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The American is at the same time Soul singer, songwriter, music producer and saxophonist. In 1968 he was a founding member of the Soul and R'n'B band The Commodores. The first hits of the band were danceable, uptempo numbers like Machine Gun and Brickhouse. In the course of time, Lionel Richie wrote and sung romantic ballads such as Easy, Three Times a Lady, Sail On and Still.
Lionel Richie also wrote songs for other artists such as for country musician Kenny Rogers the number one song Lady and sang with Diana Ross in duet. These successes contributed to starting a solo career. In the band The Commodores he was replaced as lead singer by Skyler Jett.
From 1982 he performed as a solo artist. In the USA he had a number one hit with his debut album Lionel Richie and the single Truly. Subsequent albums such as Can't Slow Down and Dancing on the Ceiling were also successful. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, he sang All Night Long (All Night). About 2.3 billion people have seen his performance on TV. His most popular hit, however, is Hello (1984). The sentimental ballad shows that Lionel Richie had moved far from his roots in the R&B genre. In 1985 he wrote the charity song We Are the World together with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. A year later he was awarded the Oscar for the song Say You, Say Me from the movie White Nights.
After exhausting years from 1987 to 1992, he took a break to care for his father in Alabama. In the 1990s, he was less successful than a decade before with the albums Louder Than Words and Time. In 2000 Lionel Richie made a musical comeback with Renaissance.
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The singer, songwriter, dancer and philanthropist, who is famous for his music, dance and fashion has been named the King of Pop and is the most successful entertainer of all time. His career began during childhood and ended much too early.
Michael Jackson was born in 1958 as eight of a total of ten children. The Jackson family lived in a small house with only two bedrooms in Indiana. The parents worked a lot to keep the family above water. At the age of five, Michael Jackson became a member of the Jackson Five and joined his brothers Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Jermaine. The four first singles I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I'll Be There reached number one rankings in the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Michael has grown from a child star into a teen idol over the years. Through the success of the band, the family moved into a large house in California in 1971. The father led the band as a manager with a strong hand to success. In 2003, Joe Jackson admitted to have mistreated his kids. He is also said to have abused Michael. However, the strict discipline he learned in the early years of his career also played a major role in his later success of Michael Jackson. Nevertheless, the bad treatment he experienced as a child was seen as a trigger of dissatisfaction with his appearance, sleep disorders and nightmares, which always accompanied him as an adult.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Micheal Jackson began a solo career. In the following years Micheal released four albums: Got to be There, Ben, Music & Me and Forever, Michael. The Jackson 5 was renamed to Jacksons after the younger brother Randy joined and Jermaine Jackson started a solo career as well. Nevertheless, Michael maintained the connection to the band of his brothers and wrote hits like Shake Your Body, This Place Hotel, or Can You Feel It for the Jacksons.
When Michael Jackson moved to New York City in 1978, he often visited the legendary night club Studio 54 and got inspiration from hip-hop and beatboxing, which he adapted for example in the song Working Day and Night. Quincy Jones produced together with him the next album Off the Wall. Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney contributed to the album as songwriters. 20 million copies of the album were sold and initiated Michael Jackson's successful solo career.
In 1982, Jackson released his sixth album, Thriller. Thriller is the world's most sold album with 65 million copies. Jackson and the producer Quincy Jones were rewarded with the prices for songs like Billie Jean, Beat It, Human Nature and, of course, the eponymous song Thriller. The 14-minute music video to thriller was a breakthrough and set the stage for music videos of many other artists. In 1983 he showed the Moonwalk for the first time in front of a camera, which he had learned three years before, in a television broadcast as part of a performance of the song Billie Jean.
In 1979 Michael broke his nose at the dance training and underwent two plastic surgeries. From the 1980s onwards he made headlines because of his brightening skin and apparent anorexia. In the course of treatments he met the nurse Debbie Rowe, who became his second wife and the mother of his two oldest children. The first marriage with Lisa Marie Presley failed after just two years.
After five years of waiting, the album Bad appeared in 1987 and inspired the audience. Songs such as Man in the Mirror, Dirty Diana, I Just Can't Stop Loving You or The Way You Make Me Feel were once again crowned with success. On the album HIStory from 1995 appeared the single Scream that Michael Jackson sung together with the younger sister Janet Jackson. Also the titles You Are Not Alone, Earth Song and They Don't Care About Us made it on the album. The album Invincible followed 2001, but due to lack of promotion or a tour and general problems of the music industry at this time, it received less attention than previous albums.
From 2009 to 2010, a big comeback tour with 50 concerts has been announced by Michael Jackson. Three weeks before the start of the tour in 2009, his doctor gave him strong drugs due to sleep problems, which led to a circulatory arrest. The news of his death put people around the world in a state of shock and triggered great interest.