Welcome to [Listening]!
Before today’s listening, let’s check the answers to the last episode.
- eye contact
- fall in love
In today`s listening, we are going to tap into the legendary life of Michael Jackson.
Click the button at the bottom of the screen to play the audio. Please fill in the blanks and leave your answers in the comment.
Michael Jackson’s remarkable 30-year career scaled unparalleled musical, commercial and critical heights. His myriad achievements included being responsible for the best-selling album of all time, pioneering the music video medium, and virtually _____ (1 word missing) the concept of the modern pop star. As a songwriter, he penned more than 150 songs, with more than 20 reaching multi-million performance status on American radio and television.
Jackson came a long way since bursting onto the charts in 1969 as the Jackson Five’s magnetic 10-year-old lead singer. The seventh in a family of nine children in Gary, Indiana, Michael began performing at the age of 5 when his father Joe, a musician turned steel mill worker, assembled the Jackson Five with Michael, and his older brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito. Thanks in large part to Michael’s precocious talent, the Jackson Five quickly progressed from performing in local talent shows to landing a record deal with Motown. The group scored 13 Top 20 singles for Motown and continued to turn out hits through the 1970s while Michael spun off into a parallel solo career.
Michael began to exercise an unprecedented level of control of his musical and business affairs following the Jacksons’ departure from Motown in 1975. He achieved substantial solo success with his 1979 album Off the Wall, which marked the beginning of a _____ (3 words missing) collaboration with producer Quincy Jones and spawned the hits Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough and Rock With You. Those singles previewed the distinctive rock fusion that Jackson would later explore more fully on his 1983 blockbuster album Thriller.
It was the 45 million-selling Thriller that marked Jackson’s ascendancy to superstar status, establishing him as pop’s _____ (2 words missing), both on the radio and on the still-new MTV, where his innovative song and dance videos for Billie Jean, Beat It, and Thriller helped pioneer the rock video form.
In 1984, Time magazine’s pop critic Jay Cocks wrote that “Jackson is the biggest thing since the Beatles. He is the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley. He just may be the most popular black singer ever.”
For much of Jackson’s career, he had an unparalleled worldwide influence over the younger generation. His music and videos, such as Thriller, fostered _____ (2 words missing) in MTV’s roster and steered its focus from rock to pop music and R&B, shaping the channel into a form that proved enduring. He is recognized as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time by Guinness World Records and is considered as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
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Please leave your answers in the comments down below and I will reveal the answers in the next episode.
That’s all for [Listening] today.
See you next time! 😎