Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson dead at 50

This sort of caught me off guard. First off Michael Jackson planned a huge set of comeback concerts in London, England later this year and then we flip the TV on just minutes ago and catch the end of a CBS News Special about the life and death of Michael Jackson - the king of pop.

I was never a huge fan of his, probably not even a miniscule fan but there is no denying the fact that he was probably the biggest and most influential name in pop music in the 1980s and maybe the entire 20th century. His dance moves and epic production values set the bar for popular music in that decade. I think his music has also influenced the biggest name in pop music in the 21st century thus far - Justin Timberlake. It's very easy to see and hear similarities. Timberlake's stage show incorporates plenty of dancing, his videos are almost always epic - particularly the video for What Goes Around... - and his falsetto singing voice is the most obvious trait shared by Michael Jackson.

Sure, Jackson led what most will bill as a weird life. From his obviously endless rounds of plastic surgery that transformed his face from normal to freakish and the accusations of child molestation at his child-like paradise of Neverland Ranch in California, he was, to put it kindly, eccentric.

Whatever the case, he inspired a generation and marked a turning point in music. From a child in his family's group, The Jackson Five, it as obvious that he was the star. He died tonight in a Los Angeles hospital of cardiac arrest at the age of 50.

View his video for Thriller here.

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