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The Life and Career of Michael Jackson: The Later Years

VO: Rebecca Brayton
The 1990's saw the release of several popular albums for Michael Jackson, including "Dangerous" and "HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I". Media fascination for the star continued throughout the 2000's but things took a turn for the unexpected when Jackson died 3 weeks before his 2009 comeback tour. In this video, takes a look at Michael Jackson's life and career, from 1991 to 2009.

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After renewing his contract with Sony in 1991, Jackson released his eighth record: Dangerous. Some of the album’s most notable singles were “Black or White,” “Remember the Time” and “Heal the World.” A year later, he took the Dangerous album on tour and founded the charity organization, “Heal the World Foundation” to help disadvantaged children.

First Child Sexual Abuse Accusation and Marriage

In 1993, the first of the infamous child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson came to light. This first suit was settled out-of-court with a payment of $22 million to the Chandler family, though the singer admitted no wrongdoing. The next year, Jackson wed Lisa-Marie Presley, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996.

HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I

The double album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, was released in 1995, and featured a disc of his greatest hits and another disc of all-new songs. This became the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, and featured the tracks, “Scream” a duet with his sister Janet Jackson, and “You are Not Alone,” which holds the Guinness World Record as the first ever single to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Second Marriage and Children

Meanwhile, Jackson had remarried his friend and nurse, Deborah Jeanne Rowe. During this time, the couple had two children: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, or Prince, was born in 1997 and Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson in 1998. The couple divorced in 1999. Though Jackson did not release a full album of new material during this time, he did come out with 1997’s Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which became the best-selling remix album ever released. His tenth and last studio album, Invincible, was released in 2001 on Epic Records, following Jackson’s dispute with former label, Sony.


His third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, better known as Blanket, was born in 2002, though the mother’s identity was unknown. A few months after his birth, Jackson briefly dangled the boy over the balcony of a Berlin hotel in a move that was subsequently widely criticized by the media.

Media Criticism

The media criticism didn’t stop there. A 2003 Martin Bashir documentary called, “Living with Michael Jackson,” showcased a controversial scene of Jackson holding hands with a young boy. Following this, the singer was once again accused of child molestation. However, when the trial ended in 2005, Jackson was acquitted on all counts and he later relocated to Bahrain.

Thriller 25

Several Michael Jackson greatest hits compilations were released by Sony and Epic Records in the years that followed. Then, in 2008, Thriller’s twenty-fifth anniversary was marked with Thriller 25. The album contained all the songs of the original, along with new tracks, a DVD and remixes with contemporary artists.

"This Is It" and Untimely Death

2009 started off as an exciting time for MJ fans, when the star announced a 50-date London residency that would begin in July of that same year. The “This Is It” concert series would mark Michael Jackson’s comeback, and the 50-year-old artist began a rigourous training schedule. However, fans were ultimately shocked and saddened when on June 25th, 2009, Jackson died of cardiac arrest while in Los Angeles in the midst of rehearsals. His personal physician, Conrad Murray, would later be charged with involuntary manslaughter after it was discovered that he had administered a lethal amount of prescription drugs to the singer shortly before his death.

The World Grieves

A worldwide outpouring of grief followed the news of his passing. Several websites crashed and sales of his music drastically increased. A few weeks later, millions of people around the globe were said to have watched the live broadcast of Jackson’s public memorial service.

Posthumous Works

Michael Jackson has become one of the world’s most successful posthumous artists. In October 2009, a documentary based on the rehearsals of his sold-out concerts’ was released. “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” became the highest grossing documentary or concert movie of all time. In November 2010, Epic/Legacy Recordings brought together all of Jackson’s short films on the DVD box set, Michael Jackson’s Vision. A video game called “Michael Jackson: The Experience” for the Wii also came out that month, with Xbox 360 and PlayStation versions due in early 2011.


Renowned for his musical versatility, dance choreography, and humanitarian efforts, his influence on pop culture is immeasurable. Though he may no longer be with us, Michael Jackson will live on forever through his music.

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