It’s a Michael Jackson-less world.
He was a prodigy, a musical genius who achieved in music what most don’t have the imagination to even dream of. It’s inconceivable to think that an entertainer, who started out so young with a talent so far beyond his years, could live on to create a perpetual legacy of music that spanned decades and lifetimes for billions of people around the world.
I could easily say that I grew up with Michael Jackson, and that his music was the soundtrack of my life. I was five years old when my dad bought me a VHS (yes, a VHS) of Thriller and the Making of Thriller.
I was hooked for life.
He was an entertainer in the truest sense of the word, and I spent hours of my childhood glued to the television, never wanting to miss a turn, or point of the finger, or shake of the head.
I was captivated by his ability to entertain, memorized every note of every song he sang, and watched everything he did; from his audition for Motown, in which he gave James Brown a serious run for his money, to his memorable Motown 25 performance, in which he lit the stage with stardust, taking the moonwalk for its very first flight.
And from my Michael Jackson Wall of Fame right by my bed, to my Michael Jackson Fan Club in which I was the one and only member- simplistically put, I adored him.
His unforgettable journey to fame and the tumultuous time he spent there was marked with sadness, accusations, and betrayal. And to me it was amazing how quickly so many turned their backs on a person who did so much for our world.
Simply calling him the King of Pop is a grave injustice, overshadowing his vast humanitarian efforts. From 1979 to 2003, Michael Jackson both donated and raised over 17.6 million dollars- and that was just in the United States. His generous hand reached out to millions of others around the world, children ravaged by hunger, and families destroyed by loss.
And to a world whose cries for help were often times unheard, Michael Jackson listened and cared enough to make a change.
Not even twenty four hours after his death, I’m still in shock, as is the rest of this world. For the sake of sounding dramatic, it truly feels like I lost a childhood friend.
Even though his beginnings were humble, his talent, imaginative foresight, and overwhelming generosity sky rocketed him to a “globe”- wide stardom that could only be described as epic. There is much to be said of an entertainer who could continually captivate billions of people for over four decades through music.
My only hope is that instead of focusing on the controversy that was the latter years of his life, people remember him for the magic and the hope, the talent and the heart, and the pure genius that was Michael Jackson.
And may he truly rest in peace.
By: Keldine Hull