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Photos: Michael Jackson’s life and career

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  1. Little boy Michael

    Jackson was just 12 when this picture was taken in May 1971, but his career was already stratospheric. Berry Gordy had signed the Jackson 5 to Motown Records in 1968, and Michael and his brothers had already topped the charts with "ABC" and "I'll Be There." It was a bright start for the boy from Gary, Ind. (Henry Diltz / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Signs of success

    Michael Jackson, far left, and the rest of the Jackson Five; the five brothers from Indiana were signed to Berry Gordy's Motown record label pose in 1972. (Frank Barratt / Getty Images file) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. All in the family

    The Jackson 5 performs in Los Angeles on a 1970s Bob Hope TV special. Michael continued to front the band, but his solo career was already on the rise, starting with 1971's "Got to Be There." (Neal Preston / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A wonderful Wiz

    Michael Jackson at the opening of "The Wiz." The 1978 movie musical was the first time Michael worked with legendary producer Quincy Jones, who would soon produce Jackson's breakout solo album, "Off the Wall," and eventually the "Thriller" album as well. Jackson's "Wiz" co-star was friend and mentor Diana Ross, who had introduced the world to the Jackson 5 back in 1969. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Wanna be startin' somethin'?

    Michael Jackson performs in concert during a 1981 tour with his brothers. During the tour Michael began writing down ideas for a solo project that blossomed into the highest-selling album of all time. (Susan Phillips / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Michael Jackson and Diana Ross hold their American Music Awards in L.A. Jackson won for favorite soul album and Ross won for favorite female soul vocalist. (Juynh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Fright night

    Michael Jackson stands with a group of dancers dressed as zombies while filming his 1983 video "Thriller." "Thriller" was revolutionary in the music industry. The zombie-themed minimovie put MTV on the map and essentially confirmed music videos as an art form of their own. The album sold 25 million copies in the United States alone. (Corbis / Sygma) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Moment of stardom

    Michael Jackson performs the moonwalk for the first time on television's "Motown 25," a tribute to Berry Gordy. The dance move that would become Michael's trademark stunned viewers and the crowd, and marked his imminent crowning as the King of Pop. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Handfuls of glory

    With Quincy Jones at his side, Michael Jackson holds six of the eight awards he won for "Thriller" at the 1984 Grammy Awards. His outfit, complete with epaulettes, sequined glove and dark shades, became a quintessential Michael look. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Role model

    During a May 1984 ceremony at the White House, Michael Jackson accepts a Presidential Award from President Reagan as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on. Jackson was honored as a model for American youth, and for lending his hit song "Beat It" to a new campaign against drunk driving. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A scary day

    Michael Jackson, background, is seen with his hair on fire during a taping of a Pepsi TV commercial in Los Angeles on February 1984 as brother Jermaine Jackson, foreground, continues to perform, apparently unaware of the situation. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. LONDON-1985: Michael Jackson is lead through a crowd by policeman on a promotionial tour of Great Britain in London.(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)UK NEWSPAPERS OUT WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT FROM DAVE HOGAN. PLEASE CONTACT SALES TEAM WITH ENQUIRIES (Dave Hogan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. They were the world

    In January 1985, a who's-who of the music and movie worlds came together to sing "We Are The World," written to benefit famine victims in Ethiopia. Michael Jackson can be seen front and center, along with Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, and dozens of other stars. Michael's sister Janet can be seen bottom right. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Victory lap

    Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, left, makes a July 1984 guest appearance during Michael Jackson's Victory Tour concert in Irving, Texas. Van Halen had recorded the now immortal guitar riff on "Beat It," to the displeasure of bandmate David Lee Roth, but to the delight of nearly everyone else. (Carlos Osorio / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Who's bad?

    Michael Jackson and his dancers in concert during a 1987 Tokyo concert on Jackson's "Bad" tour. The previous year, he had starred in the 3-D film "Captain EO," one of the most expensive short films ever. But Jackson had begun to draw more criticism as his albums and videos grew costlier and more infrequent. His next album, "Dangerous," wouldn't arrive until 1991. (Neal Preston / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A difficult year

    A cameraman photographs Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey in January 1993. This was the year Jackson was first accused of child molestation, and he took an opportunity on a 90-minute Oprah TV special to address the charges. The criminal allegations eventually were dropped, but Jackson reportedly paid as much as $25 million to settle the claims. (Neal Preston / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Black and white at the Super Bowl

    Michael Jackson gives a performance with 30,000 children during the Super Bowl XXVIII halftime show, on January 31, 1993, in Pasadena, Calif. Despite allegations against him, Jackson's career had regained momentum with hits like "Black or White" and "Remember the Time," and the "Dangerous" album was a multi-platinum seller. (Ralf-Finn Hestoft / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Michael Jackson and French mime Marcel Marceau clowning for the cameras at the Beacon Theatre in New York on Dec. 4, 1995. (Bob Strong / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Power marriage

    Michael Jackson and his wife Lisa Marie Presley are seen at Neverland Ranch in preparation of the Children's World Summit in April 1995. Presley would file for divorce less than a year later, prompting speculation about just what had inspired the relationship. (Steve Starr / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Golden man

    Michael Jackson performs on stage during is "HIStory" world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium in November 1996 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Phil Walter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Marriage 2.0

    Just months after his divorce from Lisa Marie, Michael Jackson walked back up the aisle with Debbie Rowe. This wedding photo was released by Jackson's publicist minutes after the Nov. 13, 1996, ceremony in Sydney, Australia. But the pairing was less about romance and more about bearing Jackson a child, and the two would divorce three years later, with Rowe eventually ceding parental rights to Jackson. (Reuters / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Best of friends

    Michael Jackson and actress Elizabeth Taylor arrive at a Sept. 7, 2001, concert celebrating the 30 years of Jackson's career. The two stars had been longtime friends, and Taylor is godmother to two of Michael's children. (Jeff Christensen / Reuters / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. (FILES) Photo dated November 13, 2002 shows US entertainer Michael Jackson testifying in Santa Maria, Calif. Superior Court in a trial in which he is accused of cancelling concert appearances, costing the promoter several million dollars. (- / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Not so invincible

    Michael Jackson poses for photographers during a Nov. 2001 appearance in New York's Times Square. Jackson made his first ever in-store appearance to promote his new album, "Invincible," which was released Oct. 30. "Invincible," at the time the most expensive album ever produced, fared better with critics and fans than 1995's "HIStory," but questions began to surface about the future of Jackson's career. (Brad Rickerby / Reuters/Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. One big mistake

    Michael Jackson holds a towel-covered Prince Michael II over the balcony of a Berlin hotel on Nov. 19 2002. Jackson later called the incident a "terrible mistake," but the image of him dangling his baby son out a window shocked even many die-hard fans. And his reputation was to receive far worse damage just a few months later. (Tobias Schwarz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Arresting development

    Michael Jackson is pictured in this Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department mug shot from Nov. 20, 2003. In a February 2003 documentary, Jackson acknowledged letting boys sleep in his bed. Soon after, Santa Barbara district attorney Tom Sneddon launched a probe into allegations that Jackson had molested a teen boy who appeared in the program. Authorities raided Neverland Ranch in November, and Jackson surrended for arrest days later. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff's D / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Family support

    Michael, center, and sisters LaToya, left and Janet Jackson walk over to greets fans during a lunch break at a pretrial hearing in Santa Maria, Calif. in this Aug. 16, 2004 file photo. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. MJ's PJs

    Michael Jackson wears pajama pants and is aided by bodyguards after arriving more than an hour late to court on Mar. 10, 2005, during his trial on the 2003 molestation charges. Jackson appeared after Judge Rodney Melville threatened to revoke his bail. (Kimberly White / pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Singin' with the kids

    Michael Jackson sings with some of his young fans at the World Music Awards at Earls Court in London on Nov. 16, 2006. (Graham Jepson / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Fans in uniform

    Michael Jackson receives a letter of appreciation from Col. Robert M. Waltemeyer, the garrison commander of Camp Zama, on March 10, 2007 in Zama, Japan. Michael greeted thousands of U.S. troops and their family members at the U.S. Army base. (U.S. Army via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Father figure

    Michael Jackson walks with kids Prince and Paris through a studio parking lot in Los Angeles in March 2009. The singer had been spotted with his entourage going to a studio on a cold rainy day in the city. The pop star stayed at the studio for more than two hours, and there were many production people working around him, suggesting that the star was filming. (Splash News / Splash News) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Concert tour planned

    Fans take pictures of an electronic screen projecting a press conference by Michael Jackson at the O2 arena in London on March 5, 2009. The pop megastar announced he would play a series of comeback concerts in London in July, his first major shows in more than a decade. (Ben Stansall / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Reaching for redemption

    Jackson, center, is shown in Los Angeles on May 6 during rehearsals for his planned concert tour in London. "He was on the eve of potentially redeeming his career a little bit," said Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde. "People might have started to think of him again in a different light."

    Discuss the life and impact of Michael Jackson in PhotoBlog. (Courtesy of Michael Jackson via) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: Dr. Murray’s assistant: He saved hundreds of lives

  1. Transcript of: Dr. Murray’s assistant: He saved hundreds of lives

    ANN CURRY, co-host: Now to the trial of Michael Jackson 's doctor, Conrad Murray . It is entering its second week after opening with several days of powerful testimony. In a moment, his former administrative assistant speaks out in an exclusive live interview. But first, NBC 's Jeff Rossen is in Los Angeles with the latest on this story. Jeff , good morning.

    JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hey, Ann , good morning to you. As you know, week one in this trial was explosive. Here we go, getting ready to set the table for week two in this trial that has garnered a lot of attention. And we are right in the heart right now of the prosecution's case, trying not only to show that Dr. Conrad Murray gave Michael Jackson a deadly dose of propofol but also that he was trying to cover it up all along the way. We've heard from Michael Jackson 's friends and his employees, and now we're hearing from the paramedics from the LAPD who were here that day and responded to his mansion the day he died. And they claim Dr. Murray was lying from the get-go.

    Unidentified Caller: He's not breathing and we need to, we're trying to pump him but he's not, he's not...

    Unidentified 911 Operator: OK.

    ROSSEN: When paramedics arrived at Michael Jackson 's mansion they say he already appeared dead.

    Unidentified Woman: Now describe Dr. Murray 's demeanor, please.

    Unidentified Man #1: Frantic.

    ROSSEN: And on the stand Friday, those paramedics offer a damaging testimony against Dr. Conrad Murray .

    Man #1: What I said initially, of course, was 'What's his underlying condition?' At that point he said, 'No, he's not taking anything,' and then he followed that up with, 'I just gave him a little bit of Lorazepam to sleep.'

    Woman: Did Dr. Murray ever mention to you having administered propofol to Michael Jackson ?

    Man #1: No he did not. He never mentioned the word propofol.

    ROSSEN: But prosecutors say Murray gave Jackson a lethal dose of propofol just before his death.

    Woman: Did you ever hear Dr. Murray state that he had given Mr. Jackson propofol?

    Unidentified Man #2: No ma'am.

    Ms. ROBIN SAX (Criminal Defense Attorney): The blowout for Conrad Murray was not only that he was not truthful with the paramedic and the firefighter, but also the fact that had they had been given the right information, there was a chance of saving Michael Jackson 's life.

    ROSSEN: But Dr. Murray has his supporters. How is he doing? Is he scared?

    Ms. STACEY RUGGLES (Former Administrative Assistant to Dr. Conrad Murray): No, he's actually doing very well.

    ROSSEN: Stacey Ruggles was Murray 's medical assistant at the time and will testify this week, saying the only man to blame for Michael Jackson 's death is Michael Jackson himself.

    Ms. RUGGLES: In no way, shape or form could I even imagine Dr. Murray causing a death to anyone, anyone. And to say that he is to blame for this, I do not believe that.

    ROSSEN: But was he negligent?

    Ms. RUGGLES: I don't feel he was negligent.

    ROSSEN: In fact, when cross-examining the paramedics, Murray 's defense attorney tried to paint Dr. Murray as a well-intentioned physician.

    Unidentified Man #3: Would it be fair to say that Dr. Murray also did everything in his power to help Mr. Jackson at that time?

    Man #1: Yes.

    Man #3: I mean, he wasn't just standing around and talking on the telephone or researching the computer, correct?

    Man #1: No, he was not.

    ROSSEN: By the way, there was some drama outside the courthouse as well. Right here on the TODAY show on Friday, Ann , as you know, you interviewed standing in this very location one of the members of the Murray defense team, there he is right there. Well, shortly after this interview, just hours later, this lawyer was hauled into court before the judge who said he was shocked to see this live interview on the TODAY show , saying this lawyer may actually be in contempt of court. He's even set a hearing date in the future. The defense team says he had every right to talk and they do object and so we'll follow that through and see how that goes. But either way , the judge now saying all lawyers in this case on both sides no longer allowed to speak about it publicly. Ann ?

    CURRY: All right. Jeff Rossen , thank you so much for that. And Stacey Ruggles began working for Dr. Conrad Murray in 1997 . She's scheduled to testify as a prosecution witness Tuesday. We just saw her just a moment ago in Jeff 's piece, she's now joining us exclusively. Ms. Ruggles , good morning.

    Ms. RUGGLES: Good morning.

    CURRY: You were able to speak to Dr. Murray on the phone, I understand, just recently. Can you describe his emotions as he is facing these charges during this trial?

    Ms. RUGGLES: Yes, ma'am. He was very upbeat, positive, and very happy that this trial had begun.

    CURRY: Why would you say that's the case? Why would he be happy that the trial has begun? Why would you say he would be upbeat, given he's been charged with recklessness and negligence?

    Ms. RUGGLES: You know, to be honest with you, I don't know, but he's a very positive person, he's a very faithful person and he's -- all I can say is that he's glad to be going forward so he can move forward with his life, he can move on and everyone else can move on.

    CURRY: You have worked for him, have known him for some 16 years. You just said in the piece we just saw that you don't believe that he could be guilty of these charges. But what is it that you know about him that makes you disbelieve that he could be -- have been reckless or negligent when it comes to Michael Jackson ?

    Ms. RUGGLES: I've never seen Dr. Murray negligent in any way, shape or form. He has saved hundreds of lives. He's opened clinics in different parts of the United States and including Trinidad Tobago , in order to help underprivileged people. And it's just not his nature, it's never been his nature. Anyone you talk to that knows him personally would tell you the same thing.

    CURRY: Hm. On the morning of June 25th , 2009 , the day that Michael Jackson died, there was a moment where you were on the phone with Dr. Murray . What happened in that telephone conversation ? And did you gain any -- glean anything about what was about to happen from that telephone conversation ?

    Ms. RUGGLES: Which telephone conversation are we talking about?

    CURRY: You spoke to Dr. Murray on the day that...

    Ms. RUGGLES: I spoke to him several times that day.

    CURRY: OK. All right. Well, tell us the nature of these conversations and if you got any sort of hint that something was askew, something was going to happen or something was wrong with Michael Jackson .

    Ms. RUGGLES: No. When I spoke to Dr. Murray there was no indication. He sounded fine. He sounded his usual self.

    CURRY: Hm. You're going to testify tomorrow for the prosecution and yet you're talking to us today, basically in defense of the man you once worked for. Why are you coming out now and speaking publicly?

    Ms. RUGGLES: It's come to light to me that people don't really understand this man. They don't know who Dr. Murray is. Dr. Murray and Michael Jackson 's beliefs were pretty much the same. They both believed in world peace. They believed we could all live together harmoniously, and he -- he's about love as well. And I think that might have been what connected the two of them together.

    CURRY: I see. Can I ask you this? Did the defense or any member of the defense team ask you to speak to us today?

    Ms. RUGGLES: No. Not at all.

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