Unfortunately on June 25, the world suffered the loss of the greatest Pop Icon of all time. We lost Michael Jackson. It is a blow that is hard to withstand.
The artist born in 1958 in Gary, Indiana started out in the Jackson Five (on Motown) with his brothers and from that point grew into something so large and so great that it hard to even do his accomplishments justice by simply listing them off.
He was known for many things during his lifetime. From his childhood stardom to his breaking many racial barriers in the music business, most album sales ever by any artist, court allegations and comebacks; his influence on Pop culture is undeniable.
Upon the news of his death many gathered outside the UCLA hospital, the Apollo theater and even his old home in Indiana to show their respect. Celebrity sentiments started pouring into news stations. Madonna told sources, “His music will live on forever.”
As it will.
Although he is no longer with us, he was and still is the heartbeat of our music today.
There is not an artist out there who will deny some sort of influence or inspiration from him.
He broke down racial barriers when MTV and others were taking heat for not playing any music videos from African American artists. He had an original sound that was a mesh of R&B and rock that listeners worldwide fell in love with. His Motown Anniversary performance was a true testament to his exquisite performing and dance abilities that are commonly imitated by artists like Usher and ‘Nsync, but are never duplicated. Nobody has been able to touch the degree of precision that Michael Jackson had.
Just the initial reaction of everyone around us was one of the greatest indications of how many people he truly touched.
“We don’t care about Rihanna or Chris Brown or beef between rappers. This is about Michael Jackson,” explained a host of the local Florida A&M station.
Michael Jackson’s music was positive, uplifting and had love infused in it. So much so that if one went anywhere in the world and mentioned his name, someone would know who he was and know one of his songs and a dance to go with it.
Wasn’t it just last year when hundreds of prisoners took YouTube by storm by doing their rendition of the “Thriller” dance? What other artist can a grandmother, mother and daughter all relate to and know distinctly from his different sounds and images over the years?
My Mom had a poster of Michael Jackson in her dorm room when she was my age and I also listened to him growing up. If you are five, fourty, eighty or even one hundred, you can listen to any Michael Jackson song without any problem. In a time where artists fill their songs with negativity, hate and depend on hype to survive to another album, it is hard to see a true artist go. We probably can name a couple of songs from our other favorite singers whereas most can at least name six or seven hits by Michael Jackson.
Never have I logged onto facebook and seen everyone’s profile statuses synchronized to one topic. Never since 9/11 have we seen TV networks all showing one topic, one face. MTV just played Michael Jackson videos from the afternoon of his death and have yet to stop.
Some will no doubt take this opportunity to slander the legacy Michael Jackson left behind but I choose to focus on the good that he did. His positive influence on this world is just too great to try and bring down with his low moments.
Before celebrities wore ribbons for different causes, Michael Jackson co-wrote the song “We are the World” that rose millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa. He infused love and hope into people through his music and his actions. His music gave happiness to so many. Hopefully artists today can take note and realize that this man had entire albums of hits without rims, hate, hype or negativity. Maybe they can help immortalize him through their words.
Let’s all take the time to celebrate his life and what his music and art stood for. Love somebody. Sing, dance and be happy about your life because as this situation has shown us, life can easily be taken away. From now until I’m old and wrinkly, if I hear an MJ song I will dance and sing to the best of my ability and I apologize to innocent bystanders who might have to suffer because of that.
If you will excuse the pun, Michael Jackson was a smooth criminal who stole the hearts of listeners all over the world. He will be truly missed. I only wish for the best for his family and his children in this hard time. We love you Michael Jackson and you will live on in the veins of our music. You will always be remembered as the one and only King of Pop.