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Life and death in the spotlight
Michael Jackson's music and his unconventional life captivated millions around the world.
The star had his first taste of showmanship at the age of five, singing Climb Every Mountain.
Before his sudden death at 50, he was preparing to return to the spotlight, with a series of comeback concerts which would remind the world of his musical prowess.
But in the intervening years it was Jackson's private life, as much as his musical achievements, that grabbed headlines.
Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, and began his career as a child in family group the Jackson 5.
He would later speak of being deprived of a childhood amid the tough regime enforced by his father, whom he accused of beating him.
In 1979, Jackson made an impact with his solo album Off The Wall and his success rocketed.
Thriller, in 1982 - with hits Billie Jean, Beat It, and the title track, famous for its music video - became the world's best-selling album of all time.
A year later, in a mesmerising TV performance, a 24-year-old Jackson debuted his trademark and much copied moonwalk.
But as his success grew, so did the number of stories about the King of Pop's bizarre life.
Rumours surfaced that the star - dubbed Wacko Jacko - was bleaching his skin and that he had undergone radical plastic surgery, which he denied.
He kept a chimpanzee, Bubbles, as his companion and dressed him in identical clothes. He also built a zoo and funfair at his Neverland home.
The star was also reported to have slept in an oxygen tent to slow down the ageing process.
Jackson, who suffered serious burns during a freak accident in 1984 while filming a Pepsi advert, had a history of health problems.
He maintained he suffered from vitiligo, a skin condition that leaves white patches.
Questions about the health of the star, who was spotted wearing a surgical mask and using a wheelchair in public, would never go away.
When his plans for his 2009 London shows were rescheduled, it was rumoured - and denied - that the star was fighting skin cancer.
Jackson released Bad, with the hits Dirty Diana and Smooth Criminal, in 1987 and the album Dangerous in 1991.
His next album of entirely new material, Invincible in 2001, did not match his earlier success.
By then, Jackson had paid millions of dollars out of court to the family of 13-year-old Jordan Chandler, who claimed he was sexually abused by the star. Jackson always denied the claims.
Another scandal erupted after a 2003 TV interview with Martin Bashir, when the singer said of sharing a bed with a young boy: "It's a beautiful thing.
"It's very right, it's very loving. Because what's wrong with sharing a love?"
A warrant was issued for Jackson's arrest on charges of sexually molesting 12-year-old Gavin Arvizo.
He pleaded not guilty to the allegations and in 2005, after a trial conducted in the full glare of the world's media, Jackson was cleared of all the charges.
Jackson married twice, first in 1994 to Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, and then to nurse Debbie Rowe in 1996.
After his second divorce in 1999, Jackson took on sole responsibility for the upbringing of his children, Prince Michael and Paris, whose faces were often concealed under masks and scarves.
His third child, Prince Michael II, known as Blanket, was born in 2002 to a mystery surrogate mother.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009. Paramedics dashed to the singer's Los Angeles home after he stopped breathing.
In death, as in life, Jackson's private world has threatened to eclipse his musical achievements.
His music topped the charts posthumously, but details of the star's life have continued to emerge.