Michael Jackson is one of the world’s most famous singers of all time.
During his performing career, he faced some issues with skin color, and later in his retirement he was accused of strange behavior.
What makes Michael Jackson so interesting and why is his music so catchy?
Here are 15 strange facts about Michael Jackson you probably did not know.
1. Jackson was forced to play music by his father.
As a child, Michael Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, would force him and his siblings to practice music.
2. His home was a theme park.
Michael Jackson converted his ranch into a half-home, half-amusement park.
In addition to a petting zoo and roller coasters, there was a ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a carousel at the amusement park.
Neverland was the name of the ranch after the fictional home of Peter Pan.
The property covered 3,000 acres (12.14 square kilometers).
There is a possibility that he paid anywhere between $17 million USD and $30 million USD.
Currently, the ranch is worth $100 million USD.
3. Michael Jackson was gifted with a 5,000-pound elephant.
Jackson was gifted an Asian elephant by actress Elizabeth Taylor in 1991.
Jackson was given the elephant by Taylor after he allowed her to host her wedding on his ranch.
Jackson named the elephant Gypsy, and it weighed around 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms).
4. Michael Jackson's skin color changed due to a skin disease.
If you compare photos of Jackson early in his career with those near the end, you will see a dramatic difference in his appearance.
5. Jackson has a medical center named after him.
On the set for filming a commercial for Pepsi on January 27, 1984, Jackson’s hair caught on fire.
The accident was caused by pyrotechnics and Jackson was left with second-degree burns to his scalp.
As a result, to cover the scarring, Jackson underwent rhinoplasty surgery.
Pepsi settled the issue out of court by paying out Jackson.
Michael donated $1.5 million to the medical center in California that treated his burns.
As a thank you, the Brotman Medical Center in California called their burns department “Michael Jackson Burn Center”.
6. In 1992 Michael Jackson was crowned a king.
In 1992 Jackson visited the West coast of Africa on his tour and he was warmly welcomed by the locals.
He was loved so much that in one small village on the Ivory Coast they decided to make him king.
Jackson was crowned King Sani and given the name Michael Jackson Amalaman Anoh by the tribal chief.
A full ceremony was held, including dancing and traditional drumming in the village of Krindjabo.
Jackson dressed in a traditional gown for his coronation and papers were signed to make his kingship official.
He remained the king of the Ivory Coast until his death.
It is said that his ancestry is from this part of the world and some said that he was the rightful heir to the Sanwi tribe.
Upon his death, the chief requested Jackson’s body for an official burial for the king, but it was denied and he was buried in Southern California.
Despite this, a two-day ceremony was held in his memory and more than 1,000 local villagers gathered.
7. He invented gravity-defying shoes
You might be familiar with his famous moonwalk and the ability to lean at what should be a near-impossible angle for humans.
This was all because of his gravity-defying shoes.
The US Patent No. 5,255,452 was given to Jackson to use for his famous performance.
Although Jackson did not invent the “moonwalk,” he was the expert at it.
The shoes had specially designed slots where they could clip into the stage to hold him in place whilst he did his stunt against gravity.
Unfortunately, the patent expired in 2005 when Jackson missed a payment, so the design was out in the open.
8. The mother of one of Jackson’s son’s is unknown.
Michael Jackson had three children but one of them has an unknown mother.
Jackson had two marriages. The first to the daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley but they got divorced in 1996.
He had two children with his wife Debbie Rowe who was a nursing assistant.
They named their son Michael Joseph Jackson and their daughter Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson.
But Jackson has another son named Prince Michael Jackson II, but his mother’s identity has remained a mystery to the public.
The mother of Prince Michael Jackson II was a surrogate, but that is all that is publicly known.
9. Michael Jackson is the world’s most successful dead celebrity.
The year of Jackson’s death was his most successful.
Around 35 million copies of his albums were sold within the first 12 months after his death.
Since his death, he has made approximately $2.1 billion USD, half of the $4.2 billion USD he made whilst he was alive.
In 2016, Michael earned $825 million USD, breaking the record for the highest-earning celebrity in a single year.
In 2018 he became the highest-paid dead celebrity of the year making $400 million USD.
10. Jackson’s animals have disappeared.
Following Jackson’s death, it is unknown where many of his animals are.
His petting zoo was closed down and no one knows where all the exotic animals went.
Many were given to zoos or rehomed to private owners, but some have just vanished entirely.
A strange theme is that most of the pets or animals Jackson was most fond of were the ones who have disappeared.
In particular, there is no record of the whereabouts of his elephant named Gypsy.
His much-loved llamas have also disappeared.
This mystery is a sad one, as many of these animals may have ended up in the wrong hands.
Michael Jackson will forever be a musical legend, despite his strange life.
His music is catchy, with its sing-along capability with lyrics that stay with you.
Jackson is a curious character that left many questions unanswered upon his death in 2009.