It still has not hit me. It feels so strange. Michael Jackson is dead. He was only 50years old, a milestone age. He just celebrated the 25th anniversaryof "Thriller," the best-selling albumof all time, and re-released it in February.
He was scheduled to start his show run in London in a few weeks.
Maybe Michael's career had reached its peak, but I was not convinced thathe was done with music. When he turned 50 last August, I did a series of interviews withradio stations. All of the DJs asked me if I thought Michael Jackson could makea comeback. They wanted to know if he could get past the controversies thatdominated his news coverage over the last 10-plus years. My answer was amatter-of-fact "yes."
People often underestimate the power of music, and theeffect that it has on us. We sometimes forget how a great song with a feel-goodmessage lifts us up, and makes us smile and remember the place we had the most fundancing to it and with whom.
Michael Jackson is one of the few artists in the history ofthe art form to be able to take one song, like "Billie Jean," and reach peopleof all age groups, races, and nationalities.
Michael has done this time and time again for decades, as botha solo artist and member of The Jackson 5.
This type of legacy cannot be erased by even the mosthorrible of charges and allegations. His music and performances are historicand forever engrained in our hearts.
Rick Sanchez, a floor manager at the popular Amoeba Music inHollywood, says that his staff was "equallyshocked" when they heard the news of Jackson'spassing. "A lot of people are buying his music which usually happens in thesesituations," Sanchez says, referring to the breaking news of a musician's death.
Sanchez adds that all of Jackson's music always sells well at hislocation.
Rosemary Jean-Louis, a Michael Jackson fan and blogger from Atlanta, is nervous, hoping the news reports that Jackson has died are nottrue. "I don't want to believe it because it's Michael Jackson," Jean-Louissays. "He has been the guy considered invincible who always seems to come back.He is only 50. He was on the verge of such a big comeback with his concerts. Nomatter what he's gone through or what the crazy circumstances and dark periodof his life with that poor trial-that taken aside-he is one of the musicalgeniuses of our times, truly the King of Pop."
I never learned to do his moonwalk dance move, but like everyoneelse, I was blown away when I saw him unveil it on Motown's famous 25th anniversary TV special in 1984.
I was too shy of a kid to get one of the red-and-blackstripped jackets like the one he wore in the "Thriller" video, but I thought it was cool.
I did, however, have an afro Jheri curl in 1979, when Jacksonreleased his album "Off the Wall," which included jams like "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" and "Workin' Day andNight." I was 10, and whenever the high school girls on my block told me that Iwas cute and looked like Michael Jackson, I blushed and took it as a hugecompliment.
My 6 1/2-year-old twins know and love his music as do therest of us. This will never change.
I know he had been dealing with a lot these last few years.I hope that at the time of his passing he was in a happy place. Reportedly,he had been rehearsing in Los Angeles for thelast two months, preparing for his Londondates. His 50-year-old life may have been short, but it was impactful. His accomplishments aretremendous.
I offer my sincere condolences to his children, parents,siblings, and other family members, and to his friends and fans.
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