Five years ago today, the world lost its most prominent pop icon. He rose to fame in a time before Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Christina Aguilera, boy bands (N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Westlife, etc.) and claimed the pedestal as his own. A position that was and still is rightfully his anyway.
We didn’t know it at that time but singer-songwriter (and one hell of an awesome dancer) Michael Jackson’s award-winning career as the “King of Pop” went on to change the face of pop forever. From “Billie Jean” to “Beat It”, to “Remember the Time” and “Black or White”, and even the more recent-yet-not-so-recent “Love Never Felt So Good”, there’s one thing that’s certain about Michael Jackson – his signature swag:
Today marks Michael’s 5th death anniversary. While we’ll always miss him dearly but we’re also taking this day as a day to remember the times that have inspired so many people around the world, to honour his work, and his music.
Here as some surprising facts about the high profile, multiple award-winning pop icon:
1. Throughout his youth, Michael Jackson had a medium-brown, African-American complexion. In the 80s, his skin lightened considerably. He said that he had a condition called “vitiligo”, but people didn’t believe him. Years later, his autopsy report confirmed the claim.
2. Michael’s Spider-Man obsession was very real. In the late 90s, he tried to purchase Marvel Comics, which had filed for bankruptcy. His dream was to produce a Spider-Man movie starring himself.
3. In 1988, He paid $17 million for the Californian land that became the Neverland Ranch. The 2,700-acre property had a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theatre. Its grounds were protected by a security staff of 40. By 2003, Neverland was valued at $100 million.
4. He once had a pet chimpanzee named, “Bubbles”. Bubbles ate at the dining room table with Jackson, slept in a crib, and learned to use the toilet. Michael even taught him to moonwalk. He also once owned a boa constrictor called, “Muscles”.
5. In the music video for “Smooth Criminal,” he is seen standing at a 45-degree angle, far beyond any human’s capability. How did he do it? With a pair of “Method and Means for Creating Anti-Gravity Illusion” shoes. It’s basically footwear with slots in the heels to hook onto retractable pegs in the floor.
6. “Thriller” is the world’s best-selling record of all time with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide. Two of his other albums – “Bad” and “Dangerous” – are also among the world’s best-selling records. In total, he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
7. Throughout his entire career, he has won a whopping total of 13 Grammy’s. In 1984 alone, he won 8 Grammy’s – the joint highest amount ever won by one person in a single year. He also has 2 stars on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” (one for himself and one as part of the Jackson Five).
Thank you for the music, Michael. We love you!