The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had been an inseparable piece of every music lover’s heart. His contribution to pop music, his dedication to bringing that music to life, and his unbelievably immense amounts of talent can never be compared with those of any other artist. The King ruled the world of music for over four decades and still continues to influence and inspire many. So, we have gathered some less known facts about Michael Jackson, to remember him and cherish him.
1. Joseph Jackson, Michael Jackson’s father, once wore a fright mask and climbed through Michael’s bedroom window screaming and shouting. He said he was trying to teach his children not to leave their bedroom windows open. The incident caused Michael to suffer nightmares for many years.
Michael had a very troubled childhood and it was widely believed that he and his siblings were abused by his father. He first spoke openly about his father in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying that he used to cry of loneliness and that he missed out much on his childhood. From a young age, Joseph Jackson would mentally and physically abuse his children in the name of rehearsals to whip them. He even would call Michael “big nose” and once held him upside down by his leg while pummeling and hitting him at the same time. (source)
2. Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury collaborated in the 80s and recorded three tracks. However, Mercury broke it off because Jackson insisted on bringing his pet llama to the studio.
The songs were recorded in Michael’s home studio in Encino, California in 1983, when both he and Mercury were at the height of their fame. The tracks were meant to be included in an album full of their duets. However, they were never able to finish the complete album because of their differences. Mercury didn’t like Michael bringing his llama into the studio while recording, and Michael didn’t like Mercury using too much cocaine in his living room. Now both the stars are no more and the tracks were later cleared for release in 2011. (source)
3. Michael Jackson was once married to the daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley.
Lisa Marie Presley, who is the daughter of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, and also a singer and songwriter, was once the wife of Michael Jackson. She also appeared in one of his songs’ video “You Are Not Alone”. They both fell in love as Jackson increasingly began to turn towards her for emotional support and she was able to persuade him to go to rehabilitation to recover from his drug abuse. According to Presley, after their divorce, they spent almost four years on and off trying to reconcile. (source)
4. Michael Jackson composed his songs despite not knowing how to read or write music. He would build each element of the tracks, the chords, harmony, melody, bass, and even the rhythm with his own voice.
Being a true musical genius, Michael fully realized his songs before they were written down on paper. During the rehearsals, he would come to the sound engineers and producers saying he had a song and would sing every note of every chord. Then, he would give the most “heartfelt and profound vocal performance” in the control room. He would also sing the entire string arrangement with stops and fills into the micro-cassette recorder. In one of his trials for plagiarism, he said “I’ll take that bass lick and put the chords of the melody over the bass lick and that’s what inspires the melody” before going on to demonstrate beat-boxing in the court. (source)
5. For the filming of the song “Beat It”, Michael Jackson casted 80 members of two Los Angeles rival street gangs “Crips” and “Bloods” to foster peace between them and add authenticity.
The songs “Beat It” and “Thriller” are famous for Michael’s signature “mass choreography” with lots of synchronized dancing. The song “Beat It” was financed by Michael and it cost him $150,000 to create because CBS refused to finance it. Apart from having 80 genuine members of the two Los Angeles gangs who were casted by Michael to help bring peace between them, the song also had 18 professional dancers. The song’s video was noted for increasing job opportunities for dancers in the US. (source)