Michael Jackson Passes Away at 50

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Today, on a more serious note, we mourn the passing away of one of the greatest and most influential pop culture icons of our time – Michael Jackson. His influence is not to be doubted, but it’s important to take a look at how much his influence extended. Of course, in the music scene, he was a popular figure – hit tracks like “Beat It”, “Thriller”, “Bad”, and “Billie Jean” are just a few songs out of the many excellent works he produced. His persona itself also had its own uniqueness – dance moves that made you think he defied gravity, an “instantly identifiable voice”, and more.


But also noteworthy are his roots. He began expressing himself musically, and succeeding at it, at a very early age – he was born in 1958, and his first hits with the Jackson 5, with whom he originally performed, came as early as 1968 – “Big Boy”, 1967, was produced under the local record label Steeltown in 1967 and signed with the recognizable Motown Records in 1968. Early on, Michael emerged as the main character in the group. Praised by Rolling Stones as a “prodigy” with “overwhelming musical gifts”. Jackson released his solo album, Off the Wall, in 1979. The album quickly reached number three on the Billboard 200, in addition to selling over 20 million copies worldwide.


Thriller was released in 1982, attaining Double Diamond Status in the US after being certified for 28 million shipments in the US.March 25, 1983, was the day of Jackson’s landmark, live, performance on the Motown 25 TV special, where he debuted his signature move, the moonwalk.

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Without a doubt, one of the stories, or rumors, rather, that was always told about Michael Jackson was that he bleached his skin to become white. Some say it truly was because of this, and that he had operations done to make himself look paler, while others say that it was as a result of the vitiligo disease, which causes the depigmentation of skin. This was the story that Jackson told in his interview with Oprah Winfrey in February of 1993, negating suggestions that he bleached his skin.It is true that he had various surgeries done, in the form of rhinoplasties and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin. In addition to all this, Michael Jackson had run ins with sexual abuse accusations.

Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, “I’m an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight”, people would say, “Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He’s cracked up. You can’t believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth”. Michael Jackson


Trying to pick out what’s true, and what’s not, from the tens of rumors surrounding Michael Jackson, his life, and his actions, is not the point here. In the world, there are things we cannot be sure about, but there are others we can be sure about, and in this case, one of them was that Michael Jackson left a legacy not to be forgotten about. Note that his earliest successes came only years after the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s. Jackson, along with those he performed with in the Jackson 5, broke civil rights barriers and presented themselves as something above the color line that had been drawn throughout America – they presented themselves as capable, talented musicians that excelled at their work, with no regard to what color their skin was.

Michael Jackson had a life that came under the horrible face of tabloid criticism and scrutiny. But what cannot be doubted is that he was a human being that will go down in history and won’t be forgotten.

His Guiness World Record Achievement, “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”, is the title with which Michael Jackson will always be remembered. As a musical genius with a stellar personality that broke color barriers along the way.

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