Michael Jackson Musical Legacy: Was the King of Pop Misunderstood?
Redicovering The King of Pop
Have you ever felt that the mass media had an influence on your perception of Michael Jackson and his rightful place in pop culture? Did this affect your feelings about him, his music or his talent? All these troubling questions reflect the need for someone to set the record straight. It is what,I intend to do here today so, who was Michael Jackson and how should we interpret his impact? What is his lasting legacy?
In order for us to find the answers to these questions, we must first travel back in time to the moment the name Michael Jackson became singular in our pop culture consciousness. The year was 1969, December 14, to be exact, when the world was first introduced to a then 11 year old Michael alongside his legendary brothers the Jackson 5 on the Ed Sullivan Show. Michael and his siblings redefined the American dream. Born into poverty they managed to turn their misfortune into a drive for success and excellence.
Early on their father Joe Jackson saw that one of his children was extremely special and sought to bring Michael's talent to the world. He began entering his sons in various singing competitions throughout the United States. Their big break came when they scored a recording contract with the power house music company Motown Records, Like they say, the rest is history. The Ed Sullivan Show was only the beginning. What was once Beatlemania in the1960s became Jacksonmania in the early 1970s. Michael and his brothers were the biggest pop music phenomenon since their counterparts the Beatles. They went on to shape the pop culture landscape with their distinctive bubble gum soul sound and wholesome looks, in variety shows, music and cartoons. Before Michael had reached the age of twelve, he had become a pop cultural icon with his famous siblings.
During this time period, the media was not threatened by this child prodigy and was even supportive of him. But, by the end of seventies things would began to change as an entirely new era of music began for Jackson. With the release of his 1982 Thriller album, a cultural revolution had begun to sweep the nation as the true enormity of Michael Jackson's talent was realized. Suddenly the world was taken by storm. Radio formats, music videos, MTV, and stage performances were all transformed by the guy who was once dubbed, a one man rescue crew for the music industry. The King of Pop in many ways had become a messianic figure. The world literally worshiped Michael. Millions wanted to dance like him, sing like him, and even be him.
This is when the witch hunt by a jealous and dishonest media began. They sought to put an end to Jackson exalted status. Overnight we saw sensationalized stories about him being produced and sold, such as the claim that he bought the Elephant Man's remains, or that he slept in an hyperbolic chamber. All these stories were obvious lies, but they became stuck in the public's consciousness for years. The media would often claim that the stories had come from Jackson himself, but this was also untrue.
There were also allegations of alleged child abuse of young boys but Michael was acquitted of such charges in a court of law. The king of pop was known to opened up his home to children from all walks of life, the poor, the sick and famous among them. He is God father to Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and many others, all of whom were also visitors to his Neverland ranch.
By the time the nineties had arrived, Michael had become as famous for his eccentricities as he was for his art. These evil people continued their character assassination of Jackson by falsely claiming he was ashamed of his blackness and wanted to become white by bleaching himself: This was extremely cruel when it was obvious that Jackson suffered from a debilitating skin disease called Vitiligo, which erases pigmentation from the skin.
Children with vitiligo
The autoimmune disorder vitiligo causes horrific disfigurement of a person, especially one of color. We can only imagine what toll the disease had on Michael's mental and physical well being. How could the King of Pop, who was the biggest star on the planet walk around looking like a horribly disfigured person? We must put ourselves in his shoes. He had no choice but to correct the problem the best way he knew how so, he underwent a treatment called depigmentation, which erases all pigment from the skin giving an individual a translucent complexion. This information can be found in his autopsy report which states that he suffered from the condition. You can also enter Michael Jackson and vitiligo in an Internet search engine and it should come up. I posted some videos and links below, feel free to check them out.
In closing my thoughts regarding Michael and his amazing career, I want to point out that it is up to each of us to look past the lies of the mass media and into the soul of the man-child who grew up literally in front of our eyes. Michael touched millions with his unearthly talent. We must give Jackson his rightful place in music history. Lets us all celebrate the King of Music and elevate his true legacy as we remember the time he first entered and enriched our lives. Share your comments below, I look forward to hearing from you.
this link is to a page dedicated to michael and his struggle with Vitiligo