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The Polarizing King of Pop

  • Jul 15, 2009
I heard through Twitter that he'd died and it was definitely a very sad day. I remember when I was 7 or 8 years old watching the Thriller video in England (where there were only four channels at the time), and literally everyone in the whole country watched it on Top of The Pops, and people were talking about it for weeks. Church groups decried it as Satanic and parents were scornful of its edginess, but even then I remember thinking - this is really, really amazing. So when the news of his death came, it did feel like a piece of my childhood had finally moved on, and it made me reflect on his career rather than his scandals.

Michael Jackson was a comi-tragic figure that wouldn't have been believable in fiction. A man who was forever a child, with a dreadful father, surrounded by sycophantic hangers-on who will fight in court over his wealth long after his death. The owner of a private theme park, a chimpanzee called Bubbles, a personal debt of a magnitude that normally receives a bailout, and friendships with bizarre celebrities who have stepped out of the limelight. And these were all the good things, long before he butchered his appearance through decades of plastic surgery, and before the sordid accusations of child abuse started to appear.

And yet our Greek tragedy is cut short: we've experienced the rising star, his dramatic fall, and the expectations of his Phoenix-like return to prominence, but it was never to be. Yet there were signs that his final tour would never happen: many of the shows were uninsurable, and many ticket holders have expressed their gut instinct that they would never see the man behind the Moonwalk in person. It's almost as if the shock ending was the intended ending all along.

Personally, I will remember Michael Jackson as the man who owned music in the 1980s - period. Every generation has a musician who not only represents an era but defines it, and it's extraordinary how often these icons disappear early as a result of burning the candle so brightly at their peak. 

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September 17, 2010
nice I came across this one. Thanks!
July 19, 2010
I will remember him not only for his music and genius, but for what he did with that talent....he saved many orphanages, hungry children, and countless others by using his natural born genius and generosity; he believed he was put on this earth to do that, and he certainly accomplished it many times over.

He overcame the tragedy of a terrible father, the betrayal of many people he thought were his friends, and the relentless acts of the press who only were interested in writing about his eccentricities.   Michael, I believe, had more inner strength in his little finger than most have in their whole bodies.  Unfortunately, after the allegations of child molestation, he had no way to deal but to look to greedy physicians who enabled his addiction.  His family and real friends said that Michael lost the light in his eyes; to be accused of something he did not do, and have the whole world watching, especially after living his life to enable children to have a better life, was devastating for him.  Despite all of this and his addiction, he went on to continue his mission. 

Unfortunately also is the fact he felt he had to change his appearance so often with surgery, because he hated the way he looked.  His father had a huge impact on his self-esteem; telling him his nose was too big, and "Don't look in the mirror because you are ugly;" -  Michael never liked himself physically, which was a true tragedy; if he saw himself the way others saw him, he would have known he was beautiful on the outside as well the inside.

If every person in this world who is fortunate enough to have money and power had the generosity and kindness in their heart that Michael had; the world would be a little better for it.   He is gone too soon for sure, as he wanted to accomplish so much more.

He is one man who I idolize and admire, not only for his talent but because of the man he was.  I can only imagine the pain his children have gone through, as they adored him.

I also believe he knew a tragic end would come. He told Lisa Marie Presley when they were married that he would end up dying like her father.  If you ever heard the song "Morphine" - you will hear him tell you he is addicted; was this his way of telling the world that he was in trouble?  I believe so, because he used his music to convey messages.  I did not hear this song, as no video was made of it, until after his death, and the lyrics are eerily true to life and to his death.  

Michael is truly the Man In The Mirror and will never be forgotten.
July 15, 2009
Very nice review and I couldn't agree with you more on many of your points. I think he is one that we can safely say....a candle that burned brightly, but not for very long....He's certainly a tragic figure and my heart extends to his family and longtime friends.
July 15, 2009
Thanks Donna... my sympathy goes out to them too.
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James Beswick ()
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Died on June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson was unquestionably the biggest pop star of the '80s, and certainly one of the most popular recording artists of all time. In his prime, Jackson was an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and loads of sheer star power. His 1982 blockbuster Thriller became the biggest-selling album of all time (probably his best-known accomplishment), and he was the first black artist to find stardom on MTV, breaking down innumerable boundaries both for his race and for music video as an art form. Yet as Jackson's career began, very gradually, to descend from the dizzying heights of his peak years, most of the media's attention focused on his increasingly bizarre eccentricities; he was often depicted as an arrested man-child, completely sheltered from adult reality by a life spent in show business. The snickering turned to scandal in 1993, when Jackson was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy; although he categorically denied the charges, his out-of-court settlement failed to restore his tarnished image. He never quite escaped the stigma of those allegations, and while he continued to sell records at superstar-like levels, he didn't release them with enough frequency (or, many critics thought, inspiration) to once again become better known for his music than his private life. Whether as a pop ...

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Filmography: Men in Black II, The Wiz
Nationality: American
Bands or Musical Groups: Jackson 5
Instruments: Vocals, piano, drums, beatbox, guitar
Genre: Pop
Debut: 1964
Country: United States
Birth Date: August 29, 1958
Birth Place: Gary, Indiana, USA
Gender: Male
Height: 5' 11"
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