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Remembering Michael Jackson

There really isn’t anyone bigger in the music world than Michael Jackson.

People become fascinated with celebrity: bigger than life stars that lead seemingly much better lives than our own. It’s always fun to dream of being rich and famous: owning a private jet, buying fancy clothes, traveling the world. And yet, celebrities lack one thing the rest of us have in abundance: privacy.

Michael Jackson lived his life running from the cameras. He had millions of rabid fans and most would do anything to meet him. Jackson responded to his fame in weird ways to be sure. There was the plastic surgery, the skin issues, the Elephant Man...and the child molestation allegations. Those molestation allegations set to derail Jackson and his career – but really nothing will be able to cancel his legacy when it comes to his place in music history.

At his core, Michael Jackson was all about the music - and the money that came from it.  Everything else was all secondary – and tabloid reporters were nearly rabid in their efforts to gain a juicy scoop on Jackson. In all those tabloids reports of Jackson’s eccentricity – his musical talents and all those Grammy Awards were forgotten.

We shouldn’t forget Jackson’s immense talent. In fact, he’s a once in a lifetime talent. A brilliant manipulator or both pop and rock. He was able to mold pop harmonies with rock guitar to create a bridge between the two genres. Metal fans might not point to Jackson as a favorite artist – but most of the musicians I’ve interviewed specifically list him by name as an influence.

As the news of Jackson’s death broke and details started to unfolded, I watched the news like everyone else – and then I went to work, reaching out to musicians and publicists to get their opinion on the matter. Jackson leaves behind an immense catalog of work. He was a pop culture icon, and deservedly so. The self-proclaimed King of Pop was about to embark on a 50 city European tour that sold out in seconds. Not many acts sell out shows these days – let alone in under a minute.

Of course, the days ahead will be most interesting. After the shock is over and news dissipates – the focus will shift to Jackson’s kids and his estate. Clearly, a long legal battle will ensue and the kids will most likely be bandied about in every different direction. That’s the real tragedy here.

Let’s not forget Jackson recorded with some of the musicians we love – especially Steve Stevens and Slash. A couple hours after Jackson’s death, Slash Tweeted “Really sad news about Michael, he was a talent from on high.” See, true music lovers appreciate talent across genres. Thank Glam we have so much music to enjoy.



Reader Comments (6)

Woke up this morning with a lot of texts, all of them saying Michael Jackson has died. I only just found out, I still can barely believe it, the man was such a legend!
June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucifer
I am still in such a state of shock over this news. Just this past February, I bought Thriller on vinyl for one of my best friend's daughter's who turned 10 and I told her, this is the greatest selling record of all time, I know you'll love it! There are so very few albums that could reach generation after generation such as Thriller did and I believe will continue to do so.

Truly this man was unlike no other and from the Jackson 5 to his own legendary, iconic solo career. There will never be another performer, artist that set the bar as he did, that broke revolutionary ground in the entertainment industry such as he did, that was more influential as he was (of my generation that is and possibly going forward as well). As you watch the news and get to see the footage of his career and life, it really just sends chills up your spine at some of the great talents this man had the pleasure to work with (from artists to producers to directors, etc). I'm convinced MTV wouldn't have taken off like it did without Michael Jackson. I'd so love to see the first group of MTV vj's (RIP JJ) come back to do a special b/c they were there for the beginning of what we'll never see again in pop/music culture. No, I was never a die hard King of Pop fan, nor did I ever see him live, but as a die hard fan of music you can not ignore what this man accomplished and his record breaking impact on the entire music industry. This is a very very sad time for all fans of music around the world and I can say that I feel truly blessed to have been a child of the 80's when Thriller came out and to have been able to experience the MJ phenomenon in my life time. There will never be another.
June 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkari
A truly sad day for music fans everywhere. I remember sitting on my grandmas floor watching Thriller on MTV. I was mesmerized. I even had a red leather jacket and a single sequin glove that I wore to school every day as a kindergartner. Michael was one of a kind, Yes, he was a strange man and had many problems in his later years. But there is no denying the magnitude of his career. Michael was a legend, an icon, and a shining star above all others. RIP Mike.
June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Not to bring anyone down, but as a father I have major issues with the molestation allegations. I understand everything he did and appreciate the music, butI can see nothing but the faces of those small children and what Micheal/their parents may or may not have done to them. There was one man in the crowd outside the hospital last night that had a sign, "What if it was your kids?." Thats pretty much where I stand.
June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJB
i recently bought the LP of thriller as well... it amazes me how many hits he had on that album alone... the man was a legend and his songs will go on forever!

"Thriller Nights!"
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
nice choice with Dirty Diana vid, definatly most glam style video from MJ. Guitarists look so cool in leather and hairspray.
July 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

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