Michael Jackson (1958- ) is one of the most commercially-successful pop singers of all time, and the self-titled "King of Pop".
Rising to prominence as a member of The Jackson Five, a funk-influenced pop group of the 1970's, whilst still a child, he then went on to release a progression of solo albums of slickly-produced synthesizer-heavy pop in the 1980's. Thriller, released in 1981, became one of the best-selling pop albums of all time. In what was perhaps the "Golden Age" of the video clip, Jackson's were particularly notable, some of them being virtually short films with considerable plots, impressive special effects, and featuring Jackson's distinctive dance style - notably including a move called the "moonwalk" where he would move backwards while appearing to be walking normally. Subsequent releases included Bad, Dangerous, and History. In between albums, he wrote and produced a ballad "We Are The World" which became associated with African relief efforts in the 1980's.
Always considered something of an eccentric, as time has gone on he has become something of a recluse, spending most of his time at his California ranch which he titled "Neverland", after the magical kingdom featured in the children's story Peter Pan. Always fascinated with children, it was claimed that such interest extended to pedophilia, and settled out of court with the parents of one child who alleged Jackson abused him whilst staying on the ranch.
Over the years he has undergone extensive plastic surgery, to the point that he is hardly recognizable as the same person.
Amongst many seeming far-fetched rumors that circulate about him, he is believed by someone people to be the same person as LaToya Jackson and United Kingdom bookmakers allow punters to bet on this subject, with odds of 500-1 payable on the presentation of evidence that they are the same person . This could be a safe bet for the bookmakers, considering that they have been photographed together many times, and Michael is reputedly a foot taller than LaToya.
Jackson held his first live concert in some years at Madison Square Garden, New York, in early September 2001.