This page is for the fans. Hit the comment button above this post and leave any thoughts or memories of Michael that you have. Any updates to this page will be after this post. Material from last year's tribute are included.
“Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's
For the last two years, every time I saw Michael Jackson’s face I would smile and briefly reflect on how classic and awesome his music was, how he brought my family together and gave me a slew of great childhood memories. After thinking “Dang, I miss him,” I’d ask myself “Why didn’t I relish this way in Michael while he was here? Why did I wait until he died to refresh my rusted memory of Jackson family history and dust off my Janet collection?” I suppose like many others, I took him for granted. He was always there to return to when I wanted to indulge in the magic. He’s still here, but in a different form. And it HURTS. I miss him terribly. I’ve thought about him and his family a lot since his death, and have prayed for his loved ones frequently. In realizing how some of us seemed to forget about Michael in his last years, I often wonder if he felt loved then and what he would think of all of his memorial celebrations. Like the old cliché says, give people their flowers while they’re here. I have now made it a point to randomly tell my loved ones how much I adore them. It usually makes for an awkward moment, but I don’t mind, because at least they know how I feel about them. Give people their flowers today. Let’s actively cherish our gifts, our lives and the people in them. Let’s not wait until birthdays, holidays or deaths to say “Hey, I love ya’ kid. Here are your flowers.” :)
Michael Joseph Jackson. Son. Brother. Uncle. Father. Activist.
World Changer. King of Pop.
My reaction from 2009: (http://jsays.weebly.com/2/post/2010/06/michael-jackson-1958-forever.html)
Janet Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley both gave very revealing interviews on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2010 about Michael and how they've adjusted since his death. Oprah later did an interview with Michael's three children and his mother, Katherine, at the Jackson family compound in California. Here are the first parts of each individual interview. The remaining parts can be found by looking under the designated Youtube user. Leave comments here and let me know what you think.
Janet Jackson opened the Essence Music Festival this week in New Orleans. She performed for 2 hours, and from what I hear, she put on amazing show. She paid tribute her big brother Michael during the song "Together Again." The song was orginally to pay tribute to a friend that lost a battle with AIDS. Here's a video of the tribute (it's towards the end).
It has been one year since Michael Jackson passed away and it seems like no time has passed at all. Here, in his memory, is a tribute that I wrote last year.
June 30, 2009
Losing Michael Jackson hurts in a very unique way, mainly because he is enrichly tied to who and what we are intrinsically and as a culture.
“…A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ. I think we’ll mourn his loss as well as the loss of ourselves as children listening to Thriller on the record player…” -John Mayer
How is Michael so tied to who we are? Because for anyone who loves Michael, he is the center of so many specific memories and moments in our lives, both past and present. His performances, his videos, his music, his interviews, the historic moments; they’re all earmarks of a specific time and place. Just a glimpse of him automatically jumpstarts a flood of memories, taking you back to when you were a certain age, with a certain someone, feeling a certain way. He is symbol of what we were and are, where we were and are, and what we did and do. Losing him feels like losing every ounce of those memories. A sign of your childhood, a symbol of your existence on this earth is gone. It’s like losing your baby pictures in a fire, or having a family heirloom stolen. Many have said that Michael was like a family member and it felt like you knew him. It’s hard not to feel that way when you don’t recollect a time without him. That’s part of the reason why this moment is so hard to absorb and describe. For many of those who were born after 1968, there was NEVER a moment without Michael. THREE generations don’t know life without Michael. We always had him and he was always there.
“…Way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama, Michael did with music what they later did in politics and television…”-Al Sharpton
For the previous generation, this loss especially hurts because they were there to MEET Michael. He was like a peer, a brother. He was their age, and for African-Americans, their color. For the African-American community, seeing Michael on television was like seeing themselves, which had a monumental impact. Hot off the heels of the civil rights movement, while blacks were still largely excluded from mainstream media, Michael was a sign of change. Much like Barack Obama was to the generation that saw him get elected, Michael was a sign that if you dreamed and worked hard enough, you could achieve, despite racial barriers. This little boy and his 5 older brothers gave young people something to hope for and relate to.
"…I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael...In so many ways he transcended culture. He broke barriers…His legacy is unparalleled. Michael Jackson will never be forgotten." –Usher
Artistically, Michael did with music what should be done with music. Michael was cross-genre, cross-culture, and cross-generational. This was proven in the days after his death, as news footage from around the world showed fans celebrating his life and in mourning, from South America, to Asia, to Europe. Music is supposed to move and unite people, and Michael did exactly that in more ways than one. Literally the WHOLE world had one person common, regardless of culture, race, gender, age and economic class. One person with a musical gift, that cherished the human spirit, penetrated and surpassed ALL of our societal barriers as if they weren’t there. That one person was Michael Jackson; a black man from a poor neighborhood in Gary, Indiana. A man who typically would’ve been shunned based on those demographics, united and was mourned by the world. How remarkable.
Michael did more than just sell records; he touched souls, which is one reason he will be forever adored. You never forget the people that reach your heart and spirit, and for those who benefited from his humanitarian work, change your life.
"This is such a tragic loss and a terrible day. The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artist in the history of music. He was magic. He was what we all strive to be…For anyone who has ever seen, felt, or heard his art, we are all honored to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson. I love you Michael.” –Beyoncé
Many have said that MJ set an almost unreachable standard for the artists following his impact. That’s probably true, considering no artist has even COME CLOSE to having global influence or breaking his historic records. Perhaps today’s artists are more so beneficiaries of Michael versus successors (clear beneficiaries are the African-American artists who have had their music videos featured on MTV, considering MTV did not show videos by black artists until “Thriller”). Apparently, touching the soul of the world and having cross appeal in every sense of the word is hard to accomplish. The funny thing, however, is that Michael didn’t seem to try that hard. The music just flowed from him. All he used was his natural talent and his desire to make memorable music. It wasn’t about marketing or business politics with Michael; it was about the music and us-the fans (We knew it was about us too; thank you, Michael). That’s how he was able to convey the pain of a broken, grown man on “Who’s Lovin’ You” at age 10, and the commitment of a deep, true love on “Got to Be There” at 14.
Genre-wise, you couldn’t put MJ into one category. Yes, he’s revered as the “King of Pop”, but pop is still short for “popular” music. Part of what made him so “popular” was the fact that he hit every demographic: the “rockers”, the “hip-hoppers”, the “cowboys”, the “pop-tarts”, the “soulsters”; everyone. The R&B of “Remember the Time”, the pop of “Billie Jean”, the rock in “Dirty Diana”, the hip-hop in “Black and White”; there was something for everyone. Something for my 51-year-old mom, who always walks around the house singing “Who’s Lovin’ You.” Something for the boys of Alien Ant Farm who covered “Smooth Criminal.” Something for the 7-year-old I saw in Wal-Mart years ago that knew all the words to songs made years before she was born.Not only did Michael incorporate genre-bending versatility into his music, but the element of a message as well. Yes, MJ had plenty of just fun, danceable songs, but for every “just for fun” song, there was a song with a message. He was always trying to enlighten or inspire us.
Michael had the type of career that most artists can only dream of. A 40-year career in which he was always relevant and his influence could be seen everywhere. Most artists have a “hey-day” or a prime. Michael was never NOT in his prime. Every album was a success (contrary to popular belief, ALL of his albums went, at minimum, platinum). Every performance and tour was eagerly anticipated. Even his Pepsi commercials caused worldwide hysteria. If MJ was on, you were paying attention. Every moment with Michael felt special and surreal. He took you by his glittery-gloved hand to a magical fantasy world that you never wanted to come back from. Michael had the admiration of the world, and yet, never seemed arrogant, selfish or egotistical. Even when he was angry or passionate, he was always soft-spoken. Michael was the backbone of music and gave a new meaning to the word “pop-culture.”He made music history, black history, American history, world history. It hurts, to say the least, that he’s not with us and there are no justifiable words to describe this moment, but I wanted to try.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009)
It’s about an hour away from being June 26th, and I feel AMAZING. I feel euphoric; I’m walking on air.
I just finished watching the bonus features on the “This Is It” DVD. Guys, if you haven’t seen the film and/or the bonus features, you MUST see it. There was so much more planned for us on the tour than imagined or seen in the movie. OMG……I’m so glad that Michael chose to film his rehearsals and that someone decided to piece it together for release. It’s such a present for the fans; it gives us a visual insight into his genius, his art and his heart. I’m not exaggerating to any capacity. It’s breathtaking. And even more breathtaking if you’re heavily interested or involved in music. Right now, I feel soooo lucky and sooooo blessed to have experienced Michael first-hand and have him apart of my childhood. This man was in so many ways a gift. He was truly a gift. He taught us about art and about love, and you can’t help but learn something from him. See this movie, watch the bonus features. Be absolutely inspired. (Check out my 6-22-10 post on this page to see the music video for “This Is It”).
Here’s a music video for “This Is It,” filmed by Spike Lee. It’s an awesome tribute. When I saw the film “This Is It,” it didn’t depress me at all. It was actually quite uplifting; I left the movie theater with the most amazing feeling. It was like watching a magician create his tricks. It was intriguing, entertaining and definitely proved while Michael is the “King of Pop.” I respected him even more as an artist afterward. Furthermore, I literally forgot that he wasn’t here. I was so mesmerized by what I saw….he couldn’t have been more alive. Michael felt so alive to me watching that film...I’d recommend it to anyone.
Here is a rather touching MJ Pepsi ad from 1992. Michael sings “I’ll Be There” with his younger self. The digital effects are awesome! This ad was released in Bucharest, where Michael filmed his “Dangerous” tour DVD. Be sure to watch it all the way THROUGH!
Some of you may have seen this, but here is a video of Beyonce` paying tribute to Michael on her “I Am” 2009 tour. She incorporated Michael into her hit “Halo.” This performance was on July 7, 2009, the day of Michael’s memorial service, which may be one reason why Beyonce` was particularly emotional. She showed a childhood home video of her and a friend preparing for an MJ concert and when she began to sing, her voice cracked as she teared up and she had to start again. Beyonce` is in rare form here, as she rarely lets any inner emotions interfere with her performance. It starts at 4:15.
Do you have any "in memoriam" plans for June 25th? Do you plan on listening to his music, watching "This Is It" or will the day be too difficult to do anything "celebratory"? Comment on this post and tell me about your plans (or lack thereof).
“…And when the groove is dead and gone, you know that love survives, and we can rock forever on…” (Rock With You)
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