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Touched by a Legend

Michael Jackson
 

Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer, performer, and artist in my lifetime. His music was the soundtrack of my life in the 1980s and early 1990s. People of all ages can relate, feel, and connect to Michael Jackson’s music. He was the biggest selling artist of all time. He sold over 800 million records worldwide. He had earned 13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards, 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career, which is more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era had. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him twice. His unparalleled influence on pop culture is epic. He is responsible for taking music and music videos to new heights. The young generation of the 1980s and 1990s at one time in their lives wanted to sing, dance, or performed like Michael Jackson. I can see a bit of Michael Jackson in Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, and Usher.

My earliest memory of Michael Jackson was watching him on Motown 25. He performed his classic hit “Billie Jean” and introduced the world-famous moonwalk. Wow, he blew my mind away! It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. His whole performance was flawless! Everybody who watched that knew he was something special! The man was certainly on his was way to dominated the music world.

Michael Jackson proved to me that he was a genius with his Thriller video. It was perhaps the quintessential music video ever. The way he morphed into a werecat and zombie, and began dancing with the other zombies were phenomenal. I remembered my older brother, sister, and me trying to reenact the dance moves from the video. It was truly the most exciting thing we had seen at the time. Every kid from my Harlem neighborhood wanted a replica of the red leather jacket Michael Jackson wore in that video. Some kids in my Elementary school wore the “golf glove decorated with rhinestones” as if they had all the power in the world in their hand. It was amazing how many people both young and old wanted to emulate the King of Pop.

My sister and I loved the film, Moonwalker, so much that we could recite whole sections of it verbatim. We both tried to reenact the “Smooth Criminal” segment, but we could not do it like Mike. I like how Michael Jackson transformed into a sports car, a giant robot, and spaceship. It really reminded me of one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Transformers. Many Michael Jackson’s fans considered the film a classic.

When I first heard “Remember the Time” in 1992, I knew Michael Jackson was back! The song was a New Jack Swing-flavored jam, which was a very popular sound in Harlem. The video to the song was unbelievable! The video, set in ancient Egypt, and it featured Eddie Murphy, Iman, Magic Johnson, and groundbreaking visual effects. The visual effects were very similar to the blockbuster 1991 science fiction action film Terminator 2: Judgment Day. At the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards, Michael Jackson did an inspirational performance of “Remember the Time”. He was in a chair with an injured foot surrounded by dancers, and still stole the show!

I really enjoyed listening to his albums. My favorites are Off The Wall, Thriller, Dangerous, and Bad. They were all masterpieces. Some of my favorite songs by him: “Rock with you”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “Remember the Time”, and “Billie Jean”, I just get Goosebumps all over my body. I loved all the Jackson 5 hits as well. It is amazing the body of work Michael Jackson left the entire world. It is definitely a lifetime of brilliance. I do not think no one can out do him, dance like him, or touch the souls of people around the world as he does. He is arguably the only solo performer with a billion-fan base and still counting.

I remembered Michael Jackson for his humanitarian work. His Heal the World Foundation has helped our environment and improved the conditions of children from around the world. Michael Jackson’s main purpose in life was to make the world a better place for not only children, but for all of us. He was just a caring, generous man. I think he was one of the finest human beings to walk the planet.

When my mother announced to me that Michael Jackson died, it was so unexpected and tragic. I felt the world stopped for a moment, because I knew his death was going to hit many people hard especially the kids that idolized him. Their hero was gone! No entertainer can fill the void that Michael Jackson has left.

Gary, Indiana loved Michael Jackson. Harlem loved Michael Jackson. Detroit loved Michael Jackson. Hollywood loved Michael Jackson. The entire world loved Michael Jackson! There will never be an incredible entertainer like Michael Jackson. In my estimation, he is the undisputed King of Music. I love you Michael Jackson and God Bless! R.I.P.!

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