Here are 100 Michael Jackson facts that will probably show you a side of MJ that many people did not know, and would never guess either.
100 Michael Jackson Facts
1. Michael Jackson’s favorite animated character was Pinocchio.
2. When he was a child his favorite books included Rip Van Winkle and The Old Man and the Sea.
3. Michael Jackson was very ticklish.
4. Saint Vincent, an island in the Caribbean, once issued Michael Jackson stamps.
5. The singer once owned a boa constrictor called “Muscles”.
6. As a youngster Michael he used to put spiders in sister La Toya’s bed.
7. He played a scarecrow in The Wiz, a movie version of the Wizard of Oz.
8. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
9. Quincy Jones nicknamed him “smelly” – a slang term similar to “funky”.
10. Jackson described his own voice on early Jackson 5 records as “like Minnie Mouse”.
11. He was a big fan of The Three Stooges.
12. He is an Exeter City fan.
13. He had two llamas called Louis and Lola.
14. Thriller spent 37 weeks at number one in the US Billboard chart.
15. In 1984 he won eight Grammy’s – the joint highest amount ever won by one person in a single year.
16. He gave his first public performance at the age of 5 singing Climb Every Mountain.
17. He had eight brothers and sisters.
18. His marriage to Lisa-Marie Presley lasted only 19 months.
19. Jackson paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles songs and sold it later $95 million.
20. His middle name was Joseph.
21. He was born on Aug 29, 1958.
22. At the Brit Awards in 1996, Jarvis Cocker ran on to the stage after MJ’s Earth song performance.
23. Jackson was very fond of Mexican food.
24. In 1993 Jackson’s dermatologist said he had a rare skin disease called vitiligo, which causes sufferers to lose pigmentation in their skin.
25. Thriller is the world’s best-selling record of all time.
26. Two of his other albums – Bad and Dangerous – are also among the world’s best-selling records.
27. He popularized dance moves including the robot and the moonwalk.
28. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
29. He won 13 Grammy Awards.
30. Billie Jean was the first video by a black artist to air on MTV.
31. Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State Anthem, South Carolina on My Mind.
32. He has waxworks in five Madame Tussaud’s museums across the world. Only Elvis Presley and Madonna have more.
33. He has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
34. His favorite superhero is Morph from X-Men.
35. He had a pet ram called Mr Tibbs.
36. His total lifetime earnings from music are estimated at $500 million.
37. Jackson regularly wore a black armband to remind people of children suffering around the world.
38. The moonwalk was picked up from street dancers.
39. Little Richard wanted to be played by Jackson in a biopic.
40. Jackson had a pet python called Crusher.
41. In 1984 a French fan committed suicide because he couldn’t have surgery to look like Jackson.
42. The video for Scream was the most expensive ever at £3.8 million.
43. A library once accused the singer of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
44. Jackson was a vegetarian.
45. He won an MTV award for Best Movie Song in 1994. It was for Will You Be There from the movie Free Willy.
46. HIStory was the biggest selling double album ever released in the United States.
47. Jackson was given a royal title in the Ivory Coast in 1992.
48. Before concerts he would drink Ricola candy dissolved in hot water.
49. His birthplace Gary, Indiana, is planning a museum in his honor.
50. The singer patented a shoe device that allowed dancers to lean forward at gravity defying angles.
51. He was a best man at Liza Minnelli’s wedding to David Gest.
52. The largest television audience in US history watched him perform at half time during the 1993 Super Bowl.
53. Martin Scorsese once directed a Jackson video.
54. A survey in 1997 declared him the Most Famous Person in the World.
55. He paid $1.5 million in 1999 to buy for the 1939 Oscar for best film won by Gone With The Wind.
56. Jackson once described Elizabeth Taylor as “a warm cuddly blanket that I love to snuggle up to”.
57. He recorded a voice-over on The Simpsons.
58. Macaulay Culkin is godfather to two of Jackson’s children.
59. Jackson co-wrote We Are The World with Lionel Richie.
60. He is godfather to Nicole Richie.
61. He is also godfather to Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb’s son Michael.
62. Jackson shares a birthday with Sir Richard Attenborough and actress Rebecca DeMornay.
63. At the time of his death Jackson was rehearsing for his greatest comeback, with 50 shows scheduled in London.
64. He was four years old when he began singing with his brothers Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito in the Jackson 5.
65. The Jackson 5’s number one hits included “I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “I’ll Be There”.
66. In 2002 Jackson caused controversy when he playfully dangled his infant son, Prince Michael II, over a hotel balcony in Berlin in front of fans.
67. MC Hammer once challenged Jackson to a dance off.
68. In a TV documentary he acknowledged sharing his bed with children but described the practice as sweet, and not sexual.
69. During production of a 1984 Pepsi advertisement Jackson sustained burns when an explosion set his hair on fire.
70. Jackson’s 13 number one hits on the US Billboard charts put him behind only Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Mariah Carey.
71. Jackson’s father Joseph worked in a steel mill.
72. Joseph Jackson and his brother Luther were in an R&B band called The Falcons.
73. Michael was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness by his mother.
74. In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey the singer spoke of a traumatic childhood including suffering from loneliness.
75. Jackson showed his singing talent at the age of five when he performed at a Christmas recital.
76. The family band was originally called the Jackson Brothers.
77. Michael was promoted to joint lead vocals at the age of eight and the band became the Jackson 5.
78. They toured extensively in the US Midwest from 1966 to 1968.
79. He initially used his eccentricities to promote his music but strongly disliked the “Wacko Jacko” nickname.
80. Wild stories about him included that he slept in an oxygen chamber and that he bought the bones of The Elephant Man.
81. During the world tour for Bad he performed to 4.4 million people.
82. His first autobiography, Moon Walk, took four years to complete.
83. The book reached the top of The New York Times best sellers’ list.
84. Jackson admitted to having had two nose jobs.
85. He suggested weight loss and a strict vegetarian diet had contributed to the change in his appearance.
86. He paid $17 million in 1988 for the land in California that became the Neverland Ranch.
87. The 2,700-acre property had a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
88. Its grounds were protected by a security staff of 40.
89. Neverland was valued at $100 million in 2003.
90. The profits from his single “Man in the Mirror” went to charity.
91. In 1991 he signed a contract with Sony worth $65 million.
92. In 1992 he founded the Heal the World Foundation which brought underprivileged children to Neverland and made donations worldwide.
93. When he visited the African country of Gabon 100,000 people turned out to see him.
94. Jackson’s most famous pet was Bubbles the chimpanzee.
95. Bubbles was adopted at the age of three from a cancer research clinic in Texas.
96. Bubbles sat in on recording sessions for the Bad album and accompanied Jackson to Tokyo.
97. The artist Jeff Koons made a series of sculptures of Jackson and Bubbles.
98. Jackson fathered two children with Deborah Jeanne Rowe – Michael Joseph Jackson Junior (also known as “Prince”) and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.
99. The couple divorced in 1999 and Rowe gave full custody rights to Jackson.
100. Vitiligo, the skin disease from which he suffered, affects 1 to 2 per cent to 2 per cent of the population.