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Twelve facts about Michael Jackson

Read about Michael Jackson's extraordinary life in facts and figures.

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750 million albums

Michael Jackson is the third biggest-selling pop act of all time, after The Beatles and Elvis Presley, with album sales of 750 million.

His 1982 album Thriller is thought to be the biggest-selling album ever, shifting 65 million copies, according to Guinness World Records.

With the music industry moving from selling whole albums to marketing individual tracks online he is likely to keep his position on the list of all time greats.


$700 million dollars

Michael Jackson's earnings from record sales, tours, merchandising and other business interests are estimated to have exceeded $700m (£423m) in his 40-year recording career.

Since the early 1980s his recordings have generated more than $300m in royalties. Despite this, in 2006 he is said to have secured a loan of around $300m to pay off his debts.

66 days

In 2005 the jury at the trial of Michael Jackson in Santa Maria, California, sat through 66 days of evidence.

He faced 10 charges, including molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo, giving alcohol to a minor and conspiring to kidnap him and his family.

Had he been convicted Jackson could have faced up to 18 years in prison, but after hearing the evidence of 141 witnesses the jury cleared him on all charges.

50 concerts

Jackson was finishing rehearsals for a series of 50 concerts at the O2 Arena beginning on 13 July.

Originally announced as 10 concerts, further dates were added until around 800,000 people had bought tickets worth a total of £52m.

AEG Live, the organiser of the concerts has already spent $30m on the production but could be in financial difficulty since it only insured the first 10 nights, according to a report in Billboard magazine.

47.5 million

In 1985 Jackson paid $47.5m for the publishing rights to a catalogue of 4,000 songs, including at least 200 Beatles tunes.

By 2005 the catalogue, now co-owned by Sony, was worth $500m.

One person said to have been irritated by Jackson's ownership of publishing rights for The Beatles is Paul McCartney, who is believed to have originally tipped him off about the financial benefits of owning music catalogues.

14 doves

Fans had kept a vigil outside the Santa Maria courthouse during the whole of Jackson's trial in 2005.

When it was announced that he had been cleared of all charges, a fan released 14 white doves to celebrate his acquittal.

His acquittal was also a relief to local police who, in case of a guilty verdict, had dozens of officers on the street outside the courthouse carrying riot batons.

13 Grammys

Michael Jackson won 13 Grammy awards.

Ten were for his work as a solo artist, three others were shared with producer Quincy Jones, his sister Janet, and various artists who contributed to his Aid for Africa track, We Are the World.

Thriller netted him Album of the Year and Best Pop vocal Performance awards.

Tracks Billie Jean and Beat It each won him another pair of Grammys. He also picked two other awards for his music video work.

11 years old

Michael Jackson was 11 years old when he performed on television for the first time with The Jackson Five.

They were regulars on programmes such as 'The Ed Sullivan Show', one of the most watched shows in the US, and on which they performed their debut single I Want You Back.

He quickly became the centre of attention taking lead vocal duties as the band built up a reputation on the live circuit.

10 albums

Michael Jackson released 10 solo albums containing original material: Got to be There; Music & Me; Ben; Forever Michael; Off the Wall; Thriller; Bad; Dangerous; HIStory and Invincible.

As well as his solo albums Michael recorded another 16 albums with his brothers as both The Jackson Five and The Jacksons.


Michael Jackson had eight siblings - all older than him, with the exception of brother Randy and sister Janet.

Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Randy, have all had careers as singers after the family stopped performing together. His sisters, Rebbie, La Toya and Janet, are also performers.

He is survived by his three children: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, born to his second wife, Deborah Jeanne Rowe, and Prince Michael Jackson II, the son of a surrogate mother.

$4 million

In 1987, Jackson bought a 2,800 acre property north-west of Santa Barbara for $14.6m and named it Neverland, after the imaginary land in JM Barrie's novel Peter Pan.

Within the grounds he built a private zoo and a fairground with a roller coaster and a ferris wheel. By 2006 it was costing $4m a year to run the Neverland ranch and its staff.


A Michael Jackson statue was floated on the River Thames in 1995.

Asked how he would like to promote the album, HIStory, Jackson told Sony record executives: "Build a statue of me."

A 30-feet high glass fibre statue of the troubled pop star was placed on a boat and towed down the Thames.

Tower Bridge was raised to let it pass and it was moored near the Tower of London for a week before "touring the country".

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