Aug. 29, 1958: Michael Joseph Jackson is born in Gary, Ind., the seventh of nine children.
1963: After several years of training, the Jackson 5 begin to perform in public.
Dec. 14, 1969: The Jackson 5 appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1970: Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, includes the hit singles "I Want You Back" and "I'll Be There," which go to No. 1.
1972: While still singing with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson puts out his first solo album, Got to Be There.
1979: Jackson's first "adult" solo album, Off the Wall, is released; he becomes the first solo artist to place four singles from the same record in the Top 10.
1982: His album Thriller wins a record eight Grammys and becomes one of the biggest sellers of all time. Along with the title track, it includes the songs "Billie Jean" and "Beat It."
1983: Jackson electrifies the 50 million viewers of the Motown 25 television special by singing and dancing to "Billie Jean" while wearing a black fedora, one white glove, and pants that end above his ankles.
1984: During production of a Pepsi-Cola commercial, Jackson's scalp sustains burns when an explosion sets his hair on fire.
1985: Jackson and Lionel Richie write what becomes one of the fastest-selling singles ever with "We Are the World." The song was produced to raise money for the victims of famine in Ethiopia.
1987: His album Bad produces five No. 1 singles and sells at least 22 million copies worldwide.
1995: Releases the album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I. In August the song "You Are Not Alone" becomes the first single in pop music history to enter the Billboard chart at No. 1.
1997: The album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, sells in the hundreds of thousands worldwide, disappointing numbers for Jackson.
2001: The album Invincible debuts at the top of the charts, selling 2 million copies, but plummets quickly.