Arts and Entertainment

“The King of Pop”: The man, the glove, the legend

By Michelle Mandeau
Published: September 2009

What happens to music when the “King of Pop dies? If this seems like a trick question, that’s because it is. Michael Jackson was by far one of the greatest singers of our generation, past generations, and undoubtedly, generations to come.

The day Michael passed, the whole world was devastated; Facebook and Twitter statuses were changed, every news station was reporting on it, and of course, radio stations played his greatest hits non-stop.
One of the main reasons that Michael’s music remains so influential today, even though the majority of his songs were created in the 1980′s, is because they’re easy to relate to. It doesn’t matter what music taste someone prefers because no matter what, each of his songs is pack with so much emotion and realism that it is almost instantly captivating.

Michael is one of the only artists who, ever since he was a young child, has let his full potential shine. Whether it was through The Jackson 5, the movie-musical The Wiz, or his solo career, Michael never gave his fans a performance that was less than perfect.

His father, Joe Jackson, who worked Michael from a young age to hone his singing voice and dance moves impacting the other aspects of Michael’s life and career. As Michael grew, however, his insecurities did as well, and it became apparent that the hard work Mr. Jackson forced upon Michael did make him strive to be the best he could be, but nonetheless, scarred him in the long run.

His music was more genuine and unique compared to other artists of his time. In the beginning of his solo career, the upbeat tempos and heartfelt ballads filled albums such as Off the Wall and Thriller.

While I still like the creativity in Michael’s earlier albums, his later albums Bad and HIStory hold a much greater impact over me because of the intimate lyrics found in songs such as “Smooth Criminal and “The Way You Make Me Feel. These songs are much more personal and easier to relate to as a result of the media constantly portraying Michael in a negative light.

With numerous plastic surgeries, a skin condition, and child molestation charges, Michael tried to live as secluded as he could, a hard feat for someone of his stature. The hard times Michael went through, though, translate perfectly into songs such as “Black or White, “You Are Not Alone, “Man in the Mirror, and many more.

The biggest problem with Micahel’s career, however, is that people started to only see him for his flaws, not for his talent. It wasn’t until recently, when he was gone, that the international superstar became fully recognized just for his music.

At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, the show opened with Madonna giving a speech about Michael. The audience erupted into applause and tears when, in the first line of her speech, the superstar mentioned Michael’s name.

After Madonna spoke, Michael’s sister Janet, along with numerous dancers from Michael’s previous tours, gave a tribute performance to honor the “King and his greatness. The passion from the performers lasted throughout the night, never letting Michael’s soul leave the building.

Another way Michael will be remembered is through the movie This Is It, which follows his preparations for his last tour. Instead of thinking of the movie as the last time Michael will “be in concert, I know I will watch it as a reminder that no one will ever live up to the legend he was.

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