The King of Pop is dead.
A quick scan of my cds and iTunes reveals not a single Michael Jackson tune in my collection, however, his talent was undeniable and we are lucky he graced us all with it.
Who has never rocked to an MJ tune or tapped a toe it? I’ve ripped up dance floors in Montreal, New York and recently in Hiroshima to Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough. I know I can’t dance but that Jackson tune oozes cool and you just need to trust the beat and his voice and it guarantees fun.
With every hockey or baseball player that retires or enters a hall of fame, it is a subtle reminder that people my age are getting older. You end up watching an entire career, from fresh-faced rookie to grizzled veteran and you do not notice the time pass. The same goes with hearing the death of someone like Jackson.
He was a talent who already was a big deal when I discovered him in the mid-1980s. His death is a touchstone moment, one of those, “where were you when…”, well, I was in my car and my sister informed me via text. Where were you?
The Thriller video is still incredible. Songs like ABC 123 always raise a smile and the grooves in Billie Jean, Bad and Beat It still stand the test of time. How about “the jacket” and “the glove”? What was your favourite thing about Jackson?
It is a shame he became freakish and was mired and muddied by molestation allegations and bizarre behaviour but his cultural impact cannot be ignored. He changed pop music and launched many careers by inspiring artists, from Justin Timberlake to Weird Al Yankovic.
Forget the tabloid stories and celebrate the artist.
The King of Pop is dead but his music will reign for generations to come.
Beautiful sketch of a young Michael by artist CarinaT.