Episode 225: Michael Jackson: ‘Nuff Said

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the life, hits, moves, quirks and lawsuits surrounding the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson. Jackson was born in Gary Indiana in 1958, and due to the often abusive hand of his father Joseph, he and his family were formed into musicians at a very young age. After a couple of rotations in the children, Michael was added to the family musical act, which became known as the Jackson 5. They did small shows at first, but Michael’s incredible vocals and depth got them noticed pretty quickly.

They signed with Barry Gordy at Motown, and after spending some time living with Gordy and Diana Ross in LA, the Jacksons became a huge hit. They sold millions of records, and through this process, Michael matured as an artist and eventually started to release solo work. His first big solo album was Off the Wall, and a few years later he released the best-selling album in history, Thriller.

With Thriller, he amassed numerous top ten hits, earned a record number of Grammys, and became a worldwide sensation. He was bigger than The Beatles. His showmanship, amazing dance skills, and strong vocals made him into a hit factory. He and Quincy Jones released Bad in 1987, and Michael Jackson was at the top of his game. In this same era, however, he suffered a burn on his scalp and face during an ill-fated Pepsi commercial, and he needed to undergo plastic surgery.

That surgery apparently opened the flood gates to multiple surgeries, massive alterations to his nose and chin, and even alleged skin whitening. His success also led to some pretty crazy behaviors. He built Neverland ranch, a giant zoo and amusement park where he lived outside the public eye. Here, he got into legal trouble with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underage boys. None of them ever stuck in court, but they ruined his reputation.

His decline was gradual and sad. His behavior became more strange, as did his appearance, and he even had multiple children with surrogates who he supposedly never had sex with. Broke and facing legal problems, he announced a worldwide tour in 2009. It sold out in a record four hours, and it was truly going to be a massive comeback. However, he died a month before the tour started.

How did he die exactly? What did his doctor have to do with it? Why did his doctor do jail time as a result? Why do his daughter and a prominent German business man think Michael Jackson was murdered? Why does Brad think he was killed by Paul McCartney? Listen, laugh, learn.

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