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Michael Jackson, You Will Be Missed
How does one figure out what to say upon hearing of the passing of someone like Michael Jackson? Even that claim doesn’t make sense; there is, and never will be, anyone else like Michael Jackson.
There aren’t many celebrities that we can look up to and come close to what Michael Jackson has meant to so many of us throughout our lives. The closest names we can think of are Brooke Shields and Sammy Davis, Jr. They make the list because they have been in the public eye since they were children, Brooke with her first commercials at the age of 10, and Sammy when he performed with his father and band mates from the age of 3. However, none of them ever reached quite the significance of Michael Jackson.
For example, Michael Jackson, in a strange way, aged in reverse, almost like Benjamin Button, the movie with Brad Pitt. As a child, he was already an adult beyond his years, helping the family make deals, being the leader of his singing group from the age of 5, and singing and dancing as if he was already an experienced performer years older than him. could be close to.
Compare that to the Michael Jackson who took the world by storm with the album Thriller, the man-child who, now that he had unlimited wealth, decided not to be made to grow up. He built the ultimate children’s paradise in Neverland Ranch, and then invited children, as playmates, to come and play with him. Then, over the years, as he continued to age, he fought it by later having children of his own, and playing with them as if he was still the biggest kid in the room.
Beyond all that, however, was the music, and the dancing. He touched our souls, first with his brothers. From the time when America heard “I Want You Back”, then saw them in the Ed Sullivan Show, it was already determined that there was no comparison with family groups that came before them, such as the Osmond Brothers or the Gibb Brothers. Indeed, this was something drastically different; these guys had a soul, and its forerunner was called Michael.
Who did not remember the soulful way in which that childish man sang love ballads with the emotion of someone who had actually lived through them? Songs like “I’ll Be There” and “Got To Be There” would make you cry if you were allowed to cry as a young man; the girls did cry. The ballads would be balanced with songs like “ABC” or “Dancing Machine” where everyone I knew was trying to figure out how he did that special robot dance that even his brothers couldn’t imitate.
Then we moved on, and saw Michael Jackson and his brothers grow, and grow, leaving Motown and establishing themselves as an independent force with three group albums, one of which included the number one hit that helped close out the ’70s. called “Shake Your Body Down To The Ground.” Who could have known that this would be the last truly great song the Jackson brothers would have as a group, and what was to come for their brother Michael?
what happened Most people don’t know this, but the music industry has crashed. Record sales didn’t do all that well. We all learned how to record music from the radio, and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t completely clear. MTV came out, and we started watching videos. But there was no black music on MTV except for one old video of Jimi Hendrix playing a song that few people remembered, “Do You Experience”. Then CBS Records, to which Michael Jackson moved as an independent musical force, gave an ultimatum to MTV; play Michael Jackson’s video or never play another CBS Records artist’s video.
That it had to come to this is shocking, especially in light of the fact that Michael’s second solo album (he had the album “Ben” released as a solo album back in the early 70s) went to number one and produced four chart toppers. hits, including “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”. Sure, MTV had its concerns; the first song released from the album, “The Girl Is Mine” with Paul McCartney, was not quite the style of music that MTV wanted to associate itself with, even if the song went to number one.
If someone with his pedigree couldn’t get on MTV, what would it be worth? CBS rested many hopes on the back of Michael Jackson, and then bullied MTV into putting “Billie Jean” on its station.
To say it was an instant success is an understatement. People loved the driving beat to the song, and saw a much different looking, grown up performer than what they were used to. Then they saw him perform at the Motown 25th Anniversary Show, and the rest is history. Thriller sold more albums than any other record in history, breaking so many records that will never be broken, and saving the record industry. Actually, if you look at the true golden age of music, it would be the period between when Michael Jackson released Thriller and when he released the Bad album. That was the period of the mega-album; without Thriller, Prince’s Purple Rain album, Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA album and U2’s Joshua Tree may never have sold the number of albums they did. Thriller was to the album of the 80s, what Saturday Night Fever of the Bee Gees was to the age of disco, and the album Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton did for rock.
What was the difference? Michael Jackson didn’t just make music; he did dance. And he did it better than anyone else ever except Gene Kelly. The dance made the music part of our lives, and extended the popularity of both Michael Jackson and his craft. And what made it so special is that we got to see the development of the artist right before our eyes. Many of us grow up with him, and that made him special to us. We could remember what was happening in our lives when his songs came out, and how they made us feel better.
And he came back to us more and more often. We had Dangerous; we had HISTORY. We had Invincible. We had the videos. We had “We Are The World”. We had more coming, and we were all looking forward to it, except for the next concerts, which he said were the last hurrah.
And then it was gone in an instant. No one saw it coming, that’s for sure. Two days after Ed McMahon, hours after Farrah Fawcett, and with the knowledge of how sick Walter Cronkite was, who could believe the latest news reports that Michael Jackson was taken to the hospital after cardiac arrest? Who could believe the rumors that he is in a coma? Who could believe the rumors that he had passed away? And he had a cardiologist with him? Unthinkable.
However, it was true, and it shocked us. It made us look at our mortality. It made us feel bad. But we weren’t ready to feel bad. Instead, we wanted to feel good because deep down, we know he did all this for us from the beginning. He hasn’t seemed, personally, like the happiest guy in the world for the last decade. With good reason, it seems, things we don’t get into. And yet, when all was said and done, all he cared about, besides his children, were his fans. He wanted us to enjoy him, his music, his dancing, and everything he had to offer us.
If you’re like me, once you got over the initial shock and had to pull yourself away from all the overwhelming news, you pulled out your Michael Jackson music, the solo stuff and the band stuff, the songs he did with others like that. like “We Are The World” and “State Of Shock” with Mick Jagger and “Scream” with his sister Janet, and we listened to those songs over and over again. I listened for days; I’m still listening a week later.
As a younger person, I did the same thing. I would buy the latest Jackson Five album, or the latest Michael Jackson album, the day it came out and I would play it on repeat for weeks. Then, when everyone else caught on, I would feel special because I already had it. I didn’t have to wait to see if I would like certain songs first; I bought it because I knew he wouldn’t let me down, that he would have songs that I just had to have in my life.
Until the end, he controlled my emotions. He helped make me happy. He helped make me reflect on different aspects of my life. He made me think about things like racism and poverty and violence. He helped make me whole. And I wasn’t alone. He touched the world, the most famous entertainer in history, bigger than Elvis, maybe bigger than Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan and Princess Diana. In the first week after his death, 9 of the top 10 albums on the Billboard charts were Michael Jackson-related albums. That didn’t happen with Elvis passing away.
It is difficult to fully convey what Michael Jackson meant to my life and the lives of others in a few words; look at how many words this has already taken, and there is much more that can be said. Michael Jackson was all about us. He sacrificed his life, his privacy, his happiness so we could all feel better about our lives. It doesn’t get more selfless than that. RIP, Michael; we will miss you more than we will ever know.
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