30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson's Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop

Trista - January 25, 2019

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
An aerial image of the Neverland Ranch site. Wikimedia.

9. Jackson Began Building the Infamous Neverland Ranch in 1988

Michael Jackson built Neverland ranch to create the childhood he never had, going so far as to name the home after the mythical realm in Peter Pan where children never grow up. Jackson had several amusement-park rides installed at the ranch alongside a working railroad and petting zoo. The home became sullied for Jackson after the numerous accusations of child molestation arose from visitors to the property. He never lived there again after infamous 1993 trial.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson. Brides.com.

8. Jackson Married Elvis Presley’s Only Child, Lisa Marie, in 1994

The year 1993 was a difficult time for Michael Jackson. It was the height of the first round of sexual assault and child molestation charges against him. Throughout this period he relied on his friend Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, for support. In 1994, the two wed. Many in the media claimed that the marriage was a sham to try to improve Jackson’s public image. They amicably divorced two years later.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Michael Jackson graffiti in Santa Cruz, California. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

7. Jackson’s Father, Joe, Was Physically and Emotionally Abusive

Often described as one of Hollywood’s cruelest fathers, Joe Jackson was incredibly physically and emotionally abusive towards his children. Focused on their success at any cost, Joe would beat his children with belts for mistakes and often mocked them. His daughter, La Toya, even claimed that her father sexually abused her as a child. In her later years, she retracted these claims and blamed them on an abusive husband.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
A statue of Michael Jackson. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

6. Joe Jackson Ridiculed Michael For His “Fat Nose” As a Child, Leading to Michael’s Obsession With His Appearance

In addition to beating his children, Joe Jackson also mocked and berated his children to ensure their hard work and compliance. For Michael, this often took the form of his father mocking his “fat nose,” a particularly brutal insult given the history of racial prejudice towards African American facial features, including noses. Michael said in interviews that this mockery led to a lifelong dissatisfaction with his appearance.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Michael Jackson performing. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

5. Witnesses Saw Joe Beat and Trip Michael

Michael was far from the only person to level physical abuse charges against his father, Joe. One witness saw Joe push a young Michael so that he tripped into a drum set. The man reported that Michael was pretty banged up from the fall. Others saw Joe take a belt to the young boy to enforce perfect rehearsals. It appears that Joe’s behavior was a rather open secret in the music industry, with many being aware of his disciplinary tactics.

 

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Michael Jackson performing in 1988. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

4. Michael Was So Afraid of His Father He Would Often Vomit or Faint When Forced to Be Near Him

Michael seemed to receive the brunt of his father’s disciplinary abuse. He was both the youngest member of the Jackson 5 and its breakout star, so his performances had to be perfect. Witnesses reported that Joe beat Michael and sometimes even tripped him to cause him to fall into instruments or off stages. Michael was reportedly so terrified of his father he would vomit and faint in his presence. He also had nightmares throughout his life.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Joe Jackson in 2007. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

3. Joe Jackson Later Admitted to Whipping His Son

Both of Michael Jackson’s parents later revealed the physical abuse of their sons. While some of Michael’s brothers claimed their parents only disciplined them, not abused, Michael consistently called his father abusive. Katherine Jackson admitted to whipping but argued that it was an acceptable punishment in the era in which they raised their children. Joe also confirmed the beatings but, like his wife, denied they were abusive but rather discipline.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Joe Jackson in 2014. Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

2. Joe Would Watch His Children Rehearse With a Belt In Hand, and Beat Them for Any Mistakes, Especially Michael As the Star of the Family

Numerous accounts from bystanders and witnesses have confirmed that Joe Jackson was a brutal perfectionist towards his children. Michael reminisced about times his father would watch them rehearse for hours on end, sitting in a chair with a belt ready. If any mistakes were made, especially by the young star Michael, their father would launch into punishment with the belt. One cannot even imagine the stress of having to rehearse cheerful music under the threat of painful punishment endlessly.

30 Real Facts About Michael Jackson’s Childhood and How He Became The King of Pop
Michael Jackson in Vegas. Wikipedia.

1. Jackson Claimed He Had No Childhood, Only Work, Which Led to His Lifelong Focus on Children and Childhood

When Jackson spoke of his childhood, it was often regarding the extreme loneliness he felt due to having no companions his own age other than his brothers. Jackson worked nonstop from an extremely young age and wasn’t able to enjoy any of the ordinary experiences typical of American childhood. This lack led Jackson to have a fixation on youth and happy childhoods, which drove him to build Neverland ranch and start his Heal the World Foundation.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Biography – Michael Jackson

Hubpages – How Michael Jackson’s Childhood Experiences Affected His Adult Life

Biography – Michael Jackson: Inside His Early Years in Gary, Indiana With His Musical Family

NPR – The Origin (And Hot Stank) Of The ‘Chitlin’ Circuit’

Song Facts – Dancing Machine by The Jackson 5

EUR Web – Nov. 3, 1973: The Day ‘The Robot’ Dance Became Famous

Medium – How Much Plastic Surgery Did Michael Jackson Actually Have?

Time Magazine – Behind the Scenes of The Wiz With Michael Jackson

The Washington Post – Five Myths About Michael Jackson

Associate Press – The Aftermath of Michael Jackson and Oprah: What About His Face?

The VOX – The Whitewashing Of Michael Jackson

The Guardian – The Michael Jackson Accusers: ‘The Abuse Didn’t Feel Strange, Because He Was Like A God’

Vanity Fair – 10 Undeniable Facts About the Michael Jackson Sexual-Abuse Allegations

Biography – Inside Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s Head-Scratching Marriage

US Magazine – Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley: A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

NBC News – New Details About 1993 Jackson Case

Opera News – Why Michael Jackson Was Stripped Naked, Arrested and Some Other Things You Never Knew About Him

Little Things – Michael Jackson’s Relationship With Race And Police Are Relevant Again 11 Years After His Death

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