June 25, 2009. It didn’t even seem real. But every TV in the world wasn’t lying: Michael Jackson, king of pop, beloved music icon, and music legend, was dead.
Everybody had questions. What killed Michael Jackson?
People like Michael Jackson are considered larger than life itself. We expect them to somehow defy nature and stick around forever. Or at least until they are about 100 or so years old.
But Jackson died at the age of 50, on the precipice of a multi-city, intercontinental tour.
He said it would be his last such tour.
Jackson hadn’t looked 100% in a long time. For years, he’d been dogged by rumors of prescription drug addiction and depression.
Soon after he died, news reports quickly confirmed what many long suspected: Michael Jackson had become dependent on medication, and ultimately, it was that need to medicate himself that claimed his life.
He lived a life of controversy and died in controversy.
And it seemed that, even though he lived his entire live in front of our eyes, we didn’t know as much about the man that we all loved for so many years, and for so many generations.
He fathered three children who not only do not appear to be his own, but appear to be of a completely different race. He loved children but found himself the victim of molestation allegations. He denied extensive cosmetic surgeries even as his appearance changed drastically–and frequently.
In the end, though, he was irreplaceable to billions of people. His fans overlooked the noise, the changes, the eccentricity. We LOVED Michael Jackson.
And his legacy is undeniable: music that can’t be touched, re-made, or duplicated. And neither can he. There’ll never be another Michael Jackson.
Rest in peace MJ.