Michael Joseph Jackson: Musical Icon, Humanitarian Legend
The day was August 29, 1958. The place was Gary, Indiana. The seventh of nine children born, to Joseph and Katherine Jackson, Michael was special from the beginning. As Michael grew, he began to show a keen interest in music. His mother instilled a deep love of God into Michael and his siblings, while Joseph (a guitar player and steel mill worker) focused on the musical part. It was Joseph who is credited with forming the Jackson 5.
Jackson 5... comprised of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and little Michael... worked hard to become one of the best acts of their time. By age 8, Michael was singing lead vocals for the group. Not too much later, the group- lead by Motown- was on its way! One of the most vocal accolades for Michael came from Rolling Stone magazine, who called the young boy "a musical prodigy," with "overwhelming musical gifts."
Michael was just 11 when the group hit #1 on the Billboard's Top 100. Shortly afterward, there was even a cartoon featuring the Jackson Five. For a child, this was the epitome of stardom! As the children grew older, though, life began to take its toll. There were rumors of Joe Jackson being "controlling" and more like a "stage father" than one who seeks the best interest of his children. There were reports of rifts within the Jackson clan... sibling with sibling, parent with sibling and parent with parent. It all left an effect on Michael.
By the early 80's, it was Michael who decided to venture away from the group and begin a solo career. Along with little sister Janet- who was fast becoming a musical debutante in her own right- Michael continued to climb to stardom. "Off the Wall," his album in '79, sent Michael soaring! It seemed like, from here on out, everything Michael touched turned to gold. Aptly dubbed "The King of Pop," Michael put out such hits as Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat It, Man in the Mirror, We are the World, and the list goes on and on. He could not be touched!
During Michael's later years, there were unsubstantiated allegations made, that he was more than "friendly" with children... particularly, boys. The people blaming Michael of these awful disgraces had their day in court, and... lost. Michael was found innocent on all charges. Law enforcement even destroyed Michael's home and property, in a weak attempt to uncover "evidence" of the crime. No luck. It appeared that Michael was just a "big kid" who loves children. This unfortunate fiasco also took a toll on Michael, and his family... both, physically and financially.
Despite all his trials, and amid all the speculation, Michael continued to triumph in the face of evil. He was a widely-known humanitarian, giving to such people and organizations as Africa, children with cancer and other diseases, animal rights organizations and so on. This shows what kind of a heart Michael had. He was an advocate for human rights and people suffering in the world.
His music, his dance, his acting and his kindness transcends what most people we know are even capable of doing, let alone willing and eager to do. Michael is loved by many throughout the world, no matter who they are... black, white, asian, hispanic, multiracial, gay, straight, rich, poor, criminal, law-abiding citizen. Michael created a world and a life that is highly respected, and will never, ever be forgotten.
We love you, forever, Michael and you will always be a part of our hearts! Much love and heartfelt prayers go out to his family, his friends, his fans and those whose lives he's touched in a magnificent way. You are, and FOREVER will be, "The King of Pop."