Michael Jackson

Born into a talented musical family Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary, Ind., Michael Jackson seemed destined for his future role as the King of Pop from day one. By the tender age of 11, young Michael was already a showbiz sensation, performing with his four older brothers as one-fifth of the hit-making R&B group the Jackson Five.

Jackson's success as a recording artist continued throughout the 1970s, both with the Jackson Five and on individual projects. In 1978, he demonstrated his cinematic skills in the musical The Wiz. But it wasn't until 1982, with the landmark album "Thriller," that Jackson cemented his place as a pop legend.

An entertainer of the highest caliber, Jackson packed stadiums full of frenzied fans throughout the 1980s and '90s. His later years were marked by controversy, but despite the tabloid coverage, he retained a massive following of devotees. He died June 25, 2009, at age 50.