When he was 15, Michael Jackson wondered in song if he'd grow up to walk on the moon. In a way, he did.
Now 50, Jackson is an unrivaled icon—a 13-time Grammy winner with more than 750 million records sold, and a score of moves as instantly recognizable as his songs.
Jackson, the former Jackson 5 prodigy who seemed beyond growing up, much less growing old, told Good Morning America he planned to mark his middle-aged milestone today with a "little cake with my children," adding, "We'll probably watch cartoons."
When asked whether he now had an AARP card—a rite of passage for those soldering on to the golden years—Jackson laughed, "Not that I know of!"
Jackson said he's writing music "all the time," but his music, while still played, still sampled and still covered, has been the sidelight to the carnival of Jackson's life for almost a generation now.
Since being acquitted of child-molestation charges in 2005, Jackson and his three children have flitted about the globe, with stops in the Middle East, Europe and Las Vegas. His music career has stalled—his last new collection, Invincible, was released in 2001; he has not toured, à la his 50-year-old contemporaries Madonna and Prince. And at 25 itself, his signature album, Thriller, is years older than current champions such as Chris Brown.
Still, to GMA, Jackson, now nearly 40 years into his recording career, insisted he was looking ahead, not behind: "I am still looking forward to doing a lot of great things."
As in that song sung when he was a child, Jackson doesn't sound as if cares if he ever really grows up.
"I feel very wise and sage," Jackson told GMA. "But at the same time very young."