Michael Jackson died of a heart attack on June 25th, 2009, and it’s with mixed feelings that I finally succumbed to mention him. His loss, musically, is a profound tragedy. However, the last thing we heard from the “The King of Pop” was in 2001, when Invincible was released. Thus, his loss to the music industry in the present is, really, of no consequence; it is not as if he was in the studio for the past eight years recording new material. Quite honestly, although many are sad he passed away, my compassion’s withheld and my emotions are blank. I was more affected by Neda’s murder than Michael Jackson’s heart attack.
The words are harsh… Yet, right or wrong, when I think of Michael Jackson, one ugly thought comes to mind: Child Molester. Although unproven, there were too many allegations, too many unanswered questions, and too many “out of court” offers & secret settlements. Too many shenanigans. I understand ‘presumption of innocence,’ but after someone is called into question for the same thing numerous times, opinions tend to change. And I’m sure that mine won’t be a solitary voice. Thus, I will recognize his passing, but I will not mourn it.
The investigative reporter that originally broke the story that Jackson was being investigated for Child Molestation was LA Times’ Don Ray. He wrote of Michael Jackson’s death in a blog yesterday:
Was Michael Jackson a child molester? Was he a pedophile? Nobody ever proved it in criminal court and a secret, out-of-court settlement prevented the civil trial from ever happening.
The veteran detective investigating Michael Jackson was convinced that he was a pedophile. If there was ever someone who fit the FBI’s profile of pedophiles, it was Michael Jackson.
The fact that I mention his accomplishments is tribute enough; his loss to the music industry historically is a tragedy; Thriller, released in 1982, remains the world’s top-selling album of all time. Jackson’s talent, showmanship and creativity may never be rivaled. He was a giving philanthropist, at one time estimated to support at least 39 charities, donating millions of dollars in aid. The list of World Records, awards, and achievements is daunting:
A cultural phenomenon Jackson was the first African American to successfully cross the boundaries of race, gender, and generation. As a direct result of this mass appeal, he was named Entertainer of The Year, The Decade, The Generation, and The Century.
He also had the uncanny ability to stay out of view for years and then step back into the world, once again, a star. After a couple years of visibility, he would go silent. Each time he “came out,” there would be a top selling album or a record-breaking tour launched. At other times, an arrest or a trial.
For the past eight years he was relatively silent, with the exception of his 2005 trial, subsequent acquittal, and out-of-court “secret” payment.
Like Elvis, this King may be dead, but he won’t soon be forgotten.