Katherine Esther Scruse (also spelled Screws) – mother of Michael.
- She wrote two books, “My Family, The Jacksons” which was released in 1990, and “Never Can Say Goodbye: The Katherine Jackson Story” which was released in 2010.
- She contracted polio as a child and because of that she developed a permanent limp.
- She plays several music instruments and has a pleasant singing voice.
Joseph Walter Jackson – father of Michael.
- Had his own music band called “The Falcons” and they played in the Gary, Indiana area.
Martha Upshaw and Prince Albert Screws – Maternal grandparents of Michael. Michael named both his sons after his maternal grandfather. The name Prince has gone back in the family for multi-generations.
Maureen Reillette (“Rebbie”) Jackson – eldest sister of Michael.
LaToya Yvonne Jackson – middle sister of Michael.
Janet Damita Jo Jackson – youngest sister of Michael.
- Sang background vocals in “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”
- Did a duet with Michael entitled “Scream.”
- Michael’s nickname for Janet was “Donk” (short for donkey).
Sigmund Esco (“Jackie”) Jackson – eldest brother of Michael.
Toriano Adaryll (“Tito”) Jackson – second brother of Michael.
Jermaine La Jaune Jackson – third brother of Michael.
- Michael’s nickname for Jermaine was “Earms.”
- Jermaine wrote a book about his brother entitled “You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother’s Eyes.”
Marlon David Jackson – fourth brother of Michael.
Brandon Jackson. Marlon Jackson’s twin brother, died shortly after birth.
Steven Randall (“Randy”) Jackson – youngest (fifth) brother of Michael.
Joh’Vonnie Jackson – half-sister of Michael. A daughter of Joe Jackson from another relationship.
- Michael met her only a few times. Joh’Vonnie thought all the Jackson siblings were “snubbing” her, including Michael who only showed affection and interest in Joh’Vonnie’s child(ren) when they met.
- Michael spoke of Joh’Vonnie candidly in the “Glenda” tapes. He sounds bitter and disappointed after seeing that his father showed more love and affection to Joh’Vonnie (hugging and kissing her) than to any of the other Jackson children.
Prince Michael Jackson – Michael’s first born son. Date of birth February 13, 1997.
- His birth name as appears on the birth certificate is Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. He was born at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
- His godparents are Elizabeth Taylor and Macaulay Culkin.
Paris Jackson – Michael’s only daughter. Date of birth April 3, 1998.
- Her name is listed on the birth certificate as Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson. She was born at the Spaulding Pain Medical Center in Beverly Hills.
Prince Michael Jackson, II – Michael’s second son. Date of birth February 21, 2002. He was born in a La Mesa/San Diego hospital.
- “Blanket” is a nickname Michael gave to his youngest son. After Michael’s death everyone started referring to Blanket by his nickname.
Michael’s children’s faces were first seen publicly only after his death, most notably at Michael’s memorial on July 7, 2009. Up until that point, their faces were covered or masked when they went out to public with their father in order to keep their privacy and identity protected.
Brandon Howard (aka. B. Howard) – Date of birth April 2, 1981.
- Media reports surfaced in 2014, and several DNA tests seem to prove that Michael might be the biological father of Brandon Howard. Brandon’s mother is Miki Howard.
- Miki Howard was managed by Joe Jackson and had business association with Jermaine as well at the time Brandon was born.
- Miki Howard denies that Michael Jackson is Brandon’s father. Brandon states that he has made no claims (nor is he intending) to any of Michael’s estate.
Lisa-Marie Presley – first wife of Michael, daughter of Elvis Presley.
- Michael first met Lisa-Marie at one of the Jackson 5 concerts in Las Vegas which she attended at the age of 7.
- They got married at the Dominican Republic in 1994. Michael stated in many interviews that their marriage ended mainly because of Lisa-Marie’s resistance to start a family with Michael. Even though Lisa-Marie filed for divorce, she had a change of heart and wanted to get back together with Michael. She claims they had another four years of on-and-off relationship.
- She claimed Michael’s favorite flowers were sunflowers which he called “happy flowers.”
- Michael’s nickname/pet name used by Lisa-Marie was “Turd.”
Debbie Rowe – second wife of Michael, and the natural mother of Michael’s first two children.
- Debbie worked for Michael’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, and treated Michael as a nurse for many years.
- Debbie Rowe often referred to Michael as “Omar,” which was one of the pseudonyms Michael used as a patient for Dr. Klein to protect his privacy.
Berry Gordy – musician, mentor, friend and Motown executive. Was instrumental in launching the Jackson 5.
- Michael viewed him as a father figure and a mentor.
- One of Gordy’s sons, Rockwell (born Kennedy William Gordy) did a duet with Michael (with Jermaine singing background vocals) entitled “Somebody’s Watching Me.”
Diana Ross– personal friend and mentor. For publicity, Motown heavily advertised that the Jackson 5 was discovered by Diana Ross. This was not true, but Diana did have a huge impact on Michael’s life. When the boys moved to California with Joe to start recording with Motown, Michael stayed for a month at Diana Ross’s house until suitable housing was found for the entire family.
- Michael idolized Diana all his life and admittedly had a huge crush on Diana. Michael gave credit to Diana Ross for introducing him to arts, paintings and museums.
- In his Will, Michael named Diana Ross as secondary guardian in case his mother (the first appointed guardian) could not raise his three children.
Deke Richards – Motown song writer. Has collaborated with The Jackson 5 from their very first recordings including releasing their first-ever single “I Want You Back,” and their first three albums.
- Michael called him “Rob” (which is R. Kelly’s first name).
Elizabeth Taylor – long-time personal friend.
- The first time they were to meet was at one of Michael’s concerts. Elizabeth was invited to attend the concert and then was to meet Michael afterwards. Taylor did show up for the concert but she did not like the seats she was given and she left in the middle of the concert. When Michael heard that Elizabeth left his concert he was in tears. He called Taylor on the phone and begged her to give him another chance to get together. She did.
- Once Michael invited Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Ross to dinner at the same time. He adored both women and innocently thought that the ladies would be delighted to meet each other. Both women were offended that they had to “share” Michael’s company. Michael was a fast learner; he never invited a second “date” ever again at any time when he had dinner or time together with either Elizabeth or Diana.
- Elizabeth Taylor gave the moniker “King of Pop” to Michael at an award show.
- Elizabeth Taylor gifted an elephant (called “Gypsy“) to Michael.
If you are still reading this, click here to hear some words of encouragement from Michael. 🙂
Macaulay Culkin – personal friend. They met after Culkin appeared in the 1990 movie “Home Alone.” Their friendship lasted until Michael’s death.
- Culkin appeared in the “Black or White” video.
- Macaulay is the godfather of Michael’s first-born, Prince, and his daughter, Paris.
John Branca – entertainment attorney.
- Was instrumental in the production and release of the music video “Thriller” including preventing Michael from destroying the short film despite the urge of Jehovah’s Witness elders.
- In 1985, Branca helped Michael to purchase the ATV Music Publishing catalog. Branca’s negotiations resulted in a purchase of the famed music catalog (which includes most of the Beatles songs) for $47.5 million by Michael with Yoko Ono’s blessing but a falling out with Paul McCartney.
- Following the instructions of Michael’s Last Will and Testament signed in 2002, Branca now serves as the appointed co-executor (along with John McClain) of Michael’s estate.
Frank DiLeo – manager. Frank managed Michael in the late 1980’s and after a hiatus, he resumed Michael’s representation shortly before Michael’s untimely death.
- His nickname for Michael was “Kid.”
- Frank DiLeo was to testify at the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial, but died unexpectedly on August 24, 2011.
Bill Bray – retired LAPD officer and long-time personal bodyguard of Michael from the Jackson 5 era through all of Michael’s solo tours. His nickname for Michael was “Joker” (because of all the practical jokes Michael liked to play). Bill Bray died in 2005. Michael was later criticized in the press for not being more accessible to Bill at the time of his death; however, Michael was living in Bahrain on a self-imposed exile right after his acquittal on the 2005 child molestation trial.
Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard – Bodyguards to Michael in his later years of his life.
- Wrote and released a book in June 2014, entitled “Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days”.
- According to them, Michael had two secret girlfriends whom she only referred to as “Flower” and “Friend” to keep their identities a secret from the public.
- After his 2005 criminal trial, Michael would not watch cable TV or live broadcast.
- He read The Wall Street Journal every morning which was unlikely to post tabloid rumors about him.
- To unwind, he would play basketball out in the driveway by himself.
- He only listened to classical music both in his car and his house.
- Michael always had large sums of cash at home, but he had such bad credit scores that he got rejected by a store to purchase iPhones for himself and his mother.
- Michael was very extremely protective of his children. He regularly had his own residence, hotel rooms and other places he would stay checked for “bugs” (e.g., secret recording devices)
- Michael’s nickname for Karen was “Turkle.”
- Karen was asked and she accepted to do Michael’s makeup just the way he always liked it on the day of his funeral on September 3, 2009, so that his family could have a final look at him.
- She testified and was on the witness stand for several days at the AEG civil lawsuit trial brought on by Katherine Jackson in 2013.
David Geffen – personal friend and business partner. Michael was hoping to start a film company with David Geffen and Steven Spielberg, but they ultimately formed a company – DreamWorks SKG – without Michael. Rumor has it that Michael was disappointed not only for being left out, but because DreamWorks SKG used a company logo very similar to the one that was designed years before for Michael for his Neverland property (a young boy sitting on the moon while fishing).
David Gest – long time personal friend going back to the Jackson 5 era. In 2002, he married Liza Minnelli at Neverland Ranch with Michael serving as best man. Their marriage ended with a very acrimonious divorce in 2007.
- Gest has used the same plastic surgeon – Dr. Steven Hoefflin – as Michael (at one time even accusing Michael of “bullying” him into having multiple surgeries).
James Brown – musician, life-time inspiration and idol of Michael. Michael’s mother used to wake him up in the middle of the night if James Brown was on TV. The Jackson 5 often played the same venue with James Brown and Michael watched Brown from backstage perform every chance he got. He learned all of Brown’s moves by closely watching him and then imitating him, practicing at home.
- Michael usually never gave away awards at any shows, but he did give the lifetime achievement BET award to James Brown in 2003.
- He also attended James Brown’s funeral in 2006.
- He personally arranged James Brown’s hair as he was lying in the casket before his funeral.
- They first met at Berry Gordy’s house when Michael was around 11 years old. Later, they met again on the set of the motion picture “The Wiz,” which Quincy co-produced.
- Quincy recalls teaching Michael the correct pronunciation of Socrates, which was part of the script of “The Wiz.”
- After finishing work on “The Wiz,” Michael asked Quincy for a recommendation for a producer for his new album “Off The Wall.” Quincy did not recommend anyone, but rather took the job himself.
- Quincy’s nickname for Michael was “Smelly” (because he could always smell a good deal).
- Their professional collaboration ended before Michael started working on his “Bad” album. It has also been reported that Michael began to feel Quincy was too possessive, while Quincy believed Michael was becoming too demanding. In reality, Michael, who was a perfectionist and forever intent on overdoing himself, probably felt he needed to make a change in order to remain creative yet original wanting to explore new sounds and different styles.
- Another disagreement between Michael and Quincy was that Michael believed rap music was going to fade away whereas Quincy insisted that it would stay.
Bruce Swedien – musical engineer, long time collaborator. Primary sound engineer for Michael from 1978 to 2001.
Brad Sundberg — musical engineer and technical director for over 18 years.
- Collaborated in the Westlake studio recordings on Bad, Dangerous, HIStory and Blood on the Dance Floor
- Designed and installed music and video systems at Neverland Valley Ranch
Lionel Ritchie – musician, personal friend. Michael met Lionel Ritchie at the age of 8 when the Commodores (the musical group in which Lionel Ritchie performed) would open for the Jackson 5. They wrote “We Are The World” together.
Nicole Ritchie – Michael’s goddaughter (together with Quincy Jones) and adopted daughter of Lionel Ritchie.
Paul McCartney – musician, musical collaborator, personal friend.
- Did three duets with Michael (“Say Say Say”, “The Man”, “The Girl Is Mine”), wrote the song “Girlfriend” (which appears on “Off The Wall”). Appeared in the music video “Say Say Say” with his then-wife, Linda.
- For a long time, Michael and Paul were good friends, but they had a falling out after Michael purchased the Sony/ATV catalogs which contained all the Beatles songs. To Michael’s credit, he did ask Paul to join in with him in acquiring the catalogs but Paul decline at that time.
Stevie Wonder – musician, personal friend, long time collaborator. They were fellow Motown musicians.
- Michael sang many of Stevie’s song as the member of the Jackson 5 (“Superstition,” “I Was Made to Love Her,” “My Cherie Amour”).
- Stevie wrote “I Can’t Help It.”
- Stevie did duets with Michael (“Get It,” “Just Good Friends”).
- Stevie collaborated with Michael and Lionel Ritchie on “We Are the World.”
- Stevie Wonder spoke and performed at Michael’s July 7, 2009 memorial.
Marlon Brando – actor, personal friend. Paid regular visits to Neverland and spent weeks there resting.
- Appeared in Michael’s music video “You Rock My World.”
- His son, Miko Brando also was a close personal friend, Michael’s bodyguard and appeared in his “Thriller” video. Miko got married on Michael’s property at Neverland. He was one of the first people who came to Michael’s aid when his hair caught on fire during the taping of a Pepsi commercial.
Rose Fine – childhood tutor of Michael and all his siblings. Michael and Janet looked after her and supported her until she died at a very old age.
Patti Austin – singer
- Sang the duet “It’s The Falling In Love” with Michael on his “Off The Wall” album.
- Her godfather is Quincy Jones and her godmother is Dinah Washington.
Jordan Chandler – At the age of 13, Jordan Chandler accused Michael of child molestation in 1993. Jordan befriended Michael many months before the allegations and he stayed with his mother and his sister many times over at Neverland.
- Michael met Jordan through his step-father who owned a car bodyshop. Michael’s car broke down and it was taken to the bodyshop. Jordan was notified that Michael was there and he came over to meet him.
- Jordan joined Michael in his concert tour, together with other children (e.g., the Cascios).
- Jordan’s father, Evan Chandler, became upset for Jordan spending more time with Michael than with him, and ultimately accused Michael of inappropriate behavior. In 1993, Evan Chandler brought a civil lawsuit against Michael for child molestation. The case was settled out of court for $15,331,250 paid by Michael’s liability insurance company and placed in trust for Jordan Chandler.
- In a declaration filed during the civil lawsuit, Jordan claimed that his father injected him with sodium amytal (truth serum) and put him in an altered state before he first recalled any molestation by Michael.
- Jordan Chandler cut all ties with his father – and later with his mother, June – after the civil lawsuit against Michael was settled. Jordan also filed a restraining order against his own father alleging that Evan attacked him and choked him.
- Jordan refused to testify or give any statement in the 2005 Arvizo trial.
- Evan Chandler used to have an office in Beverly Hills and worked as a dentist. One of his patients was Carrie Fisher. Fisher later recalled the time when Evan Chandler was bragging to her about his son’s friendship with Michael Jackson.
- Evan Chandler was the co-writer of the screenplay for a Mel Brooks-directed comedy called “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
- Evan Chandler died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an apparent suicide in November 2009.
Larry Feldman, Esq. – attorney who represented Jordan Chandler. He also consulted with Gavin Arvizo in 2005.
Gavin Arvizo – born in 1989. He was a recovering cancer patient who met Michael through comedians George Lopez and Chris Rock. Michael often talked to him on the phone during his treatments and he also helped the family financially during Gavin’s illness and recovery.
- At age 13, he accused Michael of child molestation in 2003 which ended with a trial in 2005 – People of California vs. Michael Joe Jackson, case number 1133603.
- Jury selection for the trial started on January 31, 2005, and the trial ended on June 13, 2005, when the jury returned a unanimous Not Guilty verdict on all fourteen charges.
- Gavin reportedly had gotten married in 2013. The DJ at the wedding reception (who apparently was unaware of the inappropriateness of the situation) played “The Way You Make Me Feel” sung by Michael.
Janet Arvizo – mother of Gavin Arvizo. Testified on stand in the 2005 trial. Her behavior and outrageous allegations (such that Michael was to kidnap the entire Arvizo family and smuggle them to South America with a hot air balloon) drew strong dislike and occasionally laughter from the jury. They found her attitude (snapping her fingers at jurors) annoying. Since 2005, Janet Arvizo remarried and now her married name – ironically – is Janet Jackson.
Wade Robson – former personal friend, choreographer. Wade was a talented child dancer impersonating Michael. Michael met him in Australia during the Bad tour and later assisted his family to move to the United States.
- Wade appeared in three of Michael’s music videos “Black or White,” “Jam” and “Heal the World.”
- Michael brought Wade and his family (mother, Joy Robson and sister, Chantal Robson) from Australia by providing them with H1-B visas in September 1991.
- Wade’s mother, Joy Robson was employed in a hair studio and make-up company and got paid by MJJ Ventures, Inc. until she became a permanent US resident in 1998.
- Wade was subpoenaed by a Grand Jury in connection with the Chandler investigation. He testified on behalf of Michael
- Wade was also subpoenaed and called as a witness to testify at the 2005 Arvizo trial defending Michael and rejecting all claims of molestation.
- He participated in numerous events to advocate his friendship with Michael and contributed a heartfelt written in memoriam in The Official Michael Jackson Opus released by Kraken Opus in 2009 under subchapter “Friends.”
- In May, 2013, almost four years after Michael’s death, this “friend” of Michael filed a lawsuit and late creditor’s claim under seal against the Estate of Michael Jackson for alleged past child molestation inflicted on him by Michael between the ages of 7 to 14. The Estate filed its Response in June 2013, asking the court to disregard the petition.
James (Jimmy) Safechuck – former personal friend.
- Appeared with Michael in a Pepsi commercial in 1987 and traveled extensively with him during the “Bad” tour.
- In 2014, Jimmy Safechuck joined Wade Robson in his lawsuit against the Estate of Michael Jackson claiming child molestation abuse inflicted on him by Michael between the ages of 10 and 15.
- Was called to testify or give a statement at the 2005 Arvizo trial. He defended Michael and rejected all claims of molestation at that time.
- His lawsuit is filed under seal just like Wade Robson’s.
- He is represented by the same law firm as Wade Robson.
Thomas Mesereau – criminal attorney. Represented Michael in the 2005 Arvizo trial.
Tom Sneddon – District Attorney of Santa Barbara County.
- Persecuted Michael in the Arvizo trial.
- Michael wrote a song, “D.S.,” in which the lyrics clearly refer to Sneddon as being “a cold man.”
Rodney Melville – judge, presided over the Arvizo trial in 2005. Retired from the bench in 2007.
Dr. Stanley Katz – child psychiatrist. Interviewed both Jordan Chandler and Gavin Arvizo and concluded that they were showing signs of molestation.
Brett Livingstone-Strong – Australian artist, personal friend. Michael referred to Livingstone as a modern day Michelangelo.
- Met Michael in 1979 through Mayor Bradley of Los Angeles.
- Painted a portrait of Michael in 1990, entitled “The Book” which sold for $2.1 million.
- Michael took painting lessons from him. The two shared a studio at a Santa Monica Airport hangar where Livingstone still stores several (98 pieces) of Michael’s own paintings. Some of these paintings were gifted by Michael’s children to the remodeled Los Angeles Children Hospital to decorate the hallways.
- Livingstone-Strong told a story when he and Michael were working at his Pacific Palisades studio, listening to old Jackson 5 songs as Michael “sort of hummed along and shuffled around” to the music while painting. Suddenly, Livingstone’s large dog got inside the house. Michael, who was scared of dogs, jumped on the kitchen counter still hanging on to his painting and paint brushes and would not come down until Livingstone escorted the dog outside.
Nate Giorgio – artist, personal friend. Michael took painting lessons from him and commissioned several large paintings from Giorgio which decorated his Neverland house.
- Nate did chapter openers for the Official Michael Jackson Opus.
- Giorgio’s paintings of Michael are displayed on large screens during Cirque du Soleil’s “The Immortal” show during the song “Will You Be There.”
David Nordhal – American artist, personal friend. Michael saw Nordhal’s paintings at Steven Spielberg’s house or studio and called David Nordhal personally on the phone to ask him to give him painting lessons. (And yes, Nordahl did hang up on him thinking that Michael was a crank caller when he first said his name on the phone.) Nordhal made several large paintings for Michael which also decorated his Neverland house.
If you are still reading this, click here to hear Michael laughing. 🙂
- She was scheduled to be a regular during the “Bad” tour and come on-stage during the song “The Way You Make Me Feel.” In two weeks, she was fired from the tour after she kissed Michael on stage before live audience during a show. Michael’s entourage (Frank DiLeo) and family demanded that she be fired for reasons such as “distracting the Artist [Michael] during live performance and unnecessarily agitating female fans in the audience.”
- Thumbtzen wrote a book entitled “Once More With Feeling,” in which she claimed that she and Michael were in a developing love relationship and she harshly criticized Frank DiLeo for preventing Michael from having a real loving relationship with her. She was quite unpopular with Michael’s female fans. After Michael’s death, Tatiana claimed she and Frank DiLeo spoke and worked out their differences.
Madonna – musician. Both were born in August 1958.
- Michael went out on a few dates with Madonna but was turned off by Madonna’s aggressiveness. Michael later recalled his dates and interactions with Madonna in the Rabbi Schmuley tapes. He felt that Madonna was sincerely in love with him and was intent on seducing him (including making obscene phone calls to him and showing him “spanky books”). Back then, Michael found Madonna too vulgar and basically “not a nice person.” Michael did say in the Schmuley tapes that motherhood definitely did justice to Madonna as she seemed to be a very devoted and loving mother to her children.
- Madonna paid tribute to Michael in a speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
Prince (Roger Nelson) – musician. Both were born in the summer of 1958.
- Michael regarded Prince as his biggest “competition” in his musical professional life. Their “rivalry” was often played up by the press (reporting that Prince called Michael a “wimp” and Michael called Prince “gross”). There were no bitter feuds between them but they certainly did not care much for each other.
- Prince regularly “snubbed” Michael by refusing to appear or collaborate with him. Prince was invited but never showed up for the taping and recording of “We Are The World.”
- Michael reached out to Prince to make a duet (the original version of “Bad”) but Prince declined. Prince said in an interview with Chris Rock that he was not going to do a song where Michael would sing the words to him “your butt is mine.”
- After Michael’s death, Prince paid tribute to him in his 2011 concert tour by playing his own rendition of “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”.
- Prince once sent a present in a small box to Michael. It contained some colorful metal charms and feathers. Michael opened the box in the presence of Quincy Jones and as soon as he has seen the contents quickly closed it. He was absolutely horrified and truly believed that Prince was sending him voodoo to put a hex on him.
Kathy Hilton – personal family friend. She went to school with some of Michael’s brothers.
Dr. Steven Hoefflin – plastic surgeon. Michael met him first in 1984, when he needed his scalp injuries treated after an accidental burn suffered during a Pepsi commercial. Dr. Hoefflin also performed Michael’s second rhinoplasty. His other noted patients were Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli and David Gest.
Arnold Klein – medical doctor, dermatologist. Treated Michael for vitiligo and discoid lupus. During his life, Michael regarded him more than a trusted medical doctor, but also as a family friend. Several personal photographs show Dr. Klein spending family gatherings (Christmases, Thanksgivings and other holidays) together with Michael and his children.
- After Michael’s death, Dr. Klein made a couple of shocking allegations and uncomplimentary statements about Michael which made him quite unpopular not only with Michael’s family, friends and fans, but also caused a rift between him and Elizabeth Taylor (who herself was one of Dr. Klein’s patients).
- Immediately following Michael’s death at the pending probate hearings, Klein shocked the public when he claimed that Michael’s elder son and daughter were his biological children and wanted to challenge Michael’s mother as a guardian for the children. Later he dropped his claim but kept making controversial comments in the media and in Internet tabloids never fully putting his claim of paternity to rest.
- After the release of the motion picture “This Is It,” Klein made a petty claim for a few of the clothing items – a green designer jacket and a leather coat – worn by Michael during rehearsals. Klein said Michael took (borrowed) these items from him and failed to ever return them. Dr. Klein claimed loss of property costing him several thousands of dollars and wanted reimbursement from Michael’s estate.
- In addition, Dr. Klein filed a creditor’s claim against Michael’s estate for unpaid medical expenses which were close to $50,000.
- Dr. Klein also supported one of his associates, Jason Pfeiffer, in his claims that Pfeiffer and Michael had an ongoing homosexual relationship which started at Klein’s office.
- During the homicide/manslaughter investigation against Dr. Conrad Murray, Arnold Klein’s Beverly Hills medical office was raided for medical records relating to Michael and the treatment administered to Michael by Dr. Klein and his medical staff.
- Dr. Klein kept Michael’s medical records under various pseudonyms/aliases such as “Omar Arnold,” “Peter Midani” or “Michael Armstrong.”
- During the Murray manslaughter trial, Klein’s medical records were admitted into evidence and scrutinized by the defense. It came to light that Dr. Klein regularly overmedicated Michael during his office visits to a point where Michael appeared high on drugs, slurred his speech and was unable to perform at rehearsals. Dr. Klein’s own records showed that Michael received close to 60 high doses of Demerol shots over a six-week period during office visits in connection with Botox injections.
- After the manslaughter trial, the California medical board started an investigation of Dr. Klein, his medical office and his office procedures whether they met the standard of care.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – Jewish spiritual advisor. He met Michael in the late 1990’s. They spent many family holidays together. Shmuley was accused that he wanted to convert Michael to Judaism, but he denied it.
- Their close friendship ended in 2002, but Shmuley was supportive of Michael’s character during the 2005 Arvizo trial and publicly defended him of any inappropriate behavior. Shmuley has met Gavin Arvizo right around the time when he was going through chemotherapy and first visited Michael’s Neverland.
- Between August 2000 and April 2001, while Michael was visiting with Shmuley’s family, he agreed to sit down for candid conversations with Shmuley which were also recorded with his consent. After Michael’s death, Shmuley released parts of the original recordings and summarized them in a book entitled “The Michael Jackson Tapes.”
- During the preparation of the tape recordings with Shmuley, Michael candidly discussed his zest for life, his anxiety about death, his fear and apprehension about aging, his religious beliefs, his fear of his father, his devotiong to his mother, his childhood memories and growing up and living as a celebrity, dating, women, his two marriages, his friendships, his love for his fans and the children of the world, his own children (at that time only Prince and Paris were alive), his playfulness, his love of practical jokes and his plans for the future (which was eventually to shift to film-making from recordings and performings).
- In 2001, Michael made a speech at Oxford University as part of his collaboration with Shmuley to promote “Heal the Kids” a charity that Michael endorsed.
Jane Fonda – actress.
Henry Fonda – actor.
- Michael spent a week on set of “On Golden Pond,” which was Henry Fonda’s last movie. Michael watched and studied Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn closely for acting techniques.
- During breaks, Henry Fonda and Michael went fishing together wherein Fonda would hook up the fishing rod with bait for Michael.
Katherine Hepburn – actress. Met her during the set of “On Golden Pond.”
- In 1981, Michael participated in the preparation of an audio book and soundtrack album (bearing the same title) by narrating the story. Michael wrote and recorded the song “Someone In The Dark” especially for this audio book.
- Spielberg once said that Michael reminded him of “a fawn in a burning forest.”
- Michael and Spielberg’s friendship ended abruptly giving way for many speculations as to a reason. It was widely reported that Spielberg (who is Jewish) got offended by the lyrics of Michael’s song “They Don’t Care About Us,” which contain racist or anti-Semitic slurs. Michael allegedly tried to explain his reasons for including those words, but Spielberg would not accept his apology and cut ties with Michael forever.
- Another explanation was that Michael got angry with Spielberg for not giving him the leading role in his movie “Hook,” which was a different take on the story of Peter Pan (Michael’s favorite story).
Lady Diana Spencer – Princess of Wales. Diana was a fan of Michael’s music and attended one of his concerts (along with Prince Charles, her then-husband) during the Bad Tour. Michael gifted her (and her children) a custom-made jacket which had the Bad logo on it.
- Michael and Lady Diana exchanged telephone numbers and they have spoken several times on the phone over the years. In the Schmuley tapes Michael admits that he found Lady Diana very attractive and that “she definitely was [his] type” of a woman he would date.
- The song “Dirty Diana” was not written for Lady Diana Spencer nor was it written for Diana Ross. It’s a song about aggressive groupies.
- Michael did pay tribute to Lady Diana in his song “Privacy” referring to her as a friend who had to die because of overzealous paparazzi.
Michael Bush, Dennis Tompkins – clothing designers of Michael for 25 years. Dennis Tompkins died in December 2011.
- Michael Bush is the same age as Michael. They met at the set of “Captain Eo.”
- Bush recalls that Michael loved China silk, silk charmeuse and stretchy fabrics. Michael was very comfortable and secure in Spandex.
- Michael did not wear notable fashion designers’ clothes. Rather, he wished to be copied for his own fashion.
Frank Cascio (Tyson) – personal friend of Michael since the age of 5. He became Michael’s personal assistant after 2002.
- He was a named co-defendant (under the name Frank Tyson) in the 2005 Arvizo trial and was represented by an attorney. Many of Michael’s personal friends got upset with Frank for not showing more support for Michael during the Arvizo trial.
- Frank wrote a book entitled “My Friend: Michael” which was released in 2011. He details many of his personal experiences being Michael’s close friend. He was around the time Michael befriended and was accused of child molestation by Jordan Chandler (who was about the same age as Frank). Frank has seen Michael and Jordan many times together and Frank absolutely denies that Michael has ever done anything inappropriate to Jordan.
- Frank is the first author to write about incidents when Michael would turn to drinking to overcome the pressures in his life. He goes beyond detailing occasional consumption of some wine from soda cans. Frank actually recites occasions when Michael would be drinking hard liqueur to an excess and would become intoxicated to a level where he was unable to walk or talk, or he would become belligerent (and would call Sony executives on the phone where he proceeded to curse them out for not promoting his album “Invincible”). Frank alleges that Michael once thrashed a hotel room while he was drunk and was raging after being told that the police raided his Neverland home. He also claims that Michael drank quite a large amount of whiskey to work up the courage before he made his announcement in London for the “This Is It” 50-concert tour.
- Frank claims Michael mixed prescription drugs with alcohol and he says he has observed that Michael was given Propofol as a sleep aid by different European doctors going back as far as the “Dangerous” tour. Frank claims Michael was late (overslept) for the tribute show that was filmed on September 10, 2001, and was almost unable to perform because doctors gave him too much sleep medicine.
- Frank also alleged in his book that he and Michael would smoke pot at Neverland.
- Frank’s allegations about obvious drinking problems and drug use is in sharp contrast to any of the previous portrayals of Michael. Many of Michael’s close friends were adamant that Michael did not drink and he was absolutely against street drugs and marijuana. Rabbi Shmuley especially was sceptical about any allegations that Michael drank because Shmuley himself observed Michael to abstain from alcohol throughout the time they were friends.
- In his book, Frank states that he was not allowed to talk to Michael during the trial because his own attorneys so advised him.
- Frank admits that he and Michael sort of drifted apart but he blames this on Michael becoming too dependent on prescription drugs, his growing paranoia, distrust and ultimately pushing people away. He was in Italy at the time Michael died and did not seem to have much contact with him around that time.
David Blaine – magician, illusionist.
Uri Geller – magician, illusionist. Was a close personal friend to Michael for many years. Uri Geller recommended that Michael allow Martin Bashir to come to Neverland, spend an extended time with him and make a documentary about his life. After the Bashir documentary was released and it started a scandal, Michael’s friendship to Uri Geller has also ended.
Doug Henning – magician, illusionist. Worked with the Jacksons during their Victory tour.
Barry Gibb – musician and close personal friend. One of Michael’s favorite bands was The Bee Gees. Michael became very good friends with Barry. Michael often would visit Barry and stayed at his house as a guest. In December 2002, at one of his visits, Michael recorded a song while Barry’s son, Ashley, made a video footage of their collaboration. In 2011, Barry released this song , entitled “All in Your Name” on his own website and dedicated it to Michael’s fans.
Carrie Fisher – actress. Her father, Eddie Fisher, once was married to Elizabeth Taylor. Michael was a huge “Star Wars” fan and he met Carrie Fisher through Liz Taylor. Incidentally, Carrie Fisher was a patient of Arnold Klein, Steve Hoefflin and Evan Chandler.
Chris Tucker – actor, personal friend. Appeared in “You Rock My World” video.
Martin Scorsese – movie director. Directed Michael in his music video “Bad.”
Francis Ford Coppola – movie director. Directed Michael in “Captain Eo.”
John Landis – movie director. Directed Michael in “Thriller” and “Black or White.”
John Singleton – movie director
- Directed the “Remember the Time” short film. It took 11 days to shoot the short film not including the dance rehearsals (all of which Michael dutifully attended).
- Singleton requested that “Remember the Time” would be shot with black artists only. Michael acquiesced to his request.
- Michael called him “Johnny.”
Gregory Peck – actor, personal friend. Appeared in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was one of Michael’s all-time favorite movies. Michael attended Peck’s funeral in 2003.
Tatum O’Neal – actress. They met and briefly dated in 1977. Jermaine recalls that Michael often saw Tatum from Jermaine’s Malibu home jogging at the ocean and expressed a strong attraction to her. Michael would call her “Tate.” Michael described Tatum as a precocious wild teenager “who was ready to do anything with him,” while he was not. Michael spoke candidly on camera to Martin Bashir in his 2003 interview. He described one incident where his shy demeanor and fear of intimacy brought his relationship to Tatum to an end. Tatum denied that anything that Michael described has ever occurred.
Brooke Shields – actress. She met Michael when she was 13. They formed a close friendly relationship, which Shields often described as innocent child-like friendship while Michael described them as “dating.” Michael proposed marriage to Shields many times, but she wanted to remain friends. Shields spoke at Michael’s memorial on July 7, 2009.
Conrad Murray, M.D. – cardiologist and medical doctor.
- Michael met him in 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Michael and his children had flu-like symptoms and one of his bodyguards referred them to Dr. Murray.
- Michael asked Dr. Murray to become his personal physician during the time while he was to be on the “This Is It” tour at London’s O2 Arena in the summer of 2009.
- Dr. Murray went on trial for directly causing the death of Michael by administering Propofol (Diprivan) intravenously to Michael and failing to monitor him under the influence of this strong sedative in the early morning of June 25, 2009. Propofol is normally used as aneshtesia during surgical procedures. Dr. Murray used Propofol every day during a period of two months to put Michael, who was struggling with insomnia, to sleep.
- Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on November 7, 2011. He was sentenced to four years in prison and his medical license was revoked.
Martin Bashir – British television journalist. He was introduced to Michael by Uri Geller. Bashir did an interview with Lady Diana Spencer after her divorce from Prince Charles. Michael allowed full access to Martin Bashir to Neverland and let him film and interview him for over 9 months for a documentary called “Living with Michael Jackson.” Bashir edited his documentary to insinuate that Michael was a child molestor.
- Bashir was called as a witness to testify at the 2005 Arvizo trial.
- On the day Michael died, Bashir made a short eulogy to Michael on television. In it, Bashir calls Michael the greatest entertainer the world has ever known, and states publicly that he has never seen Michael doing anything inappropriate to any children while he was observing him.
Omer Bhatti – rapper, friend of Michael. Was born in 1984. Met Michael in 1996 in Tunisia on the HIStory Tour. After Michael’s death it was widely speculated that Omer was Michael’s biological son (a love child from a one-night stand with a Norwegian fan). During his life, Michael himself often told people that Omer was his son, but he ultimately cleared it up that it was just a story that he liked to joke about. Omer’s mother, Pia, is from Norway. She also worked as a nanny for Michael’s children when they were newborns.
Deepak Chopra – motivational speaker and writer, personal friend. They met in 1988.
- Deepak Chopra helped Michael produce his book entitled “Dancing the Dream” in 1992. His son, Gotham Chopra, has traveled with Michael during his “Dangerous” tour.
- Michael called him a few days before his death and left a voice mail message to him. Michael asked Chopra to look over the lyrics to a new song he wrote about the environment. The song was entitled “Breathe.” After Michael’s death, Chopra turned over the lyrics to Michael’s estate’s lawyers.
Grace Rwamba – long time live-in governess/nanny for all of Michael’s children. She was introduced to Michael by Deepak Chopra. For reasons not disclosed, Michael terminated Grace’s employment shortly before he died. Michael’s children shortly re-connected with her immediately after their father’s death until they got more comfortable with living with their grandmother.
Jay Leno – television host. Testified in the 2005 Arvizo trial for the defense.
Don Cornelius – television host, creator of “Soul Train.” Michael appeared on Soul Train many times and gave many interviews to Don Cornelius. At the top of his career, Michael was invited to perform on the Soul Train award show, but he sprained his ankle. Michael refused to cancel on Don Cornelius and did perform – sitting on a throne singing “Remember the Time.”
Diane Dimond – American journalist. In 1993, while working for “Hard Copy,” she broke the news about accusations of an inappropriate relationship between Michael Jackson and a young boy (later identified Jordan Chandler). She would spend the next 15 years trying to prove that Michael was a pedophile.
Aphrodite Jones – American reporter. Covered the 2005 Arvizo trial extensively and then wrote a book entitled “Michael Jackson Conspiracy” (2007) a story of how the media sensationalized the prosecution’s case against Michael.
- After watching media coverage of the Berlin event with Michael Jackson dangling his son (Blanket) from a balcony, she wrote a letter to California’s Child Protective Services, asking for an investigation into the safety of Jackson’s children. She also spoke on CNN about the subject.
- Michael never used to swear in public, but there is one news footage when he is heard to say on camera “Tell her to go to hell.” He was talking about Gloria Allred.
Brett Ratner – film director, close personal friend. Met Michael through Alvin Malnik. Michael did a candid interview with Brett in which he discusses his career and his private thoughts. After Michael’s death, Brett released a home video in which Michael is seen singing and dancing in the back of his car while Brett is driving.
Brett and Frank Cascio have been rumored to be working to make a movie together about Michael using Frank’s book for the storyline and Brett acting as the director.
Marc Shaffel – film director. Being a friend of Brett Ratner, he met Michael and was to produce a documentary and other movies with him.
- Shaffel worked as a cameraman for Michael most notably on the rebuttal documentary entitled “The Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See,” made after the Martin Bashir interview and on the taping of Michael’s song “What More Can I Give.”
- When Michael found out that Shaffel previously was involved in producing pornographic movies he cut ties with him. In 2005, Shaffel sued Michael for breach of contract and Michael counter-sued him for concealing and misappropriating funds.
- In 2014, it was rumored that Marc Shaffel and Debbie Rowe got engaged.
Dieter Wiesner – business manager for Michael.
Raymone Bain – publicist to Michael and served as his general manager and spokesperson throughout the 2005 Arvizo trial. She reportedly sued the estate of Michael for unpaid business earnings. Most recently she was in the news for avoiding jail time but being fined for tax evasion.
Joe Pesci – actor. Played the villain called Mr. Big LiDeo (which was an anagram for Michael’s personal manager Frank DiLeo) in the 1988 fantasy musical “Moonwalker.”
Jamie King – dancer, choreographer. At age 16, became one of the backup dancers to Michael’s 1992-1993 “Dangerous” tour and performed with him for 17 months.
- King conceived and directed Cirque du Soleil’s ongoing Michael Jackson tribute world tour “The Immortal Show” using 65 of Michael’s songs, 30 dancers, 25 acrobats, 10 musicians and a 10-choreographer team. He is also slated as the director for the permanent Cirque du Soleil “The Immortal Show” which will be housed at the Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas starting in 2013.
Evelyn “Evvy” Tavasci – Michael’s personal assistant/secretary.
Howard Weitzman – entertainment lawyer. Represented Michael as his entertainment lawyer through his life and is now serving as attorney for the Estate of Michael Jackson.
Ian Halperin – journalist. In December 2008, he announced that he was planning on releasing a “tell-all” book about Michael entitled “Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson” in which there were numerous claims most notably one that predicted that Michael had six more months to live. Shockingly, Halperin’s prediction became reality, but not for the reasons he listed in his book.
- Halperin claimed that Michael had a rare genetic lung disease which was slowly killing him (a claim which was completely debunked after Michael’s autopsy was conducted and Michael was found in perfect health at the time of his death).
- Other claims made by Halperin in his book were similarly outrageous and drew the public opposition of the Michael Jackson Fan Club requesting all of Michael’s fans to boycott and not buy this book.
- In his book, Halperin claims that Michael was gay, and had numerous gay lovers over the years; that Lisa-Marie Presley married Michael only to get him into the Church of Scientology and divorced him when he refused; that Michael was abusing drugs to the extent that the children’s nanny (Grace) had to pump his stomach on a regular basis; and that Michael hired Dr. Conrad Murray to kill him in some form of assisted suicide (due to the incurable illness he supposedly had).
- Halperin also released a documentary/movie called “Gone Too Soon” on the first anniversary of Michael’s death in 2010.
Lou Ferrigno – former body builder and personal trainer to Michael
- Played the Incredible Hulk
- Had a cameo in the video of “Liberian Girl.”
Matt Fiddes – bodybuilder, personal trainer, bodyguard.
- Claims he is the biological father of Michael’s youngest child.
FOR THOSE WHO MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO HERE … THIS never gets old.
- Date of birth: August 29, 1958 at 7:33 P.M. (CST). It was a Friday.
- Place of birth: Gary, Indiana.
- Birth name: Michael Joe Jackson. His driver license and his passport both indicate this name. He signed his name as Michael Joe Jackson to various important contracts and so stated in numerous depositions. Still, most often he is referred to as “Michael Joseph Jackson.”
- Other names considered for him at birth were “Ronald” or “Roy.”
- HATED to be called “Jacko.” He voiced his strong dislike against this moniker countless times in interviews, but the tabloid insisted on taunting him and referred to him by that name — and still does even to this day.
- Height (at age 50): 69 inches (1.75 meters)
- Weight (at age 50) 136 lbs (61.7 kilogram)
- Eyes color: brown
- Blood type: B
- Social Security Number: 303-62-5728 [no longer valid — don’t try to use this information for personal gain!!!]
- Driver license no. N8685798 [no longer valid — don’t try to use this information for personal gain!!!]
- Shoe size: 9.5 (US). Michael loved to wear the same type of black penny loafers simply because these were the shoes he could dance in. The exact brands he wore are unconfirmed (e.g., Bass Larson, Bass Weejun or Cole Haan). Michael Bush, his costume designer stated that Michael wore Florsheim loafers the ones that can be bought at regular malls.
- Michael had a waistline of 28 inches. It even got smaller while he was touring because by the end of a tour he lost a lot of weight. His costume designers (Bush and Tompkins) had to make his costumes smaller closer to the end of the tour so his pants won’t fall off of him.
- Mother is Katherine Esther Scruse (Screws). Father is Joseph Walter Jackson. Maternal grandparents were Martha Upshaw and Prince Albert Screws. Paternal grandparents were Crystal Lee King and Samuel Jackson.
- Michael had some Native American Indian ancestry; Choctaw on Joe’s side, Cherokee on Katherine’s side.
- Had three sisters, Maureen Reillette (“Rebbie”), LaToya Yvonne and Janet Damita Jo.
- Had 5 living brothers, Sigmund Esco (“Jackie”), Toriano Adaryll (“Tito”), Jermaine La Jaune, Marlon David and Steven Randall (“Randy”).
- Lost a brother, Brandon (Marlon’s twin), at birth.
- Had one half-sister, Joh’Vonnie Jackson, a daughter of Joe Jackson from another relationship.
- Had three children, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also referred to as Prince Michael Jackson) – date of birth February 13, 1997; Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson (mostly referred to as Paris Jackson) – date of birth April 3, 1998; and Prince Michael Jackson, II (also referred to as Blanket Jackson) – date of birth February 21, 2002. “Blanket” is a nickname Michael gave to his youngest son.
- Media reports surfaced in 2014, that Michael might be the biological father of Brandon Howard. Brandon’s mother is Miki Howard. She was managed by Joe Jackson and had business association with Jermaine as well.
- Has married and divorced twice. His first wife was Lisa-Marie Presley. His second wife was Debbie Rowe (also the natural mother of Michael’s first two children).
- For more details on family, friends and foes of Michael click here
- Both Tito and Jermaine recall that Michael had long fingers at birth. Tito recalls Michael was sucking his fingers for a long time. Jermaine recalls that Michael was a very active baby and always tried to slip away when he tried to change his diaper.
- His mother recalled catching 2-year old Michael with his baby bottle in hand dancing to the sound of a broken noisy washing machine. Katherine Jackson also stated that by her recollection Michael has never made an uncoordinated move even when he was a tiny baby.
- Jermaine recalls 4-year old Michael watching them practice songs in the living room and then he would fashion bongos from cereal boxes to play along.
- Michael’s first public appearance was at age 5, at his elementary school at Gary, Indiana. He sang “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.
- His fondest childhood memory of his father was when he took him to a carnival and lifted him up putting him on a pony. (Joe Jackson admittedly did not recall this incident.)
- Was right-handed.
- Had fairly large hands. Taped his index and ring fingers and pinkies on both hands to draw attention to his hand movements while he was performing (and not to cover up his skin condition).
- Had unprecedented skill at finger snapping, which often was highlighted in his short films.
- Was baptized.
- Was ticklish.
- Did not celebrate Christmas and birthdays when he was growing up due to his mother’s religious beliefs. He celebrated his first Christmas in Neverland organized by Elizabeth Taylor in 1992. He was so guilt-ridden about celebrating Christmas that he spent the majority of his time in the bathroom crying.
- Michael never was allowed to call his father “Dad” or such. All Jackson siblings were told to always address their father as “Joseph” or “Joe.”
- Joe was a strong disciplinarian. Michael first publicly spoke about Joe’s heavy-handed approach to child discipline in the Oprah Winfrey interview (February 1993) and then later in another interview with Martin Bashir (February 2003). Joe used harsh corporal punishment not only for disobedience from his children but oftentimes for mistakes made during daily musical rehearsals. Joe never publicly addressed this issue until Michael’s death but he defended his actions for being strict for the sake of ensuring that all of his children could advance in life and the music business.
- Due to Joe’s harshness Michael feared his father so much he would become so uncomfortable that he would often black out or get sick in the stomach when they had to be in the same room. Still, Michael gave his father full credit for his entertainment success and always hoped for a reconciliation with him. Rabbi Schmuley wrote in his book about occasions he observed when Michael and Joe did have some reconciliatory conversations in the early 2000’s.
- Never had professional training in dancing or singing (although he did work with a voice coach during concert tours).
- His vocal range was nearly four octaves from two E’s below middle C, to two B’s above middle C, or 44 notes. Seth Riggs, his vocal coach described him as a high tenor, but he could drop down to a baritone, if needed. He had perfect pitch.
- He always sang scales to warm up.
- Before singing he would drink piping hot drink with cough drops to relax his vocal chords.
- He didn’t learn how to read or write music and never learned to play instruments proficiently.
- He dictated all of his songs on various recording machines (even on telephone voicemails). He would transcribe every instrument and sound (complete with stops and fills) onto tape as he would hear it in his head. He said music was “tapestry” with different layers.
- He was a talented beat-boxer.
- When he wrote a song, he first always started on the melody. He often said that music normally just came to him from God. The entire composition would get into his head and then he would put it down on tape. He brought lyrics into it later, but stated that certain words came directly with the melody.
- His motto was “Let the song create itself.”
- Main themes of Michael’s songs: 1) songs about seduction and deception (e.g., Billie Jean, Dirty Diana), 2) Gothic/horror themes (e.g., Thriller, Is It Scary), 3) Media and social injustice (e.g., Leave Me Alone, They Don’t Care About Us), 4) Classic love songs (e.g., The Way You Make Me Feel, Remember the Time), 5) Loneliness, isolation (e.g., Stranger in Moscow, Childhood) and 6) Anthems (e.g., Man in The Mirror, Earth Song)
- He often recorded songs with the lights off or dimmed in the studio not to feel self-conscious. As he sang, he also always danced, stomped or snapped his fingers. When he recorded something special, he called it the “Bible version,” which represented the highest quality.
- Whenever he was told “I love you”, he always replied “I love you more”. He learned the phrase “I love you more” in several different languages which he used during his world-wide concert performances to address his fans.
- If you are still reading this, THANK YOU, and click here to hear some words of encouragement from Michael. 🙂
- Every town he went during concert tours, he never missed visiting hospitals and orphanages. He brought tons of toys with him and loved watching children opening them. He aided several children to get necessary treatment and medication to save their lives.
- Everyone who ever worked with Michael would describe him as down-to-earth, professional, humble, very polite, having a good sense of humor and an infectious captivating laugh.
- Rarely used curse words and only when he was upset or in the context of a joke. Michael was never profane in public.
- The first song that he composed, recorded and was released was “Blues Away“. By his own recollection, he has been writing songs since the age of 9.
- He wrote one autobiography entitled “Moonwalk” in 1988.
- In his autobiography, he wrote that he wanted to have a big family, 10 children. He said he probably would adopt children because he “didn’t need to bring his own into the world.” He wanted to adopt children from all races.
- He released a second book “Dancing The Dream” in 1992, which is a book of his poems and reflections. “Planet Earth” was released in this book.
- The most comprehensive biography written about Michael is authored by a childhood acquaintance, J. Randy Tarraborrelli entitled “Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness,” a book that was originally released in 1991 and updated several times in later years, including in 2009, after Michael’s death.
- 12-year old Michael received a $7 per week allowance from the group earnings of the Jackson 5. He did chores at home like any regular kids. When asked what he wanted to do when he grew up he said he wanted to keep on singing and do art (paint and draw).
- As a child, he and his siblings would clean the house and sing. Loved to vacuum.
- Loved to swim. He made a wish every time he plunged into a pool of water.
- Could play chess.
- His favorite films were “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “Captains Courageous” and “300 Candles”.
- He cited Debussy, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky as his favorite composers. He also loved showtunes written by Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Holland-Dozier-Holland.
- He regarded James Brown as his biggest musical inspiration. Another performer who had great influence on Michael was Jackie Wilson.
- LaToya claims Michael liked to watch the show “Dancing With The Stars”.
- Was an avid reader and had over 20,000 books in his own library. He read any subjects, including biographies, poetry, philosophy, psychology, history, religion and spirituality. Had a custom to kiss all four corners of a new book in hopes to gain new knowledge from it.
- Read the entire Bible many times over. He often used lines or phrases from the Bible in his lyrics.
- Read Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” and was a believer of creative visualization. He often marked up furniture and mirrors in his home and at hotels with motivational thoughts for himself.
- Encouraged his children to read as much as possible. Paris stated that if she (or her brothers) wanted a toy or something, they would have to read books in order to get it. Paris once read three books in a weekend and Michael bought her a cat.
- Listened to motivational tapes normally at bedtime.
- Was quite knowledgeable and read a lot about World War II.
- Appeared at the Academy Awards in 1973, was introduced by Charlton Heston and he performed the song, “Ben.”
- Was tutored by Rose Fine during the Jackson 5 years. Janet and Michael were especially close to Ms. Rose and financially aided her to her dying days.
- Loved Matzo ball soup (apparently with a lot of spice). Here is the recipe by Akasha Richmond (one of his personal chefs).
- Was quite knowledgeable about mythology and loved medieval stories and themes.
- Liked to read medical books and study human anatomy.
- Even though the Jackson 5 was not discovered by her, Diana Ross had a huge impact on Michael’s life. She introduced Michael to arts when he lived with her for a month after Joe moved the boys to California and started recording for Motown. Michael idolized her all his life and admittedly had a crush on Diana. He found her such a warm, loving person and respected her parenting skills so much that in his 2002 Last Will and Testament, Michael named Diana Ross as secondary guardian in case his mother could not raise his own children.
- Shared an art studio with Australian artist, Brett-Livingstone Strong, at a hangar in Santa Monica airport. Other modern-day artists whom Michael befriended and admired were Nate Giorgio and Dave Nordahl. Giorgio and Nordahl made several large personalized paintings commissioned by Michael.
- In between recording sessions, he liked to doodle on random pieces of paper or play with his animals. On August 8, 2011, his children gifted 10 original art pieces created by Michael to the newly remodeled Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.
- Had e-mail accounts with AOL and Google’s Gmail.
- Was banking with Bank of America.
- Often ordered packages from Amazon.com.
- LOVED to shop. He liked to browse for merchandise in the Salvation Army. He was an excellent negotiator for bargains and discounts no matter what the asking price was (he said “Celebrities like bargains, too”).
- Very rarely got a chance to go and shop uninterrupted in any stores. In fact, he often had to commit himself to special shopping sprees — mainly late at night — where they would close a store down (e.g., Toys R Us) and he would have the entire store to himself and his friends. Naturally, the stores expected him to spend handsomely, which Michael always did.
- Had an extra rib.
- Had vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes white patchy skin due to loss of pigmentation. Michael first revealed this medical condition publicly in a live interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey from the Neverland Ranch in February, 1993. Despite his very own candid disclosure of his private medical ailment (and many subsequent confirming statements made by family members, friends, colleagues, and various close acquaintances in the future) the public and the press mercilessly continued to ridicule him on his lighter skin tone until the end of his life. The report of his autopsy conducted on June 26, 2009, positively confirmed that Michael did have vitiligo on his chest, stomach, face, legs and arms.
- Had lupus. He had the discoid type of lupus which affects the skin. Michael did not have systemic lupus which affects the entire body.
- Liked to keep his room temperature at a very high degree as he was proned to feel cold most of the time. Even during summers, he liked to light the fireplace for the evenings.
- Was allergic to giraffes and horses. Had to take allergy medicine if he wanted to touch them.
- Was burnt on the scalp during at commercial shoot for Pepsi on January 27, 1984. He suffered second-degree burns and a permanent scar on his scalp. The footage of the accident was released to the public in 2009.
- Had numerous unsuccessful surgeries trying to correct his burnt scalp and re-grow hair.
- Had appendectomy scar noted in the autopsy. The scar probably was in connection with series of medical procedures from 2002. Michael was going through extensive scalp reconstruction surgeries at that time under the guidance of Dr. Farschian. Because of the painful procedure, Michael was on strong pain medication (Demerol). He had an implant of Naltrexone for many months in his abdomen to block the effects of the opioid drugs so that he won’t develop an addiction to Demerol.
- Donated all money received after his Pepsi accident ($1.5 million) to the Brotman Medical Center (later known as “Michael Jackson Burn Center” in Los Angeles).
- In his Pepsi commercials he is never seen holding a Pepsi can. In fact, he did not like Pepsi. He preferred Coca Cola.
- Had pleurisy while visiting at Jermaine’s Malibu house and was rushed to the hospital by Jermaine.
- Prince (aka. Roger Nelson) – Madonna – Michael connection – They were the three biggest superstars in the 1980’s. All three were born in the summer of 1958. Prince was born on June 7, Madonna was born on August 16 and Michael was born on August 29.
- Michael regarded Prince as his biggest “competition” in his musical professional life. Their “rivalry” was often played up by the press (reporting that Prince called Michael a “wimp” and Michael called Prince “gross”). There were no bitter feuds between them but they certainly did not care much for each other. Prince regularly “snubbed” Michael by refusing to appear or collaborate with him. Prince was invited but never showed up for the taping and recording of “We Are The World.” Another time, Michael reached out to Prince to make a duet (the original version of “Bad”) but Prince declined. However, after Michael’s death, Prince paid tribute to him in his 2011 concert tour by playing his own rendition of “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”.
- Prince had his own sense of humor when it came to Michael. Once he sent a present in a small box to Michael. It contained some colorful metal charms and feathers. Michael opened the box in the presence of Quincy Jones and as soon as he has seen the contents quickly closed it. He was absolutely horrified and truly believed that Prince was sending him voodoo to put a hex on him.
- Both Prince and Michael went out on dates with Madonna. Michael later recalled his dates and interactions with Madonna in the Rabbi Schmuley tapes. He felt that Madonna was sincerely in love with him and was definitely intent on seducing him (including making obscene phone calls to him and showing him “spanky books”). Back then, Michael found Madonna too aggressive, vulgar and basically “not a nice person.” Although Michael did say in the Schmuley tapes that motherhood definitely did justice to Madonna as she seemed to be a very devoted and loving mother to her children.
- Driver license no: N8685798. Learned to drive only at the insistence of his mother.
- One of his old telephone numbers was listed in Sammy David Jr.’s private notebook as 213-907-5130.
- Didn’t like to drive on the freeways. He once said he could never get on them and then he couldn’t get off of them.
- Had trouble with parallel parking. Once he drove to visit a friend just to find out that there were no parking spaces to which he could get into. He kept driving around the complex and a crowd gathered. He attracted attention not only because he was driving a new expensive Bentley but because he was unmistakably recognized. Eventually, he asked one of the spectators if he could help him park the car. Needless to say the guy happily obliged and was eager to drive around in Michael’s car and finally parallel park it.
- “Speed Demon” was written after Michael got a speeding or similar traffic violation ticket on his way to a studio working with Quincy Jones.
- Called 9-1-1 once when he had a flat tire. 9-1-1 operator hung up on him when he stated his name was Michael Jackson. Because Michael called back asking for further assistance, the operator told him that he would be cited for “misuse of emergency hotline” and “for impersonating a famous person.”
- People often hung up on him once he announced his name. Even though he was making legitimate phone calls most people thought it was a prank.
- After the release and the overwhelming world-wide success of “Thriller,” Michael faced an unprecedented onslaught of media attention. Although he was a child star who grew up in the public eye, very few people knew what was going on with this shy enigmatic young man who seemed to have no bad vice; had no girlfriends; never got into any negative publicity, and still lived at home with his parents. Since there was nothing of substance to report, the tabloids started up speculations about Michael possibly being gay (romantically tying him to song writer Clifton Davis and then to the singer Boy George); taking hormones to keep his voice artificially high; his isolation and disconnect from everyday people; his affinity for childish fantasies (Disneyland and keeping mannequins for company); his love for exotic animals (e.g., having a pet chimp, a boa constrictor and a private zoo at home), and never-ending rumors about altering his appearance to be made look like Diana Ross.
- Michael, the forever prankster, first thought it would be fun to see just how far the tabloid can be led on and he himself came up with elaborate hoax and pranks. He posed for a picture laying in a hyperbaric chamber and his manager, Frank Dileo fed false rumors to the tabloid media — which he and Michael thought up — that Michael actually slept in a hyperbaric chamber in the hopes of prolonging his life. Another false rumor circulated by Dileo was that Michael wanted to buy the bones of the Elephant Man. The tabloid naturally ate up all such news and eventually started coming up with its own false rumors which became more salacious and mean-spirited in nature to the point that Michael realized that his innocent prank turned into a monster. Thanks to the tabloid media portrayal, the public was fed a completely false image of Michael who became a weird, wacky cartoon character and the butt of all media jokes on an international scale.
- Many attempts were made on his part to refute media misrepresentations up until the end of his life. In 1984, Michael issued a two-page “open letter” statement to the press (which Frank Dileo read at a news conference) in which Michael reacted to each and every false allegations of the media against his character. All this was to no avail. Ultimately, the situation has gotten worse. The media never stopped portraying Michael in a bad light. Michael also became the target of an extortion brought on by the Chandler family accusing him of child molestation and his reputation and public image never fully recovered from false allegations.
- Often times he kept in touch with friends by phone calling them late at night or at odd hours sometimes miscalculating time zones. After Lady Diana’s death it was revealed that several phone calls were made between Buckingham Palace and Neverland when Michael and Lady Diana had candid telephone conversations.
- Many recorded private conversations were posted on YouTube after Michael’s death. Most notably a fairly lengthy series of telephone calls — referred to as the “Glenda” tapes — between an unidentified woman and Michael, which were apparently recorded by the woman’s jealous husband, who became suspicious of the long, late night telephone conversations his wife was having with another man. It is not know whether the husband knew it was Michael Jackson on the other line. The recordings were made at around 1992 when Michael was on his Dangerous Tour.
- Liked to make prank calls to various friends and acquaintances. Russell Crowe recalled such prank calls he received from Michael. Many times he made prank calls (or answering his phone) using foreign accents and disguising his voice.
- Released a fragrance with hologram on the bottle in the early 1990’s. It was called Mystique.
- Michael wore the perfume Black Orchid designed by Tom Ford. He also reportedly liked Bal A Versailles by Jean Desprez. According to Jermaine, Michael also liked to use a Dolce & Gabbana cologne with the red top.
- Michael used the perfume Obsession by Calvin Klein for Bubbles the monkey. Bubbles also had impeccable designer clothing attire. Jermaine claims he sometimes ended up “borrowing” some of Bubbles clothes for his own kids.
- Gave a lecture/speech at Oxford University, London, UK, in 2001 to promote his “Heal The Kids” campaign.
- Patent no. 5255452, filed in 1992, is a special “gravity defying” pair of shoes registered to Michael Jackson. He designed the shoes in order to perform the choreography for a special lean requiring a 45-degree angle especially for the song “Smooth Criminal”.
- Wore reading glasses that he normally purchased at Rite Aid, Walgreens or other convenience stores. Dr. Murray claimed Michael had such poor eyesight that he should have been declared “legally blind.”
- Was a non-smoker, but empty cigarette packets were found in his personal belongings at the Carolwood residence. Dr. Murray claimed Michael might have been a “closet smoker” and covered up the smell of cigarette smoke by using perfume excessively.
- Always packed his own bags and suitcases.
- His clothes were custom-made by Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins.
- Michael brought in an array of singular trademarks such as a single sequined glove, fedora hat, Jheri curl, aviator sunglasses, red leather jacket with zippers, simple white T-shirt, and glittery white socks with short-hemmed black pants.
- In 1989, Michael participated in an endorsement campaign for LA Gear footwear called “Unstoppable.” Here is the official commercial .
- Wore armband to bring attention to and as a reminder of all the children suffering over the world.
- Wore watch on his right hand.
- Wore shorter hemmed pants and glittery white socks to bring people’s attention to his footwork while he was performing.
- Had a messy personal bedroom where no one was allowed, mainly because too much stuff was taken from him by staff in the past. He had a separate bedroom where he actually ended up sleeping.
- Often slept on the floor on a mattress. During sleepovers with children he slept on the floor in front of a fireplace or in sleeping bags. Although he was accused of inappropriate behavior with children, through his life, Michael was emphatic that he never slept with children in the same bed.
- Had state-of-the-art speakers installed throughout his house including the bathrooms. He often listened to unfinished works or demos while dressing up.
- Slept with lights on and classical music playing.
- Never wore a bathing suit after being diagnosed with vitiligo. He wore pajama pants and t-shirt in the pool.
- Dreaded to go on tours, claimed he “would go through hell during touring.” He often suffered from dehydration after performing.
- He battled insomnia since the 1980’s.
- Became dependent on strong painkillers after he had an accident in Munich (falling with the “cherry picker” during a performance).
- He has rarely or almost never seen the entry and the lobbies of any hotels he stayed at during his tours. He was always ushered through back entries, freight elevators or kitchens.
- He often used sheets, pillow cases and other items which he signed for fans and then threw them from his hotel suite.
- Was scared of dogs, especially small “yappers.”
- Was able to overcome his fear of dogs and got a chocolate Labrador, “Kenya,” for his children. He also gifted a small dog, “Marshmallow”, to Rabbi Schmuley and his family.
- Had a sweet tooth. His eldest son, Prince recalled beach walks they had in Bahrain in 2005, when they ate Snicker bars and drank Coca Cola.
- When he was a child, Michael always bought candies from his daily allowance and gave them away to neighboring kids in Gary, Indiana. At his Neverland theatre, he had a full service concierge with variety of candy bars, donuts and sweets served for free for the audience.
- Liked to chew gums. His favorite gums were Bazookas.
- During the Jackson 5 era, he often played basketball with his brothers and family tournaments with other Motown groups like The Temptations. His long-time friend, Frank Cascio, claims that Michael was “shockingly bad” at any sports and by his observation, Michael couldn’t even dribble the basketball.
- After a minor fire incident, he had his own fire department on premises at Neverland Ranch.
- Had a zoo of exotic animals at Neverland Ranch including tigers, giraffes, alpacas, llamas, elephants, peacocks and snakes. Michael’s menagerie included: Bubbles (chimpanzee), Graveyard (orangutan), Muscles (python), Louie and Lola (llamas), Mr. Tibbs (ram), Gypsy (elephant), Thriller and Sabu (tigers), Black Girl, Spanky, Shadow and Sasha (dogs), Jabbar, Rambo, Princess and Annie Sue (giraffes), MJ (alligator).
- At the time of his death, the following animals surrounded Michael and his children at 100 Carolwood Drive, Bel Air, California: a chocolate lab dog called Kenya, a talking bird who also whistled when a pretty lady walked by, called Siberia, two outdoor cats, a black one called Thriller and an orange one called Katie, a pet rat that belonged to Prince (name unknown), a bunny rabbit (name also unknown) and a family of snails collected by the three Jackson children for a science project and which was kept (with Michael’s permission) on the kitchen counter in glass vases embellished with moss on the bottom and little cocktail umbrellas.
- At Neverland, Michael liked to feed his animals with candies. The apes loved to eat Jujubes and Nerds. His baby bear loved Skittles. His elephants drank sodas and ate Starbursts.
- Since it was such a rural area, he had roads built and fortified in order to get to Neverland Ranch. He often entertained and invited over sick and underprivileged children normally by the bus loads to his ranch.
- Liked white wine. He often drank it out of soda cans when children were around so they would not see him consume alcohol.
- Called wine “Jesus juice.”
- Was raised and practiced as a Jehovah’s Witness until 1987. Five days per week, Michael and his mother often went “pioneering” door-to-door in the neighborhood of Encino spreading the word of Jehovah.
- The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight Sign.” Michael started recording the song as “Starlight Sign,” but as the recording sessions developed, the lyrics were changed and ultimately the song’s title, too.
- Asked his attorney, John Branca, to destroy the video “Thriller” before it was released, because he was criticized by the Jehovah’s Witness church elders for its contents. Branca told him a (possibly untrue) story about Bela Lugosi, a devout Catholic who played “Dracula” (whom Michael liked), who had disclaimers on his movies saying that his films were not endorsing vampirism. Michael instructed a similar disclaimer be put on “Thriller” and thus it was ultimately released.
- “Carousel” was to be released on “Thriller.” The last minute, it was replaced with the song “Human Nature.” Almost 600 different demos for songs were considered for the “Thriller” album by Quincy Jones.
- “Rock With You” was the most often-used song for outside/beach roller skating in the early 1980’s.
- “Scared of the Moon” was written by Michael after hearing a story about a relative of Brooke Shields’ lifelong fear of the moon. The concept was so foreign to Michael that it inspired him to write a song about this phenomena. Michael himself admired the earth and the planets, he loved to make wishes upon stars, never missed to say a prayer every time he witnessed a beautiful sunset or sunrise and loved to go outside at night just to gaze at stars and admire the moon in its forever changing phases.
- The lines “ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma ku sa” in “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” are Michael’s spin on a Swahili type chant. It is a nonsensical catchy phrase and it does not really mean anything. The original line — which goes “ma ma ko, ma ma sa, ma ko ma ko sa” — is from a Cameroonean artist, Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa” which was released in 1973. The Dibango line does not have a coherent translation either although “makossa” is believed to refer to the twisting and shaking movements of a dancer.
- “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was to be a duet with Whitney Houston, but Arista, Houston’s recording company did not give permission for Whitney to record the song with Michael. They never got to collaborate on any songs.
- He liked the drink Red Bull.
- Was often regarded as a vegetarian, but he was not. According to Dr. Murray he “ate poorly, always chicken and rice”. According to Kai Chase, his chef, Michael liked spinach salads and granola with almond milk.
- He mentioned in an interview that while he was a child, the family’s favorite meal was chili, which Katherine would prepare in a large pot and then they would take it with them to studios to consume during rehearsals and taping sessions. He regretted that they rarely had time to sit down as a family and have a relaxing meal together.
- He loved traditional turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams and — his personal favorite — cranberry sauce.
- His favorite junk food place was KFC. He would take the skin off the chicken and then jokingly comment “now I made it organic.”
- Michael loved to take his kids to drive-through fast food restaurants and he placed the orders himself.
- Made the “world’s best french toasts” for breakfast, according to his daughter, Paris.
- In his 30’s, he kept a strict schedule of fasting on Sundays. He spent most of his Sundays practicing dance moves in his home studio.
- During practicing, he often listened to Janet’s music (such as “The Knowledge,” “Pleasure Principle,” and “Rhythm Nation”) because he loved the beat of her songs.
- Had a minor fear of flying. Despite his discomfort of flying, Frank Cascio, a close personal friend, reported this very statement made by Michael himself. “Listen, when you’re flying with me, you don’t have to worry about the plane going down. I’m not going to die in a plane crash. No, that’s not going to happen. I’m going to die from a shot.” [Cascio, Frank (2011-11-15). My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man (p. 123). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition]. Ironically, Michael did die from a “shot,” but not a gunshot as he probably meant it.
- Michael loved trains and often opted to travel by train instead of airplanes in order to see the countryside and relax. He often chartered private railcars on Amtrak and also traveled with trains in Europe during his various concert tours.
- Michael owned a large Neoplan luxury touring bus, which he used many times to take trips to different parts of the country, including Arizona, San Francisco and the East Coast.
- Was a great admirer of Charlie Chaplin. He made several drawings and sketches of Chaplin and he visited Chaplin’s widow in Switzerland during his tour. The song “Smile” was originally written by Charlie Chaplin.
- Was a great admirer of Walt Disney. Both Disney and Michael had their own mini trains. Michael’s was in perfect working condition at Neverland.
- Was a great admirer of Fred Astaire. Astaire called him after his television performance debuting “Moonwalk” and called Michael a “hell of a dancer.”
- Was a great admirer of Houdini and magic in general.
- Was friends with the late Doug Henning, David Blaine and Uri Geller.
- Was a fan of the Bee Gees. He often visited Barry Gibbs at his home and they collaborated on numerous songs together.
- Was a big fan of “The Three Stoogies” and admittedly watched their movies over and over again.
- Was a huge “Star Wars” fan. Befriended Carrie Fisher (who played Princess Leia) through Elizabeth Taylor.
- Loved comic books and superheroes. His favorite character was “Morph” from X-Men. He reportedly wanted to audition to play the role “Professor Xavier” in the X-Men movie.
- Wanted to play in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Hook,” but withdrew from the project after he learned that Spielberg’s take on the Peter Pan story was different from what Michael envisioned.
- Michael had a movie production company called Lost Boys Productions. Lost Boys Production was the production company that Evan Chandler (father of Jordan Chandler who accused Michael of inappropriate conduct in 1993) hoped to get in on. Evan Chandler tried to extort money from Michael once he found out he would not be a part of Lost Boys Production. Later, Chandler did have one of his screenplays materialized as a movie directed by Mel Brooks called “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”. Evan Chandler died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an apparent suicide on November 5, 2009.
- Michael and his family (including young Janet, Randy and oldest sister, Rebbie) did many television skits/variety shows in the late 1970’s. Even though Michael was not too enthusiastic about them — as he later recalled in his biography “Moonwalk” — all episodes showcase an amazing dancing repertoire of Michael: “I Shot The Sheriff” (1974); “The World is a Mess” (funny choir skit with the brothers); Tap Dancing Competition.
- Played the Scarecrow in the musical “The Wiz,” in 1978. Quincy Jones recalled that Michael was always “super-prepared” for any scenes on the set of “The Wiz.” His Scarecrow makeup took hours to put on (which Michael endured with amazing patience and enthusiasm). Michael knew every dance step, every word of dialogue and all the lyrics to every song by everyone in the entire production.
- He appeared in a full feature-length movie called “Moonwalker” which was released in 1988.
- He appeared in a 3-D science fiction movie called “Captain Eo” that was released in 1986 in Disneyland and Disneyworld. Following a more than ten-year hiatus, Disney re-released “Captain Eo” after Michael’s death in 2009.
- After working on “The Wiz,” with Quincy Jones, they collaborated on Michael’s first adult solo album “Off The Wall.”
- Had a cameo appearance in The Simpsons in the episode entitled “Stark Raving Dad.” He loaned his speaking voice but contractually he could not sing on the show nor could he use his own name in the credits. He wrote the song “Lisa It’s Your Birthday” but did not sing the version as it appeared in the episode.
- Wrote a song called “Do the Bartman” which was performed by Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson.
- Had cameo appearance in “Men in Black” as “Agent M.”
- Appeared in a 2004 comedy, “Miss Castaway and the Island Girls” as “Agent MJ”.
- Michael referred to his music videos as “short films.” Despite his huge success and history as a child performer, marketing his short films to the public was not easy. MTV, the only music television channel at the time (established in 1981), did not air/play black artists’ songs. After the huge success of his Thriller album in 1983, Michael made the first breakthrough after which MTV started playing not only Michael’s music videos but other black artists’ as well.
- “Billie Jean” was not one specific person but rather a personification of women who often claimed in history that famous people fathered their children. By his recollection, Michael laid down the entire basis for the song “Billie Jean” in 3 minutes while he was riding in a car.
- The tune of “Strangers in Moscow” appears as background music for a Sega game.
- “She’s Out of My Life” was a song hard to record because Michael broke down crying at the end of every take. Quincy Jones ultimately decided to go with the very first take of the song because it was obvious that Michael couldn’t have otherwise recorded this song. Tatum O’Neal later claimed that Michael probably recorded this song with her in his mind. Michael and Tatum briefly dated in 1978.
- Proposed marriage to Brooke Shields, but she did not accept his proposal.
- Kept Post-It notes in his bedroom and bathrooms or wrote reminders/notes on bathroom mirrors with markers. Mostly they were positive motivational thoughts for him to look at. He surrounded himself with photos of children.
- Always had a picture of Shirley Temple (as a child) and Elizabeth Taylor in his dressing room.
- After the release of “Thriller” as his fame rose, his isolation was such that he had life-size mannequins in his bedroom to keep him company. He sometimes would go out late at night desperately looking for someone to talk to in the Encino neighborhood.
- Has numerous entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. “This Is It” the 50-concert tour was to be another one of Michael’s greatest achievements and to be recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records. Michael would have taken the title over from Prince (the singer).
- Won countless awards in his lifetime which are listed in 81 different categories on Wikipedia.
- Bought the ATV Music catalog in 1984 (which contains the majority of The Beatles compositions) for $47.5 million. This music catalog currently is estimated to be worth as much as $1.5 billion.
- Loved using symbols especially the number “7”. There are numerous websites listing ever-growing examples on how the number “7” was dominant in Michael’s life.
- “Little Susie” was written after Michael saw the picture of Gottfried Helmmwein called “Beautiful Victim.”
- According to Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s real inspiration for “Smooth Criminal” were notorious serial killer “The Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and San Ysidro McDonald’s mass murderer James Huberty (who also sent threatening letters and stalked The Jacksons during their Victory tour).
- Accounts vary on the real inspiration behind “Remember the Time.” Some say, Michael wrote this song for Diana Ross. Others claim, Michael wrote the song for Debbie Rowe (his second wife).
- Loved to dress in uniforms and be photographed with police and military personnel.
- Did not wear jewelry only for photo ops or for special/publicity events. He said jewelry got in the way of dancing. He avoided wearing ties for public appearances so that no one could grab at it and pull him down.
- Michael liked to wear disguise in public just to get a bit of privacy. This way he could visit Disneyland and spend uninterrupted time to relax. He wore fat suits, false mustache or beard, baggy clothes, fake glasses and face masks. He used to say he could fool everyone with his disguises, except for the women. The women would recognize his walk; they had it all down. Another thing that would give him away were his beloved penny loafer shoes.
- Met the following U.S. presidents: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
- His favorite U.S. president was Abraham Lincoln. Michael did a lot of sketches and paintings of several U.S. presidents while he worked in an art studio with Brett Livingstone Strong.
- Had subluxation of his right hip (hip would slip out of joints when bending to 90 degrees or greater).
- Had tooth implants on tooth #18 and #19 and a root canal on tooth #13.
- Had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome on both hands.
- Admitted to two major surgeries on his nose and having a cleft added to his chin. His very first nose operation occurred after he fell at his Encino home during dance practice and broke his nose.
- Had permanent tattoos for eyebrows and lip color due to loss of pigmentation on his face caused by vitiligo.
- Had numerous surgeries on right knee.
- Michael’s nickname for Jermaine was “Earms”.
- Michael’s nickname for Janet was “Donk” (short for donkey).
- Quincy Jones had a nickname for Michael called “Smelly” because Michael always could smell a good deal. Michael’s other nickname was “Caspar” given to him by Suzanne DePasse in the 1970’s. Bill Bray, his long-time personal manager used to call him “Joker.” Frank DiLeo regularly called him “Kid.”
- Loved professional digital cameras and was quite knowledgeable about them. His favorite camera was the Epic RED camera which also was used at filming of the rehearsals of “This is It.”
- Last song performed by Michael was “Earth Song” on the evening of June 24, 2009, at Staples Center during rehearsals for the “This Is It” 50-concert tour.
- Last meal of Michael was some orange juice (an unfinished bottle was found at his bedside). Kai Chase, Michael’s chef, testified at trial that she prepared white bean soup for Michael, but he never consumed it.
- Last words spoken by Michael – according to testimony from Dr. Conrad Murray given to the police on June 27, 2009 – “Dr. Conrad, please … I need to sleep. Just make me sleep. Doesn’t matter what time I get up. I can’t function if I don’t sleep. They will have to cancel [the tour] … and I don’t want them to cancel it.”
- Medications taken close to time of death: Clonazepam, Trazodone, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Flomax and Propofol (Diprivan).
- Referred to Propofol (Diprivan) as “milk”.
- Date of death: June 25, 2009 at 14:26 PST. It was a Thursday.
- Place of death: Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (possibly 100 North Carolwood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90077)
- Cause of death: Acute Propofol intoxication administered by Dr. Conrad Murray who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on November 7, 2011.
- Met Dr. Murray in 2006 in Las Vegas. Both Michael and his children had flu-like symptoms and one of his bodyguards referred them to Dr. Murray.
- The news of Michael death on June 25, 2009, temporary crashed prominent websites like Wikipedia, Google and AOL.
- Michael’s memorial which was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 7, 2009, was watched on TV and online by a combined one billion people.
- Michael was laid to rest on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California at the Great Mausoleum’s Holly Terrace, Sanctuary of Ascension. His private funeral took place after sunset with a Jehovah’s Witness service.
- Michael’s grave is closed to the public, only visitors pre-approved by the family are allowed to pay their personal respect at his gravesite. Flowers to Michael’s interment site can be arranged to be delivered through the flower shop at Forest Lawn, Glendale.
- One Rose for Michael is an annual remembrance organized by www.mjworld.net started in 2010. You can contribute toward creating a beautiful flower arrangement for Michael on the anniversary date of his death. The flowers are placed at the Grand Mausoleum in Forest Lawn, Glendale, on June 25, and the next day they are given away for various charities.
- Michael was buried inside a golden/bronze Promethean casket (the same kind James Brown was buried in whose funeral Michael attended in December 2006).
- LaToya described that Michael was dressed in a suit with pearl beads and wore a large golden belt. This was the same jacket that he wore when Janet handed him a Grammy award in 1993. His hair and makeup was done by long-time friend and makeup artist, Karen Faye. He did not wear his signature one glove, but one was placed inside his casket along with a pair of sunglasses and a necklace that Paris, his daughter, gave to Michael.
- The Internet has an estimated 15 billion Michael Jackson-related sites (as of December 2011).
- http://mjtunes.com/ is an on-line radio station dedicated to stream Michael’s music exclusively.
- http://www.michaeljacksontributeportrait.com/ is a website dedicated to creating a “living” art to salute Michael. The artist David Ilan is preparing a drawing using only hand-drawn dots (pointillism). Each dot represents one person. One million dots are needed for the drawing to be completed. Getting a dot is free.
- In December 2009, Kraken Opus, a British publishing company produced its premium, oversized edition of the Michael Jackson Opus, which contains 404 pages, over 300 rare photographs, various artworks, exclusive interviews with Michael’s personal friends and business collaborators on 13 x 18 inch pages each, weighing a massive 26.5 lbs. (12 kg). Michael actually had a chance to review the final draft of the Opus in June 2009 shortly before his death.
- Jermaine wrote a book about Michael entitled “You Are Not Alone – Michael: Through a Brother’s Eyes” which was released in 2011.
- LaToya wrote a book about Michael entitled “Starting Over” which was released in 2011.
- Michael’s mother wrote a book about Michael entitled “Never Can Say Goodbye: The Katherine Jackson Story” which was released in 2010.
- In June 1984, Michael set his hand and footprints in cement for part of the Las Vegas Walk of Fame Project – which was later canceled. The full-size 30″ x 30″ slab – weighing 500 lbs cement slab was up for sale at an auction recently.
- On January 26, 2012, Michael’s three children impressed Michael’s hand and footprints (using Michael’s glove and shoes to make the impression) at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. Justin Bieber paid tribute to Michael at this ceremony and sang a little bit of “Rockin’ Robin.”
- Michael was inducted to the Walk of Fame on November 20, 1984. His star (no. 1793) is located directly in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.
- There are 14 different wax figures all over the world modeled after Michael. The most recent ones were unveiled in 2009, at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, California and on June 18, 2012 at Madame Tussauds, Hong Kong.
- THRILL THE WORLD is an annual international dance event – originally started in 2006 – in which participants (from pre-teens to the elderly) simultaneously re-enact the famous zombie dance seen in Michael’s short film “Thriller.” The dancers perform the same set choreography as seen in “Thriller” in unison at locations throughout the world with the intent of breaking world record for the Guinness World Record for Largest Thriller Dance in one location. The most recent Thrill The World event took place on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 7 p.m. GMT
- Michael’s brothers announced that a new concert series, entitled The Unity Tour which kicked off in June 2012. The brothers planned to have Michael also be part of the concerts using his image on video screens.
- Cirque du Soleil has two shows dedicated to Michael Jackson’s legacy. One is called “Michael Jackson Immortal” which is a multi-continent traveling show. The second is called “Michael Jackson ONE” and is a permanent show playing at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I saw “The Immortal Show” tonight at Las Vegas. I know it will be for a while until my energy from the whole experience will settle down and I will actually go to sleep. So why not do a summary then.
It was a very good show.
Was it amazing? Hmm, not to me, but if you know me, you will also know that I’m fiercely protective of Michael’s musical legacy especially when it comes to the quality of the presentation of his music and how it is coming through to an audience in any show that attempts to pay tribute to him or just uses his music. So when I have to consider all aspects, this was not an amazing show. The word – amazing – only would have sufficed if Michael had been there.
If you like Michael Jackson you will definitely leave entertained. I shamelessly eavesdropped as the crowd was leaving and I listened in on people’s conversations. I have not heard one comment from any person who did not like it. People left still singing or humming and definitely pumped up. The music together with the visual presentation indeed makes it a very enjoyable show.
If you are a die-hard Michael Jackson fan, you most likely will leave a bit heavy-hearted. I’m beginning to think this show came out too fast too soon. Those of us who adored Michael, his music, his dance, his performance, his energy, will walk away with an empty feeling … because Michael is missing from this show. The memory of him is still too raw. He MADE his music unique when he performed it and when he called the shots as to how it was being presented. Using his voice recordings, his videos, pictures of him, adding dance imitators and props will not do the trick. I so wanted him to come out at the end at least to take a bow. He didn’t. And that just reminded me of the sad reality. He didn’t come out today and he will never come out any more to take a bow.
So what is “The Immortal Show”? It is not a concert, but if you don’t like the music of Michael Jackson, you should not go to this show because that’s all they play. It is not a coherent biopic story that will tell you about the life of Michael Jackson. So, don’t expect a “from birth to death” biography of Michael Jackson. There is no real story of this show. If you want to see something that should have a story, this ain’t it. It is not a usual Cirque de Soleil show either. If you are pining for the usual spectacular, breath-taking “cirquish” acrobatics, you will be most likely disappointed because there are only a very few acrobatics in this two-hour performance. On the other hand, those few acrobatics are breath-taking!
For casting, dancers definitely were more in need for this show than acrobats. The dancers were talented, but, again, not Michael’s personal pick. If you’ve seen “This is It” and the sequence when the dancers were auditioned and then watched the dancers actually picked by Michael for the tour, you will see a definite decline in quality. Not trying to offend anyone, God bless all these talented people, but it’s the truth. Michael’s little personal touch again was missing.
The music in its current format would be awesome. I have the soundtrack and I love it. Unfortunately, somebody who staged this production mistook quality for higher decibels. This show was LOUD! I couldn’t help but chuckle recalling the picture with the Jolie-Pitt kids covering their ears while watching this show a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t mind the loud music because I love all the songs, but because of the overwhelming powerful loudspeakers, the quality of Michael’s performance suffers. Since Michael was not there to compensate of technical glitches of loudspeakers, I couldn’t help getting irritated with the end result. Michael’s real presence could come only through the music, his voice and the presentation of it, and this production did not do him justice.
From the deafening speakers, the lyrics were hard to understand, Michael’s voice occasionally drowned out because of the percussion and other instrumental music , and some of the songs (especially where Michael was narrating) had a weird, distorted almost “jacked-up” quality which made Michael’s voice completely unrecognizable and unfortunately ruined the song. I also found that some of the songs were played at a faster speed which occasionally made it hard to sing along, again frustrating to hear, and it came out almost comical.
I liked Jamie King’s direction. He knew Michael personally and it shows. Of course, if you are not a Michael Jackson fan most of the personal touches will go unnoticed. But I did appreciate a lot of it. Still, Jamie, dear – “Bubbles” has to go! 🙂 God bless that monkey. Never liked him in real life but I know Michael found a lot of joy in having him. Still, a dancer dressed up in monkey suit and dancing … we can certainly pass on that.
Do go and see “The Immortal Show.” I was so proud of Michael writing, producing and releasing all these great songs. The hits just kept coming and coming. You will be dancing in your seats and you will be fully and completely entertained.
Enjoy the music! Just as Michael wanted it, just as he hoped for, just as he meant it and just as he did it.
We remember our dearly beloved on All Souls’ Day. When we lose a loved one or someone who is important to us, who mattered or had an impact in our lives, a huge tug of war begins that never really gets resolved. Faith and the world’s reality have their vicious ongoing fight every single day for the rest of our life just trying to cope with the loss of loved ones. Sometimes the world’s reality wins and it seems that our life in this world is pointless because the outcome is inevitable – we live, we learn, we love, we get attached and then we lose some and ultimately get lost, too. Sometimes — and I wish this would be more often the case — faith prevails and life in this world has a much better prospect for the future even after someone dies.
Michael Jackson has been in my life since I’ve been 13. He has been the single most important human being who had the greatest influence in my life. I thought of Michael Jackson every day since the age 13. I followed his life closely as if he was a member of my family. I cared about how his life developed, how his career evolved, I cared what went on in his life, I rejoiced for his great successes and grieved through the hardships he had.
On June 25, 2009, his journey ended. Still, I think of Michael Jackson every day even though he has not “moon-” or otherwise walked on this Earth for over 28 months.
I do believe in life after death. I do believe that our body is just a placeholder for our souls and when we die our souls live on. I do believe that there is more than just this earthly life for us. And so, this gives me comfort. I’m not happy with him being gone. Still, I will not think of Michael as one who is gone forever. I want to believe that Michael lives on in a different place still recognizable if he walked up to me.
I wonder how he is doing in his new life. I wonder if music still flows through him effortlessly. Does he still sing and dance? Has he found melodies in an entirely different format from the music we enjoy here in this world? Does his soul still gravitate to everything that he cared about in his earthly lifetime? Does he still chuckle the same way he did all his life? Is he still as passionate and unrelentless to create new things as he was here? Has he perhaps started a brand new way of living doing something completely different than what he pursued here on Earth?
I wish I knew.
On this day, when we remember All Souls, I must place this universal prayer for all the dead (good or bad, rich or poor, successful or utter failure, saint or sinner). May no one ever be forgotten because they do live on.
Prayer for All the Deceased
By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer
has dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to
Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham’s bosom. Grant it to those, who
from Adam and Eve until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers, our mothers,
our brothers and sisters, our spouses and children, to our kinsmen and friends,
to all men and women who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee,
by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly
May your broken body rest in peace, Beloved. And may your living soul soar to wherever it pleases to. Please do come and visit me sometimes. I have so many questions for you; just like I had all my life. And I have so much to tell you, too.
I’m an immigrant. It’s been 19 years that I came to this country and there has not been one second or instance that made me regret coming here.
I learned English from Michael Jackson. I always loved his music. I was 13 when I first heard him singing on the radio. It was “The Lady In My Life” that the radio played one afternoon. I remember it very well. I was sick lying in bed and I don’t believe there was anything much that mattered to me or has caught my attention in those days. Nothing has mattered to me for a long time now. I was actually imaging what my funeral will be like. I was not to live long so I was told … unless a miracle happened.
A few months before a family tragedy struck our otherwise happy and balanced family. Suicide, alcoholism, domestic violence … never thought any of these would ever set foot in my perfect world. But life did show itself with all of its ugliness. That’s when it started my lifelong battle with anorexia and crippling depression. I was living in a country in Eastern Europe (still under Communist regime) where nobody knew how to handle my problems. Yelling “What’s wrong with you? Just eat already or you’ll die” was all my family could offer to me and then occasionally I got some medical attention, getting hooked up to IV at hospitals to get some nutrients while doctors were shaking their heads saying “stupid kid just won’t eat. never heard nothing like this.”
I didn’t think anything was in my future other than that one day I would just not wake up, I was lingering in bed pretending to still care about homework my classmastes dutifully dropped off for me every day. They didn’t know what to do with me either. I used to be the posterchild of happiness, songs never ceased my lips and I was a fierce dancer. Suddenly, I was down to a size that was barely equal to a first grader’s weight, I had no energy to speak up let alone sing and I could barely lift up my arms.
That’s when I heard “There’ll be no darkness tonight, Lady our love will shine. Just put your trust in my heart and meet me in Paradise.” I thought it was an angel’s voice. It was actually Michael singing on the radio. I did not understand a word what he was singing about but that voice and the melody really perked me up. One of my classmates was visiting and she said, “oh, this is Michael Jackson. He is American. He is the most popular singer right now with that awesome album, ‘Thriller.’ You want to hear the whole album?”
I did. And she brought me a casette tape the next day. I listened to that tape over and over and I have to tell you, songs like “Billie Jean” or “Thriller” or “P.Y.T” or “Wanna Be Starting Something” made it really hard to stay in bed. I suddenly felt like the sun was shining and life was not so gloomy after all. I wanted to dance to the music and when I felt dizzy I started eating. My mom never said anything but happily started putting more and more food before me.
That’s how it started … my lifelong “love affair” with “my” Michael. I started collecting all his songs (I had no idea that he was a child star long before “Thriller.” Because I wanted to sing along with him, I collected all the lyrics from the back of the albums and I grabbed a dictionary and started writing each and every word down, memorizing them and saying them just like I heard Michael said them in his songs. To this day, I can literally associate any English word I hear to any of his songs and sing the lyrics.