How many hit albums do you need to become a music legend? What kind of press coverage do you need before you're deemed a pop icon?
There are no hard-and-fast rules, but a look at some of the numbers behind Michael Jackson's life and career may give you some idea of the scope of his achievements.
• He recorded 16 albums, five of them with the Jackson Five and the remaining as a soloist.
•He earned 13 Grammy awards, eight of them in a single year - 1984.
• Jackson spent 45 of his 50 years as a professional musician, first appearing onstage with his brothers when he was 5 years old.
• Jackson had 47 singles that appeared in the Billboard Hot 100 and 13 singles that hit No. 1 on the charts. His "Thriller" album spent 37 weeks at the top of the charts.
• He sold more than 750 million records worldwide and was the highest earning singer of 1988-1989, with $125 million from his worldwide album tour.
• Jackson received a $1.5 million settlement from Pepsico when his hair caught fire while filming a commercial. He donated it to the Michael Jackson Burn Center.
• He spent $47.5 million for a music catalog that included some of The Beatles songs.
• In 1987-89, his "Bad" world tour broke all kinds of records: 123 concerts before an audience of 4.4 million people, grossing him $125 million. In England, 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium, another record.
• The singer's Neverland Ranch extends over 2,700 acres and was bought in 1988 for $17 million. It is valued today at more than $100 million, though Jackson owns just a small stake in the heavily mortgaged property now.
• A long-time supporter of AIDS research, Jackson claimed to have given more than $300 million to charity. From 1985 to 1990, he donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and in 2000, Jackson was listed in the book of Guinness World Records for his support of 39 charities.
• In 2005, Jackson was acquitted of seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit that felony. The verdict followed a five-month trial. Earlier, Jackson settled a civil lawsuit for $22 million with another family accusing him of abusing a child.
• Jackson's comeback tour featured 50 dates in London's The O2 arena and already had generated $85 million in ticket sales.