Copyright (c) 2009 Derek Clontz/4-Page Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
By GARY OLSON
1) Say it ain’t so – Michael did NOT invent the moonwalk. He copied the move from famed mime Marcel Marceau, who called it his “walk-against-the-wind” technique.
2) Michael was born on August 29, 1958. He never, ever celebrated his birthday when he was younger because he was a Jehovah’s Witness, a religious sect that gives all glory to God, not individuals.
3) His first solo album was Ben, recorded and released in 1972 – when he was 13.
4) Michael’s second home was infested with lethal rattlesnakes. He nearly got bitten while lounging around his swimming pool and often said, “It was only by the grace of God that I am alive today. Those snakes were like serpents in the Garden of Eden, sent by Satan to destroy me.”
5) As early as the year 1999, Michael told friends “I won’t live to be 50.” He did – but just barely IF, of course, he really is dead. That is a matter of debate, with surveys showing up to 45% of fans and observers believe the chances that he merely has gone into hiding to escape the pressures of life as a celebrity “are good.”
6) All told, he sold over 170 million albums and over 300 million records worldwide … BEFORE his alleged death, which sent sales skyrocketing yet again.
7) Just days after Jackson is alleged to have died, sources say, he jetted in secret to Asheville, North Carolina, and then to Hungary, where he reportedly moved into a medieval castle to hide from reporters and fans. Within 44 hours, there were new reports that he had surfaced in Moscow, Russia – where the news caused a public frenzy – with hundreds of fans reporting sighting.
9) Michael wrote four songs for his Thriller Album. The rest were penned by Rod Temperton, Steve Porcaro and John Bettis.
9) The original guitarist picked to play on Michael’s smash hit Beat It was the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, who backed out at the last minute. His replacement? Virtuoso Eddie Van Halen.
10) Michael bought the Best Picture Oscar trophy awarded to Gone with the Wind for an astounding $1.54 million. He paid a custodian $750 a week to dust it every hour on the hour – and polish it daily.
11) In Gary, Indiana, where he was born, Michael lived in a house and at an address that, coincidentally, bore his name: 2300 Jackson Street. Amazingly, in the 1940s, the street was called “Michael Street,” but the name was changed in 1951 to avoid confusion with a “Michaels Street” across town.
12) Michael allegedly suffered from a skin condition called vitiligo that, he claimed, caused him to turn a bleachy white. Many friends, fans and experts believed that vitiligo had nothing to do with it, and that instead, he purposefully underwent a series of skin-lightening procedures because he preferred the look.
13) Michael was married twice but never got the seven-year itch – because he was wed only for a total of five years. His wives were Lisa Marie Presley (May 1994 to January 1996) and Debbie Rowe (November 1996 to October 1999).
14) After Michael’s first nose job in 1979, he took home a slice of it in a jar. He reportedly kept it under his bed and showed it to young guests who visited him for sleepovers at his Neverland Ranch before allegations of child molestations, quite likely false, forced him to stop bringing the kids over.
15) In 1984, Michael received a bill from a library saying he owed a mind-twisting $1 million for overdue library books. Library officials said that they wouldn’t charge him if he returned the books autographed. He did.
16) Michael won 7 Grammy awards for Thriller in 1984.
17) Thriller was listed in the Guinness Book of Records on February 7, 1984. It is one of only three albums to remain in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 charts for a full year. It was – amazingly, No. 1 for 37 weeks.
18) Troubled actress and child star Tatum O’Neal was Jackson’s first girlfriend and , it is said, his first love. He kept a picture of her in his sock drawer, say former employees, and kissed it every morning to start his day.
19) In 1991, rap star MC Hammer said he could dance the pants off Jackson, to which Michael replied: “I’ve seen your videos and every single dance move you use, you got off me”.
20) Michael was a father of three children, Prince Michael Jackson I, Prince Michael Jackson II, and Paris Jackson, although it is unclear if they are his biological children or merely adopted.
21) In 2000, Jackson was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for his support of 93 charities, reportedly more than any other entertainer.
22) He is one of only a few artists to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than once. In 1997, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson 5. In 2001, he was inducted as a solo artist.
23) Michael’s visual trademarks are the moonwalk, a single white glove and white socks with black shoes.
24) Jackson is the only artist in history to generate five No. 1 hits from one album in the U.S. Was itThriller? No - Bad.
25) So, how talented was Michael Jackson? Well, his 1982 album, Thriller, is the biggest-selling album of all time, with confirmed sales of over 47 million copies worldwide.