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Smooth Icons 2022: Michael Jackson is voted the greatest artist of all time

After thousands of votes, we have crowned the winner of Smooth Icons 2022. Michael Jackson was voted by Smooth Radio listeners and SmoothRadio.com readers as the best artist of all time in the fourth annual Smooth Icons countdown, retaining his crown from 2020 and 2021.

Over 25,000 votes were cast in the poll, which saw Michael beat 2019’s winner George Michael.

The highest group was Queen at three, followed by the highest female solo artist Whitney Houston at four, and ABBA at five.

Smooth Icons aired on Smooth Radio on Monday (August 29), after an online vote asked listeners to vote for their favourite artists of all time.

The full top 10:

  1. Michael Jackson
  2. George Michael
  3. Queen
  4. Whitney Houston
  5. ABBA
  6. Elvis Presley
  7. Elton John
  8. Bee Gees
  9. Celine Dion
  10. Stevie Wonder

If you missed the countdown, you can listen again on Global Player for seven days after broadcast.

To give the fans what they want, here are 47 facts about the King of Pop.

What year was Michael Jackson Born?

Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958.

Where is Michael Jackson From?

Michael Jackson is from Gary Indiana.

Michael Jackson Height

According to the official autopsy report, Michael Jackson was 5’9”, or 69” tall when he died. This is considered to be the most accurate measure of his height, as he occasionally would wear shoes with a bit of a heel which would make him appear taller to fans.

As a child, Michael Jackson had worn his hair in an afro, making him look taller. But in 1984, his hair and scalp caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, causing the celebrity to have permanent hair loss.

After the accident, Jackson often wore a black wig in public. He also got tattoos near the edges of his hairline to conceal his balding.

Michael Jackson wasn’t considerably short, however, he wasn’t tall either. He stood at 5’9”, which is  the average height for an American man. Jackson is still taller than many famous artists such as  Justin Bieber who is reportedly just 5 ft 8 in. 

He also was 9.5 in shoe size.

Michael Jackson 1988
Michael Jackson 2nd June 1988. “Wiener Stadion” venue in Vienna, Austria. Photo by Zoran Veselinovic.

How did Michael Jackson Die?

Michael Jackson died from overdosing on a combination of sedatives and prescribed medication. Jackson’s in-home doctor, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

How Old was Michael Jackson When he Died?

Michael Jackson was 50 years old when he died, which may seem young, but when you watch the video of him practicing for his tour which was supposed to start later in 2009, it’s easy to see that the singer was not well.

Although he had always been skinny, he seemed to be even skinnier than normal, sweating and breathing with difficulty at even the simplest dance moves. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the singer died of cardiac arrest.

Pair this with the fact that he was prescribed drugs that were at too high of a dosage for him, and you have the perfect combination for premature death. The drugs found in the artist’s body when he died were propofol, anxiolytic lorazepam, midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine, and ephedrine.

If this sounds like a lot of drugs, it’s because it is. The doctor who prescribed all these drugs to Michael Jackson was later found guilty of manslaughter and served 2 of the 4 years he was sentenced to. But many feel that justice was not served. Unfortunately, there is no way to bring Michael Jackson back from the grave.

If the singer had not died in 2009, he would be 64 years old in the year 2022.

How Tall Was Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson was about 5’9” tall (175.3cm), which is crazy when you consider the artist weighed in at 132 pounds at the time of his death in 2009.

Five-foot nine inches may seem short when you compare Michael Jackson to other artists like Lil Nas X (6’1”) or Taylor Swift (5’10”) but the reality is 5’9” is the average height for men in the US.

Therefore Michael Jackson wasn’t short at all, simply average in height (the same can’t be said about his music).

Many fans assumed he was taller, likely because they were always watching him perform at a stage that was situated high above eye level. He also sometimes wore specific shoes, which he called ‘beetle boots’ that gave him an extra inch or two of height.

He denied ever wearing lifts in his shoes, which makes sense, as lifts would likely make it quite difficult for the artist to perform his famous moonwalk, and other dance moves. Therefore it is likely the ‘beetle boots’ the fans were thinking of when they accused him of wearing lists.

At least he was taller than fellow musician Prince who was only 5’3” though he often lied and said he was 5’6” because he was ashamed of his short stature.

Michael Jackson Weight

At the time of his death, the autopsy report listed that Michael Jackson’s weight was 132 pounds, which is actually in the normal range for his height. Many speculate, however, that he weighed much less than that during the late 1990s and 2000s.

Although the artist had always been quite skinny,(he listed his weight on his driver’s license as 120 pounds in the 1980s) he only seemed to get thinner in the years approaching his death. This is likely due to the cocktail combination of drugs his in-home doctor has prescribed to him.

Additionally, the artist faced a lot of stress due to legal troubles, body image issues, and financial problems. There was much speculation when he died regarding his diet. His publicist came forward and indicated that Jackson consumed a lot of turkey burgers, Chinese food, and vegetables. Even though he did avoid red meat, the artist was not a vegetarian as many fans speculated.

There have been reports that the famous singer and songwriter got down to 112 pounds at some point during his adult lifetime, these claims have not been confirmed, however, nor has it been confirmed that the artist actually did weigh 120 pounds when he received his driver’s license.

Most people underestimate/understate their weight so it is highly likely that Michael Jackson was around a healthy 130 pounds for his entire adult life.

His Death Broke Internet

On June 25, 2009, several websites across the net all crashed at the same time at approximately 3:15 pm.

Jackson’s Daughter Claimed Her Father Was Murdered

Jackson’s daughter, Paris, claimed that her father’s doctor at the time of his death murdered him, casting doubt on the professionalism of Conrad Murray.

Michael Jackson’s Networth

Estimating Michael Jackson’s net worth is difficult because the star is no longer alive. While he was alive, he made about $500 million over the course of his lifetime. About $100 million came from his own music, while the rest came from his portfolio of other artists’ songs, most notably the Beatles.  

But the reality is, despite being famous, the singer had a terrible overspending problem, thus he was actually in debt when he died.

Many estimate that his net worth at the time of his death in 2009 was almost $500 million but that the debts he owed were over $500 million, meaning he died broke. He got here by routinely overspending what he was making. Experts guess he was spending between $30 million and $50 million every year on his lifestyle alone.

Then there were his legal troubles. Lawyers aren’t cheap, especially with the types of allegations Michael Jackson was facing.

Add in the purchase of Neverland, which cost $17 million, $65 million on a video project, and a $12 million divorce settlement, and it’s easy to see how the artist got in the hole.

Following his death, the executors of his estate did their best to bring Michael’s net worth back into the green. They accomplished this by creating the This is It film which grossed $500 million, as well as by selling the rights to Michael’s image and future music.

As of the writing of this article, Michael Jackson’s estate has netted hundreds of millions of dollars. After settling all debt and buying back the rights to Jackson’s music, the estate is said to be worth over $2.4 billion. This makes Michael Jackson the richest non-living person to date.

He Had A Little Brother

While the Jackson family is very well known, many people do not know that Michael’s brother Marlon had a twin brother, Brandon ended up passing away not even one day after he was born.

Favorite Type of Takeout Food

Michael’s favorite type of food was Mexican food.

Racking Up the Fines

It has been rumored that Jackson racked up $1 million in library fines due to checking out books and not bringing them back.

Michael Jackson’s Home Sold for a Less Than It should Have

In 2015, Neverland Ranch was listed for $100 million, and was then discounted more than once, until 2019 when Pittsburg Penguins co-owner bought the estate for $22 million. That’s $78 million less than the initial price. Ouch.

Michael Jackson 1988
Michael Jackson with two fans at the Kahala Hilton Hotel. Photograph by Alan Light, early February 1988.

Pinocchio was his favorite Disney Character

Michael’s favorite cartoon character is Pinocchio.

Married His Dermatologist’s Nurse

Michael was married to Lisa Marie Presley, who is the daughter of Elvis Presley. But he also had married the nurse working in his dermatologist’s office.

Fearful of Father

We learned that Michael’s dad would beat him with a belt if he made errors while performing in The Jackson 5 as a child. He became very afraid of him.

Michael Loved Llamas

Jackson’s loved his pet llamas, Louis and Lola. He loved them so much that he often took them to his recording studio in LA.

The Jackson 5 1972
Publicity photo of The Jackson 5 on the premiere of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Photo by CBS Television.

Cheap Costumes

Jackson’s costumes from his “Thriller” music video were purchased from second-hand stores.

Amazing 9/11 Story

Jackson was supposed to attend a meeting at the World Trade Center on September 11, but he ended up not attending because he overslept, causing him to miss his flight.

Dreamt of Being Spiderman

MJ had always wanted to play the role of Spiderman. Jackson even attempted to buy Marvel Comics after they filed for bankruptcy, thinking he could then cast himself to play the character on film.

Jackson also auditioned for the role of the character, Professor X from X-Men.

He set multiple Guinness World Records

Michael has set an unprecedented 39 Guinness world records. He was also inducted into the dancing hall of fame and songwriters hall of fame.

This makes him the most awarded artist to this date with 800+ awards.

Left His Father Out of his Will

After Michael’s death, it was revealed that his estate was to be given to his mother and his children, and left nothing behind for his father.

He Lived in a Two-Bedroom House

Jackson grew up in a little two-bedroom house in Gary, Indiana. He shared this house (and most likely one single bathroom) with eight of his siblings! 

Michael Jackson 1993
The American singer Michael Jackson in the opening of one of the concerts of his “Dangerous tour” in 1993. Photo by Contru-Centro.

Micheal Jackson Did Karate

At the time of his death, he had a black belt in karate which he was awarded in the late 1990s in Japan. 

He sold out the Wembley Stadium 7 Times

The demand was such that he could have sold it 20 times in a row but his schedule intervened meaning he had to pick only 7 dates to perform. 

He has a Moon Crater Named After Him

The crater was previously called Posidonus J, but we suspect the crater likes its new name much better. 

He was Cast to Play Peter Pan

As a performer with Peter Pan Syndrome, or the desire to always be young, you may be surprised to find out Jackson actually turned down playing Peter Pan in the 1991 movie Hook. He simply felt his vision did not match what the director was looking for. 

One of His Albums is the Best Selling of All Time

His Thriller album is the best-selling album of all time selling over 66 million copies worldwide. Now the number stands over 100 million.

He’s Been Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Jackson was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work, first in 1998, and again in 2003.

Micheal Jackson was Charitable

Jackson is considered the most charitable artist, as he gave over 500 million dollars to charity. He often gave without much fanfare so the actual amount maybe even more. 

He Has Billions of Fans

The number of his fans is considered 4.8 billion since the time he 1st performed on stage when he was 5 years old.

The Jackson 5 1969
Photo of the Jackson 5 announcing their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. A Young Michael Jackson is in the middle of the photograph.

His Funeral was the Second Most Watched of All Time

His funeral was the 2nd most-watched funeral as it was watched by 2.4 billion ppl all over the world, which is almost half of the population. The only person whose funeral had more watchers was Princess Diana’s.

He Once had a Pet Monkey

No really, it’s true, and his name was Bubbles. 

Many Other Artists are Inspired by Him

Beyonce, Justin Bieber, The Weekend and so many other artists claimed that they were inspired to sing by Michael Jackson. And honestly, who wouldn’t be inspired by the man who is still such a legend even in death?

Did we miss any interesting facts? Let us know in the comments!

Sources:

https://www.smoothradio.com/news/music/smooth-icons-2022-results-chart/

https://www.musicinminnesota.com/31-facts-michael-jackson/

https://www.michaeljackson.com/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michael-Jackson

https://www.marca.com/en/lifestyle/celebrity-net-worth/2022/06/25/62b7446ce2704e284a8b45c5.html

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