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Memorial created 06-26-2009 by
Michael\\\'s Adoring Fan\\\'s
Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29 1958 - June 25 2009

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana (an industrial suburb of Chicago, Illinois) on August 29, 1958. The son of Joseph Walter and Katherine Ester (nee’ Scruse) Jackson.,he was the seventh of ten children. His siblings are Rebbie born May 29th 1950, Jackie born May 4th 1951, Tito born October 15th 1953, Jermaine born December 11th 1954, LaToya born May 29th 1956, Marlon and twin Branden born March 12th 1957 (Branden died 8 hours after birth), Michael born August 29th 1958, Randy born October 29th 1961 and Janet born May 16th 1966. Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther. Jackson was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his devout mother.

 

Michael showed musical talent early in his life, performing in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital at the age of five. In 1964, Jackson and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively. Michael later began performing backup vocals and dancing; at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5.The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968. The band frequently performed at a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the "chitlin' circuit", where they often opened for stripteases and other adult acts. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", led by Michael.

 

The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", for the local record label Steeltown in 1967 and signed with Motown Records in 1968.Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts", noting that Michael "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer" after he began to dance and sing with his brothers. Though Michael sang with a "child's piping voice, he danced like a grown-up hoofer and sang with the R&B/gospel inflections of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder". The group set a chart record when its first four singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There") peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. During The Jackson 5's early years, Motown's public relations team claimed that Jackson was nine years old—two years younger than he actually was—to make him appear cuter and more accessible to the mainstream audience. Starting in 1972, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Bn. These were released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise, and produced successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben" and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin". The group's sales began declining in 1973, and the band members chafed under Motown's strict refusal to allow them creative control or input.Although the group scored several top 40 hits, including the top 5 disco single "Dancing Machine" and the top 20 hit "I Am Love", the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975.

 

The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records. As a result of legal proceedings, the group was renamed The Jacksons. After the name change, the band continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984. From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel" and "Can You Feel It".

 

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