Jackson, Michael (1958– ), U.S. rock singer, songwriter, and dancer. His album Thriller (1982) sold 40 million copies worldwide, making it the largest-selling record ever. Jackson's career began in 1966, when he was the lead singer of his family's band, The Jackson Five. He left the band in the mid-1970s, to pursue a solo career. His hits include The Wiz (musical film; 1978), Off the Wall (1980), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1994), and HIStory (1995).