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Is There Anyone Big Enough?

I must admit to being completely mesmerized by the Michael Jackson mess. Michael's entire family seems completely nuts and, as a result, he lead a completely tragic existence. That said, boy could sing (and dance!) better than just about anyone. He definitely earned his title as the King of Pop.

Yesterday, Noisecreep sort of mused if anyone in rock (or metal) would get as much publicity as MJ when their fateful death day arrives. Let's face it, we're all going to end up on the other side of the dirt sooner of later - so we better rock out while we still have the chance!

That said, I don't think there's really any true Metal artists that will make a massive media impact upon death. In rock, things are a little more complicated. Paul McCartney has left a massive legacy and, come on, he's a Beatle. Then there's Mick Jagger, of the freaking Rolling Stones. Talk about legacy! Every modern hard rock or metal band owes a debt to Jagger. He paved the way for rock n' roll debauchery - if you like Glam, thank Mick.

Does anyone else really come close to Paul or Mick? Not really, but Steven Tyler is an option, and Axl Rose presents an interesting scenario because he possesses a mix of big fame and crazy behavior. Glam, the media loves some juicy celeb behavior. Over on Noisecreep, my friend Chris Harris thinks Ozzy Osbourne will make quite a splash. I'll agree he's a big celeb, but no longer for his music. He's now more known as the "nutty guy with a ridiculous reality show and a calculating business woman for a wife." Legacy? I dunno. Being an original member of Black Sabbath gives instant metal cred, I'll admit that. 

I can't think of anyone else - ok, *maybe* Eddie VanHalen - that would create a complete, 24 hour media feeding frenzy like what we're seeing in the wake of Jackson's death. Maybe that's a good thing, but I'm not so sure. I guess it speaks to the general acceptance of rock music overall. We've come a long baby, but we ain't there yet. There will always be people that just don't like rock or metal - and there's those who refuse to give it a chance. No one was particularly afraid of Jackson's music - it was so widely loved and accepted, it's almost mind boggling. There's a reason the guy had five number one records - and Billboard is reporting a 1735% increase in his song play on radio since Thursday. Of course, Jackson's antics and unique lifestyle made him a huge media target.

Perhaps we should be thankful none of our beloved rock stars are normal tabloid fodder? Thoughts?

Reader Comments (19)

In my opinion, I don't think anyone in metal will create anything near as big a splash. The metal men (and women) just aren't exposed to the media enough for people to really know them. When they die, sure the metal world will be sad, but the rest of the world I can guaruntee won't even notice.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucifer
Due to their current mainstream exposure, I think the two names that will cause the biggest ripple will be Ozzy and Gene Simmons but on a much smaller scale
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn
how is Michael Jackosn not more known for his "nutty Guy" antictsmore so than Ozzy? When Ozzy dies I will cry for days, and he NEVER molested countless children...
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
I have to agree with Lucifer and Glenn. The metal world just isn't as media saturated as Michael Jackson or the Jonas Brothers. Personally, I will mourn for weeks when Gene Simmons passes away, but that's because I'm a HUGE Kiss fan. The rest of the world will say "Oh, that's sad," and move on. And of course the haters will have their field day.

I think the only rock star who may get a small percentage of the coverage Jackson is getting in death is Bono from U2. It would also depend on how/when he died. If it was an unexpected heart attack, the coverage would be much more.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRyo Vie
I just don't know if anyone could make as big a splash as MJ. Mick Jagger would be huge, but Ozzy would be the biggest simply because of his media exposure and the circus that Sharon would make it.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJB
Readers: remember, Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges stemming from molestation allegations. Please be careful when making sweeping, criminal statements about Michael Jackson – or any musician.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
I'm having to believe MJ is the biggest and every day I'm getting more affirmation of this! HOWEVER, we have to remember, besides his musical and iconic legacy and the fact that he's been a popular entertainer since childhood, he has surrounded himself with a great deal of controversey and that makes for great media coverage. His music and talent are the topics on a lot of stations but most of the coverage on the news stations is surrounded by the drama he leaves behind (custody battles, finanical issues, estate issues). The untimely death certainly creates the media frenzy as well and just to think he was scheduled to make his comeback just three weeks away. TRAGIC! Next in line I would have to think would be Sir Paul. I do think the world could possibly stand still momentarily whenever the time comes that we lose Paul. Other than that I don't know of any musician who would create such a worldwide massive hysteria if having passed away. I do agree that losing Mick or Bono would have a proufound impact on a world wide level (then again I'm in agreement with whomever stated it depended on how and when they died). Untimely deaths are always the most tragic. I also think Madonna would be on the list as well.
For me when I think Michael Jackson, Madonna is right behind him (but maybe that's because I was a child of the 80s and there were none bigger in the 80s and 90s). But noone had mass crossover appeal among generations and of all races of ppl and who's music will CONTINUE to appeal to future generations like MJ did and will continue to do. He truly could be considered the biggest ever in history. I hate to say that b/c noone could ever beat ELVIS in that category (IMO) but I didn't live during the time of Elvis so for what I'm seeing now, this is the biggest death I've encountered in my lifetime. I remember when Princess Diana died and my word, was that so tragic but that was on such a different level than this just b/c that was more political and status and MJ is on the world wide level of possibly being the biggest entertainer ever. I do think MJ had more affect on a world wide basis than Elvis did but that's for an entirely differnt topic of conversation. Long live BOTH King's!
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Nikki Sixx... that is if he stays dead.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMotleyCrue666
I agree with Allyson. Michael Jackson was never found guilty of anything. So dont make stupid comments "Tommy". I know alot of famous people "musicians, actors, wrestlers, etc" and they will tell you that money hungry people make unspeakable allegations towards celebrities EVERY DAY. The celebrity can choose to fight it, get their name dragged through the mud, and ruin their career for being innocent. ALOT of these lawsuits get settled out of court and we never hear one word about it. Because sadly in this country we are guilty until proven innocent in the public eye. And unfortunately its easier and less image-tarnishing to settle out of court.
Does anybody really think Kobe Bryant raped that slut in Denver? I highly doubt it. They found 7 mens semen in her underwear for christs sake! But Kobe is worth millions upon millions of dollars so he was an easy target. Yes, Kobe did cheat on his wife, and that is wrong, but rape is a horrible, HORRIBLE allegation.
So people, dont throw around words like child molester without knowing the FACTS. If Michael did do those things I guess hes rotting in hell right now isnt he? But what if he didnt? Ask yourself that question just once. Wouldnt you be the horrible person saying those things if the man is truly innocent?
I think he never touched those boys inappropriately by the way. No, he shouldnt of slept in the same bed with them, that is wrong. But why do our minds automatically think sex? Because thats how "normal" society programs our brain. Michael never grew up in a "normal" society so he doesnt see it that way.
Think people think. Seriously. Michael was a great person and a musical genius. Long live the king of pop.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I would have to agree w/ RV Rock simply doesnt get the exposure that the pop stars do. Therefore it will only devestate our world. Perhaps Bono will get a mention for all that he has done outside the world of rock, but nothing in comparison to MJ.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDamnp78
Elton John has the worldwide appeal, but on a different level. Same for Bono and Mick Jagger. When Keith Richards kicks off, there will be tons of media coverage but it's the 2nd layer - the fans - that will mourn... And it's going to be like that for almost ANY star that dies.
Point being is that I don't think there IS anyone that will come close to the circus that's surrounded Michael Jackson's passing.
He was a phenominal performer that paved the road for many, many, many performers that followed. Nobody could touch his dance moves and up until about 1990 his music was inovative and crossed over and back many times. His personal life was a train wreck and he became the fodder of many jokes - we've all done it. I think his childhood was so fucked up by, in particular, that lizard of a father that it should be no surprise that he was emotionally unbalanced.
I miss the Michael Jackson of the late 70's Jackson 5 - bellbottoms and afros. I miss the Michael Jackson that stunned the world on the Mowtown 25 show when he debuted the moonwalk. I miss Dirty Diana with Steve Stevens and Black and White with Slash. I miss him for what could have been.
I'm sick of the media coverage but I can't stop watching. And I'm really bummed that I'll have to explain to my infant son one day who Michael Jackson was.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
I think there are 2 reasons that we will never see this level of media frenzy over a musician again:

1. I don't think anyone in the history of music (Elvis is a close second) generated anywhere close to MJ's level of mystique surrounding his personal life. And while Elvis was definitely an eccentric, MJ was a certifiable whack-job. He was been in the public eye constantly for the past 30 years.

2. No album will ever come close to selling as many units as Thriller did, which in my mind, equates to the general level of passion that exists about his music. Whether you love him or hate him, you've got an opinion about him and you know at least some of his music.

Other artists will definitely mourned and celebrated after they die, some more than others, but what we're seeing now is a complete circus.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Only a handful of rock stars have anything remotely comparable to Jacko's global recognition. Mick or Keef will get a lot of column inches worldwide (as demonstrated when the latter fell off a palm tree..) as would Page/Plant or Bono. Musicians would be out in their droves offering tributes to any of the above. The problem is that nobody really expected these guys to live as long as they have; fans won't feel as though there's a gaping hole in their lives simply because part of the ethos of a rock star is to 'die young'.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat
I said this before on another forum. If Axl had a succesful comeback and died (in fairly young age) it could create some buzz. He have - just as michael - had a lot of presscoverage even when he haven't been active and he is seen as a nutcase.

Probably wouldn't be as big though.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMartin
I think there's a twofold issue. First, mainstream appeal. Second, only Axl comes close to being as nuts as Michael was, which is what kept him in the limelight, in the tabloids, etc.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
On another front, I just youtubed 'state of shock', that was an awesome song.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
man MJ totally stole Farrah's thunder. theres been this pretty messed up but pretty funny text goin around that says
"When Farrah Fawcett died and went to heaven God gave her one wish and she wished that all the children in the world will be safe. So God killed Michael Jackson"
July 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrüe düde
How you heard about Paul Weller, Ian Brown, Noel and Liam Gallagher?
July 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVince
it will pale in comparison to mj but what about Angus Young?
July 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrued

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