However controversial the events of his life have been, the passing of Michael Jackson has tremendously affected me. I remember watching him make his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show...a cute little kid with an incredible voice! I was captivated along with the rest of the world. When he was a boy, he was the precocious, spinning lead singer of the Jackson 5, the music group he formed with his 4-older brothers. Among their No. 1 hits were "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "I'll Be There."
He was perhaps the most exciting performer of my generation, known for his crotch-grabbing dance moves and his high-pitched voice punctuated with squeals and titters. His single sequined glove, tight, military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses were trademarks second only to his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance. How many performers can grab a sequined glove and hat and transform an audience, waiting in anticipation for that glide across the floor with his trademark moonwalk?
I think this article from the Associated Press best describes his tumultuous life:
"Jackson ranked alongside Elvis Presley and the Beatles as the biggest pop sensations of all time. In fact, he united two of music's biggest names when he was briefly married to Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie.
But as years went by, Jackson became an increasingly freakish figure — a middle-aged man-child weirdly out of touch with grown-up life. His skin became lighter, his nose narrower, and he spoke in a breathy, girlish voice. He surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, often wore a germ mask while traveling and kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions.
In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003. He had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him. The case took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.
Jackson was preparing for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13. He was in rehearsals in Los Angeles for the concert, an extravaganza that was to capture the classic Jackson magic: showstopping dance moves, elaborate staging and throbbing dance beats.
Regardless of the controversy around him, Michael Jackson has touched many through his music, dancing, ground-breaking videos and his life. He will always be remembered in the pop culture world and in mine....he will be missed.