Michael Jackson (born August 29, 1958), also known as the "King of Pop" and "Wacko Jacko", is an American musician 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 five as lead singer of The Jackson 5 and made his first solo recordings 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 with approximate worldwide sales of 60 million), received thirteen Grammy awards and charted thirteen number-one singles in the U.S. Michael Jackson has been awarded numerous honors, including the World Music Award's "Best-selling pop male artist of the Millennium" and he is a double-inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and in 2001 as a solo artist.
He has been married twice and has three children: Prince and Paris with Deborah Jeanne Rowe, and Prince Michael II (better known as "Blanket") through surrogacy.
From 1988 to 2005, Jackson lived on his Neverland Ranch property, on which he built an amusement park and private zoo for the enjoyment of economically disadvantaged and terminally ill children. His frequently held sleepover parties have received widespread critical media-coverage, especially after he revealed that he sometimes slept in the same bed with several unrelated children. This led to him being accused of child sexual abuse both in 1993 and 2003. He was eventually tried and acquitted of the latter allegations in 2005.