- Created By IchigoKuromaru09
Lightning's personality is very determined, concentrated, independent, and cunning. Lightning has a straightforward persona with a lone wolf attitude, similar to that of Squall Leonhart in Final Fantasy VIII. She is also easily annoyed, as whenever Snow calls her "sister" due to his relationship with Serah, and in retaliation, she yells at him, and punches him three times to the ground. Despite this, Lightning is not heartless, as she cares deeply for her sister's safety, but often fails to see how much Serah cares about her the same way. After their parents died, Lightning looked out for Serah as though she was her daughter, although she tends to be overprotective of her. She also shows her motherly side to Hope as she comforts him after the loss of his own mother and decides to take him under her wing. She slowly opens up to him and becomes willing to confide him with things about herself that she normally would not tell others; it is possible that she sees Hope as a kindred spirit because of how they both lost their mothers around the same age, and how she sees a bit of herself in him due to this fact. Interestingly, Lightning seems slightly shy towards physical proximity outside of a combat situation, as seen when Fang asks to see how far her brand has advanced.
Lightning's parents died from an unknown sickness when she was fifteen (how such illnesses still survive in a society as advanced and supposedly-utopian as Cocoon is unknown). With no other family to turn to, Lightning was given the job of raising her younger sister, Serah. In an attempt to get over the pain her parents' deaths brought her, discard her childhood and become an adult as quickly as possible, she decided to change her name from Claire Farron (Éclair Farron in the Japanese version) to simply "Lightning". Ever since then, she has acted as a sort of mother figure to Serah. After graduating from high school, Lightning decided to join the Guardian Corps Bodhum Security Regiment under Lieutenant Amodar, where she attained the rank of sergeant, and was scheduled for officer training before the events of the game. However, she slowly began to lose sight of her goals, and worked many hours while spending little time with Serah. One day, Lightning finds herself surrounded by local aquatic monsters, but feels no fear whatsoever. She is then saved by NORA but is far from grateful for their help since they interfered with her mission. She meets Yuj and Lebreau, who are both riding an airbike. Lebreau asks Lightning if she has ever heard of NORA, but Lightning lies about never hearing of them. She calls Amodar and while other soldiers from her unit congratulate her, Amodar is talking to someone. Amodar then introduces Snow as the leader of NORA. Snow's off-hand greeting only serves to irritate Lightning, who thinks to herself if he can not be polite. After Amodar explains that Lightning's weapon is only given to the best soldiers and Snow shouts in excitement and praise while looking at her, Lightning finds it unbearable. Concerning NORA, she thinks to herself, "Just a group of amateurs who've gotten guns and are acting all justice league..." Then she asks them why they do not join the army and put their energy to good use. Snow says, "Rules and uniforms just don't fit our personality you know?" Lightning asks herself why he keeps saying things that get on people's nerves, and says that he makes her beyond angry. She thinks that NORA lacks any of the common sense that normal people have. After the rest of NORA gets on an airbike, Lightning stops Snow and asks if that is his name. She tells him that he has been following her younger sister around, causing Snow to realize who she is. He introduces himself to her and holds his hand out. Lightning sees how large his hands are, but sees that how he is asking for a handshake while wearing gloves shows that he does not know anything about proper manners. She ignores his outstretched hand and tells him not to get involved with Serah. Snow asks her what if he did stop. Lightning turns to walk away but a coconut hits her toes. Then Snow asks her, "So, if did? Then what?" Lightning puts her foot on the coconut, puts her fingers together, and cracks her joints. She feels her foot fall after Snow kicks the coconut into the air and catches it in his hand. He tells her that punching him will not do any good because he is hard-headed, which only manages to strengthen her dislike of him, as she believes that he is probably saying that she will not be strong enough to punch him or he is simply ignoring her demands. Lightning turns her back on Snow and walks away. She wonders how a "weak and horrible man" like him can have the nerve to take children and act as their general. She also thinks that Serah only finds him interesting and does not actually love him. A young soldier asks Lightning if she knows Snow, but she answers that she does not know him. She wants nothing to do with Snow ever again, not only herself, but Serah as well.
As Lightning's 21st birthday approaches, she remembers the night her mother died in the hospital and how she adopted her new name on her mother's grave. While at the shopping mall eight days before her birthday, she sees a pendant of Cocoon and thinks that Serah would like it. This makes her to feel guilty since she had not been window shopping with Serah ever since she joined the army while Serah was in middle school. Lightning remembers that after joining, she thought that she could find a way to make it up to Serah, but a year soon passed and she had gotten more responsibility. As a result, Lightning and Serah are hardly going out together let alone speaking to each other now. She also feels guilty for her lack of attention to Serah being the reason that she got involved with Snow in order to quell her feeling of loneliness. Then she sees Nora and her son Hope by the pet shop looking at a chocobo chick. Even from a distance, Lightning could tell that they got along well. She notices that Hope and Nora's faces resemble each other, causing her to recall a saying that boys usually look like their mothers. Then Lightning notices that Hope looks at least fourteen or fifteen years old judging from his orange jacket. This causes her to sadly remember how she was around his age when she and Serah lost their mother. After overhearing them talking, they inspire Lightning to plan a vacation away from Bodhum on her birthday, hoping to spend more time with Serah and take her attention away from Snow. Lightning wants to thank Nora and Hope for giving her the idea but they are now walking away together. Seeing them looking happy makes Lightning feel warm inside, and she wishes for them to enjoy the rest of their vacation. Later, she sees Vanille and Fang in a crowd of people, and thinks that they are visitors from Eden because of their strange clothing. Then Lieutenant Amodar appears and she walks off with him. Two days later, Lightning meets Captain Rygdea of the Cavalry. He asks her about any popular spots in Bodhum that teenagers might hang out around in order to help Fang find Vanille. Rygdea gives her a description of Vanille, without revealing her identity, and she tells him that his description of Vanille reminds her of Serah. Lightning tells him that he can check out the pet store, and the café near the beach and eventually leaves.
While attending the Bodhum fireworks festival, Lightning learns of a Pulse-related incident being kept under wraps by the Sanctum. Amodar warns her not to investigate, as it would only lead to trouble. On Lightning's birthday, Serah reveals her status as a Pulse l'Cie, as well as her engagement to Snow. However, Lightning does not believe her and says, "You became a l'Cie, so now you're gonna marry this idiot? And you think I'm gonna buy that? Full points for originality." Then Lightning tells Serah that if she really is a l'Cie, then it is her job to deal with her. Lightning dismisses the matter as being ridiculous before stating that it is the worst birthday ever. She harshly drives Serah away and is left with Snow. He asks Lightning why she refuses to believe her sister, and Lightning asks him if he is joking because the only reason he even popped the question to Serah was her becoming a l'Cie. Snow yells at Lightning to stop it, she also yells at Snow to stop it and get out of her house. Before leaving, Snow asks her why she is shutting Serah out, but Lightning says nothing and turns her back to him. Later, Lightning opens her birthday present from Serah. She sees that it is a survival knife and bluntly says, "How practical." She then realizes that Serah was telling the truth as a news report announces the discovery of a Pulse fal'Cie in Bodhum. After learning that the Sanctum plans to Purge the entire town, Lightning immediately tries to find Serah. However, she discovers that she is too late, as Snow reveals that Serah is being held captive inside of the Pulse Vestige. Without a moment's hesitation, Lightning resigns from her job with the Guardian Corps and boards the Purge train, so that she can rescue her sister before she is taken out of her reach.
As the train enters the Hanging Edge, Lightning disables a soldier and destroys a device that frees everyone of their restraints. She fights her way through the PSICOM sentries along with Sazh Katzroy, her circumstantial accomplice, rallying the Purgees to take action as PSICOM sends its forces after the train and derail it. While the surviving Purgees escape and are found by NORA, Lightning presses forward to the Pulse Vestige with the intent of saving her sister. Then Lightning and Sazh take on a Manasvin Warmech. After the Warmech is defeated, it shakes the train. Lightning easily jumps off to safety, she tells Sazh to do the same, which he does. The Warmech returns but is easily defeated again, and falls off the derailed train and into the area below. After Sazh asks Lightning why she is trying to stop the Purge rather than protect civilians like any other soldier, she bluntly answers "I was a soldier," and leaves. When Sazh asks Lightning why she is fighting soldiers, she tells him that it is better to die there than get sent to Pulse. As they find themselves on a highway that is destroyed before their eyes, Sazh asks if they should turn back, and Lightning says there is no time. She prepares to leave with the aid of her Grav-con Unit, but is stopped by Sazh. They struggle until Lightning kicks him off, only to learn that her Grav-con Unit got damaged in the fight. Then Sazh points out a device that could give them another means of transport. After defeating the PSICOM troops onboard, Sazh asks Lightning what her angle is. After a momentary pause, she tells him that she is after the Pulse fal'Cie. She activates the device, and they move onward. Along the way, they witness what the Purge really is: a massacre. Lightning tells Sazh that it is Sanctum logic: "They conjured up the Purge to eliminate a threat. I mean - why carry the danger all the way to Pulse? Why not just stamp it out here? Execution masquerading as exile." Then Sazh asks Lightning if she knew this was going to happen, she shakes her head no, and says that the Purge was PSICOM's business and not that of that Guardian Corps. The fal'Cie is eventually brought out, and Lightning says that what she is looking for is inside it. Then she tells Sazh that it is time to jump. She leaps off without a second thought, lands safely thanks to her Grav-con Unit, and moves on towards the fal'Cie.
Inside the Vestige, Lightning attacks a door that will not open while Sazh watches. She speaks to herself, saying things like "Why didn't I listen? and "This is my fault," to Sazh's confusion. She tells him to cover his ears, causing him to assume that she is going to blast the door open. Then Lightning places her hand on the door, says that she is sorry, begs to be let in, and the door finally opens as if answering her pleas. In the Ambulatory, she tells Sazh about Serah being a Pulse l'Cie. When he tells Lightning not to make Serah suffer, she pushes him and compares him to the people who started the Purge. However, once she and Sazh find Serah unconscious and Lightning is ready to carry her out, Sazh draws his gun on her after seeing her brand, as Pulse l'Cie are enemies of Cocoon. After Lightning asks him if she should kill Serah out of love, Serah wakes up. Then Snow arrives with Vanille and Hope and rushes to Serah's side. When he says that he will take Serah home, Lightning objects and says that she will take Serah. Then Snow calls Lightning "sis," Lightning tells Snow that she is not his sister and that Snow could not protect her as he said he would at their last meeting. After Serah tells Lightning to save Cocoon, she asks if that was her Focus and tells her that she will make things right. Suddenly, Serah's l'Cie brand glows and she crystallizes. Lightning takes Serah's crystallization and supposed death hard and takes her anger out on Snow, punching him to the ground and telling him to open his eyes and face reality. Driven by grief to destroy the fal'Cie Anima as her way of honoring her promise to Serah to save Cocoon, Lightning walks into Anima's Throne. After Snow's failed attempt at begging to Anima to release Serah, Lightning draws her Saber, says to Snow "Fine, you go on begging. Like this thing gives a damn what we want!", and continuously strikes the fal'Cie. When she stops, she says it is the fal'Cie's fault that the Purge started and innocent people are dying. Lightning says that it needs to die in order to save Cocoon, and Anima activates. Then Lightning, along with the others, is made into a l'Cie after she fights Anima's avatar. After waking up at the crystallized Lake Bresha, Lightning is attacked by Cie'th and is saved by Snow. Later, she asks how they are supposed to complete their Focus if they do not know what it is. Vanille says that she saw it, and Lightning asks her what she meant. Then she asks Hope if he saw anything. After he gives his description of the dream he had, she and Snow both say "Ragnarok." After he runs off to find Serah, Lightning momentarily stays behind, apparently frustrated, only to be noticed by Hope. Soon later, after Snow decides to fight Ragnarok in order to save Cocoon and fulfill their Focus, Lightning draws her Saber and holds it at his neck in a threatening manner. She says that the Pulse fal'Cie took Serah from them and now he wants to help it, and asks him whose side he is on. Then the party is ambushed by PSICOM, who asks them if they fell off the Purge train. Lightning answers "Maybe," and one of the armed troops approaches her with his gun for talking back to him. Lightning smirks, says "Nice gun," and goes on the offensive. After easily disposing of the soldiers and Snow calling them nothing to fear, Lightning tells him to cut the crap because PSICOM has cold-blooded beasts at their disposal and it will be game over if they ever hit the field. When the group leaves with Vanille running ahead, Lightning once again waits behind, though Snow looks at her before leaving. She eventually finds Serah's crystallized form and regrettably accepts her sister's fate, much to Snow's dismay. As she leaves, an outburst from Snow stops her. Lightning tells him that they will be dead when PSICOM finds them. Then she asks Snow if he thinks that is what Serah would want, and if he thinks he knows how she feels. He tells Lightning that he will never know if he leaves Serah. When Snow says that he'll protect Serah and Cocoon, she punches him to the ground asking him if Serah looked protected to him. She punches Snow again when he gets up and asks him what more he can do. Snow answers whatever it takes, prompting Lightning to cease her actions. After disposing of the Manasvin Warmech from the Hanging Edge, Lightning tries to leave again only to be blocked by Snow. She criticizes him for abandoning his plan of banding together to save the world in favor of staying behind for Serah's sake even if he could die. She tells Snow that he is nothing but talk and walks off. Before she leaves, he promises Lightning to complete his Focus and protect Serah. Lightning says, "Great job so far," and leads the group after she and Snow go their separate ways. When Vanille soon asks Lightning if Serah told her what her Focus was, Lightning says no, possibly because Serah felt that she could not trust her. They come soon across ancient ruins deep with the crystallized lake. When Vanille runs ahead, Lightning tells her to stay close but goes ignored. She, Sazh, and Vanille fight off a Garuda Interceptor after it attacks Vanille. The party escapes Lake Bresha with an airship. When it comes under enemy fire, Lightning grabs the controls from Sazh and begins shooting, though he eventually pushes her off. After giving the enemy the slip, a newscast featuring Primarch Galenth Dysley is shown and Lightning calls him nothing more but another tool of the fal'Cie. Then they come under attack again and find the fal'Cie Phoenix. Lightning tells Sazh to fly into the fal'Cie to lose the Sanctum ships. The fal'Cie damages their airship, causing it to crash down in the Vile Peaks area.
Lightning wakes and tries to revive Hope but she sees two Pantherons approach. She prepares to take them on alone until Vanille and Sazh come to. After disposing of the Pantherons Lightning decides to go ahead of the group as they were still being tracked. Sazh tells her to let them take a break since they were not soldiers and do not have her stamina. Lightning scolds him for having enough energy to complain, and leaves with Hope following close behind. When he catches up to her and asks if they should wait for Sazh and Vanille, Lightning says that they will eventually catch up. When they come to a rest, Lightning tells Hope that she became part of the Purge in order to save Serah. Hope tells her that he could never do something like that, and Lightning tells him that it is not a question of can or cannot, since there are some things that people just do. After Hope tells Lightning that it is easy for her to say that, she gracefully scales the wall on her own, leaving him behind. After the group is eventually reunited, Lightning resolves to go to Cocoon's capital of Eden and destroy its fal'Cie as she refuses to die as their tool. After Sazh tells her that Snow will be her enemy the next time they meet, Lightning simply acknowledges the fact and departs with Hope tagging along. Soon afterward, they become permanently separated from Sazh and Vanille by a demolished barrier. They soon come across two PSICOM troops examining a Dreadnought. After taking out the soldiers Hope tries to check out the Gran Pulse machine; Lightning demands him to leave it since he might hurt himself but he does not listen. When Hope crashes the Dreadnought, Lightning reappears, sarcastically tells him "Nice landing," and says to get moving. Hope says he feels winded but Lightning calls him too soft and continues onward with him. As she and Hope trek through the remainder of the Vile Peaks, the pressure of keeping Hope safe and dealing with the enemy soldiers begin to take their toll on Lightning. In a moment of anger, Lightning yells at Hope about how she can barely protect him when she can hardly keep herself alive and tells him to get stronger on his own, collapsing to the ground as the Eidolon Odin appears and attacks Hope, as if to force her not to leave Hope as she originally intended to. In order to save him, Lightning confronts the Eidolon with Hope and brings it under her control. After the battle, Lightning apologizes to Hope for what she said and tells him that she will toughen him up. When they reach a deserted area and defeat another group of PSICOM troops, Lightning tells Hope to stay and rest while she checks out the area. After she returns, she finds Hope fast asleep. As she watches him, he utters "Mom?", she amusedly replies "Not by a long shot," and continues to watch over him. As Lightning and Hope are about to enter the Gapra Whitewood, Lightning tells Hope that she will lead and he will watch their backs. When Hope asks her if he can lead instead, she asks him if he can handle it. After he reassures her, Lightning smiles, gives him the nod to go ahead, then tells him to look forward and she will watch the rear. She eventually gives him the knife Serah gave to her as a birthday present for his protection, and tells him that she will eventually want it back. Soon, some local Woodlands soldiers fly overhead as if not looking for them. From her experience as a soldier, Lightning says that PSICOM is keeping everything under wraps and does not want their failure to be publicized and lose their pride. As they proceed further, Lightning and Hope wonder how the others are doing. Lightning says that Sazh and Vanille will eventually get caught and have to choose between resist or surrender. When Hope asks her if she thinks Snow is still alive, Lightning replies that he is too stubborn to die and that it is his best quality. Then she says that Snow is arrogant from the get-go, thinks he is everybody's pal and that she never liked him much. Then she mentions that he leads a gang of kids in a group called NORA. Hope asks Lightning where they got the name NORA from. She tells him that it is an acronym that stands for "No Obligations, Rules, or Authority," and sarcastically says that it must be nice, although Hope grimly says it is irresponsible. While taking a break, Lightning asks Hope why he is so tense since she can tell that he is hung up on something. After he responds when she mentions Snow, she asks if something happened between them. Hope tells her that she would not understand but Lightning reminds him that they are partners. Then he tells that Snow caused his mother's death, and that he wants to get stronger to be able to face him soon. When Lightning and Hope come across an obstacle blocking their path, Lightning easily destroys it with her Blazefire Saber. Hope asks her if he can use one of her weapons but she tells him that it is a bit too heavy for him. Hope takes out the knife Lightning gave him earlier, causing her to remember the day of her twenty-first birthday and how she failed to believe Serah about her l'Cie fate. They eventually find dead soldiers on the Bioweapons Maintenance level, Hope tries to help them but Lightning pulls him away. She tells him to control his emotions and forget about sympathy if he wants to survive. Then she suggests that Hope think of it as a survival plan: "Focus on your ultimate goal and shut out everything else. Still your mind, move on instinct." She also warns him that if he lets doubt take over, then despair will cripple him. This causes Hope to create Operation Nora. Lightning asks Hope if he chose the name after Snow's team before he reveals that it was his mother's name. Then Lightning asks Hope if Operation Nora is the name for his revenge against Snow, and Hope says that it is. Then she tells him that the Sanctum killed his mother and not Snow. Hope asks Lightning whose side she is on and she says, "The side of truth." When Hope leaves, Lightning regrets what she has done in accidentally making him focus on nothing else but his plan for revenge. After they escape the Gapra Whitewood and see Palumpolum in the distance, Lightning suggests that she and Hope visit his house, in order to change his mind about revenge and also because he needs to tell his father about his mother's fate. In Palumpolum, Lightning notices that PSICOM is now recruiting Palumpolum's resident Guardian Corps soldiers. Hope says that if the train bound for Eden does not move, then they will make it move. Lightning tells him that it is a foolish idea and that he is now thinking like a Pulse l'Cie. Then she follows Hope through tunnels leading underground in order to evade the soldiers. Upon reaching the Nutriculture Complex, Lightning tells Hope that the soldiers will eventually find the entrance and canvas the entire tunnel system. Then she asks Hope where the tunnels lead out. When he says that he is not sure, Lightning pats him on the shoulder and says that they will have to find out. Hope shows her the fal'Cie Carbuncle and suggest that they attack it. Lightning sarcastically says that cutting off Cocoon's food will make them popular, causing Hope to reconsider. She agrees to his change of heart because "Hungry people make for angry people." After Hope tells Lightning that using a Sanctum fal'Cie to find their way around is strange, she tells him that it is not that strange because they have relied on them their whole lives for food and light. Then she says that Cocoon was probably built for them while humans are just parasites. When Hope tells Lightning that the fal'Cie possibly view humans as pets living off of them, she realizes she was a fal'Cie pawn even before being made a l'Cie. She learns that life under full dependence upon the fal'Cie was the only life she knew how to live, therefore after having that life taken away from her, she felt completely lost. Ultimately, without some sort of master to follow, her life had no true purpose. She tells Hope that her l'Cie curse robbed her of her future and dreams, and that fighting was just an excuse to regain the feeling of safety she had before Serah became a l'Cie, at the same time, to avoid facing reality. Realizing she had dragged Hope into the same delusion, Lightning tells Hope to abandon Operation Nora as she made a mistake, reassuring him that she would not abandon him. When Hope asks her what they should do next since she said that Operation Nora is over, Lightning tells him she does not know yet but they can not lose hope. He tells Lightning that l'Cie do not have any hope, but she says there is him. After Hope says that it was only his name, Lightning says that she was just like him once and the reason that she changed her name was to be stronger for Serah ever since their parents died. She says that lightning flashes bright and then fades away, and that it cannot protect but only destroy. She sits down next to Hope and goes on to say that Serah tried to tell her, but she would not listen; only threaten her instead. Lightning then has a vision of Serah who is later joined by Snow. Once she mentions Snow's belief in Serah regarding her l'Cie status, Hope demands her to not say his name as it makes him remember his mom's death and Snow's smiling face. Lightning tries to put her hand on Hope's shoulder to comfort him but he gets up, and explains his confusion about needing hope to her. Lightning takes his wrist, Hope apologizes for being all messed up, and she tells him that it is her fault. Before taking an elevator back to the surface, Lightning tells Hope to see his father as fighting without hope was no way to live but only a way to die, as well as in order to find the hope that he was named for. Then she tells him that she can help him survive but not give him hope, and that he may find some if he sees his dad. When he asks her if Snow really believed Serah, Lightning bluntly answers, "Yeah." After returning topside, they are surrounded by soldiers led by Yaag Rosch in the Agora. She tells him to run while she stays behind to keep them busy. However, Hope refuses to leave her, even after she tells him that he needs to survive, even if it means at the expense of her own life. As Snow and Fang attack the soldiers riding Shiva, Lightning begins her own offensive while protecting Hope in the process. In order to help him survive PSICOM's onslaught, she shoves Hope at Snow and leaves him in his care. As Snow tries to talk to her, Lightning tells him to get moving. After Snow tells her that Serah is fine and turn back to normal, Lightning stops and sighs in relief. Then she tells him to take care of Hope before running off with Fang behind her. Later in the back alleys, Fang gives Lightning a wireless communicator to inform Snow of their rendezvous point. Snow once again refers to her as his sister, and Lightning tells him that she is not his sister. She tells Snow that they will meet at the Estheim Residence in Felix Heights (35-A) and reminds him to take care of Hope. Before ending their conversation, Lightning tries to tell Snow about Hope's mother but she is surprised to hear Hope instead. He tells her that he has decided to continue with Operation Nora and apologizes. Lightning tries to reason with Hope but her pleas do not get through to him due to interference. Now following behind Fang, Lightning constantly worries for Hope. Later, Lightning sees Fang's scorched l'Cie brand and asks her who she is. She learns of the latter's connection with Vanille, their origins from Gran Pulse, how they wandered Cocoon looking for their Focus, and how they were separated. After Fang apologizes for her and Vanille's involvement in Serah's transformation into a l'Cie, Lightning slaps her across the face and tells her that she had better hope that is all she is getting. She goes on to tell Fang that whether they are square or not will be up to Serah. Lightning is annoyed by how Fang tells her that she sounds just like Snow and the fact that Fang apologized only to make herself feel better. When Fang asks her if she felt better after hitting her, Lightning says that it did not change to reach Snow again, Fang says that he can take care of himself and Lightning says that they will just have to believe that. Then she asks Fang if the others were safe since the Sanctum would make an announcement if they ever got caught. After Fang calls everyone on Cocoon, "a bunch of cowards and blowhards," Lightning tells her that Cocoon has spent centuries under fal'Cie law in constant fear of an invasion from Pulse. Then she tells Fang that if it were not for Serah, she would have been hunting l'Cie as a soldier and that they would have been nothing but targets to her. When Fang says that everyone on Gran Pulse called Cocoon, "a floating nest of vipers ready to strike," Lightning says that Fang became a l'Cie to fight the 'vipers', and that destroying Cocoon was their Focus. Fang goes on to talk about not being able to remember her past Focus, and her and Vanille's inability to recall their new Focus. Lightning asks her if she is willing to be a sworn enemy of Cocoon if she finds her Focus. Fang tells her that both Gran Pulse and Cocoon could rot for all she cares, because if she does not figure out her and Vanille's new Focus, Vanille will turn into a Cie'th. Fang then asks Lightning if she has seen Vanille's l'Cie brand, to which Lightning responds "No". Fang explains to her how a l'Cie's brand can tell how much closer one is to becoming a Cie'th. Fang checks Lightning's brand tells her that she has a lot of time left, but emotional distress could speed up the process. When Fang tells Lightning of her plan to get Vanille home to Gran Pulse, Lightning tells her that she wished that she had a plan but without Serah or a future, there is nothing to plan for. She says there is no way out of that mess and no way to fight it. She then says that she is stuck fighting the Sanctum but that was not a plan. Lightning wonders where they will be left if they manage to topple the Sanctum. She also says that without anything to fight for, she might as well be dead. Fang tells Lightning that her future to fight for was to see Serah after she eventually wakes from crystal stasis. Then they see Sanctum forces on airbikes pass overhead, and they worry that Hope and Snow had been found. When an explosion goes off in the distance, they hurry to find them.
They reunite with Snow and Hope and help the latter fight an Ushumgal Subjugator. Hope returns Lightning's knife and tells her that Operation Nora did not work out, she hugs him, tells him not to worry and that she will keep him safe. After Hope tells Lightning that he will look after her too, she playfully pokes his forehead. Then she carries Snow the rest of the way to Hope's house, stating that Snow will be fine since he is too stubborn to die. While staying at Hope's place, Lightning tells Snow that Hope gave her knife back because he does not need it anymore. Then she explains to Snow why she did not listen to Serah before, as it was too much to bear. Lightning says that she hated herself for not trusting Serah and asks for Snow's forgiveness. He tells Lightning that if she tells him her real name, they will be even. Lightning softly chuckles and tells Snow to have Serah tell him when she comes back. Then after everyone tries to make a strategy with Hope's dad, the Estheim household is bombarded by PSICOM soldiers. One of them takes aim at Hope but Lightning takes him out, in the act of keeping her promise to protect Hope. She and Fang see that the house is surrounded, causing Snow to take action. Lightning tries to stop him but Snow gestures her to stay back. Then she and the others listen to Rosch converse with Snow. When the soldiers surrounding the house fall back, Lightning tells Hope to tie up his dad in order to prevent him from being Purged. Rygdea and other members of the Cavalry eventually arrive and the party leaves with them.
Aboard the Lindblum, Raines reveals to the party that Sazh and Vanille had been captured and are now aboard the Palamecia heading for Eden to be executed, but Lightning figures that the whole thing is a trap made to draw them out. She asks Hope if he is afraid and he reassures her that he will be fine. Then Rygdea helps the party board the Palamecia, and they are eventually reunited with Sazh and Vanille. Sazh asks what the plan is, and Lightning tells him that they are taking down the Sanctum and giving Cocoon back to the people, as the fal'Cie have called the shots long enough. Fang and Vanille take down a Garuda Interceptor, and the party rides it to reach the bridge of the ship. The group confronts Dysley, who Lightning believes is also a l'Cie after he kills Jihl Nabaat. Dysley mocks her and reveals himself to be a Cocoon fal'Cie known as Barthandelus. After his defeat, he demands one of the party to become Ragnarok and destroy Orphan. Lightning asks who is Orphan, and Barthandelus answers that Orphan is the source of the fal'Cie Eden's power, so in turn, powers all of Cocoon. As Barthandelus taunts Fang, Lightning strikes and asks who says it has to be that way. After he reveals Serah's true Focus, Lightning sees Snow in shock and distraught. The party escapes with an airship left behind, enter Eden and crash head-on into a structure.
After reaching the Fifth Ark, Lightning asks where they are, Vanille says that it looks like a piece of Pulse, and Lightning calls it a place for l'Cie to accept their fate. When Snow apologizes to Lightning for being wrong about Serah's Focus, she tells him that it is not normal for him to second guess himself. He tells her that even heroes make mistakes. Then she asks him about his plan to save Cocoon. She tells him that his strong faith in Serah got him this far. She goes on to tell Snow that he has been an idiot fooling himself while trying to convince everyone else, but it ended up saving her. Lightning tells Snow to let his faith in Serah drive him, and that it even made her want to believe. Later, Vanille and Fang talk about the legend of the Arks from Gran Pulse built by the resident fal'Cie. Once Fang reveals the second purpose behind the Arks, Lightning figures that Dysley wants to make them stronger. When the party finds Cid Raines, Lightning calls him a traitor and charges at him with her weapon. He easily blocks her attacks with his hand, before grabbing her Saber and flinging her over his head. After battling him, she and Vanille help Fang take control of her Eidolon Bahamut. Later, before leaving for Gran Pulse, Lightning asks Hope about his dad. As Hope makes his speech about making his own decisions from now on, Lightning watches proudly. Afterward, when everyone has decided to go to Gran Pulse, she sarcastically says, "Off to hell we go." Shortly after leaving Cocoon in a Gran Pulse airship, the party is attacked by a monster. Lightning helps Fang summon Bahamut and save the rest of the group before flying off to find a place to land. A few days later in the valley of Vallis Media on Gran Pulse, Lightning, Snow, and Sazh tell Fang and Vanille that they found nothing but ancient ruins and vicious wildlife. After Sazh's chocobo chick returns to camp without Hope everyone goes to look for him. They find him, bring him back to camp, and silently wait for him to regain consciousness. When Snow and Sazh argue about looking everywhere for answers and coming up empty-handed, Vanille tells them that there is one more place. Then Lightning says that if they do not find answers there, then they will not get a second chance. Hope wakes up and reveals the location to be Fang and Vanille's hometown of Oerba. After he tells the party to go ahead without him because he's scared, Lightning tells him, "We understand. You're not going to go through this ordeal alone, you know." She gestures Hope to lift his chin up, and smiles at him in an attempt to cheer him up which fails. In his despair, Hope inadvertently summons Alexander and Lightning tells him that the Eidolon represents his inner power. She helps him tame Alexander with help from Fang. Afterward, the entire party agrees to journey to Oerba together so that they can find a way to remove their l'Cie brands, and they travel through the Archylte Steppe. In the Mah'habara Subterra, after Hope messes with yet another Dreadnought, Lightning dryly comments, "It's the Vile Peaks all over again." When he falls into the path of the fal'Cie Atomos, she tells him to get out of the way. Multiple Dreadnoughts save Hope and stop Atomos, which the party boards and rides to the Sulyya Springs. Later at the Skyreach, Lightning and Snow talk about Serah. Lightning asks him how she is, and Snow says, "Same as we left her." Lightning catches a large dandelion seed in her hand, and watches it get blown away. Snow gives her Serah's crystal and she "talks" to her. Lightning suddenly strikes down Snow, and asks if he and Serah will have their wedding after they see Serah again, saying that Serah wants to know. After Snow promises that Serah's crystal tear will be her last, Lightning says that is all she needs to know. When Snow asks if they will see her again, Lightning puts her fist to his back and tells him to look forward as there is no room for doubt. She tells Snow that they will see Serah again soon, since he convinced her of that and to stay strong. Lightning begins to cry with her fist still on his back. After Snow says that they will go see Serah together after they save Cocoon, Lightning takes a step towards him and rests her head on his backIn Oerba, the party is surprised to see Serah there, reciting the legend of Ragnarok. When she tells them to destroy Orphan and save the world, Lightning tells her to stop it as she prepares to reach for her weapon. Then Serah says to Lightning, "You can't do that, you love me too much. You do, don't you Claire?" Snow steps in between them and it is revealed that Serah is truly Dysley in disguise. Traveling to Eden after leaving Gran Pulse, Lightning and the others disrupt Cid's race alongside their Eidolons. They learn that the city is being overrun by monsters from Gran Pulse, and hurry to intercept the Cavalry. At the end of the Grand Prix Circuit, Lightning takes the lead by jumping of the high platform. Before landing, she deploys a Gravity Bomb to soften her landing and attacks the PSICOM soldiers in her way. As the group tries to stop the Cavalry from reaching Orphan, Lightning charges into a highway with speeding vehicles. She strikes a Behemoth King that throws her back, sending her flying. While the others rush to help her, Lightning anchors her Blazefire Saber into the ground and catches herself. After battling the Behemoth King and more hordes of monsters, the party encounters Yaag Rosch and his Proudclad. After he retreats, Lightning says that they are the only ones who know about the plan to destroy Cocoon, and that it is time to show everyone how human they still are. Later, they are briefly reunited with NORA, who joke about Snow being chosen. Lightning sarcastically agrees and says the fal'Cie chose him out of all the idiots in the world. Then NORA leaves to help the civilians. Eventually, the group reaches an area filled with floating crystal matter. Dysley appears and taunts them about the Cavalry goal to kill Orphan. Lightning says that the Cavalry will listen to reason unlike him, but Dysley says that they will see about that. Hope says that they will decide their own destiny, and Lightning says they will "over Barthandelus's dead body." Upon reaching the Edenhall Grand Foyer, Lightning tells Snow that the plan will be his usual one: "Charge through the front door, what else?" She walks off followed by Hope while the others laugh and ponder her attitude. The party soon fights and defeats Rosch again. Afterward, they hear an explosion go off and know that he sacrificed himself for them. Inside Edenhall, they find members of the Cavalry turned into Cie'th. With "assistance" from the fal'Cie Eden, everyone finds themselves in Orphan's Cradle. After Hope explains that Barthandelus is doing all of this to eventually cause one of them to become Ragnarok and Sazh says that their empathy puts them at a disadvantage, Lightning confidently says that it is also what makes them dangerous. Approaching Barthandelus in the Narthex Throne, he summons the crystallized Dajh and Serah before the party. He quickly destroys them, much to the horror of Sazh and Snow. After the angered latter charges at Dysley only to be deflected again, Lightning helps him up by his waist and tells him, "Think, where is the real Serah?" Snow takes out Serah's crystal and realizes that it was only an illusion. Barthandelus asks the party to kill him out of mercy, but Lightning says that he means murder and that they did not come to destroy Cocoon, they came for him. After defeating Barthandelus for the last time, everyone thinks it is over, but Menrva flies into the pool and Orphan rises in his first form: a fusion of Menrva and Dysley. After the confrontation with Orphan, the entire party except Fang and Vanille are rendered unconscious by a burst of magic from the fal'Cie. When they come to, Lightning and Hope try to protect Vanille, while Sazh and Snow try to stop Fang from becoming Ragnarok, but she strikes them down and Lightning appears to fall unconscious again. The four of them subsequently appear to turn into Cie'th. Lightning and the others relive all of their experiences prior to this moment, and suddenly appear back in their human form. Lightning comments that the incidence was only "more fal'Cie smoke and mirrors." She apologises to Fang for making her suffer alone, and hands back her spear. As they describe their vision of the future and Snow mentions both Serah and Lightning smiling, she looks at him surprised then appears to look guilty. Lightning tells Fang that she was there alongside them as well. The group decides to save Cocoon, at which point all of their brands burn out and turn white like Fang's. After Orphan rises from the pool in his true form and tells the group they overreach themselves, Lightning corrects Orphan and says, "No, we overreach you." She tells Orphan that he give up on life before even being born, sat around poisoning Cocoon from the inside, and waited around for someone to come and destroy him. Lightning tells Orphan that he believes salvation is achieved through death's release by bringing about the end of the world. She says if that is what he truly believes, then he should take it and leave everyone else alone. Then she tells him that humans do not share his ideologies. She says, "When we think there is no hope left, we keep looking until we find some," and that they will protect Cocoon or die trying because it is their home, even if it is beyond saving. Finally, she tells Orphan that their Focus is making the impossible possible. They defeat Orphan and begin turning into crystal as Cocoon falls from the sky. Lightning tells the group to stay together, takes hold of Hope's hand, and notices Fang and Vanille staying behind in Eden below. After they become Ragnarok and crystallize Cocoon, Lightning and the rest of the party are teleported to the surface of Gran Pulse, crystallized themselves. With encouragement from the now-crystallized Vanille, Lightning and the remaining party members awaken from their crystal "sleep". Lightning says that Fang and Vanille saved the world but is corrected by Snow stating that they gave them a new one, with Lightning calling it a miracle. Then the group notices their brands are gone. As Serah and Dajh approach the party from the horizon and have their moments with Snow and Sazh, Lightning comforts Hope regarding Vanille and Fang's departure then reunites with Serah herself. Though she begins to apologize to her sister for not listening to her, it is cut short when Snow reminds them that they "have a wedding to plan". Snow then reassures Lightning that he will make Serah happy, Lightning says that she knows he will, and congratulates them.
Name: Serena Tsukino
Eye Color: Blue
Skin: (Optional) Pale
Home Realm: Moon Kingdom
Hair style/color: Blond with sraight and cruve on the top
Clothes/Dress style: Shirt White Gloves White with red Bow Red Skirt Blue Boots Red with moon crestants
Species: (The Salior Scout Species of the character.)The Silver Millennium, though it had a fairy-tale appearance, demonstrated an advanced technology. It existed within a dome which produced an artificial climate, and had an advanced computer called the "Eternity Main System". According to Artemis, ice skating was very popular there. Those who lived in the Silver Millennium had very long life spans and had two specific duties: First, they were to protect the Silver Crystal, an extremely powerful "holy stone" which had been handed down through the generations. Second, they were to watch over the evolution of Earth and protect it from any negative influence.
During this era Endymion, flanked by his four guardians, held the position of Crown Prince of Earth. Despite a prohibition on relations between people of the Earth and the Moon, he and Princess Serenity fell in love. Out of jealousy and under the influence of the evil Queen Metalia, a peasant woman named Beryl raised up the citizens of Earth in a war against the Moon. Warfare completely wiped out both kingdoms, so the evolution of life had to restart from the beginning.
Before dying, the Queen sent her daughter and Endymion for rebirth on Earth during the 20th century. They become Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba and even before they recover their memories, they succeed in finding each other once again. The Sailor Senshi also undergo rebirth, becoming close friends; through their efforts, the reinstated Dark Kingdom and even Metalia herself are destroyed. In the manga, the Moon Kingdom and its castle are "resurrected" at the end of this conflict, but Usagi decides to continue living on Earth, with her parents and with Mamoru.
Title/Nicknames: (If they have any.)Sailor moon or Serena
Markings: (Like curse marks, tattoos, scars and so fourth if they have any.)Has the Moon crestant on her head
Salior Scout Appearance: Only when people are in danger
Items/Weapons: Moon Scetopor
Story/Past: She was bron in the moon kingdon but there was a battle at the moon kingdom so her mother sent her to live others that would take care of her and protect her.
Fighting Forms: Japnese fighting
Dislikes: Bad grades
Extra Info: She likes Tudexo Mask that always come to her if she gets in danger.
Role in story: (Like is he/she good or bad. Ally or enemy?) She is a Ally to her birth place
Family/Clan: People at Moon Kingdom
Fighting Styles: regular
Main/Alternate Weapons: Moon Sepector
Powers/Abilities: Moon Primis Power
If you want to join see me thats if you're into sailor moon then i will let you join
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer, and philanthropist.
Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records.
His contribution to music, dance and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the mid-1960s, and began his solo career in 1971.
In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs including "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller", were credited with transforming the medium into an art form and a promotional tool, and the popularity of these videos helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame.
Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made him a staple on MTV in the 1990s. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced numerous hip hop, pop, contemporary R&B and rock artists.
Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock 'n' roll.  Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century"); 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era); and the estimated sale of over 800 million records worldwide.
Jackson won hundreds of awards, which have made him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of music. He was also a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for beneficial causes and supporting more than 39 charities.
Aspects of Jackson's personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships and behavior, have generated controversy. In 1993, he was accused of child sexual abuse, but the case was settled out of court and no formal charges were brought. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges after the jury ruled him not guilty on all counts.
While preparing for his concert series This Is It, Jackson died on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. Before his death, Jackson had reportedly been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam. The Los Angeles County Coroner declared his death a homicide, and his personal physician pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and as many as one billion people around the world reportedly watched his public memorial service on live television. In March 2010, Sony Music Entertainment signed a US$250 million deal with Jackson's estate to retain distribution rights to his recordings until 2017, and to release seven posthumous albums over the decade following his death.
Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, the eighth of ten children to an African American working-class family, in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah's Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, a steel mill worker who performed with an R&B band called The Falcons. Jackson had three sisters: Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet, and five brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy. A sixth brother, Brandon, died shortly after birth.
Jackson had a troubled relationship with his father, Joe. Joseph acknowledged in 2003 that he regularly whipped Jackson as a child. Jackson stated that he was physically and emotionally abused during incessant rehearsals, though he also credited his father's strict discipline with playing a large role in his success. Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, broadcast in February 1993. He admitted that he had often cried from loneliness and he would vomit on the sight of his father. Jackson's father was also said to have verbally abused Jackson, saying that he had a fat nose on numerous occasions. In fact, Michael Jackson's deep dissatisfaction with his appearance, his nightmares and chronic sleep problems, his tendency to remain hyper-compliant especially with his father, and to remain child-like throughout his adult life are in many ways consistent with the effects of this chronic maltreatment he endured as a young child.
In an interview with Martin Bashir, later included in the 2003 broadcast of Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson acknowledged that his father hurt him when he was a child, but was nonetheless a "genius", as he admitted his father's strict discipline played a huge role in his success. When Bashir dismissed the positive remark and continued asking about beatings, Jackson put his hand over his face and objected to the questions. He recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, and that "if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you".
In 1964, Michael and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine. Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing. When he was eight, Jackson began sharing the lead vocals with his older brother Jermaine, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5. The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968, frequently performing at a string of black clubs known as the "chitlin' circuit", where they often opened stripteases and other adult acts. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", led by Michael.
The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", for the local record label Steeltown in 1967, before signing with Motown Records in 1968. Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts," writing that he "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer." The group set a chart record when its first four singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Between 1972 and 1975, Jackson released four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben, released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise, and producing successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben", and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin". The group's sales began declining in 1973, and the band members chafed under Motown's strict refusal to allow them creative control or input. Although they scored several top 40 hits, including the top 5 disco single "Dancing Machine" and the top 20 hit "I Am Love", the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975.
Move to Epic and Off the Wall (1975–1981)
In June 1975, the Jackson 5 signed with Epic Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records and renamed themselves the Jacksons. Younger brother Randy formally joined the band around this time, while Jermaine left to pursue a solo career. They continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984, during which Jackson was the lead songwriter, writing hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel," and "Can You Feel It". In 1978, he starred as the scarecrow in the musical, The Wiz, a box-office disaster. It was here that he teamed up with Quincy Jones, who was arranging the film's musical score. Jones agreed to produce Jackson's next solo album, Off the Wall. In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine. His subsequent rhinoplasty was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. He was referred to Dr. Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson's second rhinoplasty and subsequent operations.
Jones and Jackson produced the Off the Wall album together. Songwriters for the album included Jackson, Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney. Released in 1979, it was the first album to generate four U.S. top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You". It reached number three on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, and Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". That year, he also won Billboard Year-End for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, also for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". Jackson again won at the American Music Awards in 1981 for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist. Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release. In 1980, he secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37 percent of wholesale album profit.
Thriller and Motown 25 (1982–83)
In 1982, Jackson contributed the song "Someone In the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; the record won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children in 1984. In the same year he won another seven Grammys and eight American Music Awards (including the Award of Merit, the youngest artist to win it), making him the most awarded in one night for both award shows. These awards were thanks to the Thriller album, released in late 1982, which was the 1983's best-selling album worldwide and became the best-selling album of all time in the United States, as well as the best-selling album of all time worldwide, selling an estimated 110 million copies so far. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart for 37 weeks and was in the top 10 of the 200 for 80 consecutive weeks. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." Thriller was certified for 29 million shipments by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond status in the United States. The album won also another Grammy for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical in 1984, awarding Bruce Swedien for his work. Jackson's attorney John Branca noted that Jackson had the highest royalty rate in the music industry at that point: approximately $2 for every album sold. He was also making record-breaking profits from sales of his recordings. The videocassette of the documentary The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller sold over 350,000 copies in a few months. The era saw the arrival of novelties like dolls modeled after Michael Jackson, which appeared in stores in May 1984 at a price of $12. Biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli writes that, "Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item—like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie—and started selling like a household staple." In 1985, The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Longform. In December 2009, the music video for "Thriller" was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, "Thriller" is the first music video ever to be inducted.
Time described Jackson's influence at that point as "Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too". The New York Times wrote that, "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else".
In March 1983, Jackson reunited with his brothers for a legendary live performance which was taped for a Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special. The show aired on May 16, 1983, to an audience of 47 million viewers, and featured the Jacksons and a number of other Motown stars. It is best remembered for Jackson's solo performance of "Billie Jean". Wearing a distinctive black sequin jacket and golf glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his signature dance move, the moonwalk, which former Soul Train dancer and Shalamar member, Jeffrey Daniel had taught him three years before. The Jacksons' performance drew comparisons to Elvis Presley's and The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times later wrote, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing."[
Appearance, tabloids, Bad, autobiography and films (1986–87)
See also: Michael Jackson's health and appearance
Jackson's skin had been a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the mid 1980s, it gradually grew paler. The change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that he was bleaching his skin. According to J. Randy Taraborrelli's biography, in 1986, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the vitiligo partially lightened his skin, and the lupus was in remission; both illnesses made him sensitive to sunlight. The treatments he used for his condition further lightened his skin tone, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he could appear very pale. Jackson was also diagnosed with vitiligo in his autopsy. The structure of his face had also changed: several surgeons speculated that he had undergone various nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips, and cheekbone surgery—although Jackson denied this and insisted that he only had surgery on his nose. Jackson claimed that he had only two rhinoplasties and no other surgery on his face, although at one point he mentioned having a dimple created in his chin. Jackson lost weight in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for "a dancer's body". Witnesses reported that he was often dizzy and speculated that he was suffering from anorexia nervosa; periods of weight loss would become a recurring problem later in life.
During the course of his treatment, Jackson made two close friends: his dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, and Klein's nurse Debbie Rowe. Rowe eventually became Jackson's second wife and the mother of his two eldest children. Long before becoming romantically involved with her, Jackson relied heavily on Rowe for emotional support. He also relied heavily on Klein, for medical and business advice. Recent claims by a male dermatology assistant that he and Jackson were sexually involved have notably drawn fury from those close to Jackson.
He became the subject of increasingly sensational reports. In 1986, the tabloids ran a story claiming that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the aging process; he was pictured lying down in a glass box. Although the claim was untrue, Jackson had disseminated the fabricated story himself. When Jackson bought a chimpanzee called Bubbles from a laboratory, he was reported to be increasingly detached from reality. It was reported that Jackson had offered to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick (the "elephant man") and although untrue, Jackson did not deny the story. Although initially he saw these stories as opportunities for publicity, he stopped leaking untruths to the press as they became more sensational. Consequently the media began making up their own stories. These reports became embedded in the public consciousness, inspiring the nickname "Wacko Jacko," which Jackson came to despise. Responding to the gossip, Jackson remarked to Taraborrelli:
Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth."
Jackson collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola on the 17-minute 3-D film Captain EO, which debuted in September 1986 at both the original Disneyland and at EPCOT in Florida, and in March 1987 at Tokyo Disneyland. The $30 million movie was a popular attraction at all three parks. A Captain EO attraction was later featured at Euro Disneyland after that park opened in 1992. All four parks' Captain EO installations stayed open well into the 1990s: Paris' installation was the last one to close, in 1998. The attraction would later return to Disneyland after Jackson's death in 2010.
In 1987, Jackson disassociated himself from the Jehovah's Witnesses, in response to their disapproval of the Thriller video. With the industry expecting another major hit, Jackson's first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated. It did not top Thriller as a commercial or artistic triumph, but Bad was still a substantial success in its own right.
The Bad album spawned seven hit singles in the U.S., five of which ("I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana") reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This was a record for most number one Hot 100 singles from any one album, including Thriller. Although the title track's video was arguably derivative of the video for the earlier single "Beat It", the "Bad" video still proved to be one of Jackson's iconic moments. It was a gritty but colorful epic set against the backdrop of the New York City subway system, with costuming and choreography inspired by West Side Story. As of 2008, the album had sold 30 million copies worldwide. Thanks to the Bad album, Bruce Swedien and Humberto Gatica won one Grammy in 1988 for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical and Michael Jackson won one Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form for "Leave Me Alone" in 1989. In the same year, Jackson won an Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards because Bad is the first album ever to generate five number one singles in the US, the first album to top in 25 countries and the best-selling album worldwide in 1987 and in 1988. In 1988, "Bad" won an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single.
The Bad World Tour began on September 12 that year, finishing on January 14, 1989. In Japan alone, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record of 200,000 in a single tour. Jackson broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. He performed a total of 123 concerts to an audience of 4.4 million people. The Bad Tour turned out to be the last of Jackson's concert tours to include shows in the continental United States, although later tours did make it to Hawaii and Mexico.
Autobiography, changing appearance and Neverland (1988–1990)
In 1988, Jackson released his first and only autobiography, Moonwalk, which took four years to complete and sold 200,000 copies. Jackson wrote about his childhood, The Jackson 5, and the abuse he had suffered. He also wrote about his facial appearance, saying he had had two rhinoplastic surgeries and a dimple created in his chin. He attributed much of the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style, and stage lighting. Moonwalk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers' list. The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage and short films that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. The film was originally intended to be released to theaters but due to financial issues, the film was released direct to video. It debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.
In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California, to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of $17 million. He installed Ferris wheels, a menagerie, and a movie theater on the 2,700-acre (11 km2) property. A security staff of 40 patrolled the grounds. In 2003, it was valued at approximately $100 million. In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements, and concerts was estimated at $125 million for that year alone. Shortly afterwards, he became the first Westerner to appear in a television ad in the Soviet Union.
His success resulted in his being dubbed the "King of Pop". The nickname was popularized by Elizabeth Taylor when she presented him with the Soul Train Heritage Award in 1989, proclaiming him "the true king of pop, rock and soul." President George H. W. Bush designated him the White House's "Artist of the Decade". From 1985 to 1990, he donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity. Jackson's live rendition of "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr.'s 60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.
Dangerous, Heal the World Foundation and Super Bowl XXVII (1991–93)
In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million, a record-breaking deal at the time, displacing Neil Diamond's renewal contract with Columbia Records. He released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991. As of 2008, Dangerous had shipped seven million copies in the U.S. and had sold 32 million copies worldwide. The Dangerous album was co-produced by Teddy Riley, one of the pioneers of "new jack swing" and it turned out to be the best-selling album associated with that movement. In the United States, the album's first single "Black or White" was its biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide. The album's second single "Remember the Time" spent eight weeks in the top five in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. At the end of 1992, Dangerous was awarded 1992's best-selling album worldwide and "Black or White" was awarded 1992's best-selling single worldwide at the Billboard Music Awards. Additionally, he won an award as best-selling artist of the '80s. In 1993, Jackson performed the song at the Soul Train Awards in a chair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals. In the UK and other parts of Europe, "Heal the World" was the biggest hit from the album; it sold 450,000 copies in the UK and spent five weeks at number two in 1992.
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. In the same year Jackson published his second book, the bestselling collection of poetry, Dancing the Dream. While it was a commercial success and revealed a more intimate side to Jackson's nature, the collection was mostly critically unacclaimed at the time of release. In 2009, the book was republished by Doubleday and was more positively received by some critics in the wake of Jackson's untimely death. The Dangerous World Tour grossed $100 million. The tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993. Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts. He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands.
Following the illness and death of Ryan White, 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. His first stop to Gabon was greeted with a sizable and enthusiastic reception of more than 100,000 people, some of them carrying signs that read, "Welcome Home Michael." In his trip to Côte d'Ivoire, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief. He then thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed official documents formalizing his kingship and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.
In January 1993, Jackson made a memorable appearance at the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. The performance began with Jackson catapulting onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him. As he landed on the canvas, he maintained a motionless "clenched fist, standing statue stance", dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained completely motionless for a minute and a half while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and sang four songs: "Jam", "Billie Jean", "Black or White" and "Heal the World". It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone; Jackson's Dangerous album rose 90 places up the album chart. Jackson was given the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. "Black or White" was Grammy-nominated for best vocal performance. "Jam" gained two nominations: Best R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. The Dangerous album won a Grammy for Best Engineered – Non Classical, awarding the work of Bruce Swedien and Teddy Riley. In the same year, Michael Jackson won three American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album (Dangerous), Favorite Soul/R&B Single ("Remember the Time") and was the first to win the International Artist Award, for his global performances and humanitarian concerns. This award will bear his name in the future.
First child sexual abuse allegations and first marriage (1993–94)
Main article: 1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson
Jackson gave a 90-minute interview to Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, his second television interview since 1979. He grimaced when speaking of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood years, admitting that he often cried from loneliness. He denied tabloid rumors that he had bought the bones of the Elephant Man, slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or bleached his skin, stating for the first time that he had vitiligo. The interview was watched by an American audience of 90 million. Dangerous re-entered the album chart in the top 10, more than a year after its original release.
In the summer of 1993, Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler and his father, Evan Chandler, a dentist. The Chandler family demanded payment from Jackson, and the singer initially refused. Jordan Chandler eventually told the police that Jackson had sexually abused him. Dr. Chandler was tape-recorded discussing his intention to pursue charges, saying, "If I go through with this, I win big-time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever ... Michael's career will be over". Jordan's mother was, however, adamant that there had been no wrongdoing on Jackson's part. Jackson later used the recording to argue that he was the victim of a jealous father whose only goal was to extort money from the singer.
Later on that year, Jackson's home was raided by the police, and Jackson even submitted to a 25-minute strip search. His friends said he never recovered from the humiliation. The investigation was inconclusive and no charges were ever filed. Jackson described the search in an emotional public statement, and proclaimed his innocence. On January 1, 1994, Jackson's insurance carrier settled with the Chandlers out of court for $22 million. A Santa Barbara County grand jury and a Los Angeles County grand jury disbanded on May 2, 1994 without indicting Jackson. After which time the Chandlers stopped co-operating with the criminal investigation around July 6, 1994. The out-of-court settlement's documentation specifically stated Jackson admitted no wrongdoing and no liability; the Chandlers and their family lawyer Larry Feldman signed it without contest. The Chandlers' lawyer Mr. Feldman also explicitly stated "nobody bought anybody's silence". A decade after the fact, during the second round of child abuse allegations, Jackson's lawyers would file a memo stating that the 1994 settlement was done without his consent.
In May 1994, Jackson married the daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley. They had first met in 1975, when a seven-year-old Presley attended one of Jackson's family engagements at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, and were reconnected through a mutual friend in early 1993. They stayed in contact every day over the telephone. As the child molestation accusations became public, Jackson became dependent on Presley for emotional support; she was concerned about his faltering health and addiction to drugs. Presley explained, "I believed he didn't do anything wrong and that he was wrongly accused and yes I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it." She eventually persuaded him to settle the allegations out of court and go into rehabilitation to recover.
Jackson proposed to Presley over the telephone towards the fall of 1993, saying, "If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?" They married in the Dominican Republic in secrecy, denying it for nearly two months afterwards. The marriage was, in her words, "a married couple's life ... that was sexually active". At the time, the tabloid media speculated that the wedding was a ploy to prop up Jackson's public image. The marriage lasted less than two years and ended with an amicable divorce settlement.
HIStory, second marriage and fatherhood (1995–99)
1995, Jackson merged his ATV Music catalog with Sony's music publishing division creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Jackson retained half-ownership of the company, earned $95 million upfront as well as the rights to even more songs. He then released the double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, was a 15-track greatest hits album, and was later reissued as Greatest Hits: HIStory, Volume I in 2001, while the second disc, HIStory Continues, contained 15 new songs. The album debuted at number one on the charts and has been certified for seven million shipments in the US. It is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, with 20 million copies (40 million units) sold worldwide. HIStory received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
The first single released from the album was the double A-side "Scream/Childhood". "Scream" was a duet, performed with Jackson's youngest sister Janet. The song fights against the media, mainly for what the media made him out to be during his 1993 child abuse allegations. The single had the highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number five, and received a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals". "You Are Not Alone" was the second single released from HIStory; it holds the Guinness World Record for the first song ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was seen as a major artistic and commercial success, receiving a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Performance". In late 1995, Jackson was rushed to a hospital after collapsing during rehearsals for a televised performance; the incident was caused by a stress-related panic attack. "Earth Song" was the third single released from HIStory, and topped the UK singles chart for six weeks over Christmas 1995; it sold a million copies, making it Jackson's most successful single in the UK. The track "They Don't Care About Us" became controversial when the Anti-Defamation League and other groups criticized its allegedly anti-Semitic lyrics. Jackson quickly put out a revised version of the song without the offending lyrics. In 1996, Jackson won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form for "Scream" and an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist.
The album was promoted with the successful HIStory World Tour. The tour began on September 7, 1996, and finished on October 15, 1997. Jackson performed 82 concerts in 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans, and grossed up a total of $165 million. The show, which visited five continents and 35 countries, became Jackson's most successful in terms of audience figures. During the tour, Jackson married his longtime friend Deborah Jeanne Rowe, a dermatology nurse, in an impromptu ceremony in Sydney, Australia. Rowe was approximately six months pregnant with the couple's first child at the time. Originally, Rowe and Jackson had no plans to marry, but Jackson's mother Katherine persuaded them to do so. Michael Joseph Jackson Jr (commonly known as Prince) was born on February 13, 1997; his sister Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born a year later on April 3, 1998. The couple divorced in 1999, and Jackson got full custody of the children. The divorce was relatively amicable, but a subsequent custody suit was not settled until 2006.
In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of hit singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies as of 2007, it is the best selling remix album ever released. It reached number one in the UK, as did the title track. In the US, the album was certified platinum, but only reached number 24. Forbes placed his annual income at $35 million in 1996 and $20 million in 1997. Throughout June 1999, Jackson was involved in a number of charitable events. He joined Luciano Pavarotti for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show was in support of the non-profit organization War Child, and raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo, as well as additional funds for the children of Guatemala. Later that month, Jackson organized a set of "Michael Jackson & Friends" benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. Other artists involved included Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the "Nelson Mandela Children's Fund", the Red Cross and UNESCO.
Label dispute, Invincible and third child (2000–03)
At the turn of the century, the American Music Awards honored Jackson as Artist of the '80s. Throughout 2000 and 2001, Jackson worked in the studio with Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins, as well as other collaborators. These sessions would result in the album Invincible, released in October 2001. Invincible was Jackson's first full-length album in six years, and it would be the last album of new material he released while still alive. The release of the album was preceded by a dispute between Jackson and his record label, Sony Music Entertainment. Jackson had expected the licenses to the masters of his albums to revert to him sometime in the early 2000s. Once he had the licenses, he would be able to promote the material however he pleased and he would also be able to keep all the profits. However, due to various clauses in the contract, the revert date turned out to be many years away. Jackson discovered that the attorney[who?] who represented him in the deal was also representing Sony. Jackson was also concerned about the fact that for a number of years, Sony had been pressuring him to sell his share in their music catalog venture. Jackson feared that Sony might have a conflict of interest, since if Jackson's career failed he would have to sell his share of the catalog at a low price. Jackson sought an early exit from his contract. Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson informed the head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola, that he was leaving Sony. As a result, all singles releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album were suspended.
In September 2001, two 30th Anniversary concerts were held at Madison Square Garden to mark the singer's 30th year as a solo artist. Jackson appeared onstage alongside his brothers for the first time since 1984. The show also featured performances by Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, 'N Sync, Destiny's Child, Monica, Luther Vandross, and Slash, among other artists. The second of the two shows took place the night before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. After 9/11, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The concert took place on October 21, 2001, and included performances from dozens of major artists, including Jackson, who performed his song "What More Can I Give" as the finale. Jackson's solo performances were omitted from the televised version of the benefit concert, although he could still be seen singing background vocals. This omission happened because of contractual issues related to the earlier 30th Anniversary concerts: those concerts were boiled down into a two-hour TV special entitled "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration: The Solo Years" which debuted in November 2001.
In spite of the events preceding its release, Invincible came out in October 2001 to much anticipation. Invincible proved to be a hit, debuting atop the charts in 13 countries and going on to sell approximately 13 million copies worldwide. It received double-platinum certification in the US. However, the sales for Invincible were lower than those of his previous releases, due in part to a lack of promotion, no supporting world tour and the label dispute. The album also came out at a bad time for the music industry in general. The album cost $30 million to record, not including promotional expenditures. Invincible spawned three singles, "You Rock My World", "Cry" and "Butterflies", the latter without a music video. Jackson alleged in July 2002 that Mottola was a "devil" and a "racist" who did not support his African-American artists, using them merely for his own personal gain. He charged that Mottola had called his colleague Irv Gotti a "fat nigger". Sony refused to renew Jackson's contract, and claimed that a $25 million promotional campaign had failed because Jackson refused to tour in the United States.
In 2002, Michael Jackson won his 22nd American Music Award for Artist of the Century. In the same year, Jackson's third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (nicknamed "Blanket") was born. The mother's identity is unknown, but Jackson has said the child was the result of artificial insemination from a surrogate mother and his own sperm. On November 20 of that year, Jackson brought his newborn son onto the balcony of his room at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, as fans stood below, holding him in his right arm, with a cloth loosely draped over the baby's face. The baby was briefly extended over a railing, four stories above ground level, causing widespread criticism in the media. Jackson later apologized for the incident, calling it "a terrible mistake". Sony released Number Ones, a compilation of Jackson's hits on CD and DVD. In the US, the album was certified triple platinum by the RIAA; in the UK it was certified six times platinum for shipments of at least 1.2 million units.
Second child sexual abuse allegations (2003–05)
Further information: Living with Michael Jackson and People v. Jackson
Beginning in May 2002, Jackson allowed a documentary film crew, led by British TV personality Martin Bashir, to follow him around just about everywhere he went. Bashir's film crew was with Jackson during the "baby-dangling incident" in Berlin. The program was broadcast in March 2003 as Living with Michael Jackson, and painted an extraordinarily unflattering portrait of the singer.
In a particularly controversial scene, Jackson was seen holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with a young boy. As soon as the documentary aired, the Santa Barbara county attorney's office began a criminal investigation. Jackson was arrested in November 2003, and was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in relation to the 13 year old boy shown in the film. Jackson denied the allegations, saying the sleepovers were not sexual in nature. The People v. Jackson trial began on January 31, 2005, in Santa Maria, California, and lasted five months, until the end of May. On June 13, 2005, Jackson was acquitted on all counts. After the trial, in a highly publicized relocation he moved to the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain, as a guest of Sheikh Abdullah.
Final years (2006–09)
In March 2006, the main house at the Neverland Ranch was closed as a cost-cutting measure. There were numerous reports around that time that Jackson was having financial problems. Jackson had been deliquent on his repayments of a $270 million loan secured against his music publishing holdings, even though those holdings were reportedly making him as much as $75 million a year. Bank of America sold the debt to Fortress Investments. Sony reportedly proposed a restructuring deal which would give them a future option to buy half of Jackson's stake in their jointly owned publishing company (leaving Jackson with a 25% stake). Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal in April 2006, although the exact details were not made public. Jackson did not have a recording contract in place with Sony or any other major record label at the time.
In the spring of 2006, there was an announcement that Jackson had signed a contract with a Bahrain-based startup called Two Seas Records. However, nothing ever came of that deal, and the CEO of Two Seas, Guy Holmes, later stated that the deal had never been finalized. Throughout 2006, Sony repackaged 20 singles from the 1980s and 1990s as the Michael Jackson: Visionary series, which subsequently became a boxed set. Most of those singles returned to the charts as a result. In September 2006, Jackson and his ex-wife Debbie Rowe confirmed reports that they had settled their long-running child custody suit. The terms were never made public. Jackson continued to be the custodial parent of the couple's two children. In October 2006, Fox News entertainment reporter Roger Friedman said that Jackson had been recording at a studio in rural Westmeath, Ireland. It was not known at the time what Jackson might be working on, or who might be paying for the sessions, since his publicist had recently issued a statement claiming that he had left Two Seas.
In November 2006, Jackson invited an Access Hollywood camera crew into the studio in Westmeath, and MSNBC broke the story that he was working on a new album, produced by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Jackson performed at the World Music Awards, in London on November 15, 2006, and accepted a Diamond Award for selling over 100 million records. Jackson returned to the United States after Christmas 2006 to attend James Brown's funeral in Augusta, Georgia. He gave one of the eulogies, saying that "James Brown is my greatest inspiration." In the spring of 2007, Jackson and Sony teamed up to buy yet another music publishing company: Famous Music LLC, formerly owned by Viacom. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others. Jackson recorded extensively during this period in New York with songwriter and producer will.i.am and also in Las Vegas with producers Akon and RedOne. In March 2007, Jackson gave a brief interview to the Associated Press in Tokyo, where he said, "I've been in the entertainment industry since I was 6 years old, and as Charles Dickens would say, 'It's been the best of times, the worst of times.' But I would not change my career ... While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me."
In September 2007 Jackson was reportedly still working with will.i.am, but the album was apparently never completed. However, in 2008, Jackson and Sony released Thriller 25 to mark the 25th anniversary of the original Thriller. This album featured the previously unreleased song "For All Time" (an outtake from the original sessions) as well as remixes, where Jackson collaborated with younger artists who had been inspired by his work. Two of the remixes were released as singles with only modest success: "The Girl Is Mine 2008" (with will.i.am) and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" (with Akon). The first single was based on an early demo version, without Paul McCartney. The album itself was a hit, however. In anticipation of Jackson's 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a series of greatest-hits albums called King of Pop. Slightly different versions were released in various countries, based on polls of local fans. King of Pop reached the top 10 in most countries where it was issued, and also sold well as an import in other countries (such as the United States.)
In the fall of 2008, Fortress Investments threatened to foreclose on Neverland Ranch, which Jackson used as collateral for loans running into many tens of millions of dollars. However, Fortress opted to sell Jackson's debts to Colony Capital LLC. In November, Jackson transferred Neverland Ranch's title to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC, which was a joint venture between Jackson and Colony Capital LLC. This deal cleared Jackson's debt, and he reportedly even gained an extra $35 million from the venture. At the time of his death, Jackson still owned a stake in Neverland/Sycamore Valley, but it is unknown how large that stake was. In September 2008, Jackson entered negotiations with Julien's Auction House to display and auction a large collection of memorabilia amounting to approximately 1390 lots. The auction was scheduled to take place between April 22 and April 25. An exhibition of the lots opened as scheduled on April 14, but the actual auction was eventually cancelled at Jackson's request.
In March 2009, Jackson held a press conference at London's O2 arena and announced a series of comeback concerts titled "This Is It." The shows would be Jackson's first major series of concerts since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997. Jackson suggested possible retirement after the shows; he said it would be his "final curtain call". The initial plan was for 10 concerts in London, followed by shows in Paris, New York City and Mumbai. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates alone would earn the singer approximately £50 million. The London residency was increased to 50 dates after record breaking ticket sales: over one million were sold in less than two hours. Jackson rehearsed in Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the tour under the direction of choreographer Kenny Ortega. Most of these rehearsals took place at the Staples Center, which was owned by AEG. The concerts would have commenced on July 13, 2009, and finished on March 6, 2010. Less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London and with all concerts being sold out, Jackson died after suffering cardiac arrest.
Jackson's first posthumous single was a song entitled "This Is It" which Jackson cowrote in the 1980s with Paul Anka. It was not on the set lists for the concerts, and the recording was based on an old demo tape. The surviving brothers reunited in the studio for the first time since 1989 to record backing vocals. On October 28, 2009, a documentary film about the rehearsals entitled Michael Jackson's This Is It was released. Even though it ran for a limited two-week engagement, it became the highest grossing documentary or concert movie of all time, with earnings of more than $260 million worldwide. Jackson's estate received 90% of the profits. The film was accompanied by a compilation album of the same name. Two versions of the new song appear on the album, which also featured original masters of Jackson's hits in the order in which they appear in the movie, along with a bonus disc with previously unreleased versions of more Jackson hits as well as a spoken word poem entitled "Planet Earth". At the 2009 American Music Awards Jackson won four posthumous awards, two for him and two for his album Number Ones, bringing his total American Music Awards total to 26.
Death and memorial
Main articles: Death of Michael Jackson and Michael Jackson memorial service
On June 25, 2009, Jackson was passed out in his bed at his rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by Conrad Murray, his personal physician, were unsuccessful. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 (PDT, 19:22 UTC), arriving three minutes later at Jackson's location. He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour after arriving there at 1:13 (20:13 UTC). He was pronounced dead at 2:26 local time (21:26 UTC). Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief.
The news spread quickly online, causing websites to slow down and crash from user overload. Both TMZ and the Los Angeles Times suffered outages. Google initially believed that the input from millions of people searching for "Michael Jackson" meant that the search engine was under attack. Twitter reported a crash, as did Wikipedia at 3:15 p.m. PDT (6:15 p.m. EST). The Wikimedia Foundation reported nearly a million visitors to Jackson's biography within one hour, probably the most visitors in a one-hour period to any article in Wikipedia's history. AOL Instant Messenger collapsed for 40 minutes. AOL called it a "seminal moment in Internet history", adding, "We've never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth."
Around 15% of Twitter posts—or 5,000 tweets per minute—reportedly mentioned Jackson after the news broke, compared to the 5% recalled as having mentioned the Iranian elections or the flu pandemic that had made headlines earlier in the year. Overall, web traffic ranged from 11% to at least 20% higher than normal. MTV and Black Entertainment Television (BET) aired marathons of Jackson's music videos. Jackson specials aired on multiple television stations around the world. The British soap opera EastEnders added a last-minute scene, in which one character tells another about the news, to the June 26 episode. Jackson was the topic of every front-page headline in the daily British tabloid The Sun for about two weeks following his death. During the same period, the three major U.S. networks' evening newscasts—ABC's World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News—devoted 34% of their broadcast time to him. Magazines including Time published commemorative editions. A scene that had featured Jackson's sister La Toya was cut from the film Brüno out of respect toward Jackson's family.
Jackson's memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park's Hall of Liberty. Jackson's casket was present during the memorial but no information was released about the final disposition of the body. While some unofficial reports claimed a worldwide audience as high as one billion people, the U.S. audience was estimated by Nielsen to be 31.1 million, an amount comparable to the estimated 35.1 million that watched the 2004 burial of former president Ronald Reagan, and the estimated 33.1 million Americans who watched the 1997 funeral for Princess Diana.
Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, and Shaheen Jafargholi performed at the event. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson gave eulogies, while Queen Latifah read, "We had him," a poem written for the occasion by Maya Angelou. The Reverend Al Sharpton received a standing ovation with cheers when he told Jackson's children, "Wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway." Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris Katherine, cried as she told the crowd, "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine ... I just wanted to say I love him ... so much." Reverend Lucious Smith provided a closing prayer. On August 24, several news outlets quoted anonymous sources as stating that the Los Angeles coroner had decided to treat Jackson's death as a homicide; this was later confirmed by the coroner on August 28. At the time of death, Jackson had been administered propofol, lorazepam and midazolam. Law enforcement officials conducted a manslaughter investigation of his personal physician, Conrad Murray. On February 8, 2010, Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Jackson was entombed on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
On June 25, 2010, the first anniversary of Jackson's death, fans came to Los Angeles to pay their tribute to him. They visited Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his family’s home, as well as Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Many of the fans were carrying sunflowers and other tribute items to drop off at the sites. Members of the Jackson family and close friends arrived to pay their respects. Katherine returned to Gary, Indiana to unveil a granite monument constructed in the front yard of the family home. The memorial continued with a candlelight vigil and a special performance of "We Are the World." On June 26, there was a protest march in front of the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division at the old Parker Center building and a petition with thousands of signatures demanding justice was delivered. The Jackson Family Foundation in conjunction with Voiceplate presented "Forever Michael", an event bringing together Jackson family members, celebrities, fans, supporters and the community to celebrate and honor his legacy. A portion of the proceeds ere presented to some of Jackson's favorite charities. Katherine also introduced her new book "Never Can Say Goodbye."
After his death, Jackson became the best-selling artist of 2009 in the United States selling over 8.2 million albums and had sold 35 million albums worldwide in the 12 months that followed his death. Following this surge in sales, Sony announced that they had extended their relationship with his material. The distribution rights held by Sony Music were due to expire in 2015. On March 16, 2010, Sony Music Entertainment, in a move spearheaded by its Columbia/Epic Label Group division, signed a new deal with the Jackson estate to extend their distribution rights to his back catalogue until at least 2017, as well as to obtain permission to release ten new albums with previously unreleased material and new collections of released work. The first new album is reportedly due out in November 2010, and the final album before December 2017. The deal was unprecedented in the music industry as it is the most expensive music contract pertaining to a single artist in history; it reportedly involved Sony Music paying $250 million for the deal, with the Jackson estate getting the full sum as well as its share of royalties for all works released. Video game developer Ubisoft announced it would release a new dancing-and-singing game featuring Michael Jackson for the 2010 holiday season. The game entitled Michael Jackson: The Experience will be among the first to use Kinect and PlayStation Move, the respective motion-detecting camera systems for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 due out later that year.
Jackson's music took root in R&B, pop and soul. He had been influenced by the work of contemporary musicians such as Little Richard, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross, David Ruffin, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Isley Brothers, and the Bee Gees. While Little Richard had a substantial influence on Jackson, James Brown was Jackson's greatest inspiration. In reference to Brown, Jackson declared: "Ever since I was a small child, no more than like six years old, my mother would wake me no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I had never seen a performer perform like James Brown, and right then and there I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown."
The young Michael Jackson owed his vocal technique in large part to Diana Ross. In October 1969, it was decided[why?][by whom?] that Jackson would live with Ross. Not only a mother figure to him, she was often observed in rehearsal as an accomplished performer. He later expressed: "I got to know her well. She taught me so much. I used to just sit in the corner and watch the way she moved. She was art in motion. I studied the way she moved, the way she sang – just the way she was." He told her: "I want to be just like you, Diana." She said: "You just be yourself." But Jackson owed part of his enduring style—especially his use of the oooh interjection—to Ross. From a young age, Jackson often punctuated his verses with a sudden exclamation of oooh. Diana Ross had used this effect on many of the songs recorded with The Supremes.
Musical themes and genres
Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write his songs on paper. Instead he would dictate into a sound recorder, and when recording he would sing the lyrics from memory. In most of his songs, such as "Billie Jean", "Who Is It", and "Tabloid Junkie", he would beatbox and imitate the instruments using his voice instead of playing the actual instruments, along with other sounds. Jackson noted that it is easier to sing a drum line, or sing a bass, instead of playing a drum line or a bass with an instrument. Several critics have said that Jackson's distinct voice is able to replace any instrument convincingly. Steve Huey of Allmusic said that, throughout his solo career, Jackson's versatility allowed him to experiment with various themes and genres. As a musician, he ranged from Motown's dance fare and ballads to techno and house-edged new jack swing to work that incorporates both funk rhythms and hard rock guitar.
According to Huey, Thriller refined the strengths of Off the Wall; the dance and rock tracks were more aggressive, while the pop tunes and ballads were softer and more soulful. Notable tracks included the ballads "The Lady in My Life", "Human Nature" and "The Girl Is Mine"; the funk pieces "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"; and the disco set "Baby Be Mine" and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)". With Thriller, Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone commented that Jackson developed his long association with the subliminal theme of paranoia and darker imagery. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted this is evident on the songs "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". In "Billie Jean", Jackson sings about an obsessive fan who alleges he has fathered a child of hers. In "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" he argues against gossip and the media. "Beat It" decried gang violence in an homage to West Side Story, and was Jackson's first successful rock cross-over piece, according to Huey. He also observed that the title track "Thriller" began Jackson's interest with the theme of the supernatural, a topic he revisited in subsequent years. In 1985, Jackson co-wrote the charity anthem "We Are the World"; humanitarian themes later became a recurring theme in his lyrics and public persona.
In Bad, Jackson's concept of the predatory lover can be seen on the rock song "Dirty Diana". The lead single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" is a traditional love ballad, while "Man in the Mirror" is an anthemic ballad of confession and resolution. "Smooth Criminal" was an evocation of bloody assault, rape and likely murder. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine states that Dangerous presents Jackson as a very paradoxical individual. He comments the album is more diverse than his previous Bad, as it appeals to an urban audience while also attracting the middle class with anthems like "Heal the World". The first half of the record is dedicated to new jack swing, including songs like "Jam" and "Remember the Time". The album is Jackson's first where social ills become a primary theme; "Why You Wanna Trip on Me", for example, protests against world hunger, AIDS, homelessness and drugs. Dangerous contains sexually charged efforts such as the multifaceted love song, "In the Closet". The title track continues the theme of the predatory lover and compulsive desire. The second half includes introspective, pop-gospel anthems such as "Will You Be There", "Heal the World" and "Keep the Faith"; these songs show Jackson opening up about various personal struggles and worries. In the ballad "Gone Too Soon", Jackson gives tribute to his friend Ryan White and the plight of those with AIDS.
HIStory creates an atmosphere of paranoia. Its content focuses on the hardships and public struggles Jackson went through just prior to its production. In the new jack swing-funk-rock efforts "Scream" and "Tabloid Junkie", along with the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone", Jackson retaliates against the injustice and isolation he feels, and directs much of his anger at the media. In the introspective ballad "Stranger in Moscow", Jackson laments over his "fall from grace", while songs like "Earth Song", "Childhood", "Little Susie" and "Smile" are all operatic pop pieces. In the track "D.S.", Jackson launched a verbal attack against Tom Sneddon. He describes Sneddon as an antisocial, white supremacist who wanted to "get my ass, dead or alive". Of the song, Sneddon said, "I have not—shall we say—done him the honor of listening to it, but I've been told that it ends with the sound of a gunshot". Invincible found Jackson working heavily with producer Rodney Jerkins. It is a record made up of urban soul like "Cry" and "The Lost Children", ballads such as "Speechless", "Break of Dawn" and "Butterflies" and mixes Hip-Hop, pop and R&B in "2000 Watts", "Heartbreaker" and "Invincible".
Jackson sang from childhood, and over time his voice and vocal style changed noticeably. Between 1971 and 1975, Jackson's voice descended from boy soprano to high tenor. Jackson first used a technique called the "vocal hiccup" in 1973, starting with the song "It's Too Late to Change the Time" from The Jackson 5's G.I.T.: Get It Together album. Jackson did not use the hiccup technique— somewhat like a gulping for air or gasping— fully until the recording of Off the Wall: it can be seen in full force in the "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" promotional video. With the arrival of Off the Wall in the late 1970s, Jackson's abilities as a vocalist were well regarded. At the time, Rolling Stone compared his vocals to the "breathless, dreamy stutter" of Stevie Wonder. Their analysis was also that "Jackson's feathery-timbred tenor is extraordinarily beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that's used very daringly". 1982 saw the release of Thriller, and Rolling Stone was of the opinion that Jackson was then singing in a "fully adult voice" that was "tinged by sadness".
A distinctive deliberate mispronunciation of "come on", used frequently by Jackson, occasionally spelt "cha'mone" or "shamone", is also a staple in impressions and caricatures of him. The turn of the 1990s saw the release of the introspective album Dangerous. The New York Times noted that on some tracks, "he gulps for breath, his voice quivers with anxiety or drops to a desperate whisper, hissing through clenched teeth" and he had a "wretched tone". When singing of brotherhood or self-esteem the musician would return to "smooth" vocals. When commenting on Invincible, Rolling Stone were of the opinion that—at the age of 43—Jackson still performed "exquisitely voiced rhythm tracks and vibrating vocal harmonies". Nelson George summed up Jackson's vocals by stating "The grace, the aggression, the growling, the natural boyishness, the falsetto, the smoothness—that combination of elements mark him as a major vocalist".
Music videos and choreography
Referred to as the King of Music Videos, Steve Huey of Allmusic observed how Jackson transformed the music video into an art form and a promotional tool through complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and famous cameo appearances; simultaneously breaking down racial barriers. Before Thriller, Jackson struggled to receive coverage on MTV, allegedly because he was African American. Pressure from CBS Records persuaded MTV to start showing "Billie Jean" and later "Beat It", leading to a lengthy partnership with Jackson, also helping other black music artists gain recognition. MTV employees deny any racism in their coverage, or pressure to change their stance. MTV maintains that they played rock music, regardless of race. The popularity of his videos on MTV helped to put the relatively young channel "on the map"; MTV's focus shifted in favor of pop and R&B. His performance on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever changed the scope of live stage show; "That Jackson lip-synced 'Billie Jean' is, in itself, not extraordinary, but the fact that it did not change the impact of the performance is extraordinary; whether the performance was live or lip-synced made no difference to the audience" thus creating an era in which artists re-create the spectacle of music video imagery on stage. Short films like Thriller largely remained unique to Jackson, while the group dance sequence in "Beat It" has frequently been imitated. The choreography in Thriller has become a part of global pop culture, replicated everywhere from Indian films to prisons in the Philippines. The Thriller short film marked an increase in scale for music videos, and has been named the most successful music video ever by the Guinness World Records.
In the 19-minute music video for "Bad"—directed by Martin Scorsese—Jackson began using sexual imagery and choreography not previously seen in his work. He occasionally grabbed or touched his chest, torso and crotch. When asked by Oprah in the 1993 interview about why he grabbed his crotch, he replied, "I think it happens subliminally" and he described it as something that was not planned, but rather, as something that was compelled by the music. "Bad" garnered a mixed reception from both fans and critics; Time magazine described it as "infamous". The video also featured Wesley Snipes; in the future Jackson's videos would often feature famous cameo roles. For "Smooth Criminal", Jackson experimented with an innovative "anti-gravity lean" in his performances. The maneuver required special shoes for which he was granted U.S. Patent No. 5,255,452. Although the music video for "Leave Me Alone" was not officially released in the US, in 1989, it was nominated for four Billboard Music Video Awards, winning three; the same year it won a Golden Lion Award for the quality of the special effects used in its production. In 1990, "Leave Me Alone" won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form.
The MTV Video Vanguard Artist of the Decade Award was given to Jackson to celebrate his accomplishments in the art form in the 1980s; the following year the award was renamed in his honor. "Black or White" was accompanied by a controversial music video, which, on November 14, 1991, simultaneously premiered in 27 countries with an estimated audience of 500 million people, the largest viewing ever for a music video. It featured scenes construed as having a sexual nature as well as depictions of violence. The offending scenes in the final half of the 14-minute version were edited out to prevent the video from being banned, and Jackson apologized. Along with Jackson, it featured Macaulay Culkin, Peggy Lipton and George Wendt. It helped usher in morphing as an important technology in music videos.
"Remember the Time" was an elaborate production, and became one of his longest videos at over nine minutes. Set in ancient Egypt, it featured groundbreaking visual effects and appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson, along with a distinct complex dance routine. The video for "In the Closet" was Jackson's most sexually provocative piece. It featured supermodel Naomi Campbell in a courtship dance with Jackson. The video was banned in South Africa because of its imagery.
The music video for "Scream", directed by Mark Romanek and production designer Tom Foden, is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed. In 1995, it gained 11 MTV Video Music Award Nominations—more than any other music video—and won "Best Dance Video", "Best Choreography", and "Best Art Direction". The song and its accompanying video are a response to the backlash Jackson received from the media after being accused of child molestation in 1993. A year later, it won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form; shortly afterwards Guinness World Records listed it as the most expensive music video ever made at a cost of $7 million.
"Earth Song" was accompanied by an expensive and well-received music video that gained a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Short Form in 1997. The video had an environmental theme, showing images of animal cruelty, deforestation, pollution and war. Using special effects, time is reversed so that life returns, wars end, and the forests re-grow. Released in 1997 and premiering at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, Michael Jackson's Ghosts was a short film written by Jackson and Stephen King and directed by Stan Winston. The video for Ghosts is over 38 minutes long and holds the Guinness World Record as the world's longest music video.
Legacy and influence
See also: Records and achievements of Michael Jackson
Jackson throughout his career transformed the art of the music video and paved the way for modern pop music. Daily Telegraph writer Tom Utley described Jackson in 2003 as "extremely important" and a "genius." For much of his career, he had an "unparalleled" level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions. Jackson's music and videos, such as Thriller, fostered racial diversity in MTV's roster, helped to put the relatively new channel into public awareness, and steered the channel's focus from rock to pop music and R&B, shaping the channel into a form that proved enduring. Jackson's work continues to influence numerous hip hop, rock, pop and R&B artists, including Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Usher, Green Day, Britney Spears, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Ludacris to name a few.
Allmusic's Steve Huey describes Jackson as "an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the skills to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and loads of sheer star power". In the mid-1980s, Time magazine's pop music critic, Jay Cocks, noted "Jackson is the biggest thing since The Beatles. He is the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley. He just may be the most popular black singer ever". In 1990, Vanity Fair cited Jackson as the most popular artist in the history of show business. In 2007, Jackson said, "Music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in this world. Through it, my music, I know I will live forever."
Shortly after Jackson's death, on June 25, 2009, MTV briefly returned to its original music video format to celebrate and pay tribute to his work. The channel aired many hours of Jackson's music videos, accompanied by live news specials featuring reactions from MTV personalities and other celebrities. The temporary shift in MTV's programming culminated the following week in the channel's live coverage of Jackson's memorial service. At the memorial service on July 7, 2009, founder of Motown Records Berry Gordy proclaimed Jackson as "the greatest entertainer that ever lived."
In 2010, two university librarians found that Jackson's influence extended into academia, and was detectable in scholarly literature pertaining to a range of subject matter. The two researchers combed through various scholars' writings, and compiled an annotated bibliography of those writings that appeared to meet at least one of several criteria. Among these criteria were appearance in a peer-reviewed journal, and the provision of insight into the nature of "popular icons including Jackson". The bibliography located references to Jackson in research reports concerning music, popular culture, and an array of other topics. The bibliographers identified as their most peculiar finding an argument that certain aspects of chemistry can be effectively taught by altering and imitating elements of Jackson's singing. One of the research librarians later reflected that "the fact that someone would take a Michael Jackson song and co-opt it as a means to convey chemistry concepts just shows the pervasiveness of Jackson's influence".
Honors and awards
See also: List of awards received by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. Throughout his career he received numerous honors and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. Jackson was also an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2010, Jackson was inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock 'n' roll. His awards include many Guinness World Records (eight in 2006 alone), 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including the "Artist of the Century", but not the poll of "Artist of the '80s")—more than any artist—, 13 number one singles in the US in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and estimated sales of up to 800 million records worldwide, making him the world's best selling male solo pop artist. On December 29, 2009, the American Film Institute recognized Jackson's passing as a "moment of significance" saying, "Michael Jackson's sudden death in June at age 50 was notable for the worldwide outpouring of grief and the unprecedented global eulogy of his posthumous concert rehearsal movie This is It."
His total lifetime earnings from royalties on his solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million; some analysts have speculated that his music catalog holdings could be worth billions of dollars. This speculation however is contradicted by financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, which showed that as of March 31, 2007, Jackson's 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog (his most prized asset) was worth $390.6 million and Michael Jackson's net worth was $236 million. Billboard has estimated that Jackson has generated at least $1 billion in revenue in the year following his death.
I don't know why but I'm getting weird letters from Jareth Phantom of the Opera I don't know how he knows I'm writing a story and have a crush on someone I know since the fifth grade and yet I don't know how he watched me singing one of my songs sure I do like to sing it just makes me wonder about it. My friend that I went to school with she's getting letters from Eric Opera which is different but her name for Phantom of the Opera2 is Felicia Daae. So I'm not the only one am I being haunted or followed by him? Why does he want me to write to him? I don't if I do have feelings for Jareth Phantom of the Opera or not. oh well what ever the reason I'm getting those but I hope I can figure it out soon something is going on but I don't know about this Jareth Phantom Of The Opera person I don't know how he knows so much about me but I will get answer form him in my stories things can be complicated but sometimes you have to learn to appect things even though it never makes any sense oh well I hope my that I can't explain it that well but I am trying my best so yeah.
though it was tought I only had two person that picked on me I won't say their names but they were bullies I've never liked them. I was transfered alot but once I liked the school that I was at now it was cool I still have a crush on this guy that I know since fifth grade he doesn't know it yet I'm really shy to tell him but soon I will. It took me forever to graduate from high school but I'm glad that I did.