Needless to say, I, like many others, was sad to hear of Michael Jackson's death this past Thursday. I will remember him for all of the amazing things he did and created. Anything that he was going through and whoever he was helped to create amazing things; not that this excuses him from any wrongdoing in an 'ends justifies the means' kind of way, but for me, the fact that many extremely talented and creative people are somewhat off-balance at least puts things into perspective.
I don't think I've ever met anyone who told me they didn't like Michael Jackson's music. It's impossible to listen to "Thriller" or "Beat It" or "Billie Jean" or "Shake Your Body Down to the Ground" or "The Way You Make Me Feel" or so many others without at least shakin a leg or two. He was an immensely talented person who created music that spoke to millions of people and helped to break countless barriers. I grew up dancing and singing to much of his versatile music that spanned over 40 years; my youth would have been so different if Michael Jackson hadn't been performing during it. He was a part of so many car rides, school dances, weekend afternoons with my cousins when we tried to learn the Thriller choreography, dance recitals, personal hairbrush microphone concerts where I myself was Bad, Halloweens (it's not Halloween until someone plays "Thriller"), cultural references...and still will be for quite a while. The first time I was let go from a job, I played a Michael Jackson mix on my iPod on my way home. Despite my situation, I found myself dancing in my seat on the T. It made me feel better about things and put me in a good mood, something I remembered for the next 2 times I found myself being laid off from a job.
I can't possibly do Michael's choreography justice, otherwise I would leave you with a homemade video dance tribute. Instead, in his honor, I've officially deemed "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" my jam (as in "That's my JAM!"). Long live the music and dance moves of the King Of Pop.