Nearly every musician in the business lists the iconic Michael Jackson as an influence, citing his work as a solo artist and member of his family groups the Jackson 5 and The Jacksons. His contributions to music are varied, including a wide spectrum of talents ranging from his pure vocal stylings, songwriting, fashion, and trendsetting dance moves.
Almost single-handedly, the self-proclaimed King Of Pop can take credit for the popularity of the music video as he helped MTV cement its stake in the marketplace with a continuous string of buzz worthy clips that he began to unleash as the cable network launched in 1981.
These factors translated into the sales. His 1982 album Thriller is the best selling album of all time, having sold 27 million copies in the US alone and garnered 7 Grammys in 1984.
Nearly as significant as his newsworthiness for his creative successes are the frequent headlines he warrants for his personal life. He made tabloid fodder for plastic surgeries and has been condemned for various allegations of molesting young boys.
Many speculate that the pressures of being a child star, who began his career at the age of 4, has had a significant impact on his life over the last 46 years.
This August 29 marks Michael's 50th birthday. Yahoo! Music honors him by taking a look at some of the most thrilling moments of his career.
20) LaToya Tells All
In 1993, Michael's controversial sister LaToya Jackson told press overseas that she believed that Michael was guilty of sexually abusing young boys. She later retracted her statement saying that Jack Gordon, her husband at the time, forced her to make the allegations.
19) Michael Gets Solo Honors
Michael received his first solo American Music and Grammy Awards. He received AMAs for Favorite Male Soul Artist, Favorite Soul Album for Off The Wall and Favorite Soul Single for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." The latter also earned him the Best R&B Performance Grammy.
18) Man's Other Best Friend
For a decade or so beginning in 1985, Michael was often seen in the company of Bubbles, a charismatic chimpanzee. Bubbles, who became somewhat of a pop icon himself, accompanied Michael to award shows and recording sessions. Bubbles and Michael sometimes wore matching outfits. Before joining Michael at the Neverland Ranch, Bubbles previously resided at a cancer research center in Texas.
17) Michael Has Second Child
Michael's then wife Debbie Rowe gives birth to the couple's second child on April 3, 1988. The baby girl was named Paris Michael Katherine, named after Michael and his mother.
16) Michael Raises His Credit Score
Michael is positioned as the lead songwriter on The Jackson's album 1980 album Triumph. He wrote or co-wrote six of the album's songs including the singles "Can You Feel It" and "This Place Hotel."
15) Michael And Janet Get So Angry They Can ...
Michael and Janet dismissed rumblings about a sibling rivalry when they teamed up to record this duet produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The song which vented their frustrations about negative media coverage peaked at Number 5 on Billboard pop chart. The song's high tech space age video is even more compelling, reportedly costing $7 million to make.
14) He Got Fame
Michael has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame twice. In May, 1997, he received the honor as a member of The Jackson 5. Four years later, he was recognized again, this time for his works as a solo artist.
13) Being Michael Jackson
Michael's Living With Michael Jackson televised interview by Martin Bashir was about as good for his career as was Whitney Houston's appearance on Bravo reality TV show Being Bobby Brown. The intimate three-night special depicted Michael as someone with frivolous spending habits, still traumatized by a dysfunctional childhood and oblivious to the inappropriate boundaries he has crossed when allowing young boys to sleep in the bed with him
12) Michael Takes Home The Gold
Michael was nominated for 12 Grammys at the 1984 event. He ended the night with eight awards, seven of which were for the album Thrller.
11) Michael Stands Alone
Michael broke a record when his song "You Are Not Alone" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts. It was the first single from the HIStory: Pastor, Present And Future, Book 1.