MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson

MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson

The definitive biography of Michael Jackson, a “vivid…gripping...authoritative account of a world-changing force of nature” (Rolling Stone), celebrating the King of Pop’s legendary contributions to music, dance, and popular culture.

From the moment in 1965 when he first stepped on stage—at age seven—in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson was destined to become the undisputed King of Pop. In a career spanning four decades, Jackson became a global icon, selling over four hundred million albums, earning thirteen Grammy awards, and spinning dance moves that captivated the world. Songs like “Billie Jean” and “Black and White” altered our national discussion of race and equality, and Jackson’s signature aesthetic, from the single white glove to the moonwalk, defined a generation. Despite publicized scandals and controversy, Jackson’s ultimate legacy will always be his music.

In an account that “reminds us why Michael Jackson was, indeed, a ‘genius’ entertainer” (New York Newsday), Rolling Stone contributing editor Steve Knopper delves deeply into Jackson’s music and talent. From the artist’s early days with the Jackson 5, to his stratospheric success as a solo artist, to “Beat It” and “Thriller,” “Bad” and “The Man in the Mirror,” to his volatile final years, his attempted comeback, and untimely death, Knopper draws on his “critical and reportorial savvy in assessing Jackson’s creative peaks and valleys,” (USA TODAY) exploring the beguiling and often contradictory forces that fueled Michael Jackson’s genius. Drawing on an amazing four hundred interviews—ranging from Jackson’s relatives, friends, and key record executives to celebrities like will.i.am and Weird Al Yankovic—this critical biography puts his career into perspective and celebrates his triumph in art and music. This is “a thoughtful look at an artist who grew up in a segregated mill town and who, for the rest of his life, made music to bring down walls” (Chicago Tribune).
  • Scribner | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476730387 | 
  • June 2016
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About the Author

Steve Knopper
Photo Credit: Melissa Knopper

Steve Knopper

Steve Knopper is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and veteran music reporter who has written for The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Wired, Details, and many other publications. His book, Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age, was prominently featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and dozens of other prominent radio and TV shows; Tom Hanks called it “amazing.” He has been a featured expert source on NBC Nightly News, CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, among others. He lives in Denver with his wife, Melissa, and daughter Rose.

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