12 Facts you never knew about Michael Jackson
The undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has left quite a legacy. The former Jackson 5 singer was a formidable presence in the music industry, both alive and posthumously, and it's safe to say that would-be pop-stars still have a lot to live up to. But while we're all familiar with hit songs such as Thriller, Beat It, and Billie Jean, there are many things that we don't know about the personal life of the singer and songwriter - and here are just 12 of them.
1. How close he was to Elton John
In 1997, Jackson released an album titled, Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, and he dedicated to it his friend Sir Elton John. His fellow pop-star helped him through his addiction to prescription pills.
2. He considered retiring from music forever
In January 2000, Jackson announced that he was considering retiring from the music industry on account of the non-stop publicity. Thankfully, he opted not to.
3. His friendship with Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson
While we know all about how close the late singer was to actress Elizabeth Taylor, few know that he jumped in a car with Taylor, Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson after 9/11 to drive to Ohio to escape New York City.
4. Jackson received a Presidential Humanitarian Award from President Ronald Reagan
In May 1984, Michael Jackson received a Presidential Humanitarian Award from President Ronald Reagan. The former US President wanted to recognise the singer's contribution to the government's campaign to beat drink driving with his single Beat It.
5. The rivalry between the King and Prince
The feuds between Jackson and Prince have been well documented. The late King of Pop was apparently most offended when Prince pulled out of working on Bad as a duet, however. Prince later said in an interview that he did not want to sing the line, "Your butt is mine".
6. Michael Jackson's first love
Jackson's first girlfriend was actress Tatum O'Neal.
7. His love of The Beatles
The musician's favourite Beatles song was purportedly Come Together. You can even find his own version of the song on History - Past, Present and Future.
8. Jackson went from riches to even more riches...
Michael Jackson was the highest earning singer between the years of 1988-1989, earning a cool $125 million from his worldwide BAD album tour.
9. His commitment to charity
Following his death, the pop-star donated 20 per cent of his estate, that is, over $100 million, to children's charities. This is on top of the $300 million that he donated to charity throughout his lifetime.
10. Barack Obama was a huge fan
Former US President, Barack Obama, sent a letter of condolence to the Jackson family following the singer's death in 2009. Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, has said that Obama viewed Jackson as a "spectacular performer and a music icon".
11. Jackson's coffin cost over $25,000
The gold coffin seen at the late pop-star's memorial is a rare design known as the Promethean. It cost $25,000 and was made of solid bronze, and plated with 14-carat gold. It was hand-polished to a mirror finish and lined with velvet. Jackson was royalty, after all.
12. The legacy of This Is It
The film, This Is It, about Jackson's 50 performances at London's O2 Arena (which never happened due to his untimely death), remains the highest grossing documentary and concert movie of all time.
Well, there you have it. While we can't hope to ever have a conclusive overview of Michael Jackson's oft complicated life, these facts have shed some insight on the personal life of the King of Pop.