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Michael Jackson: a music legend

BEIJING, Aug. 10 -- August the third, it was revealed that Michael Jackson was killed by a shot of the powerful painkiller Demerol. The injection was given by an aide as his personal medic Dr Conrad Murray slept. Dr Murray is reported to have confessed to the police that he had already given the singer a dose of the surgical anaesthetic Propofol that same day. Jackson is feared to have woken when the effects wore off and demanded pain relief. Responding to the complaint, the aide duly administered the Demerol with devastating effects.

Michael Joseph Jackson dubbed the "King of Pop", was one of the most commercially successful entertainers of all time. Jackson was born the seventh of nine children on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago. Displaying talent as a singer and dancer, he made his debut in 1964 as a member of The Jackson 5.

In 1972, he went solo and released his first album. In 1982, Jackson released Thriller, which became the best-selling album of all time. And in 1993, he debuted his signature Moonwalk dance moves, which were popularized throughout the entertainment world. During his career of over four decades, he sold 750 million copies of albums and won 13 Grammy awards. Only entertainment legends such as Elvis Presley or the Beatles could be compared with him.

After its release in 1979, Jackson's "Off the Wall" was the first album to generate four top-10 hits in the U.S., including the number-one singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You". It reached number three on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.

In 1982, Jackson issued his second Epic album, Thriller. The most commercially successful album of all time remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks and for 37 of those weeks, it remained at the peak position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." Worldwide sales have exceeded 110 million copies.

Despite the light pop flavor of these two records, Thriller, more so than Off the Wall, displayed foreshadowings of the contradictory thematic elements that would come to characterize Jackson's later work. With Thriller, Jackson would begin his association with the subliminal theme of paranoia and darker imagery. This is evident on the songs "Billie Jean", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "Thriller". The album cemented Jackson's status as one of the predominant pop stars of the late 20th century, and enabled him to break down racial barriers via his appearances on MTV. In fact, promotion through music video is believed to have helped double the sale of the album.

The album "Bad" was released in August, 1987. On August the 8th of that year, the song "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" first came out as as single. The love tune collaboration with singer Siedah Garret did extremely well on the music billboard. When the whole album came out on August the 31st, CBS aired a TV feature about Michael Jackson, which included the 17-minute music video of the song Bad, a creation directed by renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Bad became the second best-selling album next to Thriller. The Bad World Tour began on September 12 that year, finishing on January 14, 1989. In Japan alone, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record of 200,000 in a single tour. He broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. He performed a total of 123 concerts to an audience of 4.4 million people, and gained a further Guinness World Record when the tour grossed 125-million US dollars.

Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991. The collection turned out to be his most popular album in China, considering its highly diverse style and approach to composition. Among the best examples are "Heal the World" and "Give in to Me."

In 1995, Jackson released the double album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, was a 15-track greatest hits album, and was later reissued as Greatest Hits ? HIStory Vol. I in 2001. The second disc, HIStory Continues, contained 15 new songs. The album debuted at number one on the charts and has been certified for seven million shipments in the US. It is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, with 20 million copies sold worldwide. HIStory received a Grammy nomination for best album. And classical music videos were produced for songs including "They Don't Care About Us", "Earth Song"? and "You Are Not Alone."

In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of hit singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies as of 2007, making it the best selling remix album ever released. It reached number one in the UK, as did the title track. In the US, the album was certified platinum, but only reached number 24 on the charts. Forbes placed Jackson's annual income at $35 million in 1996 and $20 million in 1997.

2001 saw the release of "Invincible," which debuted atop the charts in 13 countries and went on to sell approximately 10 million copies worldwide. It received double-platinum certification in the US. On the album, Michael Jackson was bold at experimenting, and incorporating new musical trends like hip-hop. Among its highlights are "Invincible", "You Rock my World", and "Cry."

On August the 29th, 2008, Sony released the collection "King of Pop" to celebrate Jackson's 50th birthday. The album featured 32 classics, including, Bad, Dangerous, Earth Song, and Black or White.

Prior to his death, Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 sell out concerts to over one million people, at London's O2 arena. The concerts would have commenced on July 13, 2009 and finished on March 6, 2010. According to Jackson's website, ticket sales for the concerts broke several records.

June the 25th, 2009, the musical legend made his final exit from this earthly stage, leaving the whole world surprised and shocked....

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