Unveiling the Man in the Mirror: 5 Facts About Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, a name synonymous with extraordinary talent and a life riddled with controversies, continues to fascinate the world even after his demise. From his unique experiences to his creative genius, Jackson’s life was a tapestry of the remarkable and the bizarre.

Michael Jackson at Press Conference for the NFL Superbowl appearance he made in January 31, 1993. This photo taken in 1992, specific date unknownLos Angeles, CA
©2009 Kathy Hutchins / Hutchins Photo
Photo by depositphotos.com

Here are five interesting facts about the King of Pop that reveal the complexities of his enigmatic world.

1. The Supermarket Fantasy: Michael Jackson once had an entire supermarket shut down just to experience shopping like an ordinary person. The store was filled with his friends and family, who posed as fellow shoppers and employees, enabling him to fulfill his dream of “putting things in a basket” and browsing aisles like any regular customer.

2. The Llama Incident with Freddie Mercury: An extraordinary duet session between Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson was abruptly left unfinished. The reason? Mercury couldn’t stand Jackson’s unusual studio guest – his pet llama. This quirky incident is a testament to the eccentricities of these music legends.

3. The Beatboxing Composer: Despite not being able to read music or play instruments proficiently, Michael Jackson was a masterful composer. He would create intricate song parts using nothing but his voice, singing and beatboxing into a tape recorder. His ability to conceive and vocalize complete arrangements, including harmonies, demonstrated his exceptional musical genius.

4. Childhood Scars: The emotional scars from childhood plagued Jackson throughout his life. His father’s relentless teasing about his appearance, particularly calling him ‘fat-nose’, deeply affected him. This torment led to multiple rhinoplasties and a lifelong preoccupation with his physical appearance.

5. A Fateful Accident: In a bizarre twist of fate, Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire on the exact median day of his life, marking a literal mid-life crisis.
Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, and the tragic accident that set his hair on fire occurred on January 27, 1984. Calculating the days from his birth to the accident: from August 29, 1958, to August 29, 1983, is exactly 25 years, or 9,125 days. Adding 21 weeks (147 days) to get to January 23, 1984, plus an additional 4 days, brings us to a total of 9,276 days lived before the accident.
Fast forwarding from the accident on January 27, 1984, to the same date in 2009, again covers a span of 25 years, equaling 9,125 days. From there, adding 21 weeks (147 days) to reach June 23, 2009, and then an additional 2 days to June 25, 2009, the day of his death, totals 9,274 days.
This means Michael Jackson lived 9,276 days before the accident and 9,274 days after it, marking an almost exact midpoint in his life.
The painful accident on January 27, 1984, resulted in a dependency on heavy painkillers. Many believe this tragic incident and its aftermath significantly contributed to the substance abuse problems that plagued him until his death in 2009.

Michael Jackson’s life was a blend of immense talent, personal struggles, and a series of unusual events. These five facts provide a glimpse into the extraordinary life of a man who forever changed the landscape of music and performance.

The Man in Black: 10 Intriguing Facts about Johnny Cash

Unraveling the enigmatic persona of Johnny Cash, the legendary ‘Man in Black,’ takes more than just a deep dive into his discography. This article aims to paint a fuller picture of Cash by shedding light on ten intriguing facts of his life, from his early days as a code breaker for the U.S. Air Force to his unique connection with a species of tarantula.

1. From J.R. to Johnny Cash

J.R. Cash, the name that Johnny Cash was given at birth, faced an unexpected change when he enlisted in the United States Air Force. The military didn’t allow initials as a first name, so J.R. Cash morphed into John R. Cash. His transition to the now-famous moniker, Johnny Cash, didn’t happen until 1955 when he inked a deal with Sun Records.

2. Faith Manifested in Audio

A staunch Christian, Johnny Cash took an extraordinary step in 1990 to showcase his devotion. He recorded himself reading the entire New Testament Bible (NKJ Version). Remarkably, the entire recording spanned over 19 hours.

3. The ‘Johnny Cash Machines’

Banks typically use the acronym ATM, but in an unusual twist, a bank for which Johnny Cash served as spokesperson renamed their ATMs as ‘Johnny Cash Machines’ during his promotional stint.

4. A Tribute with Eight Legs

The Aphonopelma Johnnycashi, a tarantula species found near Folsom Prison, was named in honor of Johnny Cash. This was in recognition of his iconic hit, “Folsom Prison Blues.”

5. Champion of Native Americans

Demonstrating his commitment to social justice, Johnny Cash fervently advocated for the rights of Native Americans, dedicating an entire album to their cause. Despite radio stations’ refusal to broadcast any of the album’s tracks, Cash’s resolve remained unwavering. He responded by purchasing a Billboard ad, challenging the stations with the question: “Where are your guts?”

6. The Iconic ‘Man in Black’

Straying from the conventional attire of rhinestone suits and cowboy boots prevalent among major country acts of his era, Johnny Cash adopted a signature all-black ensemble. He explained his fashion choice in the song “Man in Black,” stating that he wore black as a symbol of solidarity with the poor, the hungry, and those betrayed by age or drugs.

7. Cracking Codes before Cracking the Charts

Before his rise to stardom as a musician, Johnny Cash served as a Morse Intercept Operator for the US Air Force, specializing in deciphering coded transmissions and intercepting Russian intelligence. Notably, he transcribed the first news of Stalin’s death.

8. The Heartbeat behind ‘I Walk the Line’

Johnny Cash attributed the tempo of “I Walk the Line” to his heartbeat at the time he wrote the song. The accelerated rhythm of his pulse that day provided the beat that would become the backbone of this classic tune.

9. The Ostrich Incident

An odd confrontation with an ostrich at his exotic animal refuge near his Tennessee home left Johnny Cash with five broken ribs and a significant stomach wound. The injuries led to his prescription for pain killers, triggering a two-year relapse into his former alcohol and amphetamine addiction.

10. Inspiring a Future Country Star

Merle Haggard, a 20-year-old inmate at San Quentin, witnessed Johnny Cash’s first prison concert in 1958. This transformative experience inspired Haggard to pursue a career as a country artist. Cash, recognizing Haggard’s talent and authenticity, would often say, “You’re everything that people think I am.”

Stevie Wonder: From Frustration to Masterpiece

In 1975, the legendary artist Stevie Wonder found himself growing increasingly frustrated with the state of the U.S. government. At one point, he seriously considered leaving his music career behind and relocating to Ghana. Ultimately, however, he chose to channel his emotions into his work, which led to the creation of the now-iconic album, Songs In The Key Of Life. This masterpiece, which explores themes of love, social issues, and spirituality, solidified Wonder’s legacy as one of the most influential artists in music history.

Stevie Wonder, born as Stevland Hardaway Morris in 1950, tragically lost his sight shortly after birth due to a condition called retinopathy of prematurity. Despite this adversity, he discovered a love for music early in life and became adept at playing various instruments, such as the piano, harmonica, and drums. By the age of 11, he had already been signed to Motown’s Tamla label, where he was introduced to the world as Little Stevie Wonder.

Over the course of a career spanning more than six decades, Stevie Wonder has accumulated an impressive array of accolades. These include 25 Grammy Awards, the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to his groundbreaking use of synthesizers and electronic instruments, which helped shape the sound of modern popular music, Wonder’s thought-provoking and socially conscious lyrics continue to resonate with audiences across the globe.