A Tribute to Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

He thrilled the world in every way you could imagine. Between his unworldly stage presence and turbulent personal life, nobody had anticipated the greatest shock that Michael Jackson gave the world; the greatest entertainer of our time died yesterday in Los Angeles. Tributes from fans and celebrities alike have flooded the media after Jackson passed away, aged only 50 years old. The exact details surrounding the superstar’s death remain a mystery. It is believed that Jackson suffered a heart attack at his Los Angeles home, although the true cause of death will not be clear until the post-mortem takes place.  According to his older brother Jermaine, Jackson was reported dead at 2.26pm (Pacific Time) at UCLA medical centre.

In true star fashion, he didn’t go quietly, according to reports, news of Jackson’s death caused websites such as TMZ, which first broke the news, Wikipedia, Google and Twitter to crash due to huge surges of traffic. Twitter even reported on average 5000 tweets per minute discussing Jackson’s death. Internet Retail giant Amazon has announced that following the star’s untimely demise, their top 15 album sales slots are now already occupied by the late singer. Music channels, including MTV and radio stations across the globe abandoned regular programming to pay tribute to great entertainer, who was affectionately dubbed the king of pop.

Jackson’s influence on the music world was unrivalled; urban music artists from Usher and Justin Timberlake to Diddy and Lil Wayne have listed him as an inspiration.  The superstar confessed to being a fan of hip hop and worked with many urban music producers, such as Swizz Beatz, Will.I.Am, Mel-man, Teddy Riley and Quincy Jones. Jackson’s music has been sampled and covered by a huge range of artists spanning every imaginable genre. His phenomenal sophomore solo album ‘Thriller’ is currently the best-selling album of all time, sparking no less than 7 hit singles including the eponymous hit ‘Thriller’ and the infectious ‘Billie Jean.’ ‘Thriller’ amazingly sold over 100 million copies worldwide, an outstanding sales figure to which no other album has even come close.

Many failed to find the words to express their true feelings regarding this tragic loss, although sombre tributes have poured out from family and friends.  Madonna expressed her grief, stating, ‘I can’t stop crying over the sad news…the world has lost one of the greats.’  Similarly, hip hop mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs praised Jackson, exclaiming ‘he made the music come to life!’ Legendary producer Quincy Jones merely stated, ‘I just don’t have the words’ and continued to explain that he felt like he had lost a ‘little brother.’ Rapper Lil Wayne then described Jackson’s death as ‘a sad day in history.’ His older brother Jermaine Jackson spoke on behalf of the family, explaining how medical professionals had attempted to resuscitate him but to no avail.  He concluded his statement tearfully with the words, ‘I love you.’

Although family, friends and fans worldwide are mourning Jackson’s death, perhaps it is also important to celebrate the life of this great man and contributions he made to the entertainment world. Michael Jackson’s music was a brilliant blend of addictive melodies and memorable lyrics that should be remembered as the greatest sound of our time.  The award-winning artist sold an estimated 750 million records in his lifetime and won no less than 13 Grammy awards. Michael Joseph Jackson is survived by his three children and leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten.

© Hannah O’Connor (3threat Media)

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