On Thursday a legend died.
I was surprised by my grief.
It wasn’t grief like that for a personal friend, but rather the sense that this person had contributed so much to the soundtrack of my life. He was a cultural icon the world over and had spent his entire life creating and sharing beautiful music with a message of love.
What I love is that in his death, no one chose to focus on the controversies surrounding Michael Jackson’s later years. There was an outpouring of love, which is exactly what he had given the world for so long.
One person asked if MJ would go to heaven or hell and wondered whether or not he had made peace with his demons. I believe MJ’s demons hunted him until the day he died and that his hell was here on earth. Pop critic Robert Hilburn wrote a beautiful piece on MJ’s wounded heart, from which he never recovered. If he only knew how much we really loved him…
Dennis Romero of DanceBlogga noted that Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the best selling studio album of all time and has told me time and time again, that Off the Wall was his favorite Michael Jackson album. How funny that “Off the Wall” should be the song stuck in my head from the moment I heard of MJ’s passing.
MJ was a major influence on music and culture. So many in my generation grew up listening to his music. Hell, every R&B boy from Usher to Chris Brown to Ne-yo and Akon, has gotten their moves from Michael Jackson.
The afterlife only matters to the living. Untimely or not, June 25, 2009 will be remembered as the day Michael Jackson died. And all I can say is that life ain’t so bad at all, when you live it off the wall.