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When Michael Jackson passed away a year ago on June 25th, 2009; a part of my childhood died with him. I grew up with his music! From (Off the Wall), to (Thriller), to (Captain E.O.), to (Bad) and so on.
When I was driving home that Thursday evening, I was listening to numerous radio stations that were playing his songs as a tribute to his life & work. Immediately, his classical songs felt emotionally different. It was a somber feeling, especially his inspirational songs such as “Heal the World” and “Man in the Mirror”. Now I know how it must have felt like for anyone who grew up with Elvis Presley and to have listened to his music after he died.
In my current lifetime of cell phones, I’ve received the most text messages ever for a single news event. With the sudden death of Michael Jackson is probably the most shocking news for an international celebrity since Princess Diana died in a car accident on August 31st, 1997; and when John Lennon was murdered almost 30 years ago on December 8th, 1980. As we've heard the news at the end of our work day, I had friends from Asia that were waking up, asking me if the news was true! They’re spending their Friday morning at work, talking exactly what we talked about during our Thursday afternoon.
"This Is It" tour was a scheduled sold-out series of 50 concert performances by Michael Jackson, which were to take place beginning on July 13, 2009; at The O2 arena in London. The shows, his first significant concert events since the HIStory World Tour in 1997, had been cited as one of the year's most important musical events. Each of the shows would have had a maximum capacity of 23,000; so it was estimated that more than one million people would have attended the shows. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned the singer approximately $50 million. However, Jackson died 18 days before the scheduled concerts were to begin on July 13, 2009.
With Michael Jackson being one of the most influential icons in the world and this generation, his legacy will soon be written as the 2009 year is completing itself. After the media, tabloids, celebrities and fans are allowed to voice their opinions; we’ll soon figure out how his life is viewed in our history books. Will his musical influence outweigh his controversy? Everyone will have their opinions, and here are mine.
“Is Michael Jackson a musical genius?”
“Is Michael Jackson a Wakco?”
“Is he a child molester?"
I highly doubt it and he was never found guilty. He did pay some families off to stay quite or to drop the lawsuit. If I was a parent of a child who was molested, I will NEVER take the money! So I tend to side with Michael Jackson on this issue. Although I also believe that he has had inappropriate relationships with the kids that slept over at his house; which is also a part of their parents’ blame & responsibilities for not supervising them. Unfortunately for Michael Jackson, he just never believed that it was an inappropriate idea or behavior to allow the kids to sleep on his bed and in his room.
So what’s my overall opinion on Michael Jackson’s legacy? It’s NOT the music, it’s NOT the controversy, and it’s NOT his mental condition. It’s his contribution to helping the poor & sick children of this world!
He built Neverland Ranch for his love of Disneyland and the Peter Pan story. Michael Jackson loved the concept of never growing old, so he wanted to create an amusement park that he could host for children everywhere! He would invite the poor & sick children from any country to his Neverland Ranch. He would spend his own money to give these children a fun and memoriable time; including donating and creating numerous charities for them internationally.
When I went to Taiwan in 1991, I was only 12 years old. I went to a Toys "R" Us and we noticed that there was a Taiwanese newspaper article on their wall. It was written in Chinese with a photo of Michael Jackson inside that Toys "R" Us with a bunch of toys in his arms. I asked my Uncle to read and translate that article to me. He told me that when Michael Jackson toured in Taiwan, he got a bus load of Taiwanese children and had them driven to the exact Toys "R" Us that we were currently in! The store was closed, but they opened up just for him. He told all the children that they may pick whatever toy they wanted. While all the kids were picking & choosing, he picked up a handful of toys for himself. Michael Jackson paid for every single toy that the kids picked themselves and he later donated all the toys he bought to a local Taiwanese charity. What an awesome local story!
On January 31, 1993; Micheal Jackson performed the halftime show for Superbowl XXVII. He ended the show with his song "Heal the World" with the message of helping the needed children around the world, as they gathered around him at the center of the stage. The NFL paid him a SHIT-LOAD of money, which he donated every single penny to his charity. Sometimes the idea of inviting kids to his Neverland Ranch became the heart of Late Night jokes; but at the end, Michael Jackson has done more good to this world than not.
So as people will remember Michael Jackson for his music or for his controversial life; I will remember his contribution to the children for his never-ending goal to make this world a better place.
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