, the undisputed King of Pop, has died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, California
. He was 50 years old.
Jackson, who grew up in a troubled and abusive home
, first gained fame as the youngest member of the Jackson 5
, comprised of him and his siblings and managed by his father. During their carreer, the group would have numerous hits to their credit, not least of all Never Can Say Goodbye
, I'll Be There
, and ABC
. Jackson would leave, pursuing a solo carreer in 1975.
While his first album Off the Wall produced his first solo hit, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough
, his rocket to iconic status was cemented with the release of Thriller. The video to the title song
would become legendary, and the album itself was a plethora of hits. It moved by some estimates 109 million units, and has been called the best selling album of all time
. Not to mention the fact that one song from the album, Billie Jean, inspired a historic moment in television history
Jackson followed this success with continued recordings, none of them achieving quite the level of success of Thriller but selling well nonetheless. He married Lisa Marie Presley in 1993, but would divorce two years later. The timing of the wedding was under a cloud of suspicion, as he was accused of having sexual assaulted a 13-year-old boy,
prompting a lengthy and ultimately very expensive lawsuit. Eccentric behavior and multiple plastic surgeries
made Jackson the butt of many jokes, and his finances began to fall apart, prompting the auctioning of much of his property
and the sale of his famed Neverland Ranch.
At the time of his death, Jackson was preparing for a 50-show run in the UK
. Despite his lesser moments, Jackson also did give tirelessly to charity, and his songwriting ability is without question. His influence on pop music will last for years to come.