Death of Michael Jackson: A year in review as a fan

June 26, 2010

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the day a frantic 911 emergency call from pop legend Michael Jackson’s residence set off a chain of events that left millions of fans across the world numbed.

Michael Jackson fans hold oil lamps as they sing a song in tribute to the late pop icon in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur June 26, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki MuhammadMichael Jackson, youth icon and arguably the greatest pop star that ever lived, was found unconscious at his Los Angeles residence. Attempts to revive him proved unsuccessful.

It was my routine night shift, regular copies of global recession and politics scrolled across the Reuters screen, when the dullness of the night was broken by hysterical breaking news alerts on the end of Michael.

As journalists, we are trained to maintain objectivity and professional detachment to news that otherwise shake us as humans.

I wasn’t even born when Elvis Presley died and had only read about the fan hysteria that followed in yellowing newsprint.

I grew up listening to Michael’s songs and like million others counted myself amongst his greatest fans. Writing about Michael’s death wasn’t easy.

In the year that has passed since his death, the popularity of Michael has only increased. The once-struggling pop star looking to revive a career mired by ugly molestation charges and heavy debt posthumously went on to amass millions of dollars in ticket sales and chart-topping albums.

Even after death controversy followed the star known as much for the numerous surgical changes to his face, as for his legendary ‘Moonwalk’.

Jackson’s personal physician Conrad Murray faces trial on a criminal charge of causing his death by giving him the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.

In a rapidly changing world, where natural disasters, inflation and economic woes jostle for attention to an average person, for me Michael’s legacy – his songs that left msillions of fans spellbound – will linger on.

How do you remember the King of Pop? Where were you when he died? Do you feel someone someday will take Michael’s place?


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Did anyone else get to watch TV Guide’s Michael Jackson special, Gone Too Soon, last night? It was awesome! It really delves into the reasons behind his death!

If you missed it, they’ll be showing it again today at 3pm & 8pm, and tomorrow at 11am.

check it out: 8c  /305026

Posted by rheather | Report as abusive

Actually I think there has been remarkably less about Micheal Jackson than there was Elvis a year after his death, inspite of the fact that when Elvis died there was no such thing as the internet and 24 hour cable tv that has fed and promoted so much of the Jackson interest to begin with. It also seems to me that more than half of the interest and press about Jackson has been more about his bizzare lifestyle and possible crimminal acts with young boys and drugs than about his music. I took a look at Billboard’s charts the other day I did not see a single Jackson recording still charting, remarkably I saw Elvis album listed on the charts, and Elvis has been gone 33 years now. Don’t get me wrong I liked some of Jackson’s music, I still have a copy of “Thriller” like a sizeable amount of the world population. He was certainly a premier performer, but alot of what I see is about his incredibly weird life and not his career. Plus, I just don’t think he was as
important a figure as James Brown, or Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder or Chuck Berry and certainly not Elvis. By the time Jackson began to perform rock, soul and pop were
already well established music forms, so he was not a founding father like some of these other people were. Plus, he never performed outside his own musical style, like Elvis who successful performed rock, pop, country and gospel. Jackson’s one attempt at acting “The Whiz” was a big failure critically and commercially when it came out originally. It’s no accident he never made another film, other than a cameo in “Men In Black” in which he played none other than himself. Elvis’s films may not have actually been “Citizen Kane”, but he was one of the most successful box-office actors from the mid-1950’s to the late 1960’s. Elvis did all this plus served two years in the United States Army and lived 9 years less than Jackson. I’m not a big Elvis fan either but what the man accomphlished was amazing. Plus he did all as I said before the internet, before 24/7 TV, before
music videos and before MTV all which played big roles in
Jackson’s career. In short, I just don’t get comparing Jackson to Elvis or Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles or James Brown and several others, he just doses not rank anywhere close to them. Plus as I said part of the perverse fascination with Jackson over the years has been his weirdness and nearly endless acts of the absurd,
ridculous and maybe illegal. Everyone has problems but you gotta draw the line somewhere. Jackson has his fans and probably will always be remembered for various reasons, and his most ardent fans will probably always right off and defend his behavior, but it seems to me for all the hype he already shows some real signs of fading into history, and for alot of us Jacskon faded into history about the mid to late 80’s and would just assume leave him there for our sake but mostly his.

Posted by Sabastian | Report as abusive

Well sory Sebastion that is the most ridiculous post I have ever read about Michael Jackson.
The media killed Michael Jackson by purposely focusing on innuendoes and sensational stories about Michael Jackson instead of focusing on his music and his unsurpassed humanitarian work. And they still do. I have just noticed that Michael Jackson facebook page has over 19 million fans and that does not include the millions on other site or around the world so the man had an impact whether you liked him or not. If you bothered to do some research and find out the truth instead of reading the newspaper rubish you just may be surprised.

Posted by rainbowwarrior | Report as abusive

elvis is not even at the foot of king michael!did elvis know what is dance?ha ha ha ha lol!he danced just like the dog with a broken leg!i heard some songs of him which are called greatest hits of elvis like heart break hotel,a fool such as i bla bla bla……and understood that elvis even didn’t know what is music.waste and worst music i’ve ever heard.once listen to the SOUND of the king of pop,redefined the definition of sound.his sound is copied by countless artists.where is that elvis dog?ha ha ha.coming to dance,michael jackson is the only member of international dance hall of fame.need i have to tell any more?????elvis is a mad dog!

Posted by fanofmichael | Report as abusive