“Michael Jackson, 50, is dead” read the headline on the New York Times on 25 June 2009. This was just one of the many articles, news broadcasts and social media posts that would announce the death of the self-proclaimed King of Pop and today marks the 5th anniversary of the singer’s death.
Michael Joseph Jackson was only 5 years old when he became the lead singer of the Jackson 5, a family band consisting of him and his older brothers. Michael’s first solo album, “Off The Wall”, was released in 1979 and it became the first ever album to release a record breaking four No.1 singles in the US but this was nothing compared to his sophomore album, “Thriller”, which had seven hit singles and went on to become the best-selling album of all time.
Michael used music videos to promote his singles and I think it is safe to say that he had some of the best music videos ever. He called the music videos short films and this was fitting as the videos always had story lines and featured actual actors. He worked with the best directors and producers, using special effects and the latest technology. The choreography made them even more interesting! Who could forget the infamous ‘crotch grab’ and the ‘moonwalk’?
With all the success in Michael’s career, also came some scandals in his personal and professional life. In 1979, Michael broke his nose and had to undergo surgery. This would be the beginning of the many cosmetic surgeries that physically transformed him forever and it got a lot of tongues wagging. From dangling his newborn baby off the balcony four stories above ground level to SEVEN counts of child sexual abuse, Michael was never short of controversies. With so many lawsuits against him, Michael ended up in huge debt and battling bankruptcy.
At the time of his death, Michael was busy with preparations for a set of shows that were meant to relaunch his career and hopefully get him out of the financial ditch he was in. The show was set to start in July and all 750000 tickets were sold out within minutes of being released.
The King of Pop of pop died suddenly of cardiac arrest as a result of (insert medical jargon meaning sleeping pills) prescribed and administered by his personal physician who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
To borrow from Maya Angelou’s We Had Him: “Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that. He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.”
To celebrate his life, we at Live Mag SA compiled some our favourite MJ songs.
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