I told you I wouldn’t take too long writing another blog entry! (If you placed big money on whether or not I’d keep my promise…YOU LOSE! So THERE!)
As I noted in my last blog entry, I’m going to comment on the death of legendary singer, entertainer and philanthropist Michael Joseph Jackson.
However, my comments are going to be brief because I would just sound like a broken record, repeating the tons of accolades, tributes, remembrances and stories about an entertainment icon who will (if he already hasn’t) overshadow another music icon in sheer impact of his work and persona after death—Elvis Presley.
Yup, Ol’ “Elvis” will have to move over, there’s a new “super icon” in town…uh Heaven…(sorry!) and that’s Jackson.
If you thought Elvis’ home Graceland is a Mecca for the millions of his fans to come and pay homage to the “King of Rock n’ Roll,” don’t be surprised if Jackson’s former home, “Neverland” becomes the mother of all destinations to “worship” (for lack of a better term) all things Michael Jackson.
This will become especially true if Jackson is buried on the property of his former home, which was also “ground zero” for the controversy that surrounded him for so many years—especially as it related to children.
But I won’t go there. Trust me, a lot of the mainstream (i.e. White) media—in reviewing Jackson’s life after his sudden death at age 50—have already gone there and beyond on his cosmetic surgeries, carrying opened umbrellas on sunny days, wearing face masks, his seemingly odd relationships with women, the way he dressed, his children by surrogate mothers, the new allegations of prescription drug abuse and—oh yes—the child molestation charges leveled against Jackson, one of which landed in him court several years ago. Fortunately he was found INNOCENT on all charges.
Like his fans and all Black people, I’d rather remember his music, his style of dancing that, in many respects, was revolutionary and fostered comparisons to Hollywood dancers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
Come to think of it, perhaps Jackson himself was a revolutionary—in entertainment, race relations, business and culture. No…he WAS a revolutionary now that I think about it as I write this blog.
If you push away the prurient, “sickophantic” curtain of negative garbage being heaped upon his legacy, Jackson was a revolutionary in every sense of the word.
He broke new ground in everything he touched. With the help of his brothers as a member of the Jackson Five, (I believe) they pushed the already well-known Motown Records to even greater heights of visibility, respect…and profitability.
Prior to Jackson, the then music video giant MTV refused to play the videos of Black musicians and singers.
Then came Jackson and the video for one of his signature hits “Billie Jean” that unveiled some of his groundbreaking dance moves. The video is arguably the most played in MTV’s history and opened doors for other Black artists.
Jackson’s subsequent videos became much-anticipated events and were crafted to look like mini-movies with a story line and energetic and unique choreography.
The album that spawned “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” is still the biggest selling album of all time!
He fought his record company, Sony, for the rights to his music and won. Even better, Jackson owned the rights to the music library of arguably the greatest Rock n’ Roll band of all time, The Beatles.
As the old saying goes, if they’re not talkin’ aboutcha, then you’re not doin’ nothin’.
It’s plain to see that Jackson was doing something with his fame, talent and celebrity. How else can you explain the outpouring of love, grief and tributes that have come forth since June 24?
The attacks on Jackson in later years is proof to his impact on music and society and—more importantly—culture. He was a bridge builder whose musical message of love and brotherhood reached individuals of all colors, nationalities, gender, languages, religions, and political ideology.
I could go on and on about Jackson. But as I noted earlier, everything has been said before, even though I probably repeated a few of the accolades.
Regardless, Jackson deserves them. His legacy is set for eternity. He will be missed, remembered and never forgotten
Rest in peace Michael.
A brotha who knows you are in a better place!