Michael Joseph Jackson is an American musician, entertainer, and widely regarded pop icon, whose successful music career and controversial personal life have been at the forefront of pop culture for the last quarter-century.Jackson began his musical career at the age of seven as the lead singer of The Jackson 5 and released his first solo recording, Got to Be There in 1971, while remaining a member of the group. He began a full-fledged solo career in 1979 and formally parted with his siblings in 1984. In his solo career, Jackson recorded and co-produced the best-selling album of all time, Thriller, which was named as the world's best-selling album at the 2006 World Music Awards. It has worldwide sales exceeding that of 104 million. Michael Jackson has received thirteen Grammy awards and charted thirteen number-one singles in the United States.
Throughout his four-decade career, Michael Jackson has been awarded numerous honors including the World Music Award's Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Award's Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He is a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997, and as a solo artist in 2001) and an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Raymone Bain, Jackson's PR, claims that Jackson has sold over 750 million units worldwide. Michael Jackson is father to 3 kids: Paris, Prince Michael and Prince MichaelJackson II.
From 1988 to 2005, Jackson lived on his Neverland Ranch property, on which he built an amusement park and private zoo for economically disadvantaged and terminally ill children. His frequently held sleepover parties received disparaging media coverage after it was revealed that children frequently shared his bed or bedroom. These first came to light when he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993. His sleepover parties were brought into the spotlight again in 2003 during the TV documentary Living with Michael Jackson. This resulted in Jackson being tried, and later acquitted, of more child molestation allegations and several other charges in 2005.