Michael Jackson is gone, but his all-encompassing pop-culture influence and impressive back catalogue of music masterpieces live on. The King of Pop was in the public eye almost his entire life, starting out as a precocious child star alongside his big brothers in the Motown boy-band the Jackson 5. Solo success soon came calling, though, and in 1982 he released the iconic 'Thriller.' Filled with megahits including 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It,' it became the best-selling album of all time. His groundbreaking music videos introduced him to audiences of all races and ages, and he became a true global music superstar. His endlessly fascinating and frequently troubled personal life, including copious amounts of plastic surgery and sexual-abuse allegations, remains tabloid fodder to this day. His untimely death at 50 in 2009, from cardiac arrest fueled by prescription drugs, has done little to dim his star.
Selected discography: ‘Off the Wall,’ (1979), ‘Thriller’ (1982), ‘Bad’ (1987)
Related artists: Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown
Further reading: Top 10 Michael Jackson Videos, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Celebrates 30th Anniversary, Favorite Michael Jackson Song Readers Poll