10 Outstanding Facts About Michael Jackson


*Originally published by Cyndi K on March 2022 and Updated by Vanessa R on May 2023

Michael Jackson

Image by Saiful Anwar from Pixabay

Michael was born on August 29th, 1958 as Michael Joseph Jackson. He was popularly known as the ‘king of pop.’

This is because his creative works and contribution made him be recognized as one of the most significant figures of the 20th Century.

During his time, he influenced artists across different music genres and styles through his unique stage and video performances.

1. He is the most awarded music artist in history

Michael Jackson in 1993

Michael Jackson in the opening of one of the concerts of his “Dangerous tour” in 1993- Author; Constru-Centro- Wikimedia

All through his career, 13 Grammy awards inclusive of a Grammy Legend Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award were awarded to him.

He was also awarded 6 Brit awards, 5 billboard music awards, 24 American Music Awards.

By the year 2006, he was holding 20 Guinness World Records and was also recognized as the world’s most successful entertainer.

He was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming one of the few artists to be inducted twice.

The first time was in 1997 when he was still a member of the Jackson 5 and then the second time was in 2001 as a solo artist.

2. Michael Jackson had his first performance when he was 5 years old

With a father who was a guitarist and vested in the music scene, it is natural that his children were mentored into going the same direction.

He felt that his children were very talented. In 1964 therefore, Michael joined his brothers who had formed a band by the name,’ Jackson Brothers.’

When he and his other brother, Marlon joined in, it was renamed ‘The Jackson 5.’ It was realized by the family that Michael was very talented in singing and dancing.

Thus at just age 5, Jackson’s career began and by the time he was 8 years old, he was the lead vocalist alongside his older brother, Jermaine.

3. Michael Jackson Suffered from Vitiligo but embraced it.


Photo by Hanen Boubahri on Unsplash

Contrary to common belief, Jackson didn’t purposely change his skin because “he hated being black.”

He suffered from Vitiligo, a skin condition characterized by depigmentation of the skin occurring in patches.

When he started changing, the media’s speculation that he wanted to look white affected his mental health a great deal.

After coming out however and explaining his condition, it was revealed that in an attempt to treat the condition, he used makeup to even out his skin. 

After it worsened, he started using creams to de pigment his skin so that he would appear to have an even skin tone.

4. Jackson was a philanthropist

Michael was regarded as a prolific philanthropist and humanitarian. His early charitable work was described by the chronicle of philanthropy’ as something that “paved way for the current surge in celebrity philanthropy.”

It is estimated that he donated over $500 million to charity throughout his life. He was even recognized in the Guinness World Records for the breadth of his philanthropic work.

Much of what he donated is however not known since he often gave anonymously. In 1992 also, he established the ‘Heal the World Foundation’ to which he donated several million dollars in revenue from his tours.

5. He was one of the most influential Cultural Figures of the 20th Century

Michael Jackson- "Thriller"

Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

Apart from making phenomenal music, Jackson’s stage presence and charisma made him unique.

Given he was the first great televisual entertainer, his creation brought about a different video screen presence. Adding that to how he would electrify a live audience, the Michael Jackson brand became so big within no time.

As retold by fellow artists he worked with, Jackson had a new art form of turning low-budget promotional clips into projects that would always blow up.

His creativity as showcased by the videos for “thriller,” “Billie Jean” and “Beat it” brought a new genre that combined every form of the 20th-century mass media: the music video.

His projects were both cinematic and had elements of live performance. His videos made MTV (Music Television) and ultimately changed the music industry.

The music industry had to do better and expand in order to accommodate Jackson’s talent. This shows how big of a deal his creations were in the music scene.

6. Michael loved helping Underprivileged Children

Children doing a peace sign in Vietnam

Children in Vietnam doing a peace sign- Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

Other than the monetary donations he often made, Jackson also had a habit of performing in benefit concerts.

He would give away tickets for regular concerts performances to groups specializing in aiding underprivileged children.

He often made hospital visits to sick children and opened his home for visits. He paid much attention to ensuring the provision of special facilities and nurses if the children needed that level of care.

7. Michael Jackson was awarded 3 different Presidential Awards.

In 1984, Jackson allowed his song, “Beat it” to be used for an anti-drunk driving campaign. To recognize his philanthropy, President Ronald Reagan bestowed the Presidential Public Safety Commendation upon Jackson.

Reagan’s speech stated that Michael “is proof of what a person can accomplish through a lifestyle free of alcohol or drug abuse.

People, young and old, respect that. And if Americans follow his example, then we can face up to the problem of drinking and driving, and we can, in Michael’s words, beat it.”

In 1990, Jackson was again recognized as ‘Artist of the Decade’ by President George Bush. On May 1st, 1992, two years later, President Bush again presented Jackson with an award acknowledging him as “a point of light ambassador.”

Michael received that award in recognition for his act of inviting disadvantaged children to his Neverland Ranch. Michael Jackson was the only entertainer to receive this award.

8. He once attempted to play the role of Spider-man

Spiderman Image

Image by Dusan Naumovski from Pixabay

In the late 1990s, Marvel Comics announced that it was filing for bankruptcy. Michael got the idea of purchasing it so that he could remake Spider-man the way he envisioned it.

He stated that he had intended to play the role of Spider-man although many fans and production leads were strongly against it.

9. Michael’s Net Worth became even more after his death

Sack of money image

Image by LediciaDesign from Pixabay

After his passing in 2009, Jackson’s total net worth skyrocketed to $2.1 billion. He ended up being considered as one of the most collectible celebrities in the world.

This is because several fans continue to devote themselves to collecting memorabilia related to him.

Items owned or connected to him are still being sold at private auctions, collecting several thousands of dollars.

That is inclusive of his popular and iconic red suit and white gloves that he was often spotted in.

10. Recognized by Forbes

Forbes Magazine

Forbes Magazine Building- Photo by Paul Sableman- Wikimedia

Given how his net worth shot up after his death and continues to, in 2018, Forbes Magazine ranked Michael as the highest-paid deceased celebrity in the world.

His earnings rose to $400 million posthumously and continued to hold the top spot on the list until the year 2020. By this time the earnings he made had reached over $48 million.

His net worth is considered even higher than other deceased icons like Frank Mercury, Kobe Bryant among others.

His retaining the number one spot since his death in 2009, shows how much of an impact he left behind


Michael Jackson

Image by Annalise Art on Pixabay

As described in multiple entries and articles, Michael Jackson’s achievements helped in getting rid of racial segregation in the music scene in the U.S.

He helped introduce an era of multiculturalism and integration that future generations of artists followed.

He inspired fashion trends and even helped in raising awareness for social causes around the world.

5 Reasons Fans Loved M.J.

11. He was a creative genius

Michael Jackson was a real artist who pushed the areas of dance and music. He was always experimenting with different sounds and styles and looking for new ways to advance and create. His originality and creativity served as an example for many other musicians and influenced the development of popular music.

12. His fashion sense was unique

Michael Jackson was known for his daring and unique sense of style. He created iconic looks that have come to be associated with his brand, from his iconic fedora hats to his dazzling gloves and jackets. His dress choices over the years have inspired countless fashion trends because they were always a reflection of his personality and music.

13. His personality was absolutely loveable

Fans adored Michael Jackson’s unique personality which was sometimes hard to understand but somehow his fans would relate to him with deep understanding.   He was commonly described as shy and introverted, with a humorous and mischievous side. He had a fantastic sense of humour and was fun to watch in both interviews and public settings.

14. He was quite influential

Michael Jackson had a significant impact on both music and popular culture. He was one of the first musicians to use his music to address social and political issues, breaking down racial barriers in the music business. He also invented music videos. His impact is still felt today, and he continues to serve as an inspiration to many musicians and fans all around the world.

15. He had unique choreography

Outstanding Facts About Michael Jackson

NCC-1701-Picard, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael Jackson was a true innovator who combined several styles and techniques to produce his signature dance moves, which is why his dance was so well-liked by the world.

His innovative dance moves, including the robot, the crotch grab, and the moonwalk, were unlike anything that had ever been seen before and are now used as inspiration by dancers all over the world. He became one of the best dancers of all time, solidifying his position as a pop culture legend with his spectacular performances and natural ability to move to the beat of his songs.