In our era, Michael Jackson was our King of Pop. He was our icon and our trendsetter.
He was our inspiration as well as our gossip. He broke racial barriers and touched
millions around the globe.
On Thursday June 25, 2009 at the age of 50, Michael has passed away and he is now
our legend. It is so amazing how one man can impact the world with songs, a glove
and the moonwalk. How one man can present political, heartwarming, charitable and
motivating speeches through his songs? There were public figures that had many of
us mourn for them but to have the whole world mourn for you is extraordinary. The
last individual I can think of that has had an impact so profound was Princess Diana.
The death of Michael Jackson made people around the world weep for him even those
that didn't know him. How amazing can one man be to have people mourn in unison and
don't know him except through his music? How amazing can one individual be to have
such an affect over people?
People adored him. We watched Michael grow up from a young musical genius to an incredibly
intense adult musical icon. We watched Michael through his awkward stages, engaged
in rumors and allegations towards his character. We defended him without even knowing
him. Can someone tell me how amazing
one man can be where he can impact millions of people of all ages, color and creed
and we do not even know him? Yet, in some sense we do.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He was the 7th
of 9 children born to foe and Katherine Jackson who raised them as Jehovah Witness.
Joe was your typical stage father who had his children rehearse feverishly and was
a strict disciplinarian, which the children later voiced in their careers.
Michael started recitals when he was five and did lead vocals with The Jackson 5
at age eight. The Jackson 5 consisted of Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Jackie
and later it included Randy. They toured from 1966 - 1968 and signed with Motown
in that year. Their number 1 singles were T Want You Back', 'ABC, 'The Love You Save'
and Til Be There.'
Michael was most compared to singers such as Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder and James Brown
because of his fancy footwork, gospel and R&B sound. Michael appealed to every one,
especially women of all ages. It was hard not to love him.
In 1975, the Jackson 5 left Motown and went to Epic Records, which then was CBS Records.
They then changed their names to The Jacksons. They released 6 albums from 1976 -
1984. In the meantime, Michael starred as the Scarecrow in 'The Wiz' along with Diana
Ross playing Dorothy in 1978. There he met Quincy Jones who did the musical score
and who later produced Michaels' debut solo
album. It would be hard for a child singer to make his mark as an adult solo artist.
But Michael had proven he can face all odds, as Michael continuously has done. Michael
came out in 1979 with his debut solo album, 'Off The Wall'. It included hits like
the infectious 'Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough' and 'Rock With You'.
Michael had many accomplishments during his career. He received 3 awards at The American
Music Awards, his album Thriller came out in 1982 and was in the Top 10 on Billboard
200 for 80 consecutive weeks, with 7 singles on Billboard Hot 100 - 'Billie Jean',
'Beat It' and 'Wanna Be Startin' Something'.
Thriller remains to be the world's best selling record. His video for Thriller helped
make MTV famous and changed the face of video forever. He was the first African American
to crossover on MTV. Along with his musical accomplishments, Michaels' dance moves
further put him on the map. He made his
signature moonwalk, which he debut in 1983 at 'Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever'
and the robot
popular to millions. Michael Jackson influenced many R&B, Pop and Hip Hop entertainers
until this day.