By this time the article is published, you may have got to the point of screaming, "Enough of MJ! He's dead!" Is he?
Facebook, Twitter and Google almost broke down when the news and tweets around Michael Joseph Jackson's death flooded the internet on June 25. Those who are around 35 to 45 years old were held in disbelief, shocked, and even deep mourn. The younger generation, though, took it no more than just another CNN Breaking News, and hoped the media frenzy would soon be over, to replace the slots with Lady Gaga's music video.
Why is the suspected child molester so important? Why is the loss of this weird looking, neither-black-nor-white, neither-man-nor-woman creature being grieved over so deeply? What's so special with that high-pitch squealing vocal, and lame 80's-style disco moves?
Ask it to any African, and chances are you will get slapped on your face. They will remind you that once this moonwalker collaborated with Lionel Richie to write "We are the World" – sung by the biggest names in that era, sold over 7 million copies, and the benefits proceeded for famine-relief in their continent. That song had brought global awareness of the sufferings in Africa, even to the most ignorant teenager in the suburb of Iowa.
Ask it to any music producer, and chances are you will get a lecture on pop-music history. They will remind you how the boy who got whipped by his father's leather belt to practice his vocal and moves had released in 1982 – the best-selling solo album in music history. Ever. It was sold 104 million copies, with the title track remained No. 1 in music chart for 37 weeks in total. The music video of "Beat It" was the first one by African-American artist to appear on MTV – making Jackson "the Obama of music industry".
Ask it to any modern day world leaders, and chances are you will be forced to listen to "Man in the Mirror". They will make you repeat the chorus again, and again: "I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways …. If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change!" Written and sung when Jackson reached the very peak of his career and life, the song displays his most powerful vocals and technique to bring the most accessible social statements that won't stop echoing for decades.
Jackson may have fallen so far from his throne, but the crown of King of Pop will never find another head. He's touched many, and sometimes got too literal, but who are we to judge a man whose efforts mattered so much to the world, and had inspired global icons, spiritual leaders, international artists, and musicians and performers like Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Craig David, and the likes? Before you address any kind of judgement, take a look at the man in your mirror, and ask him what he has done for the world, and millions of its population.This is the unedited version of the article published in Maximillian magazine August/September 2009 issue