The following is a chronology of the key events in the life of Michael Jackson:

1958 - Born Aug. 29 in Gary, Ind.

1963 - Performs professionally with brothers in a chart-topping group eventually called the Jackson 5.

1964 - Jackson 5 founded in Gary, Ind. With Michael as lead singer, the family band hits No. 1 in America in 1970 with "I Want You Back," the first of a string of hits for the Motown label.

1972 - First solo album, "Got To Be There."

1979 - First solo album as an adult, "Off the Wall," which spawns his first U.S. No. 1 hit in seven years, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."

1982 - Jackson, by now a solo act, releases his massively popular "Thriller" album, which produced the No. 1 singles "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" and introduced the world to his "Moonwalk" dance step. The album was No. 1 in the United States for 37 weeks.

1983 - Unveils signature "moonwalk" dance move while performing "Billie Jean" during an NBC special.

1984 - Jackson is seriously injured while filming a commercial for Pepsi Cola when his hair catches fire. He has surgery for burns and rumors of further plastic surgery gain currency. Jackson has explained his increasingly pale appearance is a result of the skin disease vitiligo.

1985 - Jackson and Lionel Richie write "We are the World," a fund-raising single for African famine relief. Jackson buys the ATV music publishing catalog, whose crown jewel is more than 250 Lennon/McCartney compositions for the Beatles.

1988 - Buys a California ranch, which he renames Neverland. Releases his autobiography, "Moonwalker."

1991 - Releases "Dangerous," which debuts at No. 1 on the album charts but is eventually displaced by Nirvana's "Nevermind," signaling the rise of alternative rock.

1993 - Jackson, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, discloses he was abused by his father, Joseph. He also seeks to dispel rumors he tried to buy the skeleton of the Elephant Man, and that he slept in an oxygen tent.

1993 - Accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, and police raid Neverland in central California. World tour is canceled, with Jackson announcing he is seeking treatment for painkiller addiction.

1994 - Reaches settlement, later reported to be $23 million, with family of the boy who accused him of molestation.

1994 - The self-styled King of Pop becomes the son-in-law of the King of Rock and Roll, if only posthumously: Jackson marries Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie, 26.

1996 - Lisa Marie files for divorce.

1996 - Begins "HIStory" tour in Prague. Later marries Debbie Rowe, a former nurse. She bears him two children. Marriage ends in 1999.

2001 - Comeback bid with release of "Invincible." Album opens at No. 1 but fizzles commercially.

2002 - Jackson startles fans by briefly dangling his barefoot baby son, Prince Michael II, out of a fourth-floor hotel window in Berlin.

2003 - Controversial "Living with Michael Jackson" documentary airs on British and American television, disclosing that Jackson still had sleepovers with young boys and had his third child with a surrogate mother. Jackson then airs his own rebuttal.

2003 - A police raid on Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in November is the latest in a series of often startling moments in the eccentric singer's chart-topping and colorful career.

2005 - Cleared of child molestation charges that could have seen him jailed for 20 years.