Salute to Black History---Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. He was commonly known as the “King of Pop”. Due to the stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His unique sound and style influenced many hip hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop and rock music artists.

Musical Fame

Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best selling album of all the time. His other albums, including Off the wall(1979), Bad(1987), Dangerous(1991), and History (1995), also rank among the world's best selling albums. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of the Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame as the first and only dancer from pop and rock music. His other achievements include multiple Guinness World Record; 13 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 26 American Musical Awards, more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s" Jackson has won hundreds of awards, making him the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.The music videos for his songs were credited with breaking down racial barriers and with transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool.

Philanthropic Work

From 1985 to 1990, he donated $455,000 to the United Negro College Fund and all of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity. Jackson founded the Heal the World Foundation in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's ranch to enjoy theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property. The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war, poverty, and disease.

Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research. In a high-profile visit to Africa, Jackson visited several countries, among them Gabon and Egypt.

He joined Luciano Pavarotti for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show was in support of the nonprofit organization War Child, and raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo and Yugoslavia, as well as additional funds for the children of Guatemala. Also, Jackson organized a set of "Michael Jackson & Friends" benefit concerts in Germany and Korea.

Jackson traveled the world attending events honoring his humanitarianism and in 2000, the Guinness World Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities, more than any other entertainer

Jackson’s humanitarian work was recognized on May 14, 1984, when he was invited to the White House to receive an award from President Ronald Reagan for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.