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Michael Jackson, Text Portrait

By BenHeine
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© Ben Heine || Facebook || Twitter ||

This is a text portrait with Michael's biography. I'm going to miss the king very much, RIP.

For more information about my artwork:

Please also check out my text portrait of
Usain Bolt:

Usain Bolt - Text Portrait by BenHeine

And don't miss my 3 other MJ portraits:

Michael Jackson, Eternal Child by BenHeine Michael Jackson - INVINCIBLE by BenHeine Michael Jackson-Heal the world by BenHeine

Troubled Musical Genius: Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson's unique blend of soul, funk and rock made him the biggest pop act in the world.

Beyond this, his business acumen and intuitive understanding of the music market allowed him to showcase his remarkable talents.

Michael Jackson sold records by the million - and broke records too.

With the soulful vocal presence of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder and the dance moves of James Brown, Jackson's appeal crossed both national and racial boundaries.

His first break came in 1968, when the Jackson Five signed to the Motown label, and he was just 11 when the group released its first single.

Hits like I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save, and I'll Be There, which all went to number one in the United States in 1970, made the Jackson Five the first group in pop history to have their first four singles top the charts.

Before long, the youngest member of the Jackson Five was beginning to outstrip his brothers.

A series of solo hits, including Got To Be There, Rockin' Robin and Ben - the maudlin, yet chart-topping, paean to a rat - had shown that the promise of early years had come to fruition.

By the mid-1970s, both Michael's, and his brothers', careers were beginning to stall. Motown has ended its interest in the group, which had re-signed - as the Jacksons - to the Epic label.

But it was while Michael was working on the film musical The Wiz, an all-black retelling of the Wizard of Oz - in which he played the Scarecrow to Diana Ross's Dorothy - that he met the man who would turn him into a superstar and transform the world of popular music.

Music producer, composer and arranger, Quincy Jones, who could already boast a formidable track record, having created hits for artists like Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and George Benson, took Jackson's raw talent and moulded it into an awesome new sound.

Video extravaganza

Their first collaboration, Off The Wall, released in 1979, became the first album to provide four top ten US hits for an artist: the title track, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, Rock With You and She's Out of My Life.

Four years later came Thriller, the album which would define his career. A heady mix of disco, R&B and funk, its nine tracks spawned seven hit singles and became the best-selling album of all time, with at least 55 million copies bought to date.

Having already experimented with video on Off The Wall, Jackson now took the new medium to new heights.

The John Landis-directed film, accompanying the album's title track, was a 16-minute big-budget extravaganza, featuring cutting-edge special effects and the voice of veteran horror actor, Vincent Price.

The Thriller video, and its companion, Beat It, also ended MTV's neglect of black artists, while making the mini-musical blockbuster de rigueur for any self-respecting pop star.

Besides his successful solo career, Jackson also recorded a series of hit duets with Paul McCartney, who had written the Off The Wall track, Girlfriend.

The two stars appeared on one another's albums with songs like The Girl Is Mine and the chart-topping Say Say Say.

Stripped-down sound

The relationship soured, though, in 1985, when Jackson outbid both McCartney and Yoko Ono to secure the ATV music-publishing catalogue, which included the rights to more than 250 Lennon/McCartney songs.

Not for the first time, Jackson's ruthless business streak had asserted itself.

The same year also saw the USA For Africa charity single, We Are The World, co-written by Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, reach number one in the US.

The Jackson phenomenon showed no sign of slowing down when, in 1987, he released the third, and final, Quincy Jones-produced album, Bad.

With five number one hits, including Man in the Mirror and Dirty Diana, the album also featured a 17-minute video, courtesy of Martin Scorsese, to promote the title track and a year-long world tour, at the time the largest-grossing in history.

Dangerous, Jackson's 1991 outing, featured a more stripped-down sound than its three predecessors.

But the magic remained, and tracks like Heal the World and Black and White soon became worldwide hits, despite the tabloid headlines and court cases which now threatened to damage the singer's reputation.

But his 1995 album, a compilation of old hits and new material entitled HIStory, failed to ignite the popular imagination.


Despite the biggest-ever publicity campaign for an album, estimated at $30m, HIStory enjoyed a brief appearance in the charts.

Whether this was due to the star's increasingly erratic behaviour, continuing speculation about his private life or just the public turning increasingly to rap and hip-hop, is a matter for debate.

But one track, in particular - They Don't Care About Us, with the lyrics, "Jew me, sue me" - outraged many people including Jackson's long-time friend and supporter Steven Spielberg, who saw it as anti-Semitic.

And his appearance at the 1996 Brit Awards ceremony in London, surrounded by children and a rabbi, proved too much for some, most notably Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, who showed his displeasure by storming the stage and interrupting the performance.

Michael Jackson's final album, Invincible (2001) was released at a time when he looked anything but.

A swirl of controversy, including Jackson's repeated assertions that his record company, Sony, had asked for their money back - all $200m of it - and that the label's chairman, Tommy Mottola, held black artists back, effectively drowned out the music.

It seemed an underwhelming end to what had been one of the most spectacular of all musical careers.

In recent years, Jackson was plagued by money problems and shielded himself from public view.

Arrested in 2003 on charges of molesting a 14-year-old boy, he was cleared in June 2005 after a five-month trial.

As rumours of bankruptcy circled after the trial, Jackson moved for a period to the Middle East.

There he befriended the king of Bahrain's son, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who helped fund Jackson's lavish lifestyle.

But the sheikh later sued Jackson for $7m (£4.7m), saying the star had reneged on a music contract that would have been used to pay back loans. The pair settled out of court last year.

Jackson was due to begin a series of sold-out comeback concerts, starting with an appearance in London next month.

Hundreds of fans queued at the O2 arena as tickets went on sale to the public and more than a quarter of a million people queued online.

In the end, around 750,000 tickets were sold for the 50-date residency - which Jackson had billed his "final curtain call".

Rehearsals for the show were under way when the star suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Bel Air. He was later pronounced dead at the UCLA medical centre in Los Angeles.
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© 2009 - 2020 BenHeine
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HailShenLau's avatar

He protecc

He atacc

He He

NBrownPhotography's avatar
NBrownPhotographyProfessional Photographer
that's wild!
NotTheGreatestArtist's avatar
NotTheGreatestArtistStudent Traditional Artist
this is the ultimate creature
AgletFreeGirl-25's avatar
AgletFreeGirl-25Student Digital Artist
He did died but his songs will forever live~!😁
FarivaR1's avatar
FarivaR1Hobbyist Photographer
rasagfx's avatar
very nice work.... :)
Kaylah973's avatar
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junaidbhatHobbyist Photographer
MichaelJacksonONE's avatar
MichaelJacksonONEHobbyist Digital Artist
MJ is ALIVE beLIEve MJ never DIED
Jake-Greek's avatar
This is awesome!
neogs99's avatar
neogs99Hobbyist Filmographer
It doesn't matter if this is black or white. I love it!
Myronavitch's avatar
This has to be my favorite of your MJ protrates.  I like his younger look.  Although I had little interest in him during his life, it was interesting to read the notes you posted about him.
sunythuli's avatar
he was a great singer and the portrait looks good,
can u please share the tips or tutorial, how you make it?
DJNuclear's avatar
DJNuclearHobbyist Photographer
Thank you for putting this into The Galaxian Pioneers. :)
Eiviin's avatar
EiviinHobbyist Digital Artist
No offense buddy, but how the heck did this get 670 favourites?
SYDCA's avatar
GacktoSanLover's avatar
GacktoSanLoverProfessional Filmographer
Well done!
Lemons-are-cool's avatar
Wow, amazing, I love it :D
JackieStarSister's avatar
JackieStarSisterProfessional General Artist
This piece is awesome, and the biography is very informative. I regret not knowing who Michael Jackson was until after he died. Thank you for making this.
HOUNDWHIFFLEHobbyist Digital Artist
michael is cute when he little XD :squee:
wincliff's avatar
Awesome !
Goodnight412's avatar
how did u get this done.i have been trying this kind of typography with could ihave some tips.
RoseCS's avatar
wow! amazing!
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