With a career graph spanning more than four decades, the King of Pop, breathed his last on the unfateful date, June 25, 2009. The pop singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and record producer, Michael Jackson ruled the hearts of millions world over. He made his debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon. Apart from being a member of the Jackson 5 and giving several hits, MJ, became a solo performer in 1971.
Michael Jackson has been credited for breaking racial barriers and transforming music videos into an art form and as a promotional tool with his music videos ‘Beat It’, Billie Jean’ and ‘Thriller’. ‘Thriller’ is considered the best selling album of all times, with an estimated sale of 65 million copies worldwide. His 1987 album ‘Bad’ was the first album ever to have five singles making it as number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Through the 90s while touring as a solo artist, he innovated with videos like, ‘Black or White’ and ‘Scream’. His popularised dance moves, the robot and the moonwalk, which he performed for many stage shows and video performances, influenced many artists and music genres.
The Guinness World Records hails him as the Most Successful Entertainer of all time. As one of the few artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, Michael Jackson is the only dancer from pop and rock music to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame. His list of achievements includes 13 Grammy awards, the Grammy Legend Award, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 26 American Music Awards, ‘Artist of the Century’ and ‘Artist of the 1980s’.
But this highly successful career graph is dotted with reports of his alleged child sexual abuse, erratic moods and behaviour, tumultuous personal relationships. While preparing for a highly publicised comeback series of concerts, he died. Earlier believed to be a heart attack, was later revealed to be death due to the intoxication of propofol and benzodiazepine.
But in death as well, Michael Jackson remained all time favourite Pop artist, when the live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed all over the world. He has been ranked by Forbes as the ‘top-earning dead celebrity’ a title retained for six consecutive years.
Other important events that took place on June 25 are:
1667: French Doctor Jean-Baptiste Denys performs the first blood transfusion.
1864: The Horse tramway opens at the Hague.
1920: International Court of Justice established in Hague by the League of Nations.
1932: India played its 1st cricket Test vs. England at the Lord’s stadium, England.
1941: Finland declared war on the Soviet Union.
1947: The first version of Annie Frank’s diary ‘Het Achterhuis’ was published in the Netherlands.
1950: The Korean conflict began on this day with North Korea attacking South Korea.
1951: The first commercial colour TV broadcast of Columbia Broadcasting System from NYC to 4 cities began on this day. An estimated 40,000 people saw this programme.
1953: The 1st passenger to fly around the world commercially for 100 hours.
1960: Madagascar got its independence from France.
1960: Somaliland gains independence from British dominance.
1967: The Beatles live performance of ‘All You Need is Love’ is watched live by 400 million with broadcast to twenty-six countries.
1972: Bernice Gera becomes the first female umpire in pro baseball.
1975: Mozambique gains independence after a prolonged struggle against the Portuguese rulers and becomes the People Republic of Mozambique.
1988: Debut of the famous cartoon character Roger Rabbit.
1989: The 1st postmark dedicated to Lesbian & Gay Pride in New York City, USA.
1991: Record 100th singles win by Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon.
2004: The highly controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore opens in more than 800 cinemas across America.
2006: Thirty million dollars donated by Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Text by Tasneem Dhinojwala