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Lata Mangeshkar Biography

Posted On June 13th, 2015 By Celebrity Biographies

Lata Mangeshkar Biography

Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar better known as “Nightingale of India” is one of the most respected playback singers in India. She started her singing career in the year 1942 and the glorious journey of hers still continues. Lata Mangeshkar even received the Bharat Ratna Award, which is India’s highest civilian honor, in the year 2001 for her priceless contribution to the music industry for more than half a dozen decades.

Born on September 28, 1929, Lata Mangeshkar is the daughter of Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar who was a theater actor and classical singer and to mother Shevanti also known as Shudhamati, who was Deenanath’s second wife. Initially, Deenanath’s family name was Hardikar but he later changed it to Mangeshkar, to identify themselves with their native town of Mangeshi, in Goa, India. Lata Mangeshkar’s parents originally named her “Hema” but after playing the famous character of “Latika” in her father’s play “Bhaaw Bhandhan” she was later addressed as “Lata”. She is the eldest of all her siblings followed by Meena, Asha, Usha and Hridaynath in that order.

Lata Mangeshkar took her early lessons from her father. She started singing from a tender age of 5. She gained the knowledge of music from the most renowned singers of that time, like Aman Ali Khan Sahib and Amanat Khan and later from Pandit Tulsidas Sharma. Lata Mangeshkar’s father died of a heart disease when she was just 13 years old. After his death, Master Vinayak (Vinayak Damodar Karnataki), the owner of Navyug Chitrapat movie company and a close friend of Mangeshkar family helped Lata get started with her singing and acting career.  In the year 1942, Vinayak gave her a small role in Navyug Chitrapat’s Marathi movie “Pahili Mangalaa-gaur“.  In that movie, Lata san a song composed by Dada Chandekar, called “Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai”. However her first Hindi song “Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu” was in year 1943, in a Marathi movie called “Gajaabhaau“.

It was in the year 1945, that Lata Mageshkar moved to Mumbai, and started taking Hindustani classical lessons from Ustaad Amanat Ali Khan. However following the partition of India, Amanat Ali Khan migrated to Pakistan, so it was not viable to take any more lessons from him. So she continued her lessons under the guidance of Amanat Khan Devaswale and Pandit Tulsidas Sharma. Master Vinayak passed away in 1948 and the music director Ghulam Haider mentored her as a singer and gave her first major break with the song “Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora” from the movie “Majboor”. This was after, when Lata Mangeshkar was rejected by producer Sashadhar Mukherjee who was then working on the movie “Shaheed” and he cited the reason for rejection that her voice is “too thin”. Agitated Ghulam Haider claimed that one day, producers and directors will fall on Lata’s feet and beg her to sing in their movies. Even in the year 2013, Lata Mangeshkar said that “Ghulam Haider is truly my Godfather. He was the first music director who showed complete faith in my talent.” In the year 1949, Lata Mangeshkar gave her first first major hit with the song “Aayega Aanewaala”, in the movie “Mahal”. The song was composed by music director Khemchand Prakash and lip-synced on screen by the very beautiful and talented actress “Madhubala”. After that, Lata Mangeshkar became a sensation and Ghulam Haider’s words came true. Everyone wanted Lata to sing for their movies. She has worked with the biggest music directors of India, and sung duets with the best of singers. Lata Mageshkar, in a span of seven decades, has sung songs for over thousand Hindi/Bollywood films and sung in 36 different Indian and foreign languages, although primarily in Hindi and Marathi.

In these glorious seven decades, Lata Mangeshkar was honored by multiple awards including Bharat Ratna (India’s Highest Civilian Award), Padma Bhushan (1969), Padma Vibhushan (1999), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1989), Maharashtra Bhushan Award (1997), NTR National Award (1999), ANR National Award (2009), Three National Film Awards, and 12 Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards and 4 Filmfare “Best Female Playback Singer” awards. In order to let fresh talent come forward she even gave up her Filmfare Best Female Playback in 1969 which was indeed very unusual gesture. In the year 1993, she was presented with “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Filmfare. The state governments of two Indian states “Madhya Pradesh” and “Maharasthra” have instituted a Lata Mangeshkar Award in honor of Lata Mangeshkar.

All has not been so well in her life though. Padma Sachdev who used to regularly visit Lata’s recordings revealed in her book named “Aisa Kahan Se Laaoon” about a very sad incident where Lata was being given slow poison in the year 1962, which deteriorated her health and she was bed-ridden for 3 months. It was a close brush with death as she became very weak due to this incident. The cook who used to work at home, suddenly left after this incident, without taking wages. It is said that this cook used to work with some influential people of Bollywood back in the days. Perhaps, the success of Lata Mangeshkar was too much to handle for some competitor and they took such a step. Bollywood famous lyricist “Majrooh Sultanpuri”, used to visit Lata at her home on daily basis. He used to taste the food first and only examining it, he used to let Lata eat that food. He would then recite poems and stories to her to keep her in good spirits by humor.

In the year 1974, The Guinness Book of Records listed Lata Mangeshkar as the most recorded artist in the history, stating that she had reportedly recorded “not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 Indian languages” between 1948 and 1974. i.e. 25,000 songs in a span of 26 years. Some claimed that she has sung somewhere around 50,000 songs in her singing career but many believe it was exaggerated. This entry was later removed from The Guinness Book of Records due to lack of any documentary proof. The total proven recorded songs came out to be 5025 by the year 1991. To this Lata Mangeshkar herself stated that she does not keep a record of the number of songs recorded by her, and that she did not know from where Guinness Book editors got their information from. At present, this record according to The Guinness Book of Records, is held by Lata Mangeshkar’s younger sister, “Asha Bhosle”, who has been credited for recording up to 11,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947, which is major feat for any singer.

On 27th January 1963, when India lost to China in the Indo-China war, Lata Mangeshkar sang the patriotic song “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon Zara Aankh Me Barlo Pani” in the presence of the first Prime Minister of India, “Jawaharlal Nehru”. It is said that she moved him to tears when she sang the song.

Lata Mangeshkar has always been a simple, down to earth, gem of a person. Her trademark white sari draped casually and melodious voice defines the star she is. Apart from music, Lata Mangeshkar is really fond of perfumes and diamonds. She has even earned a privilege of having a permanent gallery reserved for her at Lord’s stadium from where she can enjoy the game of cricket whenever she gets time. She is undoubtedly the queen of playback singing for last seven decades and she has set a benchmark for generations to come. She is truly, “The Nightingale of India”.


Johnny Cash Biography

Posted On July 20th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is often referred to as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was an American singer, actor, songwriter and author. Although he is majorly remembered for his contribution in country music, his tunes have also spanned across different genres such as rock and roll. He is specifically recognized for his profound, characteristic deep baritone voice coupled with a humble demeanor. His concerts typically start with his introduction line ‘Hi this is Johnny Cash’ and then usually proceed with ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.

Early Life

Johnny Cash was born on February 26th, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. He belonged to a royal descent from Scotland, however he discovered this only after searching for his ancestry. In his younger days, he believed that he was majorly Irish and partly belongs to Native America. Even after learning about his ancestry, he still remained compassionate towards Native Americans and this was clearly portrayed in his songs from the album called ‘Bitter Tears’.

Johnny Cash was given the name J.R. Cash since his parents could not agree on a single name. At the time when he enlisted for US Air Force, he had to change his name since the military would not accept initials for a name. Hence, he took a name John R. Cash. When he signed the Sun records in 1955, he adopted ‘Johnny’ as his stage name.

Johnny was one of the seven children to parents Ray and Carrie Cash. Tommy Cash, his younger brother, also became one of the successful country artists. He started singing songs while working with his family in cotton farms at the age of 5. His family experienced a lot of personal and economic struggles during the ‘Great Depression’, which was reflected in a majority of his songs. His early memories of music were dominated by radio and gospel music. His mother as well his childhood friend introduced him to writing songs and playing guitar. He used to sing at the local radio station in childhood and years later, he released an album of gospel songs as a tribute called ‘My Mother’s Hymn book’. Cash was highly influenced by the traditional Irish songs.

Later on, Cash was enlisted in the US Air Force and was posted in Landsberg, Germany as a code intercept operator, where he developed his first band called ‘The Landsburg Barbarians’. He then returned to Texas after being respectfully released as a sergeant.

Marriages

During his Air Force training in San Antonio, Johnny met Vivian Liberto at a skating rink when she was only 17. The couple dated for three weeks before Cash left for Germany and stayed in touch thereafter. After being discharged, they got married on 7th August, 1954. They had four daughters out of this marriage. However with increasing drug and alcohol abuse, constant alliance with other women, extreme closeness with June Carter and several other affairs urged Liberto to file for a divorce in the year 1966.
Jonny Cash finally proposed June Carter, a fellow country singer he met 12 years ago, in a live performance. They got married on 1st March 1968 and they had one child out of the marriage. The couple worked together and produced some of the biggest hits of all times ‘Ring of Fire. They won two Grammys for their duets, during their professional relationship of 35 years.

Career

After getting married to Liberto, the couple moved to Tennessee. He visited the Sun records studio with the hope of getting a music contract. However when he met the producer Sam Phillips, he was told that his gospel songs were unmarketable. With a lot of improvements, he finally impressed the producer with songs like ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ and ‘Hey Porter’, which were released by Sun studios in 1955.

His next record called ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ made it to the top 5 country songs whereas his other record called ‘I Walk the Line’ topped the country charts and was entered the top 20 of the pop charts. After the success of ‘Home of the Blues’ in 1957, he recorded an album with Sun. Although he was recording best-selling songs, he felt constrained with a small label. Thereafter he signed an attractive deal with Columbia Records and recorded one of his biggest hits called ‘Don’t take your guns’. During the 1960’s, he toured with the Carter Family. In the year 1961, he acted in a film called ‘5 Minutes to Live’ which was later released as ‘Door-to-Door Maniac’.

Last Years and Death

Johnny Cash was diagnosed with Shy-Drager Syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease, in the year 1997. Later on, he was diagnosed of autonomic neuropathy, often linked with diabetes. Due to this illness, he was forced to shorten his touring. In 1998, he has to be hospitalized due to severe pneumonia that damaged his lungs to a great extent. His last two American albums called ‘The Solitary Man’ and ‘The Man Comes Around’ released in 2002 contained his response to the diseases in the form of songs.

His 73-years old wife June Carter died on 15th May 2003 and had asked him to continue recording. Cash performed a few shows thereafter. On 5th July 2003, he gave his last public performance as a tribute to his wife. Four months after the death of his wife June Carter, his health worsened due to diabetes and was hospitalized at a hospital in Nashville. He died at 2am on 12th September 2003. Cash was buried in Hendersonville Memory gardens, next to his wife. One of his final works called ‘A Hundred Highways’ produced by Rick Rubin was released after his death on 4th July 2006. The album was an instant hit and got the first position on the charts. On 26th February 2010, Rick Rubin along with the Cash Family released another posthumous record called ‘Aint No Grave’ to mark the 78th birthday of Johnny Cash.


Luciano Pavarotti Biography

Posted On June 20th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti was a famous Italian tenor, who also ventured into popular music, finally becoming one of the most successful operatic tenors of all times. He is regarded as the best male singing voice after Enrico Caruso. Pavarotti is distinguished for combining quality of sound production and accuracy of pitch along with unique musicality.

Early Years

Luciano was born on October 12, 1935 in the north-central city of Italy called Modena. He fondly remembers his childhood, but the family was short of money. His parents owned a small two-room apartment where Pavarotti lived with his sister. His father worked as a baker and his mother was employed in a cigar factory. Between 1939 and 1945, the family had to depart the city in 1943 due to the Second World War. For the next year, they had to accommodate themselves in a single room from a farmer in the adjacent countryside.

As a kid, Luciano’s first musical influences were the recordings of his father, which featured the well-known tenors of those times. At the age of 9, he started singing in a small church choir with his father. He attended a few voice lessons during those times; however he later concluded that they weren’t important. He lived a normal childhood and was largely interested in sports, soccer in particular. After graduating from Schola Magistrale, he faced the predicament of choosing a career for himself.

Initially, Pavarotti was fascinated to become a professional soccer player, however his mother convinced him to train to become a teacher. He took classes in an elementary school for about two years, but he always had an inclination towards music. Knowing the risk involved, his father was pretty reluctant while giving his consent. The family decided that Pavarotti would be given a free room as well as a board until he ages 30. After this age, if he doesn’t succeed as a singer, he would be required to earn his living through any means available.

The Start of His Career

Pavarotti started serious studying at the age of 19, in the year 1954, with a prominent teacher and an admired tenor called Arrigo Pola, who also resided in Modena. Pola was well aware of financial problems of the family and hence he offered to give free lessons to Pavarotti. During this time, Pavarotti met a young girl called Adua Veroni and they were married in 1961.

Two and a half years later, Pola moved to Japan and Pavarotti then became an apprentice of Ettore Campogalliani. Campogalliani was also giving lessons to Pavarotti’s childhood friend called Mirella Freni, now known as soprano (the highest singing female voice). In order to sustain himself, Pavarotti held a number of part-time jobs. He first served as an elementary teacher but then when he failed at this job, he became an insurance salesman.

The initial six years of study led to nothing important but a few recitals in small towns, all of it without getting paid. During a concert in Ferrara, Italy, a small lump (nodule) developed on his vocal chords and led to the disaster in the concert. At this point, he decided to give up on singing; however his voice suddenly improved after this incident. Due to some unknown reason, the nodule disappeared and he found the voice that he always wanted to achieve.

The Journey to Success

In 1961, Pavarotti won the first prize in the Achille Peri Competition. Despite a successful debut, he had to strategize certain things, so as to get a few more contracts. Alesandro Ziliani, a well-known agent who attended Pavarotti’s concerts, offered to represent him after hearing him as an audience. In 1963, he replaced Giuseppe di Stefano and performed in a concert at London. This concert at Covent Garden was a huge success and his voice matched well with the production. 19th century Italian opera forms a major part of Pavarotti’s collection, especially Donizetti, Puccini and Verdi. He was extremely comfortable while singing their music and Pavarotti is known to sing fewer recitals since he considered them to be more exhausting than opera.

Not many opera singers make good actors, however Pavarotti spent a lot of time around the mid 1980’s and polished his acting skills, along with consistent singing. He starred in a commercial film called “Yes, Giorgio” in the year 1972. Later on, his solo album based on the Neapolitan songs called “O Sole Mio” outsold all records by any other classical singer. All through the eighties, he soared in popularity and become a leading figure in the world of opera. He broadened his appeal with televised performances and famous concerts. Pavarotti reached out to millions of viewers with his solo concerts or opera performances. He started showing great potential as a recording artist and recorded a number of Italian folk songs and classical operas. By the time he staged his first ever ‘The Three Tenors’ concert in Rome, he was already popular.

Criticisms

Pavarotti experienced his share of rejection and criticism as well. He was banned from contracts with the ‘Lyric Opera’ in the year 1989 since he canceled a series of performances due to ill health. He was also sued by BBC (British Broadcasting Company) since he sold the lip-synced concert to the company. During a performance at La Scala, he was booed while performing ‘Don Carlo’.

Death

During an international farewell tour in July 2006, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pavarotti fought against the implications of the condition and went through a major abdominal surgery, so as to gain fitness for his final musical commitments. However, he died in Modena at the age of 71 on September 6, 2007. Pavarotti is survived by his wife Adua (whom he was married to for 34 years) and his second wife Nicoletta Mantovani. He had four daughters and the fortune of 300 million euros was amicably split between them. Tributes were paid to the legend and there was a concert organized by performers trained by Pavarotti in the Avery Fisher Hall of New York City.


Bob Marley Biography

Posted On May 23rd, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Bob Marley was a Jamaican musician and singer-songwriter. He was the lead guitarist, songwriter and singer for rocksteady, ska as well as reggae bands including “The Wailers” and “Bob Marley & the Wailers”. He remains to be one of the most popular and revered artist of reggae music. He is also responsible for spreading the Jamaican music as well as the Rastafri movement to a global audience. His last compilation album called “Legend” was released in 1984 and sold 20 millions copies across the globe.

Early Life

Bob Marley was born as “Robert Nesta Bob Marley” in a small village called “Nine Mile” in Saint Ann Parish on February 6, 1945. Norval Sinclair Marley, his father, was a Jamaican from the English descent, whose family belonged to Essex, England. He served as a captain in the Royal Marines and was a plantation overseer as well. He married an 18 years old Afro-American called Cedella Booker. His father often went out for long trips and hardly saw his family; however he continued to support them financially. His father died of a heart attack in the year 1955, when Bob Marley was only ten years old. Throughout his life, he was teased due to his mixed racial inheritance and he was often asked questions about his own identity. His mother was black and his father was white, however he claimed that he was only on the side of God who created him the way he is. Based on his contemporary beliefs, he self-identified himself as a black African. In some of his songs such as “Blackman redemption”, “Black survivor” as well as “Babylon system”, he speaks of struggles of Africans against the racial discrimination from the West.

Early Career

Bob Marley soon became friends with Neville Livingston (also known as Bunny Wailer) and started playing music with him. He left school by the age of 14 for the purpose of making some music with a local singer called Joe Higgs, who was also a devoted Rastafari. During one of the jam sessions with Livingston and Higgs, he met Peter McIntosh, who also shared the same musical ambitions. Marley came up with his first two singles in the year 1962 with Leslie Kong, namely “One Cup of Coffee” and “Judge Not”. These songs gained little attention when they were released; however they were included in the box set of Marley’s work.

Wife & Children

Bob Marley was married to Rita and had three children. His wife had two adopted children from her previous relationships. Marley also had children from other women. His official website acknowledges as many as eleven children.

The Wailers

Bob Marley, along with Junior Braithwaite, Bunny Wailer, Beverly Kelso, Peter Tosh and Cherry Smith found a rockstead group and named it “The Teenagers”. They later renamed themselves to “The Wailing Rudeboys” and then “The Wailing Wailers”. Coxsone Dodd, a record producer later discovered the troupe and they were finally named “The Wailers”. Kelso, Smith and Braithwaite left the group in 1966 and after that Marley had a conflict with the producer. This led to the formation of ‘The Upsetters’. Although the group did not survive for long, they recorded some of the finest works till date. There was a dispute about the recording rights, between Marley and Perry. They split later on, but remained friends for long. The Wailers broke off completely in 1974 and the remaining members went on to pursue solo careers. There were different rumours about the breakup within the group. Some believed that the members had issues with the copyrights, whereas some claimed that the members wanted to go solo. Marley still continued to record as “Bob Marley and The Wailers”, despite the break up. There were 11 albums recorded under this name, seven of them were studio albums and four of them were live albums.

Illness

Bob Marley was known to have acral lentiginious melanoma in 1977, which was a simple wound picked up during a football match. Despite the malignant melanoma, he completed a tour of Europe along with his band in 1980. Shortly after, his health started deteriorating and the cancer was spread all over the body. He sought treatment from the Bavarian clinic in Josef Issels and was given a special cancer therapy, which involved the avoidance of specific food items, drinks as well as other substances. He fought for eight more months, before boarding a plane for Jamaica.

Death and Posthumous Reputation

Marley almost accepted that he was going to die, while flying from Germany to Jamaica. His condition worsened thereafter and he was taken to the hospital for immediate assistance. He died in Miami on May 11, 1981 at the ‘Cedars of Lebanon’ hospital. The melanoma spread to his brains and lungs, which led to his death at the age of 36. He said his final words to his son, where he claimed that ‘money cannot buy life’. Bob Marley was given a state funeral in Jamaica that combined the elements of Rastafare tradition and Ethiopian Orthodoxy. He was buried close to his birthplace on May 21, 1981. He got the ‘Jamaican Order of Merit’, just a month before his death.

Bob Marley was inducted to the ‘Rock & Roll’ Hall of Fame in 1994, whereas Time Magazine chose ‘Exodus’ as the biggest album of the century. There was a feature-length documentary about him, made by Rebel Music, which won several Grammys. Also, he was given the posthumous ‘Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Grammys in the year 2001.

Religion

Bob Marley happened to be a member of the Rastafari tradition. The culture of this religion turned out to be instrumental in the development of reggae. He became the main proponent of the tradition, taking music from the socially deprived regions of Jamaica, on to the international scene. Marley was a vegetarian since Rastas practiced a diet that excluded meat.


Michael Jackson Biography

Posted On November 4th, 2009 By Celebrity Biographies

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, the renowned ‘King of Pop’, a distinguished singer and songwriter was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He was born to an African-American family and his father’s name is Joseph Jackson. His father had given up his musical aspirations in order to run the family. He believed in the talents of his sons and moulded them into a musical group that was introduced in the sixties. The first of the Jackson family performers were his older brothers Jackie, Jermaine and Tito. Michael joined this group when he was five years old and turned out to be the lead vocalist in the group. He could convey complex emotions with ease and captivated the audiences with his depth. The oldest brother Marlon also joined the group shortly after, therefore evolved the group into ‘Jackson Five’.

Joseph Jackson is known to push his sons, behind the scenes and is also known to have become violent with them. Michael would spend hours with his brothers, rehearsing the act. To begin with, the group played local gigs, which brought them a lot of fan following. Their only compilation, ‘Big Boy’ along with ‘You’ve changed’, but failed to attract a lot of audiences. The group then started working on open acts for renowned R&B artists of the time such as the Pips, Gladys Knight, Sam & Dave and James Brown. It is also known that Berry Gordy was pretty impressed with the group and signed them to his exclusive label in the year 1968.

Works

By the age of 13, Michael Jackson launched a solo record in addition to his work with the group. He first made it to the charts with his song, ‘Got to Be There’ from the album with the same name. In 1972, Jackson got his first hit with the ballad about the rat. For several years thereafter, Michael Jackson and the group maintained a busy tour schedule; however the group broke all its ties with Gordy by the year 1975.

The group was renamed as the ‘Jacksons’ and they signed a new recording deal with the Epic Records. In 1978, the youngest brother Randy joined the group and Michael Jackson wowed the music industry in the year 1979 with his solo album called ‘Off the Wall’. The album was a rare combination of pop and funk and included the highly popular tracks of all time. The next album called ‘Triumph’ was the one that escalated Michael’s career to the highest peak with about one million copies of the album being sold then. Pairing up with Paul McCartney, Michael sang his first duet called ‘The Girl is mine’ in the year 1982. This song also appeared on his next album called the ‘Thriller’. This album contained 7 of the biggest hits.

In a special television show to honour ‘Motown’, Jackson performed a famous hit called ‘Billie Jean’, where he debuted his world-famous dance move referred to as the ‘moon walk’. He created this step himself and thereby choreographed his other dance sequences in the video ‘Beat It’. The horror-tinged video for the ‘Thriller’ became exceedingly popular and the album was nominated for 12 Grammy awards and ended up winning 8 of those. With the diversified talent displayed at the Grammys, he found recognition all around the world.

Around this time, he signed a $5 million endorsement with Pepsi-Cola and got badly injured while filming for this commercial. He got severe burns on his face and scalp in the year 1984 and this is the time when he started experimenting with plastic surgeries. His face, essentially his nose went through a lot of dramatic changes in the years to come. That year, he concluded his support to the Jackson group with the album called ‘Victory’. In the year 1991, Jackson released the ‘Dangerous’ featuring one of the biggest hits called ‘Black & White’. There was a huge controversy revolving around this song since Michael was seen with some sexually proactive actions. Thereafter he was seen performing at important events around the world including the Superbowl XXVII.

Controversies & Personal Life

Jackson was a quiet and a shy person off stage, he was never comfortable in front of the media and he rarely gave any interviews. In the 80’s, he created his own fantasy retreat called ‘Neverland’ in California. He kept amusement rides and exotic pets such as chimpanzees there. It almost seemed as if he was living his estranged childhood. It was also heard that he used to sleep in special chambers that would increase his life span and also lightened the colour of his skin in order to appear white.

He gave a rare interview to Oprah Winfrey in February, 1980 where he explained the change of the colour of his skin was due to a disease called ‘vitiligo’. He also detailed the abuse from his father in that show. A year later, there were allegations of child molestation against him. He was allegedly having sleepovers with young children in his ranch, but there was no particular evidence against him.

In 1994, he married Lisa Marie Presley and the couple was seen giving a joint interview with Diane Sawyer, however the union was pretty short lived. The couple got divorced in the year 1996 and it was believed that the wedding was a ploy to cover up his molestation charges. He married a nurse called Debbie Rowe, later that year and the couple had two children through artificial insemination process. Michael also has a third child from an unknown woman and the couple got divorced in the year 1999. He then took custody of all his children.

The Decline

His career started to decline from the year 1995 and he started facing criticism for his works. With the release of ‘Invincible’, more and more stories were published about his behaviour as compared to his talent. He was often seen in public wearing a surgical mask and covered the faces of his children under veils. In the year 2002, he seemed confused and disoriented on the stage at an MTV awards program. He was criticised for dangling his son over a balcony in Germany. In 2003, he received a severe blow on his reputation with the release of a documentary called ‘Living with Jackson’ by a British journalist called Martin Bashir. In 2004, he was arrested for molesting children, however all charges were dropped in the year 2005 and he moved to Bahrain for a while.

He sold the ‘Neverland’ ranch in the year 2008, after facing severe financial crisis. He also auctioned some of his home items and announced that he would be performing some shows in London as his ‘final curtain call’ to mark his retirement. The series was named ‘This is It’, which is now converted into a documentary by Columbia Pictures with his rehearsal footage. It was a speculation whether the singer would be able to handle a continuous series of 50 concerts.

Despite all the rumours and controversies surrounding him, 50 year old Michael Jackson remained a figure of great interest and was supposed to perform at the O2 arena on July 8th, 2009. He suddenly died of a cardiac arrest on June 25th, 2009. However, all the tickets of his shows were sold out within a few hours. After his death in Los Angeles, millions of music fans mourned his death all across the globe.

For the past four decades, Michael Jackson has been entertaining the world with his music and dance and he shall always be considered as an integral part of the contemporary culture.


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