Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Remembering Michael Jackson: 1 Year Later

Last Friday was the anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, and honestly I couldn't believe it had been a year already! A year ago, I remember I was braiding someone's hair and watching TV. Zay got a frantic call from his mom. She yelled at him, "Why didn't you tell me Michael Jackson died?!" Zay was like, "Michael Jackson died?! I didn't know! Why you yelling??" The news of his death had only reached the media about 5 minutes earlier.

I'm a youngin', so I didn't get a chance to appreciate much of Michael Jackson's music until the '90s. But I do have some fond memories of my older brothers showing me the Thriller video. I remember the world premiere of "Black or White." There were commercials for it all day, and then they finally showed it in the evening. I remember thinking, "Hmmm. This is an interesting song, because I don't know if he is black or white." Ha ha.

When I met Zay, he introduced me to all the old-school stuff, all the way back to the Jackson 5. I've seen every single Michael Jackson video, even all the short-film type videos. And I've heard every single song on every album! I could see how influential his singing, dancing, and performing was to many of the rising talents in the entertainment industry. Even the pop stuff I listened to, like *Nsync, was influenced by ole Mike. He was amazing and unique.

When the stuff started coming out about child molestation, it was hard for me to believe that he would do the things they were accusing him of. He had such a sweet spirit and was so charitable and kind. It was just hard to believe, despite the issues he had with his appearance and other "bizarre" things that were going on in his life. I guess we'll never know how all that really went down... but when I think of Michael Jackson, none of that comes to mind. I love his music. Genius usually spawns from difficult or unusual circumstances, and maybe we wouldn't have experienced all that he was able to create artistically if things hadn't been rough for him throughout his life.

We bought "This Is It" on Blu-ray and we watched it for the anniversary of his death. People were crying when we went to see it in theaters last year! That would have been one amazing tour, that's for sure. I felt bad for the dancers who had trained so hard and were so excited to dance with Michael, and for all the fans who were able to get tickets to his very last tour. How disappointing and how tragic.

A lot of people didn't recognize Michael for what he did for music and dance until he died, but I can tell you that I've been listening to his music for years and have never doubted his talent! It was a sad, sad day when he died.

Chris Brown did a tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET awards and couldn't even get the words out. He just bawled near the end. I wanted to cry too!


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