Michael Jackson, commonly referred to as the King of Pop, died 13 years ago on June 25, 2009. With his untimely demise, an era of revolutionary pop music ended; however, the pop star continues to win hearts even in memory.
Jackson’s music not only cut across social, racial, and economic barriers but also spawned millions of MJ-aspirants who have continued to imbibe his style.
While albums like Bad, Thriller, Dangerous, and History broke records on Billboard, Jackson’s style and signature moonwalk birthed a whole new generation of MJ-inspired dancers.
Despite being one of the biggest global icons of his time, there continued to remain certain secrets that his ginormous popularity could not shroud.
Read on to find out five lesser known facts about the King of Pop.
5 lesser known facts about Michael Jackson
While Jackson’s life has always been the subject of speculation due to his being in the public eye, certain facts about the singer might have remained unknown to his die-hard fans even today.
1) Michael Jackson’s career began with his family band
For those unaware, Jackson was born into a family of black musicians and entertainers and was a part of the family band, initially named Jackson 5 but later called The Jacksons. While Jackson 5 was a boyband, The Jacksons comprised members, namely Janet, Randy, LaToya, Rebbie, Jackie, Michael, Tito, and Marlon. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson are the two most famous siblings from the Jackson family. All nine siblings, including Jermaine, have gold records to their credit and were both musicians as well as solo artists. They were managed by their parents Joe Jackson and Katherine Esther Jackson.
2) Michael Jackson’s pedophilia was confirmed by sister Janet Jackson
Jackson has been slammed for being a pedophile after several minor boys and their families accused the late pop star of sexually abusing them. Jackson was first accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 by a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler and his father, Evan Chandler. When the matter went to court, an out-of-court settlement was reached wherein Jackson paid over $20 million to the Chandlers. Several instances of sexual abuse followed, even after Jackson died in 2009. The accusations could not be corroborated, but Jackson’s sister and pop star Janet Jackson confirmed in an interview in 1996 that her brother was a pedophile.
3) Michael Jackson had vitiligo and had been a reluctant white
The artist’s skin color was under heavy speculation since the he was originally black but turned whiter as the years went by. While Jackson’s music addressed racism and sought racial diversity, critics slammed him for being a hypocrite.
Although Jackson never agreed to be diagnosed with vitiligo, he once addressed his skin color during an interview:
“I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It is something I cannot help, OK? But when people make up stories that I don’t want to be what I am it hurts me. It’s a problem for me that I can’t control,”
He further added:
“I am a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.”
It was only after the pop singer passed away that his autopsy report confirmed that Jackson had a skin condition called vitiligo, which resulted in his skin losing its pigmentation.
4) Michael Jackson wore a wig
Apart from several other questions concerning the singer, whether or not Jackson fashioned a wig has also come under media speculation. It all started with his brand endorsement with Pepsi Co., for which he shot a campaign. During a simulated concert before a full house of fans, the pyrotechnic accidentally set Jackson’s hair on fire, causing second-degree burns to his scalp.
Jackson had to undergo treatment to hide his scars and get a third rhinoplasty shortly after. This was reason enough for fans and media to speculate that Jackson wore wigs.
5) Thriller was Michael Jackson’s breakthrough record
Jackson’s Thriller, released in 1982, became his first album to top the US Billboard chart and maintained the position for a record non-consecutive 37 weeks. The album has seven singles – The Girl is Mine, Billie Jean, Beat It, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Human Nature, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), and Thriller.
Thriller sold 70 million copies worldwide and remains the best-selling album of all time. It was also because of the album that Jackson had discovered and made his signature moonwalk debut on television.