When I heard Michael Jackson died, I felt like part of my youth had permanently disappeared.
For me, learning of his death is now one of those moments where I’ll always remember what I was doing at the time. I was at Kohl’s, looking for shoes. I had to put down the Dana Buchman flats and fire up my BlackBerry to make sure what I overheard was, in fact, true.
Being a forty-something woman, Michael’s music was a huge part of my teenage and college years. I went through a phase where I wanted to be a “Thriller” dancer. I practiced that damn Moon Walk for hours after seeing him slide backwards during a “Billie Jean” performance. I consumed alcohol more than once listening to “Bad.” The jukebox (yes; I am dating myself now) at my favorite neighborhood pub had lots of classic Jackson Five tunes.
And, who could forget the lip-sync in college where my whole sorority performed “We are the World.” I was Ray Charles. Ah, good times. Why we didn’t win that talent show, I’ll never know.
That said, Michael Jackson was weird. Over the years I watched him transform from a black man to a white woman with all his plastic surgeries and skin bleaching. I was appalled when he held his baby boy Blanket (calling a kid Blanket is a whole ‘nother post) over a balcony. The Martin Brashear documentary was truly disturbing. And I never really “got” Never-Land. Having a zoo and amusement park rides on my property? No thanks.
But, the dude could sing and dance. And you can definitely see and hear his influences in music and videos today.
Michael was reportedly gearing up for an extended performance gig in London, allegedly to stage a comeback. Whether it was to regain his position as the King of Pop or to get some cash to pay down his millions in debts, we will never know.
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