As I sat and watched the Michael Jackson memorial at the Staples Center this morning, I found myself reflecting back on my life and my childhood growing up with Michael Jackson and his music. I first became a fan of Michael when I was in elementary school and Thriller was the top selling album. I remember hearing his music prior to that from my family, songs with the Jackson 5, songs from Off the Wall,but I, myself, became a fan when Thriller came out. Through the years, I’ve grown to love all his music, even those songs that were hits before I was born. These include songs from little Mikey at age 10; ABC, I’ll be there, Ben, Got to be there, Dancing Machine…Rock with you, girlfriend, don’t stop till you get enough, working day and night, the list goes on and on. My love for his music continued through the years and grew with his superstar performances and routines. There was something magical about him. I loved and still love all of Michael Jackson’s music. If you listen carefully to his lyrics, you will see the pain he suffered in his life, you will hear the good he wanted and you’ll realize how he wanted to change the world. And, to a certain degree, he did just that… changed the world. He was a true gift.
My life is time stamped with Michael’s music. His music helped me through some difficult times in my life and MJ always made it better. There was something magical about his music, his presence, his incredible talent, his calming soul. He was a true talent; songwriter, singer, dancer and performer. But, it didn’t stop there. His heart was filed with gold, the charities he helped, the funds he gave, the children he cared for…his intentions were sincere, but often ridiculed. The media tore him to shreds… shame on all those who tried so hard to knock down a man with such greatness. I can say so much about him, but don’t want to ramble on. His global popularity speaks volumes. There never was ONE star to be so internationally loved and admired. Millions and millions of people across the globe, black and white, of all colors, all races, all ages; young and old knew of this International Superstar. He was MICHAEL JACKSON.
Today’s memorial was well done. Magic Johnson’s speech was heart felt, Brooke Shield’s words were touching, Usher’s performance moving. His daughter Paris’ ending words were so sad, but a reminder that he was more than the entertainer and performer we’ve grown to love. He was a brother, a son, a friend and most importantly, a father. It brought tears to my eyes to hear that little girl’s voice crying about her daddy. You couldn’t help but feel the pain that was obviously being felt by his immediate family, especially his mother; as everyone went to her and offered words of comfort. We lost an icon, she lost her son. Something a mother should never have to do. It’s a shame his life ended so abruptly. It’s a shame the media tortured him and portrayed him as someone he was NOT. He was the greatest entertainer of all time and I hope he is watching down amongst all of us and realizes just how much he was loved.
I was lucky enough to sign his memorial wall at the Staples center and took part of many of the events over the last 10 days. His memorial is over and now let’s remember the King of Pop and hold on to our own memories of this talented and gifted artist, Michael Joseph Jackson. He is free at last, but his legacy will live on…