Bad is the seventh studio album by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The album was released on August 31, 1987 by Epic Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous studio album, Thriller, which went on to become the world's best-selling album. Bad itself has sold around 30 million copies worldwide, shipped 8 million units in the United States alone, and has been cited as the 11th best selling album of all time. The album produced five Hot 100 number ones, the first album to do so. Similar to Jackson's previous music material, the album's music features elements of R&B, pop and rock.
Bad was recorded during the first half of 1987. The lyrical themes on the record relate to paranoia, romance and self-improvement. Bad is widely regarded as having cemented Jackson's status as one of the most successful artists of the 1980s, as well as enhancing his solo career and being one of the best musical projects of his career. Nine of the eleven songs on Bad were released as singles; one was a promotional single and another was released outside of the United States and Canada. Five of the singles hit number one in the United States, while a sixth charted within the top-ten, and a seventh charted within the top-twenty on the Hot 100. The single that was released outside of the United States and Canada was commercially successful, charting within the top ten and top twenty in multiple territories. Bad peaked at number one in seven countries, as well as charting within the top twenty in other territories. The only song on the album which wasn't released as a single nor had a music video for was "Just Good Friends".
Bad saw Jackson exercise even more artistic freedom than he did with his two previous Epic releases (Off the Wall and Thriller). On Bad, Jackson composed nine of the album's eleven tracks and received co-producer credit for the entire album. The album continued Jackson's commercial success in the late 1980s and garnered six Grammy Award nominations, winning two. Aside from commercial success the album also received critical acclaim from contemporary critics. Bad was ranked number 43 in the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time of the MTV Generation in 2009 by VH1 and number 202 in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album marked the final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones. In addition, Jackson scored six number ones from Bad, making him the first artist in the chart's history to amass six number-one singles from one album.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer-songwriter, entertainer, dancer, arranger, music producer, choreographer, actor, businessman, musician, and philanthropist. Often referred to as the "King of Pop", or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became the dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of "Beat It," "Billie Jean," and "Thriller," were credited with breaking down racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then relatively new television channel MTV to fame. With videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" he continued to innovate the medium throughout the 1990s, as well as forging a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot, and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop, and rock artists.
Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and History (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first and only dancer from pop and rock music. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 26 American Music Awards, more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s"; 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era; and the estimated sale of over 400 million records worldwide. Jackson won hundreds of awards, which made him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of popular music. In what would have been Jackson's 52nd birthday on August 29, 2010, he became the most downloaded artist of all time. Jackson constantly traveled the world attending events honoring his humanitarianism and the 2000 Guinness Book of Records recognized him for supporting 39 charities.
Aspects of Jackson's personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships, and behavior, generated controversy. In the mid-1990s, he was accused of child sexual abuse, but the case was settled out of court for about $25 million and $2 million and no formal charges were brought. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges after the jury found him not guilty on all counts.
While preparing for his concert series titled This Is It, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, and his personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief and a live broadcast of the public memorial service viewed around the world. In March 2010, Sony Music Entertainment and Jackson's estate signed the largest music contract ever, with a $250 million deal to retain distribution rights to his recordings until 2017, and to release seven posthumous albums over the decade following his death.
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