Michael Jackson: Gone Too Soon
Michael Joseph Jackson, a beloved character in pop music history, will forever and always remain in the hearts of many loyal fans. Though many people say that they could care less for his music, countless others disagree, and I am proud to say… …that I am one of them.
– – – Michael Jackson, born on the 29th of August, 1958, was only seventh in a family of nine children. His brothers, Sigmund “Jackie”, Toriano “Tito”, Jermaine, Marlon, and Steven “Randy”, and sisters, Rebbie, Janet, and La-Toya Jackson, were all born to Joseph and Katherine Jackson. Michael was born in Gary, Indiana, where he first began his singing career in a band called the Jackson 5. The band’s members included; Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, and Michael. Throughout the band’s vocation, Michael was always the lead singer.
His passion for the music he sang was visible, and he never gave up trying to perfect a piece, even after the band slowly broke up, and he drifted his own way. The Jackson 5 began performing in local clubs and bars in Gary, Indiana, gradually building up their skills. The Jackson 5 eventually acquired an audition with Berry Gordy for Motown Records, and was soon signing with Motown. They stayed with Motown Records till 1976. With Motown alone, Michael made four solo albums, and the Jackson 5; 14. Four of the group’s first hits were “ABC”, “I Want You Back”, “The Love You Save”, and “I’ll Be There”.
All four were, at one point, US No. 1 hits. My personal favorite of these four: “I Want You Back”. Soon after moving on from Motown, the Jackson 5 signed on with Epic. Since the group’s name, Jackson 5, was owned by Motown, they had to change to The Jacksons. Michael’s brother, Jermaine, left The Jacksons, though, because he married Berry Gordy’s daughter, and decided to stay with Motown.
Randy, Michael’s youngest brother, took Jermaine’s place in the gang, and within the next eight years, the Jacksons produced a total of six albums. In 1997, at the age of 19, Michael made his first film debut in the musical ‘The Wiz’. He played Scarecrow alongside Diana Ross, who played as Dorothy. Quincy Jones, the man responsible for the music in the film, met with Michael around this time, and joined him as his producer. Michael’s first solo album was then created with Epic Records and Quincy Jones at his side.
Five years later, Michael released the world’s largest selling album of all time, ‘Thriller’. This record went on to break many more records, and sold over 50 million copies world-wide. The renowned moonwalk was first performed in 1983 on the ‘Motown 25 Years’ anniversary show. It’s now been 27 years since Michael, commonly known as MJ, first presented us with the moonwalk, and still, many people cannot master it. In my opinion, they either need/needed more time and practice or they don’t/didn’t have the skills or friends Michael had. However, Michael admitted that it was not he who created the moonwalk.
He says that he learned and perfected the moonwalk, also known as ‘the backslide’ from Jeffrey Daniel; though his sister, La-Toya Jackson, claims that he learned it from a dancer from the television show ‘Soul Train’. Other sources claim that he learned it from three street dancers, one of which was named Boogaloo Shrimp, and yet, a 2009 issue of VIBE Magazine states that he learned the move on his own: developing it as a way to walk away from his father. However, it doesn’t matter where or who Michael learned the move from. What matters, is that even after his death, the famous move still continues to be an epic feat, even for the most skilled performers. During the year of 1984, Michael earned a record breaking eight Grammy Awards; and all in a single night.
All awards were for his work on his hit album, ‘Thriller’. That same year, Michael announced, on December 9th, that he was leaving the group, and going solo. Three years later, he launched his first ever, solo world tour; at the same time, releasing yet another solo album, ‘Bad’. By the end of the 1980s, Michael Jackson was named ‘Artist of the Decade’ for his hard-earned work on his ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ albums. In 1991, Michael signed on with Sony Music for the longest ever recording contract.
With them, he produced his next solo album, ‘Dangerous’. A year or so after this, he founded the ‘Heal the World Foundation’ to help better improve the lives of children around the world. In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of sexual misconduct with a boy who was, at that time, 13. The young boy (whose name was never released to the press), now 31, still sticks with the same story. Michael Jackson allegedly paid the boy’s family with a rumored $15 million to settle the case in which no charges were filed. He denied everything that the boy said he did to him, and said, “I am bewildered at the length to which people will go to portray me so negatively.
” A few years later, in 1994, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley, rock legend Elvis Presley’s daughter. However, the marriage only lasted 19 months, and the couple divorced in 1996. Michael released his next album, ‘HIStory’, in 1995, and in November of the next year, married Debbie Rowe. He met Debbie while in the hospital; she was the nurse helping him with the treatment of his skin pigment disorder, commonly known as vitiligo.* Michael and Debbie had two children, son Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Junior, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.
Prince was born February 13, 1997, and is now 13. Paris was born April 3, 1998, and is now 12. Eventually, Michael and Debbie divorced in 1999. Roughly nine years ago, in September of 2001 Michael celebrated his 30th anniversary as a solo artist. Two concerts were to be held in New York, USA. Soon after this, Michael reunited with his brothers to perform some of their greatest hits.
Since then, Michael has released multiple other singles.** Michael’s second son, Prince Michael II, also known as Blanket, was born on February 21, 2002, and Michael himself admits to never have met Blanket’s surrogate mother. Blanket is now eight years old. In March of 2009, just last year, Michael Jackson announced a comeback tour at the O2 Arena in London to start in July 2009. It was initially for ten dates only, but the total grew to a sold out 50 dates with over 750,000 tickets sold.
All tickets were sold out within minutes of being released. The tour was to be called ‘This Is It’, and it was long awaited for by many ever-faithful supporters of both Michael Jackson and pop culture. Unfortunately, Michael was said to go into cardiac arrest on June 25th of that year. Many people disagree and blame his death on the medication that his doctor prescribed to him. Some think he killed himself; overdosing on the pills from his doctor.
It’s unclear exactly; so many different newspapers and reporters are saying so many different things. However, no matter what the cause of death, there is no reason for MJ’s devoted fans and followers to quit their dreams of becoming like him and dreaming big. His music has inspired many artists, and restored much happiness and enjoyment for many people. Not only that, but his efforts to help improve the lives of children across the globe have brought families together, and brought up the hopes of countless children. There is no more to say on this subject; my intentions should be clear. Michael Jackson, you’ve gone too soon, and with that… …I rest my case.
*Background Information: Vitiligo (VIT-I-LIE-GO), a medical stipulation which causes the pigments in the skin to lose its color, affects both genders, and all races; though it is more apparent on people with darker skin. It may show up on any part of the body, but it is more often than not, found to begin on the hands, arms and forearms, feet and face. Researchers have discovered that vitiligo develops when cells called melanocytes die or are destroyed by the body’s immune system. When the melanocytes die, an area of skin or hair turns white because the cells no longer make pigment there. Vitiligo is caused by the inheritance of multiple fundamental genes simultaneously, possibly in different combinations in different people; Also, exposure to environmental risk factors or triggers that are not yet known. Stress, whether emotional or physical, is suspected to be an environmental trigger, but it’s still unclear as to whether or not this is true.
Researchers are studying up on the subject to better understand everything that may cause vitiligo. The only known ways to treat vitiligo are surgery, or grafting, which is only available in some areas of the United States, de-pigmentation, or removing the rest of the pigment from a person’s skin, different creams and ointments, PUVA, which is using an ultraviolet light with medication to help re-pigment the skin, and Narrow Band Ultraviolet B (NP-UVB), which is basically using light to re-pigment the skin. **Odd Facts: -Michael talked about, for the first time, his career and his childhood in his first autobiography, ‘Moonwalk’ in 1988. -The remix, album ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ was released in 1997. -Michael released ‘Invincible’ in October of 200; this included two new singles; the hit ‘You Rock My World’ and ‘Cry.’ -In November 2003, a new single ‘One More Chance’ was released.