Micheal Jackson Is No More

Posted: June 26, 2009 in Jackson 5, King Of Pop Micheal Jackson, Micheal Jackson, music
Tags: ,


Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, pauses for a moment before a news conference held after the death of Micheal Jackson in LA.

A fan cries holding a wax replica of Micheal Jackson outside of Madame Tussaud’s Museum.

An unidentified man holds up a Micheal Jackson poster outside the UCLA Medical Center.

Young Michael Jackson performs at opening night of his Victory Tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, 1984. At Right: A man embraces Jermaine Jackson, brother of Michael Jackson after a news conference that annouced the star’s death at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Michael Jackson, the sensationally gifted child star who rose to become the “King of Pop” and the biggest celebrity in the world only to fall from his throne in a freakish series of scandals, died on Thursday. He was 50.

Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center after being stricken at his rented home in Holmby Hills. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him at his home for nearly three-quarters of an hour, then rushed him to the hospital, where doctors continued to work on him.

“It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known,” his brother Jermaine said. Police said they were investigating, standard procedure in high-profile cases.

Jackson’s death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music’s premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

At the time of his death, Jackson was rehearsing hard for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13.

As word of his death spread, MTV switched its programming to play videos from Jackson’s heyday. Radio stations began playing marathons of his hits. Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital. In New York’s Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone.

From Jackson 5 to numero uno

The public first knew him as a boy in the late 1960s, when he was the precocious, spinning lead singer of the Jackson 5, the singing group he formed with his four older brothers out of Gary, Indiana. Among their No. 1 hits were I Want You Back, ABC and I’ll Be There.

He was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation, known for his backward-gliding moonwalk, his feverish, crotch-grabbing dance moves and his high-pitched singing, punctuated with squeals and titters. His single sequined glove, tight, military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses were trademarks, as was his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance.

“For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words,” said Quincy Jones, who produced Thriller. “He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Jackson ranked alongside Elvis Presley and the Beatles as the biggest pop sensations of all time. He united two of music’s biggest names when he was briefly married to Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, and Jackson’s death immediately evoked comparisons to that of Presley himself, who died at age 42 in 1977.

As years went by, Jackson became an increasingly freakish figure — a middle-aged man-child weirdly out of touch with grown-up life. His skin became lighter, his nose narrower, and he spoke in a breathy, girlish voice. He often wore a germ mask while traveling, kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions, and surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, a storybook playland filled with toys, rides and animals. The tabloids dubbed him Wacko Jacko.

Jackson caused a furor in 2002 when he playfully dangled his infant son, Prince Michael II, over a hotel balcony in Berlin while a throng of fans watched from below.

In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003. Despite the acquittal, the lurid allegations that came out in court took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.

Jackson was 4 years old when he began singing with his brothers — Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito — in the Jackson 5. After his early success with bubblegum soul, he struck out on his own, generating innovative, explosive, unstoppable music.

His 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide.

The album Thriller alone mixed the dark, serpentine bass and drums and synthesizer approach of Billie Jean,” the grinding Eddie Van Halen solo on Beat It, and the hiccups and falsettos on Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.

The peak may have come in 1983, when Motown celebrated its 25th anniversary with an all-star televised concert and Jackson moonwalked off with the show, joining his brothers for a medley of old hits and then leaving them behind with a pointing, crouching, high-kicking, splay-footed, crotch-grabbing run through Billie Jean.

The audience stood and roared. Jackson raised his fist.

By then he had cemented his place in pop culture. He got the plum Scarecrow role in the 1978 movie musical The Wiz, a pop-R&B version of The Wizard of Oz, that starred Diana Ross as Dorothy.

During production of a 1984 Pepsi commercial, Jackson’s scalp sustains burns when an explosion sets his hair on fire.

He had strong follow-up albums with 1987’s Bad and 1991’s Dangerous, but his career began to collapse in 1993 after he was accused of molesting a boy who often stayed at his home. The singer denied any wrongdoing, reached a settlement with the boy’s family, reported to be $20 million, and criminal charges were never filed.

Jackson’s expressed anger over the allegations on the 1995 album HIStory, which sold more than 2.4 million copies, but by then, the popularity of Jackson’s music was clearly waning, even as public fascination with his increasingly erratic behavior was growing.

Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde said Jackson’s star power was unmatched. “The world just lost the biggest pop star in history, no matter how you cut it,” Werde said. “He’s literally the king of pop.”

Jackson’s 13 No. 1 one hits on the Billboard charts put him behind only Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Mariah Carey, Werde said.

“He was on the eve of potentially redeeming his career a little bit,” he said. “People might have started to think of him again in a different light.”

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Comments
  1. Bernie says:

    Even days after Michael’s death, I’m still trying to convince myself that he is already gone. I’ve been looking forward to seeing him perform again after all that sufferings he has gone through… Watching the memorial crushed my heart cause from there i knew, and i have to accept that he really bade us goodbye… I know how excited he really was to be performing for us again. He has made such great efforts to give again his best for us… Well, I guess, I must admit… I would feel somehow relieved, because I know, wherever he may be… he has found the peace he has been looking for. Where there is true and pure love that he deserve… in God’s loving embrace… Everyone of us, will miss him so much, but he will remain in our hearts forever.

    Like

  2. james says:

    So sad….i’ve been crying for sometime when this news started to settle in.

    Like

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