So today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of the King of Pop, Michael Joseph Jackson.
Like the passing of many great icons of our time, I think everyone will always remember where they were when they first heard the news. I was on the bus coming home from a dance class and just checking facebook on my phone. I saw one status update from one of my friends asking ‘Is the King of Pop dead?’. Once I saw that, I quickly went on Google to double check but saw just one lowly article from the Sydney Times saying he’d gone into hospital.
The next few hours were a blur of phone calls, TV watching and facebook updates with everyone trying to come to terms with his death.
When I was younger, Michael was the coolest guy on the planet, my inspiration for dancing and I thought he could do no wrong. As I got a little bit older, I began to realise his mortality and I guess as the little eccentricities of his lifestyle began to overshadow his musical output, he kind of lost a little bit of relevance for me.
That was until 2009.
Back in May last year, when he announced he would be performing for the last time, I was instantly transported to my childhood. I’d never seen MJ perform but once those tickets came on sale, boy! My laid back nature went straight out the window – I had to get those tickets.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve turned into an MJ fiend, thirsting for rare songs and unseen footage of Michael in his prime. Thank God for youtube – seriously if I’d come across this stuff when I was seven years old and moonwalking across the kitchen floor, I may well have imploded right there and then.
But back to the present day… I still can’t believe Michael has gone and the fact that a whole year has passed is even more surreal to me. In that year, I’ve seen the fickle voice of the media rename him from ‘Wacko Jacko’ to the ‘King of Pop’. The lurid accusations from yesteryear have been replaced with glowing tributes and documentaries celebrating his life and contribution to the entertainment industry.
For me personally, his death has seen me revisit his back catalogue and really appreciate Michael Jackson, the musician and icon to millions. It’s impossible to put down all my favourite songs but here are just a few:
Simply put, Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer that has ever lived and though he has gone far too soon, his legacy will live on. RIP.