Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Dead At the Age of 50

This has been a devastating week for the entertainment world. After the news of the deaths of Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett, I think many of us were thinking the "death always comes in 3s" theory. Who would have guessed that the 3rd would be Michael Jackson.

When I first found out, I literally started to shake a little bit. When the L.A. Times and other news sources confirmed that Michael had died of an apparent heart attack cardiac arrest at the age of 50, I still couldn't believe it. Not only because Michael was one of the most famous people in the world, but because he had that otherworldly quality. If you are like me, you will likely remember exactly where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, etc. when you heard that Michael Jackson had died. I had just awoken from a nap and had hopped on the computer when I first heard the initial reports from two blogger buddies of mine. I was wearing a red family reunion T-shirt, black lounge pants with white stripes up the side, and black slippers.

When Michael turned 50 years old last year, I wrote a birthday post in which I said that I had a feeling that there was still some magic left in him. As you may have heard, Michael had been preparing for his series of London comeback which were supposed to kick off in July of this year. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

I will leave it to others who want to make snarky comments about the extensive plastic surgery, sexual abuse allegations, and the circus sideshow that surrounded Michael Jackson. When all is said and done, I think that Michael Jackson will ultimately be remembered as one of the greatest entertainers this world will ever see. From the Motown phase of his career as the lead singer of the Jackson Five all the way up to the 30th anniversary concerts that he did at Madison Square Garden in 2001, Michael never failed to dazzle us with his vocal and dancing skills.

I am heading off to the store to get something cold to drink. When I come back home, I will be jamming to MJ for the rest of the night.

Update: Over at the other blog that I write for (Diversity Ink), I posted about Michael Jackson's diverse appeal. Please click here to read it.

Below is a clip of various celebrities talking about Michael Jackson, followed by his landmark performance of Billie Jean at the Motown 25 special.


BeckEye said...

Remember when Roy Orbison died, he was just in the midst of a comeback too.

This is terrible news. Pop is without a King.

Candy Minx said...

I'm a wreck. I really have had some difficult times even typing.

Basically I've been crying on and off for the last couple of hours. I could barely write a decent blog post.

I loved him. I even thought I would marry him when I was little!

I've got the tv just surfing various coverage. Seriously...I keep remembering the day I brought home the album "Off The Wall" I had to own several copies of it. And watching Thriller over and over and taping it and watching. Taping the Motown anniversary where he first many memories of nightclubbing and dancing. The dance floor always filled up as I wrote on my blog, when his music came on...

(another performer died to day too...a psychedelic musician from the band "the seeds" called Sky Sunlight Saxon who I also really liked.)

X. Dell said...

I had a hard time believing it at first. I heard the news on NPR about three hours after it happened, thinking it had to be someone else named Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett--it kinda feels like the '70s are dying.

Dr. John said...

I was never a big fan and always thought he went off the deep end the past 10-15 years, but part of me feels sorry for the guy and his odd Peter Pan sheltered existence. Prayers to his friends and family in their time of grief.

As a medical aside, everyone dies of cardiac arrest (when the heart stops beating) when you think about it. It is what lead to the cardiac arrest that is critical to what really killed him...

Janet said...

I remember where I was when I first saw him moonwalk. So incredibly sad, it's just so shocking. :(

And I have absolutely nothing snarky to say...

Jessica The Rock Chick said...

I was watching some coverage of Farrah Fawcett's death when I got a text message from my daughter saying the radio announcer had just said that Michael Jackson had died. I couldn't believe it and started to look online and TMZ had the announcement on their site. I felt like a huge part of my youth was gone with him.

His mental health problems aside, Jackson was an entertainer of (using your word) otherwordly proportions. He was truly gifted and just captivating to watch even as a small child.

MrsGrapevine said...

He was a complex person, but that doesn't take away that he's the most, the most influential person that ever existed, next to Jesus.

I remember seeing people touch him in other countries and just passing out. The only person who comes close to his status in name recognition is Obama, but in the ability to move and influence, Michael is in a class of his own.

Honestly, I saw the pictures of him, many I couldn't post, and I knew his time was near. He was so skeletal and weak, and it reminded me of my mom in the last stages of cancer. I was hoping for something different, but I was conflicted with what I saw, especially the pictures of him in the wheel chair.

It's like coaches pushing athletes and doping them, his handlers knew.

Jessica said...

Very sad news. I was traveling all day yesterday, and didn't hear anything about his death until late in the evening. I really have no words...I have loved him, and his music since I was very little. To me he always seemed larger than life. I still really can't believe it.

pjazzypar said...

There are three electrifying show stopping male entertainers in my humble opinion: James Brown, Prince, and Michael Jackson. I have had the ultimate pleasure of seeing all these men in concert numerous time, each time was a blast and I receive more show than I paid for. I was hoping to see Michael again in concert. I guess it is up to Prince to carry the torch. Jeez this is sad!

D. Anderson said...

i can hardly believe he was 50... i guess time really does fly

Marvalus said...

Very nice tribute, Malcolm...

I'm sorry I'm so short on words...I'm still a little speechless...

Kim said...

this is a great tribute. i had to switch from a few stations yesterday to avoid some of the snark(truth is truth...but nasty is nasty) i hope he'll rest in peace.

Malcolm said...

BeckEye: I remember watching MTV when I heard about Roy Orbison dying of a heart attack. I had probably seen his video "You Got It" earlier so that made it even more shocking.

Entertainment Weekly did an excellent job of celebrating the life and career of MJ in their tribute issue.

Candy: I know there were a lot of girls who aspired to be the future Mrs. Michael Jackson.

Regarding Sky Saxon, I am glad that you posted about his death because it got lost in all the coverage that MJ and Farrah received. I was going to write a post myself about Sky, but you said pretty much everything I was going to say. :-)

X. Dell: I'll never forget that feeling of first hearing the news about MJ's death. It was totally unreal.

Dr. John: Thanks for the medical info. Although you don't play one on TV, I know you are a real doctor.

Janet: Even though a lot of us chose to stay "snark free", I knew that others wouldn't be able to resist.

Jessica the Rock Chick: As you probably know, you are one of the two blog buddies that I referred to in this post. I wonder if TMZ's ability to scoop everyone on the story of MJ's death is isolated or does it mark a change in who the public can rely on for up-to-the minute, accurate news.

Mrs. Grapevine: In the days after his death, I recall one of his associates saying that hugging Michael was like hugging a skeleton. You make a good point about his handlers knowing. I think that MJ's death is similar to Elvis' in that regard.

Jessica: It's only been within the last week or so that MJ's death has started to seem real to me.

Pjazzy: The two of us have had a few conversations about the 3 baddest male entertainers and we are both in agreement. Because MJ was one of your boys from the very beginning, I knew that his death would be hard for you.

D. Anderson: When I wrote a post last year about Michael turning 50 I was like, "Damn, Michael Jackson is 50 years old!"

Marvalus: Thank you! I knew you were an MJ fan, but I didn't realize how big until just recently.

Kim: Thanks for the positive feedback! There were people still hauling out the tired "Michael Jackson is white" jokes. That crap got old to me when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

ThatTeowonna! said...

Now that MJ has been dead for a few months and we have had a chance to reflect over his life, we all were so wrong and he was so right. We were just to blinded by societal norms to realize it.

Malcolm said...

ThatTeowanna!: I agree. One thing I say to people in regards to MJ is that it would be asking a lot to expect him to behave in a conventional manner. Never having a real childhood combined with being one of the most famous people in the world will do things to a person.

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