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Michael Jackson biography
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The unexpected union was the cause of further speculation: had Jackson married to divert attention from his alleged homosexuality and/or pederasty? Was he hoping to save his career by establishing himself as a "normal" and adult man? A very staged kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards added fuel to the fire. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson returned to what he did best—making records. He commenced recording new tracks for an ambitious package that would include his greatest hits along with an album's worth of new material. He gathered a number of hot songwriters and producers and even recorded a duet with his sister Janet. Epic Records, the branch of Sony that handled his recordings, prepared for a massive media assault. Jackson and Lisa Marie appeared on a television interview with Diane Sawyer; the singer and his bride vehemently insisted that they had a sex life and planned to have children. Naturally, such urgency only encouraged those who felt that their public claims to "normalcy" were career propaganda. Even so, the interview earned astronomical ratings and helped prepare the way for the new album's marketing blitz. This included the sudden appearance of building-high statues of the performer, one of which is pictured on the cover of the disc.
The marketing campaign for HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 (1995) was the biggest ever seen for an album; amid the hype, strangely enough, Jackson was trumpeting the message that he resented intrusions into his privacy. When HIStory was released it met with mixed reviews. "It's not where music is headed, it's where music has been," complained radio station music director Bruce St. James, quoted in Newsweek. The public, despite the media bombast, seemed to agree. The debut single, "Scream”—a raucous duet with Janet that was supported by a flashy science-fiction video—earned only a lukewarm reception, and HIStory dropped out of the top ten after only a few weeks. Yet the record could scarcely be considered a failure, given that it was a double album and promised to issue singles for at least another year. One, the ballad "Childhood," also appeared on the soundtrack of the family film Free Willy 2, promising an even wider audience. "There will probably be nine singles," pronounced Epic executive David Glew to Billboard. "That puts us through two Christmases .. I think this will be one of the biggest albums of all time, [but] we know it will take the full weight of this company." Meanwhile, many fans who didn't adore the new tracks would likely still invest in the package just to have Jackson's classic hits in one place.
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