Michael Jackson (1958-2009) was a child prodigy who skyrocketed to fame and earned the title “King of Pop.”
While a string of hits earned him the honor, the nickname paints a limited picture of Jackson’s contributions to the world. Jackson was also a talented dancer whose gravity-defying moves and innovative choreography thrilled audiences. His groundbreaking music videos established the art form as a legitimate type of entertainment and influenced fashion for more than a decade.
Box office receipts from entire Jackson concert series were donated to charities around the globe, putting millions of dollars into worthwhile causes. And Jackson opened his ranch to groups of sick and disadvantaged people, giving them a glimpse into a world called Neverland.
Through several controversies, fans gave Jackson unwaivering support. When organizers announced a series of 10 London concerts for July of 2009, tickets sold at the rate of 11 per second and the series was expanded to 50 shows. At age 50, Jackson threw himself into a grueling schedule of rehearsals for the event.
On June 25, 2009, fans learned Jackson had collapsed at his home. Although attempts to revive him failed, the King of Pop will live forever through his contributions to music and the less fortunate.