Died: June 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California
Best known for: Thriller, the best-selling album in history
Nickname: King of Pop
by Jack Kightlinger
Where was Michael Jackson born?
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958. Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, worked as a crane operator at a steel mill. His mother, Katherine, took care of the family and sometimes took part time jobs. Both of Michael’s parents loved music. His dad played guitar for an R & B band and his mother sang and played the piano. Growing up, all of the Jackson children were encouraged to study music.
The Jackson Family
Michael grew up in a large family. He had five brothers (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy) and three sisters (Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet). Michael was the third youngest with Randy and Janet both being younger. The Jacksons were fairly poor and lived in a small house with just two bedrooms for eleven people.
A Strict Father
Joe Jackson was a very strict father. He didn’t allow the kids to have a lot of friends and he often whipped the children if they disobeyed. He wanted them to stay out of trouble and away from gangs. Later, when the Jackson 5 was still getting started, Joe would push the boys to practice for hours. He would hit them or verbally abuse them if they made a mistake.
A Young Singer
The three older brothers (Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine) formed a band called the Jackson Brothers. Michael and his brother Marlon joined the band in 1964. Soon, the family realized that Michael was a gifted singer and dancer. At just eight years old, Michael began to sing lead vocals along with his older brother Jermaine.