Michael Jackson was a legendary star who won more awards than any other artist alive or deceased. But those aware of Jackson’s legacy know that the singer’s popularity in pop culture goes beyond numbers. His achievements, epic music and history will always be remembered. Interestingly, there are also stories behind his successful career that only a few people know. The King of Pop was one of the most unpredictable and oddest pop stars in the world, and there are lots of crazy tales regarding his outrageous life. Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about Michael Jackson:
1. Michael Jackson is the highest-earning deceased artist
The Guiness World of Records recognised Michael Jackson as the highest-earning deceased artist, with earnings of $275 million (£169 million) for 2010. In the first 12 months after passing away in 2009, the pop singer’s estate was estimated to be worth over $1 billion (£625 million). Jackson’s album sales alone generated revenues of $9 million in America and 24 million outside the U.S.
Perhaps few people know that Jackson was in fact Nicole Richie’s godfather, and she would regularly visit him at his Neverland ranch. Nicole is also said to have publicly defended the pop star when faced with charges of child sex abuse.
3. Jackson’s Neverland ranch was literally never-ending
Michael Jackson’s residence was a 2,700-acre estate that had an amusement park, a movie theater, a private zoo with a bunch of exotic animals and it also featured speakers everywhere in the grounds; so anyone walking around the ranch could listen to Disney or Michael Jackson’s own music. The ranch was valued at $100 million 11 years ago.
4. The announcement of his death paralysed social media
Wikipedia, Twitter and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15pm on the day he passed away, June 25, 2009.
5. An animal lover!
Jackson loved pets. Besides Bubbles, his notable chimpanzee, he had a python called Crusher, a ram called Mr Tibbs and two Lamas called Louis and Lola. At the age of three, his chimpanzee was adopted from a cancer research clinic in Texas.
6. Used to sleep in an oxygen tent
The pop singer used to sleep in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the ageing process, which he later donated to a Californian medical center to benefit burn victims.
7. More than a seventh of the world’s population watched his memorial service
Michael Jackson’s memorial service was reportedly watched by one billion people, being the second most-watched funeral ever after Princess Diana’s.
8. Jackson tried to buy the bones of the Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick
The pop star was famous for wasting hundreds of millions on shopping sprees, but according to reports, he had even tried to buy the remains of the Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick, from the Royal London Hospital in 1987.
9. Secretly flew to Bahrain
Michael Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, devised an escape plot in case he was found guilty of child molestation charges. So when his life was falling apart with a series of child abuse charges, Jackson was offered sanctuary in Bahrain for 11 months.
10. Owed a library $1 million in rental fees
Jackson was an avid reader, but he allegedly owed a library $1 million in overdue book fines. However, the library agreed to drop the fines if overdue books were returned autographed.
Michael Jackson has secured a top place in the history of pop music and his eccentric attitude and legacy will live on long beyond his years. Do you know of any other facts about the American pop star that I haven’t included in the list above? Please share them with us.