This song, “Tabloid Junkie” by Michael Jackson is one of my very favorite songs from later in his career off of one of his very best albums “History: Past Present and Future”. It came on my iPod, this morning, while I was working out and it got stuck in my head all day. The message of the song is important, not just in reference to Michael Jackson’s life, but with everything. People take what they read in the newspaper and magazines and see on the T.V. as if it were the word of the lord and a lot of it is sensationalized crap and the rest is simply untrue. I don’t believe much of anything that was ever said about Michael in the media. I don’t believe the sexual charges aimed at him. I think they were just trying to play on his weakness and, yes, his inherent “different-ness” and make him into some sort of monster and get his money. When you rise so high, people just want to bring you down. All the stories about plastic surgery are ridiculous too. They would say he wanted to be white, but that’s simply unture. He was born with a disease called Vitiligo that caused him to have white spots on his skin and as he got older it got worse. At a point it became too much work to cover it all up with makeup and you can see in his “Off The Wall” and “Thriller” days that the makeup was taking a toll on his skin in the form of really bad acne. So instead of keeping up the charade, he took the only other option he had and bleached out the remaining black skin so at least he would be all one color and because of that his more pronounced Black features didn’t look quite right with his new look so he had some work done, but yes after that he went to far, continually trying to improve himself. I do think he was different, but what do you expect from an artist as amazing and earth shattering as Michael Jackson? However, I do not believe any of the nonsense said about him during his lifetime in the media. He was a gentle and kind soul and was uber, uber talented. He should be remembered for the GREAT artist, trail-blazer and humanitarian that he was. Don’t believe everything he see or read because as Michael said, “Just because you read it in a magazine or see it on the T.V. screen, don’t make it factual.” Michael Jackson never made a video for this song, but this is a pretty good fan made video.
On November 30th 1982 one of the greatest album’s of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was released!!! Just over a year later, in 1984, it won Album of the Year at the Grammys. Since its release it has sold somewhere around 110 million albums worldwide!!! That makes it an 11 times Diamond record!!! Now if you follow this blog you know from a post from a few weeks back that Michael Jackson is tied for my #1 artist of all time with The Beatles and OutKast and “Thriller” just goes to show you the heights that true talent can achieve. What makes “Thriller”, an already infinitely great album, even better, for me, is the fact that one of my other #1 favorite artists, Paul McCartney, was featured on it, on the song “The Girl Is Mine”. There really isn’t much I can say about “Thriller” that has never been said a million times before. It was…well…a “Thriller”. It blended just about every and any genre of music known to man with perfect Pop sensibility, which of course made it appealing to just about anyone who loved any kind of good music. It actually also played a pivotal roll in breaking down racial barriers in America. Among the many racial barriers broken down, the popularity of “Thriller” and Michael Jackson made him the first black artists to be played in regular rotation on MTV (when they still actually played music). In honor of one of the greatest albums ever recorded and another GREAT Album of the Year winner at the Grammys, today’s song of the day is “Thriller”!!!
The death of Michael Jackson on June 25th, 2009, caught me by complete and utter surprise, as it did with millions of people, worldwide. The sadness enveloped me very quickly and I found it hard to breath. His music started pumping out of every radio station as I drove home and I couldn’t help but tear up. I know many people will say it’s weird to be sad or even affected by the death of a celebrity you never truly knew, but with Michael Jackson as is the case with many celebrities, you feel like you truly know them. His sudden death came as especially eerie to me seeing as only 2 days before his death, I bought Michael Jackson’s CD “History”, which was the last CD to complete my whole Michael Jackson collection (from Off the Wall to Invincible). I was listening to him non stop for the days leading up to his death. I go on music binges every now and than with artists. I’ll be completely enthralled with their music for a while and listen to only them and that’s what I was doing the days leading up to his death. I was speaking with my friend only the night before he died about how much I loved him and his music and how along with The Beatles and OutKast, is one of my favorite artist and biggest musical influence. I was also telling her how if I tried really hard to think back as far as I can to my first memory, I can’t remember anything before the first time I ever watched the Thriller video. Truly that is as far back as I can remember. There is nothing before that. My mother, step-mom, and even my brother had him playing around the house and in the car all the time. When a person is in your very first memory and their music, style, dance moves, and charisma is engrained in your psyche and in the fabric of your life (from childhood to adulthood) you are bound to be deeply sadden by their passing. Just like the passing of Elvis, John Lennon and any other great legend in the past, people are deeply sadden by losing someone so talented, influential, and important to them.
People have had a lot of horrible things to say about Michael in the past because of ignorance and a lack of tying to understand a person who was different from them. You don’t get to be who M.J. was by being just like everyone else (for good or bad). No doubt Michael Jackson had some problems, but I never believed him to be a molester. This is America and everyone is innocent until proven guilty and seeing as he was never proven guilty, he is innocent. You have to keep in mind Mike was one of the most famous people in the world. When you are on top, people want to bring you down, We have seen that time and time again with many great people. Michael Jackson was a very easy target too because he was so soft spoken and tender hearted. Everyone knows Michael Jackson had an affinity for kids. That in no way means he was a molester. He had psychological problems stemming from his childhood. When he was a kid he seemed so grown up and when he was grown up he seemed like a kid. He really felt like he was a kid and that’s why I don’t think his relationships with kids ever became sexual. A kid does not have those sexual desires. He was a very lonely man. He had millions of fans, but very few real friends. Everybody wanted something from Mike (money mainly). That is the main reason I believe people tried to sue him on molestation charges. He was an easy target because of his eccentricity and because he had so much money. People wanted to take him for a ride. The court cases never held up in court because the kids and parents testifying against him were lying. When they were put on the stand, their stories fell apart.
As for Michael’s physical appearance over the years, it’s time to put all the rumors to rest. Michael Jackson did not bleach himself to be white. He had a skin disease called Vitiligo, which causes you to lose the pigment of your skin. If you look at pictures of him from the Off the Wall, Thiller era you can see he had a lot of acne. His acne was a result of the layers of makeup he had to wear to just look normal and cover up his blotchy leopard skin. Eventually the white part of his skin got too much for him to cover up with make-up so he completed the process by bleaching out the rest of his skin so he wouldn’t be all spotty. If you had the same disease you would have more than likely done the same thing, especially if you were in the spotlight everyday with pictures being taken of you all the time. Once he was white, his African-American facial features still were there. Black people have more pronounced noses and lips so once he was white he felt it necessary to thin out his nose and lips to look more normal for his new skin tone. I think that is understandable. Everybody in the world wanted to pass judgment on his childness, his skin, his nose, everything. So he became ever more reclusive over the years and more “strange” because of people’s constant picking him apart. He was already painfully shy and lonely and pointing all his flaws out and problems out caused him to further fall down a spiraling road.
In the end Michael Jackson should be remembered for the things he did. He sold over 750 million records worldwide to people of all races and religions and musical persuasions. He broke the racial boundary on MTV (before him no black artists were played) and in turn made MTV what it is or was. He invented Pop music which was more or less a mix of Rock, Disco,/Funk, R&B (everything). His songs had a little something for everyone and that is why is music touched so many people. He innovated the art of music video with every one he made. He innovated the art of dance. He was an activist for world peace, and against world hunger, child abuse etc. He inspired scores of dancers, singers, artists, everyday people etc. He was truly the King of Pop!!! He will be sorely missed by the billions of lives he touched. I know I will miss him and I deeply respect him for what he accomplished in his life. Let’s all respect his memory and just enjoy his music, moves, and all around greatness. Mike you were a true idol/icon to me. You were the first musical artist I ever listened to. There will never be anyone like you ever again. You are truly the greatest. In your own words “I just can’t stop loving you.” R.I.P. Michael Jackson A.K.A. The King of Pop.