10 Unknown Facts of Michael Jackson on his 13th death anniversary
Michael Jackson was one of the most popular artists in the world and one of the wealthiest celebrities in history. In the 13 years since his death, he has become an icon, but there are still some things you might not know about him, even if you are an avid fan of his music and his life.
Here are 10 facts about Michael Jackson that every fan should know.
1) He was an average student
He was an average student and didn’t always get good grades, despite his natural intelligence. When he did apply himself, though, he excelled. For example, in 1978 Jackson got a B-plus on a history exam while his friend Chris Tucker only got a C-minus. He carried that grade around with him in his wallet for years after. It was a valuable lesson for him—he learned he could be smart if he wanted to. Since that time, Michael studied hard and developed into one of music’s greatest talents.
2) He got his first stage experience at 5 years old
Long before his name was synonymous with music, Michael Jackson dreamed of becoming a dancer and performing in front of millions. His first chance to experience that thrill came at age 5 when he auditioned for and won a spot on The Ed Sullivan Show. A few years later, he formed a group called The Jackson Brothers with his older brothers—and their humble start has become legend (especially in light of their wildly successful careers). When Michael joined his brothers for an audience-requested performance, he later wrote about how nervous he was but how incredible it felt to perform for a crowd. The experience lit an entrepreneurial spark within him.
3) He was shy, sensitive and quiet
When you think of Michael Jackson, you probably don’t think shy. But it’s true. When he was little, his mother would dress him up in a suit and have him sing for people while she played piano in their living room. Death always scared him. I used to sit on my mother’s lap but I would be shaking inside because I was so nervous, he said . As a young man, he continued to feel self-conscious about performing and hide his face behind masks or clothes. The same year that he released Thriller in 1982, he also released an album called Thriller. It sold one million copies in just seven days and spent 27 weeks at No.
4) He broke his nose during a football game
Michael’s nose had been previously broken in a car accident. But, following that injury, it had never healed properly and was very sensitive to changes in temperature or weather. His plastic surgeon suggested he might have to have it amputated if he was going to continue performing, because it would never heal properly while exposed to that level of change. Doctors advised him not to perform again unless he wore a special mask on stage—but Michael didn’t like wearing masks and costumes, so he elected instead to pay another doctor millions of dollars over several years (and endure ongoing pain) for painful skin graft surgeries; his nose is virtually unrecognizable compared with what it used to be.
5) He had panic attacks before important concerts
Despite being one of history’s most successful performers, Jackson wasn’t immune to performance anxiety. He once experienced such a panic attack before his show in Manchester that he had to pull over on the highway and catch his breath before making it to his hotel room. He spent his early childhood living in seclusion: While fans were enthralled by his music videos, they were oblivious to what was going on behind closed doors at Neverland Ranch—namely, that Michael was spending much of his time hiding from them. For years after its completion, he rarely allowed visitors inside.
6) His wife Lisa Marie Presley accused him of child abuse during their marriage
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley are parents to two children, Paris Michael Katherine and Prince Michael II. Their marriage was rocky, however, and in 2004 Lisa Marie filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. She claimed Michael’s behavior threatened their kids, which included playing mind games with them. In June of that year Lisa Marie told Diane Sawyer in an interview on Primetime Live , I’ve asked him many times to seek help because I’m concerned about his children. She also said she did not believe he actually had a disorder like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia .
7)He had two types of skin color on his body
Did you know that Michael Jackson had two types of skin color on his body? In order to hide a scar he got when he was younger, he used to make his skin as white as possible. When it was time for a concert, he would then make his skin darker in order to look better on camera. It’s hard to believe that something like that happened.
8) He was addicted to painkillers and Demerol in late 90’s
In 1995, Michael Jackson checked into a clinic and claimed that he was suffering from extreme fatigue and extreme insomnia. While there, reports suggest that he received injections of Demerol for his pain. He stayed at the clinic for several months before checking himself out in early 1996. It was later revealed that he suffered from chronic back pain caused by years of dancing, drug use and natural causes .His time in rehab only made matters worse when it came to his addiction to prescription medication. A few years later, Michael returned to rehab after being treated for severe dehydration and almost dying from painkiller addiction.
9)He might have suffered from Vitiligo disease
Michael Jackson’s skin discoloration might have been due to a rare disease called vitiligo. It’s an autoimmune disorder that leads to patchy loss of skin pigment, usually in blotches on areas of your body exposed to sunlight. Symptoms typically show up in adolescence or early adulthood, but can sometimes appear as late as your 40s. It is unclear if Jackson had vitiligo, but many biographers and dermatologists believe it might have contributed to his gaunt appearance and pale skin.
10) His favorite foods were beans, rice and potatoes
Although his health was frequently discussed in media circles, it’s easy to forget that Michael Jackson actually suffered from more than one illness. For instance, he had vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation in areas of skin (i.e., it turns white). The discoloration was concentrated around his nose and cheeks. MJ was also famous to have experienced gout—an ailment characterized by a buildup of uric acid in blood vessels—and chronic insomnia which were two symptoms associated with Lupus. While researching your material you may want to find other disease’s Jacko may have suffered from as well! What makes someone remember an individual who has passed on?
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