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It has taken me 24 hours to be able to form a coherent thought. I still don't want to believe the news, although it is splattered all over the TV and internet. Although we know that everyone is mortal, nothing can prepare you for premature departure. As sad as I was to learn that Farrah Fawcett had succombed to her years-long battle with cancer, it paled in comparison to the feeling that I would soon have in the pit of my stomach mere hours later.
One of the absolute greatest musicians of all time passed away on June 25, 2009 at 2:26pm PST. Michael Joseph Jackson. MJ. The King of Pop. He was only 50 years old.
Despite only living to the age of 50, MJ was able to give us 45 years of entertainment. He was robbed of the typical American childhood so that he might be able to provide us with some of the most breathtaking, spectacular music & dancing that many of us had ever heard or seen. My first musical memories involve the best-selling album of all time, "Thriller." There was little that this man could do musically that did not inspire me. I challenge you to search the internet for his lyrics and really take a good look. You will find much inspiration and creativity -- something that is sorely lacking in today's music scene. Whenever I was asked the once ultimate question (MJ or Prince?), I always had the same answer... MJ all day.
Some people out there are actually pleased or indifferent to the fact that he has passed away. I can understand if you felt no connection to the man, but to cheer his death? That is one of the sickest things imaginable. That was someone's father, brother, cousin, son, nephew and hero. There is no reason to spread such vile, negative, virulent filth on such a somber occasion. As the old saying goes, "if you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all." So many are trying to chastise those of us who mourn. Your beliefs are exactly that -- yours. Do not tell me who to mourn or how. I lament the loss of the biggest musician of my lifetime and make no apologies for it. If your family member were to pass and the public had a similar reaction, you'd be sickened to your very core.
Michael was obviously what I like to call "psychologically underdeveloped" for a man of his age. He spent his childhood staring at other kids through the window instead of playing like a normal 5 year-old. He never got to go to school with "normal" kids and experience "normal" life. He seemed to overcompensate for this later in life, as evidenced by his "Peter Pan" mentality. He was a caring, thoughtful person who generated millions upon millions of dollars for charitable causes. He wanted to give kids the love & support that he never received as a child. Although I acknowledge that he went too far by allowing them to sleep in his bed, I truly believe that his intentions were not what the media would have us believe, and that the stress & shock of a world turning against him truly hurt him. He never seemed to recover fully from the initial backlash.
As a somewhat rational person, I can certainly admit that he continued to make mistakes later (dangling baby, future molestation accusations, etc) -- but I still do not believe that the man had a malicious bone in his body. I think that Michael truly cared for this world and wanted nothing more than to heal it...
So Michael, I say this to you: like millions of people before me (and hopefully after), I love you. I love your music, message, humility and creativity. I can only hope that in death, you are given the respect & love that you so lacked & desired in life. My only regret is that I was never able to see you live. I just knew the folks in England were in for a real treat next month.
You will forever be missed -- but your music will never be forgotten.