When Anna Nicole Smith died, a friend of mine, not himself a fan of the professional celebrity, said he burst out crying. He “couldn’t help” feeling sad. And so I felt earlier today, upoing learning of the passing of Michael Jackson. I did not cry, but felt a certain unfathomable sadness.
He was, quite simply, one of the (if not the) most gifted musical peformers of our time. He was born with a talent that individuals spend a fortune in money and countless hours of their own time to acquire, only never to distinguish themselves in any memorable manner. This is not say that Jackson did not work hard; there is abundant that he did.
Indeed, the strenuous rehearsals for his upcoming London comeback shows may have caused the cardiac arrest which took his life. We know from stories of his childhood that he spent so much time rehearsing, recording and performing with the Jackson 5 that he could not do what most children did, hang out with their friends and play with their toys, living in a world of their imaginations.
He didn’t have time to dream, performing as he did in a successful band and dealing with the fame brought about by its success.
That ban was successful large part due to his own talents which his father recognized early on–and pushed him to develop. Joe Jackson dominated young Michael’s life until, in his early adulthood, he set out on his own. In a matter of months, Michael experienced a transformation that takes years, if not decades, for most of us, from being in thrall to his parents to being in control of a vast entertainment empire. And just as he was achieving success on his own, music videos, the perefect medium for communicating his talent to mass audiences, were coming to the fore. [Read more…]