continue to buy his albums and make him one of the best-selling artists of all time. However, that doesn’t mean the backlash of his fame has stopped. In 2019, the documentary Leaving Neverland detailed further allegations of sexual abuse, which reignited the scandal enshrouding Jackson’s life and career. Because of this, many question if the Broadway show, Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough, will make it to New York in 2020.