On June 25, the world commemorates World Vitiligo Day by remembering one person whose condition was a mystery to many. This was Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, who died on the same day in 2009 at the age of 50.
In 1984, the acclaimed African-American singer, songwriter, and dancer, who was one of the world’s most well-known entertainers, was diagnosed with vitiligo. On the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1993, he revealed his illness.
According to biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, he bleached his skin to cover up the white patches that came with the disease as a result of dead pigment-producing cells.
According to Forbes, Michael was also diagnosed with lupus, and both conditions made his complexion sensitive to sunlight, while their treatments lightened his skin.
In 1983, during a performance of “Billy Jean” at Motown’s 25th anniversary TV special, he debuted his distinctive solo white glove, which was eventually coated in silver sequins. His left-hand glove, which he wore throughout his career, was an early attempt to conceal his skin issue.
His friend, actress Cicely Tyson, acknowledged that the glove was made to disguise his vitiligo and that she was present when he was designing it in the 1980s because the two worked together as a fashion designer.
“All of a sudden, he exclaimed, ‘I’m creating this glove for Michael,'” says the narrator. Michael’s vitiligo was beginning to appear on his hand. “The glove was created to mask the vitiligo,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon in 2009.
Michael Jackson has a medium-brown complexion since he began performing professionally with his elder brothers as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1964 at the age of six.
He began to become paler in the mid-1980s without disclosing his skin problem, which required him to wear cosmetics to mask his ailment from the cameras. Rumours that he didn’t like the color of his skin were extensively reported in the media, which harmed the music icon.
“It’s something I can’t do anything about. It hurts me when people make up stories about how I don’t want to be who I am. For me, it’s a problem. I’m powerless to stop it “
– Michael Jackson revealed in an interview about his vitiligo.
After his hair caught fire during a commercial shot in 1984, he was treated for scalp burns.
He had many cosmetic procedures after that, including nose jobs, a dimple on his chin, straight hair, and weight loss due to a change in diet and a desire for “a dancer’s body.” His health and image were severely harmed.
Many tabloid accounts in the 1980s stated that he slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to halt the aging process, among other claims that were eventually attributed to Michael Jackson himself for promotional purposes. As a result, he was dubbed “Wacko Jacko.”
Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars? Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, “I’m an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight,” people would say, “Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He’s cracked up. You can’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.. – He told Taraborrelli.
Michael Jackson became addicted to pharmaceutical medicines in the 1990s, including painkillers and sedatives. Despite his rehabilitation in 1993, the artist continued to struggle with drug addiction.
On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest while preparing for a series of comeback performances set to begin in July 2009. Acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication caused the heart attack, and his personal physician, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary murder.