THE musical legacy of Michael Jackson was celebrated at a public memorial in Los Angeles yesterday.
Following are some of the landmark events in Jackson's controversial personal life:
Jackson has three children - Prince Michael I, 12, Paris Michael, 11, and Prince Michael II, seven . The children have rarely been seen in public without being veiled.
Jackson married Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie, in 1994, but the couple divorced in 1996. He married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children before splitting in 1999. The couple never lived together.
l The singer claimed he was beaten and emotionally abused as a child by his strict father, Joe. Jackson's will, drafted in 2002, did not leave anything to his father.
In 1988, he bought the Neverland Valley Ranch in central California, installed theme park rides and a zoo and named it after the island home of Peter Pan, the fictional boy who never grew up. He abandoned the ranch after his 2005 trial on child sex abuse charges.
Jackson announced in 1993 that he was addicted to painkillers and abruptly cancelled a world tour to promote his album Dangerous . l The next year Jackson reached a reported R184million out-of-court settlement with the family of a teen boy who accused him of sexual abuse. In 2005, he went on trial in California accused of molesting another boy and was acquitted.
In a 2003 TV documentary, Jackson defended sharing his bed with young children and denied any wrongdoing.
l Dubbed "Wacko Jacko" in the late 1980s by British tabloid media after he changed his skin colour, facial features and donned masks. - Reuters