Michael Jackson's Legacy 14 Years On

Michael Jackson's Legacy 14 Years On
Since his death in 2009 fourteen years ago Michael Jackson's legacy continues to burn bright ensuring he remains a relevant pop culture, although still very much mired in controversy.

Jackson had an unprecedented career as one of the best-selling artists of all-time as he won 13 Grammys over 38 nominations. Honors included Best Male R&B Vocal Performance on Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough in 1980, Album of the Year for Thriller in 1984 and Record of the Year for Beat It the same year.

He was also given the Grammy Legend Award in 1993, and posthumously, The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He had been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

The molestation allegations that Jackson faced in the early 90s and later on in 2003 have also been reexamined publicly via the 2019 documentary film Leaving Neverland.

A victim of abuse himself, Michael Jackson had spoken openly about the physical abuse he had endured at the hands of his father, detailing his hatred for his father in the 2003 Martin Bashir documentary, 'Living with Michael Jackson.'

Michael found his first taste of fame with his brothers Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon as the musical group the Jackson 5 and the group achieved their first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single I Want You Back. But Michael had his success as a solo artist with the 1979 record Off the Wall.

But he reached global success with the November 29 1982 release of Thriller, which to date remains the best-selling album ever, Guinness World Records reported in 2021, with more than 67 million copies sold worldwide.

And then in 1983, came his famed moonwalk dance. 'In the world of pop music,' The New York Times reported in January of 1984, 'there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else.'

But in 1984, he suffered second- and third-degree burns while filming a commercial and that led him down a path of consuming painkillers and delving into plastic surgery where he would completely alter his physical appearance.

In 1993 he was accused of molesting a 13 year old boy at his Never Land ranch. Jackson vehemently denied all charges. !I am not guilty of these allegations, but if I am guilty of anything it is of giving all that I have to give to help children all over the world; it is of loving children of all ages and races, it is of gaining sheer joy from seeing children with their innocent and smiling faces, it is of enjoying through them the childhood that I missed myself."

In 1994, the matter was settled out of court with the family of the boy who accused him.

In the same year Jackson went on to marry Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie but the couple then split in 1996. He then went on to exchange vows with nurse Debbie Rowe and they had two children, son Prince in 1997 and daughter Paris in 1998.  In 2002, he fathered a second son, Prince Michael Jackson II - known as Blanket, and now Bigi - with a surrogate.

But then in 2003, he was indicted on 10 counts consisting of lewd conduct with a minor, conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Jackson was found not guilty of all of the charges June 14, 2005.

Jackson died at 50 on June 25, 2009 after suffering cardiac arrest and in February 2010 it was declared that his death was the result of acute propofol intoxication.