Thursday, June 25, 2009

Three Deaths Mark Decade Landmarks - Ed McMahon (60's), Farrah Fawcett (70's), Michael Jackson (80's)

Age 50

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, five of his solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades. (Wiki)

Age 62

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) was an American actress. A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she first appeared as private investigator Jill Munroe in the TV series Charlie's Angels in 1976. Fawcett later appeared off-Broadway to the approval of critics and in highly rated television movies in roles often challenging (The Burning Bed, Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story, Margaret Bourke-White) and sometimes unsympathetic (Small Sacrifices). Fawcett was also a pop culture figure whose hairstyle was emulated by millions of young women and whose poster sales broke records, making her an international sex symbol in the 1970s and 1980s. (Wiki)

Age 86

Edward Leo Peter "Ed" McMahon, Jr. (March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009) was an American comedian, game show host, announcer, and television personality. Most famous for his work on television as Johnny Carson's announcer on The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992, also as the host of the talent show Star Search from 1983 to 1995, also co-hosting with Dick Clark on TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes from 1982 to 1986, he also became well-known as the presenter of the now-defunct American Family Publishers sweepstakes (not, as is commonly believed, its main rival Publishers Clearing House). (Wiki)