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Tribute (Michael Jackson)
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A tribute to the late King of Pop.

The world is reeling from the news that Michael Jackson, one of the most iconic figures in the history of modern music, has died, aged 50.

With mourners gathered outside the UCLA Hospital in Los Angeles, where the star passed away at 2:26 P.M. local time on Thursday, tributes have been flooding in from all over the world for a figure who defined pop culture for an entire generation.

Jackson’s death from a suspected cardiac arrest has brought to an end a long, extraordinary career marked initially by phenomenal success and more recently, by reports of bizarre behaviour that at times threatened to eclipse his legendary status as a musician and performer.

His first big break came in 1968 when the Jackson Five signed to the Motown label, with Michael, aged just 11, when the group released its first single.

Hits like “I Want You Back” and “ABC” went to Number 1 in the U.S. in 1970 and the Jackson Five would become the first group in history to have their first four singles top the charts.

But soon, Michael the Solo Artist was outselling his brothers, creating hits like, “Got To Be There” and “Rockin’ Robin” before in 1979 a collaboration with legendary music producer Quincy Jones saw the release of solo album, “Off the Wall,” the first record to provide Top 10 U.S. Hits for an artist.

However, it was with 1982’s “Thriller” that Jackson sealed his place in musical mythology.

The album would go on to sell over 65 million copies to become the best-selling record of all time and in the process redefine music videos for a new MTV generation.

Jackson would go on to dominate the musical landscape with albums like “Bad” and “Dangerous” but in the 1990s, his personal life was increasingly beginning to take centre stage.

Jackson married twice and had three children, when in 2002, he stirred up more controversy when he was seen dangling Prince Michael II, nicknamed Blanket from a Berlin hotel balcony.

In recent years, rumours recirculated that Jackson was bankrupt although a series of sold-out comeback concerts due to start in U.K. in July proved his fan base hadn’t diminished.

Irrespective of any controversy, Michael Jackson would be remembered as one of music’s greatest all-around performers a musical genius who managed to unite black and white music, dominate the charts, and dazzle onstage.

Over the course of his career, the King of Pop sold over 750 million albums worldwide, won 15 Grammys and left behind a legacy as one of music’s greatest-ever entertainers.

I love you people very much. I’ve had the time of my life here. I’ve had so much fun. I hate to leave.

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