Today would’ve been icon Michael Joseph Jackson’s 54th birthday. It’s been over 3 years since his untimely passing. His presence and influence are just as strong now as they were before. Jackson was a supremely talented being that blazed trails and inspired generations of fans and stars alike. With each release, he delved deeper and deeper into himself. He bared his soul, opened his heart, and provided us with what many would consider the soundtrack of our lives. His albums went beyond music and entertainment. They were events—monumental, genre-bending, shape-shifting events. I don’t know how many fits I had in the record store as a child because I wanted latest Michael Jackson album.
Aside from Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, and Jody Watley, his music shaped much of my childhood and young adulthood and love of the arts. Jackson’s (along with the aforementioned artists) videos changed the game, revolutionizing the visual presentation of musical artists (with everything from fashion, style, choreography, overall stage presence, special effects, and cinematography to name a few). I, like many I’m sure, would break my neck to see Jackson’s music videos. Glued to the screen, I was totally in awe of the sheer talent, artistry, and ingeniousness of it all. Still to this day, I can’t help but be pulled in completely whenever one of his videos comes on TV or one of his songs is played on the radio. The feeling, the soul, the spirit just goes right through you.
Jackson gave so much of himself to us through his art and philanthropic efforts. It’s unfortunate that he had to go out the way he did. But he was called home. He fulfilled his destiny. But the legacy he left behind will be cherished for decades to come.
So today, let’s celebrate the icon that Michael Joseph Jackson was/is. The King lives on!!!