Off the Wall is the fifth studio album by the American recording artist Michael Jackson, released August 10, 1979 on Epic Records, after Jackson's critically well-received film performance in The Wiz. While working on that project, Jackson and Quincy Jones had become friends, and Jones agreed to work with Jackson on his next studio album. Recording sessions took place between December 1978 and June 1979 at Allen Zentz Recording, Westlake Recording Studios, and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California. Jackson collaborated with a number of other writers and performers such as Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Rod Temperton. Five singles were released from the album. Three of the singles had music videos released. Jackson wrote three of the songs himself, including the Platinum-certified lead single, "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough". It was his first solo release under Epic Records, the label he would record on until his death in 2009.
The record was a departure from Jackson's previous work for Motown. Several critics observed that Off the Wall was crafted from funk, disco-pop, soft rock, jazz and pop ballads. Jackson received positive reviews for his vocal performance on the record. The record gained positive reviews and won the singer his first Grammy Award since the early 1970s. With Off the Wall, Jackson became the first solo artist to have four singles from the same album peak inside the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album was a commercial success; to date it is certified for 8× Multi-Platinum in the US and has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
On October 16, 2001, a special edition reissue of Off the Wall was released by Sony Records. Recent reviews by AllMusic and Blender have continued to praise Off the Wall for its appeal in the 21st century. In 2003, the album was ranked number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The National Association of Recording Merchandisers listed it at number 80 of the Definitive 200 Albums of All Time. In 2008, Off the Wall was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
an American singer, dancer, and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful and one of the most influential entertainers of all time. His unique contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Alongside his brothers, he made his debut in 1964 as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5, and later began a successful solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. 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, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century", and 4 awards won posthumously)—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history. He was also a notable philanthropist and humanitarian who donated and raised over 300 million dollars through support of 39 charities and his own Heal the World Foundation.
Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
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