It's been 10 years since the King of Pop passed away, but now reports of the man who walked like he was on the moon and danced like nobody was watching are surfacing. So much for letting a man rest in peace. Whether the claims are true or not, it is nothing new; when Jackson was alive, there were many rumors that surrounded him.
Sadly, from the day little Michael joined The Jackson 5, his life was plagued with controversy. We all know that when "Thriller" or "Bad" comes on, we start jamming and grooving and cannot help but miss the artist who did so much for the world when he was alive. However, before Michael Jackson became the King of Pop, he came from a big family — a family that we thought we knew so well.
Arguably the most popular musical family of all time, the Jacksons were surrounded by drama, feuds, rumors and everything in-between. And although we are aware of the problems that came with the Jacksons, there are quite a few facts about the talented family, and the King himself, that slipped through the cracks.
Here are some tidbits we thought you'd like to know. You might just know how to defy gravity like a "Smooth Criminal" afterwards.
20 Katherine Jackson Disliked Mrs. Taylor
When Michael Jackson hit the big time, the A-lister was loved by so many people. Among them was the major Hollywood star, Elizabeth Taylor.
Fanatical fans of the man that revolutionized music know that his mother Katherine was very dear to him, and she was not enthralled by the silver screen star. According to several outlets, like Daily Mail, Katherine was not a fan of Elizabeth Taylor and was envious of her.
Why? Because MJ and Mrs. Taylor became attached to one another, and mama Jackson felt her son was stolen from her. She may have been right, but MJ did what was best for him and he chose to spend time with those he felt truly loved him, like his second mother, Taylor.
19 MJ Was Actually Shy
Michael Jackson was just a child when he came into the spotlight, and although he instantly stood out among his siblings, MJ had a timid side. Throughout his life, he rocked millions of faces, making him one of the greatest performers to ever grace the world, but he had another side, a delicate, quiet and shy side.
You may be wondering how that would even be possible considering his success. One thing that always remained, despite the fame, was his shyness. However, he knew he had to overcome it, and he did, with mannequins. Sounds quite surprising, right?
According to Factinate, to help him deal with his shyness, he would go into rooms with life-sized mannequins and picture them as actual people. There is a reason why MJ was like no other.
18 Michael Jackson Had Skills In The Kitchen, Too
We'd love to have had the pop star cook a meal for us. We are sure he would have made quite the spectacle. Imagine having taken a seat in MJ's kitchen; he surely did the moonwalk while he whipped up a meal!
Those close to him certainly got a taste of the MJ flair. Although MJ is gone, his legacy, and menus too, will live on forever. Any way we can get a hold of those? Nothing MJ ever did was ordinary. Everything was extravagant and special. His beautiful daughter, Paris, who truly resembles her multi-talented father, claimed the musician was a great cook who taught her how to toss up all kinds of dishes. PJ is carrying on his legacy, according to Food & Wine.
17 Why Did MJ Name His Son Prince?
Prince, who is Michael's oldest son, has quite the peculiar name. MJ must have had a strong desire to name his firstborn with the most creative name he could have thought of. Named Prince Michael II and nicknamed Blanket, there is significant meaning behind the name that many do not know about.
Let us start with the name, Prince. MJ was undeniably close to his gracious mother, and her father's name, according to Wikipedia, was Prince Albert Screws; that is where MJ's inspiration hailed from.
And, his son's somewhat adorable nickname, Blanket, according to Factinate, was a word that held much meaning to the King of Pop. MJ, the bookworm, felt the word blanket was an expression that replaced the word blessed. MJ certainly blanketed the world.
16 Jermaine Jackson Was The First To Leave The Jacksons
There is always one bird that is going to leave the nest, and in the case of the highly successful and charismatic band The Jacksons, it was brother Jermaine Jackson who cut the cord first.
Nowadays, things usually work in favor for the member that decides to go solo, like Zayn Malik, Nick Jonas and Queen B, but for Jermaine Jackson, things went the other way — props to him for being brave.
He pursued a solo career with Motown Records label, the same label that The Jackson 5 were signed with, and kind of had the easy way out since his wife was the daughter of Motown's founder. When Jermaine released "Word to the Badd," it was obvious he was no leader like younger brother MJ.
15 The Jackson Parents Had Musical Ambitions Of Their Own
Imagine having been born in the Jackson family; you would have instantly been talented and got to groove every day in the spotlight while making moolah.
So, how were all the Jacksons blessed with so much talent? They were the offsprings of two parents, Joe and Katherine Jackson, who were musically inclined. We wonder if they also taught MJ how to constantly screech "shamone?"
Both big dreamers, the Jackson parents aspired to be in the music business, but unfortunately — or not — failed. The father started a blues band with his brother, while strumming on a six-string, and the dearest Katherine Jackson played the piano and clarinet. She wanted to use her chops to sing country. They never got their big breaks.
14 Father Joe Jackson Noticed His Children's Talents
Maybe the Jackson parents prayed every night for talented children.
Not many peeps are fans of Joe Jackson because of the many negative things his name was associated with, but the fact is, it is all thanks to the preacher himself that the Jacksons got noticed. This is how the story goes: one night, he witnessed the sweet joy of his son Tito playing the guitar like him, with Jackie and Jermaine backing him — and BOOM — a light bulb went off in Joe's head.
So, the kids started off as three brothers with obvious talent, a unique look and sound, and charm; they hit the road together playing small gigs in town. Before MJ came into the picture, the three Jackson brothers were joined by cousins. However, they were bumped out when the "Smooth Criminal" and Marlon Jackson entered the picture.
13 The King Of Pop Had A Deep Fondness For Books
Michael Jackson was so many things: dynamic, brilliant, and truly one of a kind. However, what many do not know is that the singer who busted moves like no other was more than a performer, he was also a bookworm — that would explain where most of his knowledge came from, as well as those fantastic and deep lyrics. He was a very well-read and intellectual man.
According to The National, MJ fell in love with books from when he was a teen. He was deeply in love with literature. His most beloved novels, classic English literature masterpieces, were Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
If you're a fanatical fan of books, you would have got lost in MJ's library that contained over 10,000 books. And, according to Lucky Voice Karaoke, his admiration for books racked him up a $1 million bill of library fines.
12 Marlon Jackson Was The Only Different One
When everyone is talented in the bunch, it is quite the difficult task to stand out and pave your own way — the King of Pop was special from the start, though.
Another brother that tried to set himself apart was Marlon. It’s surprising that he had made that choice considering that The Jackson 5 were at the peak of their success. Marlon wanted to be diverse though, but he was no MJ. And that is because he strayed off the musical path and left the music industry after his solo album did not break — what a shame, since Marlon certainly knew how to groove "as easy as 1,2,3."
Instead, he took a shot at the entertainment industry and ran a company called the Black Family Channel, which he eventually sold. Afterwards, he took a chance at acting, but ultimately ended up as a real estate agent.
11 The King Of Pop Wanted The 'Thriller' Video Scrapped
"Thriller" will always be a song that is a part of the soundtrack to our lives — it has carried on from generation to generation. And, we have the facts to prove it. Thriller spent 122 weeks on the Billboard 200 — #justsaying. Imagine this, though: the masterpiece almost did not make the cut — wait, what?
There is no denying that the “Thriller” video is the most iconic music video to have ever appeared on MTV. With its zombies, werewolves, dance moves and creepy vibes, the video still sends chills up our spines and makes the hairs on our bodies lift.
Well, after the video was done, the King of Pop made an odd demand: he demanded that the video be tossed out the window. This was due to people of his faith who confronted him about what was wrong in the video. Thankfully, the show went on.
10 The Jackson Family's Faith
Sitting down to have a chat with mother dearest Jackson would certainly be insightful into the life of the unique MJ and the rest of the Jacksons. We know his mother always told him "be careful who you love, be careful what you do, because a lie becomes the truth" — those are the wise words of "Billie Jean."
However, as a child MJ had to follow other rules, that of the Jehovah's Witness faith — hence why MJ almost pulled away from his biggest single, “Thriller.”
Always following his mother's advice, he and his siblings followed in their mother's faith devoutly since Katherine converted them in 1963. MJ as a famous child would even go door-to-door while disguising himself — hey, maybe MJ knocked at your door once upon a time.
9 The 'Man In The Mirror' Was Obsessed With Comics
If MJ wanted to take over the world, he easily could have. He was a man with so many talents and abilities, and he was an intellectual. Well, one thing the King of Pop truly wanted to have in his hands was Marvel Comics — both literally and figuratively.
Die-hard fans of the Marvel Comics will surely know that they had quite the bumpy road in the '90s as the company was dealing with financial problems. And, because not all heroes wear capes, MJ came to the rescue and offered to buy the company.
According to various outlets, like Factinate, the one dream that MJ never realized was playing the role of Spider-Man. His vision did not become a reality, and he even tried to persuade Stan Lee to give him the role of Professor X.
8 'Billie Jean' Revolutionized The Entertainment Industry
Whether the groovy and smashing hit "Billie Jean" is a true story or not, one thing we know for certain is the video was as fantastic as the song — just look at him move! MJ had busted out the moonwalk for the very first time on "Billie Jean."
Until this day we still watch the music video and attempt the moonwalk; it is that infectious. We know that MJ broke many barriers and continuously revolutionized the entertainment industry, but what many do not know is that “Billie Jean” made Michael Jackson the first black artist to appear on MTV.
Jackson made sure he took the world by storm; with his style, aura and dance moves, the floor was his. MJ came on the scene with a leather suit, pink shirt, bow tie, and the 'signature' single white glove — we think he invented the term ‘slay.’
7 The Jacksons Reached Superstardom Instantly
Father Jackson was right about his sons - their talent was undeniable. Who would have ever thought that randomly playing instruments in the living room would have led to intense worldwide fame? We are sure The Jackson 5 did not when they were just young children minding their own business.
Well, contrary to what many think, The Jackson 5 members had the world under their belts from the start; from the moment they hit the stage, it was theirs. In fact, according to Factinate, as soon as the boys were signed to the Motown record label, they were a success. Seeing them onstage was magical, so it came as no surprise that the brothers managed to release five number one hits in their first year alone! That only took them higher and higher.
6 MJ Cared So Much About Animals
So, MJ wrote a song for the film Free Willy, and we are certain you recall the eloquent lyrics of "I Will Be There" — but his love for animals extended much further than that.
Everyone in the world knows (we think), that one of MJ's besties was his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles; we are still so envious that he got to have a pet monkey, seriously. While Bubbles was his most famous pet, as the two were always hand-in-hand, MJ adopted more animals. Just a quick tidbit: Bubbles even used to accompany MJ to the dinner table.
The man who invented the moonwalk also owned two llamas and a ram — oh yes, you better believe MJ did — and lest we mention, he was also father to a python.
5 Michael And Janet Cut Their Family Off
The Jackson 5 made us "dance and shout and shake our bodies down to the ground," but after their success most of the Jackson siblings remained low key, except for MJ and his pop star sister, Janet Jackson. The two were an electrifying combination on their own.
However, according to Factinate, after the success of the family faded, they relied on the King of Pop and Janet to support them. They had debts piling up, and thought it was all right for them to solely rely on their siblings who were making a fortune in the industry. There was no fooling the "Smooth Criminal" singer and the Super Bowl performer, as they mutually decided to cut ties with the rest of their family, and their parents too. Do you blame them?
4 The Man Who Invented The Moonwalk Is Still The Highest-Earning Artist
Although MJ was still young when he passed away, he was in the music industry for years, and he accomplished more than any other artist. The pop star, who took over the world with his high-pitched voice, is the highest-earning deceased artist — sad to read the word deceased associated with his name, but does this even come as a surprise? He was the King.
Actually, the most awarded artist of all time has a category in the Guinness Book Of World Records dedicated to him, as they included the "highest-earning deceased artist" category for him. The bookworm in him must be so ecstatic to know he made it BIG!
3 Janet Jackson Was The Last To Explore Her Talent
No, Janet Jackson was not part of The Jackson 5 or The Jacksons, but she quickly became more successful than her other siblings — besides MJ, of course. MJ made a mark with his signature costumes, dance moves and songs, but when Janet hit the scene, she took over the world, resembling her brother with her high energy.
According to Factinate, the Jackson sister had no interest in the music industry whatsoever. Even when her siblings rose to superstardom, she wanted to become a jockey or a lawyer. However, she got the itch when she one day decided to step foot on the stage with her musical brothers.
We feel like MJ must have kept telling his sister "shamone, you can do it!" because after that, singing and dancing also became her passions. And the rest is history.
2 MJ's Siblings Were Not Considered In His Estate
In the first year after his passing, MJ's estate raked in a reported $1 billion over two years, showing that the world's still very much interested in him, as Forbes reports.
Even though the man with the glove is gone, people are still out there supporting him and his music. Michael Jackson built a business empire, but when he passed, there were some people he did not include in his will: his own siblings and father. We could go on and on about his will, but what is most vital is the fact that his dear mother was the sole family member that he left everything to. She was also named the legal guardian of his children.
Details of MJ's relationship with his father have always been vague, but we know that there was not much love there — after all, he did not leave his father a single penny.
1 It Is Actually The Jackson 10
Don't you worry, we still get confused about the Jackson family — there are just so many Jacksons! Although MJ was the sibling that rose to the top, he never forgot where he came from. No, he did not have only four other siblings. It is 2019 right now, and many are still not aware that the "Pretty Young Thing" singer actually had nine other siblings — yes, nine! There was one unfortunate loss in the family when Katherine gave premature birth to twins Marlon and Brandon, and Brandon did not make it.
A significant cultural figure of the 20th century, MJ climbed to the top despite all the talent in his household and all the obstacles in front of him — now that is impressive.