Michael Jackson: the highs and lows that shaped his legacy

Bruno Goes January 08, 2023
Jackson during his Bad tour in Vienna, June 1988. Photo source: Wikipedia

Michael Jackson was a global superstar and a cultural icon. Known as the “King of Pop,” Jackson’s career spanned over four decades and he became one of the most successful and influential musicians of all time. With hit albums like “Thriller,” “Bad,” and “Dangerous,” Jackson’s music has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world and continues to be popular today. However, Jackson’s career was not without its ups and downs. The global icon had many triumphs, but he also had his own demons, many of which he struggled with publicly. In this article, we will explore some of the highs and lows of his career, examining the impact that these events had on his life and legacy.

The Highs

  1. The release of “Thriller” in 1982

The release of “Thriller” was undoubtedly a defining moment in Jackson’s career. This album became the best-selling album of all time and spawned several hit singles, including “Beat It” and “Billie Jean”. The accompanying music video for “Thriller” was groundbreaking and helped to launch Jackson’s career to new heights. The album sold over 65 million copies worldwide and earned Jackson eight Grammy Awards.

2. The “Bad” world tour in 1988

This tour was one of the highest grossing tours of all time and cemented Jackson’s status as a global superstar. The tour included 123 concerts in 15 countries and was seen by over 4.4 million people. The tour featured elaborate stage sets and special effects, and Jackson’s performances were widely praised for their energy and showmanship.

3. The release of “Dangerous” in 1991

This album was another massive success for Jackson, selling over 30 million copies worldwide. It spawned hit singles like “Black or White” and “Heal the World,” and the accompanying music videos for these songs were widely praised for their innovative and controversial visuals.

4. The “HIStory” world tour in 1997

This tour was another hugely successful outing for Jackson, and it helped to solidify his position as one of the biggest pop stars in the world. The tour included 82 concerts in 35 countries and was seen by over 4.5 million people. The stage production featured elaborate sets, special effects, and a live band, and Jackson’s performances were praised for their energy and creativity.

5. Jackson’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson Five in 1997, and as a solo artist in 2001. This recognition cemented Jackson’s place in music history and recognized his contributions to the industry.

While there were many highs in Michael Jackson’s career, there were also several lows that had a significant impact on his life and reputation.

The Lows

1. Accusations of child abuse

In 1993, the family of 11-year-old Jordy Chandler accused Jackson of molesting their son. Jackson strongly denied the allegations, but he reached an out-of-court settlement with the family for around $20 million. These accusations and the subsequent trial and media attention had a major impact on Jackson’s reputation and career.

2. The divorce from Lisa Marie Presley in 1996

Jackson married Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, in 1994 in what some speculated was an attempt to bolster his public image following the child abuse allegations. However, the marriage lasted just two years, and the divorce was widely covered by the media.

3. The backlash after Jackson admitted to sharing a bedroom with children

In a 2003 interview with Martin Bashir, Jackson admitted to sharing a bedroom with children and defended the practice, saying: “It’s very loving. What’s wrong with sharing a love?” The interview sparked widespread criticism and accusations of inappropriate behavior.

4. The financial struggles that Jackson faced in the latter years of his career

In the latter years of his career, Jackson faced financial struggles, including the sale of his famous Neverland ranch and the reported failure to pay off debts. These financial issues added to the challenges that Jackson faced in his personal and professional life.

5. Jackson’s shocking death in 2009

In 2009, Jackson died unexpectedly at the age of 50, from acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, shocking the world and ending his career prematurely. His death was widely covered by the media and led to an outpouring of grief and condolences from fans and fellow musicians.


From the release of groundbreaking albums like “Thriller” and “Dangerous” to the hugely successful world tours, Jackson achieved unparalleled success and became one of the most successful and influential musicians of all time. However, he also faced significant challenges, including accusations of child abuse, divorce, financial struggles, and ultimately, his untimely death. Despite these challenges, Jackson’s talent and influence as a musician and performer cannot be denied. He will always be remembered as the King of Pop, and his music and legacy will continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

Last Edited by:seo zimamedia Updated: January 15, 2023


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