Micheal Jackson was equally adored and ridiculed like no one else. He made society respectful to the African-American people, but he passed away as a white guy. Controversy and unconventional lifestyle characterized more than half of his lifetime, but his extraordinary dance skills and singing talent elevated him to heights undreamt of. He was humiliated and shattered by the tabloids because of his alleged relationships with children, but he sold over 750 millions copies worldwide. Michael Jackson passed away shockingly at the age of 50, on June 25, 2009, but his legacy goes beyond ordinary obituaries, exceeding the limits of human perception.
Jacko, as his fans loved to call him, started his fascinating career in 1969, at the age of 11 with The Jackson Five. Although he was the youngest of the five Jackson brothers, he stood out for his incredible dance moves and his high-pitched voice. In 1979, he released his first solo album, ‘Off The Wall’ that sold 20 million copies worldwide and went 7x Platinum in the U.S. However, Jacko’s career soared to the sky with ‘Thriller’, released in 1982, the album with the highest record sales in the history of music.
‘Thriller’ sold nearly 107 million copies worldwide, stayed #1 for 37 weeks and went 28x Platinum. Because of its enormous success, ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat It’ were the first video clips ever aired on MTV by an African-American artist, which, in effect, opened the way for the Black community to gain mainstream acknowledgment. It also enabled the promotion and development of R&B, hip-hop and pop music.
After ‘Thriller’, Jacko released another four albums, ‘Bad’ in 1987, ‘Dangerous’ in 1991, ‘History’ in 1995 and ‘Invincible’ in 2001. However, none had the huge success and insight of ‘Thriller’ although many singles hit #1 of the UK and U.S. Billboard 200 Charts as well as #1 of U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
But Michael Jackson was so much more than that.
With his moves, his unparalleled choreography and his plastic body, Jacko captured the mood of pop culture. Moving like he had no bones as he was moonwalking under the white glare of the concert lights, adorned in his gold-plate military style jacket and his single sparkling glove, his white shirt or his gold uniform, looking invincible as the air was blowing on his curly hair and whitish face, while the special effects were playing games with the audience behind him, Jacko’s live performances were an unforgettable experience that was lighting up the stage.
Apart from his revolutionary dancing style and stage presence, Jacko featured a completely innovative way the video clips would be used from his time onwards. Featuring complex dance routines, special effects and many super-competent dancers and always narrating the story of his song in image clips, Jackson transformed video clips into an art form that could promote his musical talent and his future influence on pop music.
However, controversy came ahead of time in the glow of Michael Jackson. Since the times of The Jackson Five, his father and manager of the group would beat him with a belt to improve his dance routines. Later on, Jacko suffered numerous plastic surgeries that made his skin incredibly thinner causing him an overall bad health condition. On the top of everything, he was accused of molesting young boys and having an alleged encounter with actor, Macaulay Culkin. Jacko was found non-guilty as charged, but his assets declined severely, dividing public opinion.
Having won 197 awards during his 40-year career, Michael Jackson was ready to return on stage. Unfortunately, he never made it to London. His sudden death was as shocking as his success. His American fans in Los Angeles gathered outside UCLA Medical Center to express their support and anger for the loss of a dear friend, of a dearest icon. Many of them were doing his famous moonwalking and were singing his smash hits with tears in their eyes. Japanese fans were lighting candles to honor his memory, while all European channels had tributes to Michael Jackson, the phenomenon, the ‘King of Pop’.
Jacko will be soon forgotten for his legal woes and he will be remembered for his unprecedented contribution to global pop culture and humanitarian work. It’s true that he has been mocked for his plastic surgeries, his skin color changing and his cheekbone and nose thinning. Many people were laughing at him saying he would break in pieces on stage in his forthcoming concerts, on July 2010. Media was harsh on him, maybe harsher than what they have been on really ‘bad’ guys, although Jacko had always been a sweet-talking person, genuinely wonderful and compassionate. Besides, having supported 39 charity organizations through sponsorships or donation, and having cared so genially for the children of our world, Jacko’s humanitarian work was great. But, media always choose to show the dark side of the moon because this is what sells so much more. And if he hadn’t passed away so abruptly, we wouldn’t have known so many glorious details of his troubled life and what a great person he was after all.
His fans always stood next to him, supporting him, never believing a word about him being a molester, swearing he suffered from vitiligo, lupus, anorexia nervosa, and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
His enemies stood against him, attacking him, disregarding his talent and judging him only for his eccentric acts and alleged accusations. Only Michael Jackson knows the truth about him. All of us, whether we stand for or against him, we have a common truth: If it wasn’t for him, African-American artists would need another twenty years to see their video clips aired on MTV or their work promoted on radio and TV shows. If it wasn’t for him, money would have never been raised for AIDS like it happened in 1986 with his ‘We Are the World’ campaign and Africa would have to wait way too long for money to be raised for starving children.
If it wasn’t for him, for his explosive dance grooves, his unmatched voice, his unequalled passion on stage, his constant influence on music and fashion, his contribution to the social equality and demolition of racial barriers, pop culture would never be the same. It would perhaps have the philosophy to progress, but the skills were instilled by a boy born on Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958.
The ‘King of Pop’ keeps on moonwalking; only we cannot see him anymore. Rest in peace, Michael Jackson. We are so grateful for all you taught us.
BIO – Gary Vine Interviews and promotes unsigned artists along with writing about established musicians. To read more interviews and music news visit http://www.megamusicnews.com or see which unsigned musicians we are promoting at http://www.megamusicdiscovers.com