The legendary musician went under cardiac arrest on Thursday, June 25th, at his rented home in Los Angeles, and he was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. Jackson was just 50 years old.
In recent years, Jackson's personal demons overshadowed the legacy of his musical contributions. With his numerous plastic surgeries, his eccentric, childlike lifestyle, and more importantly, the allegations of child molestation, he was viewed by many as a "reclusive freak" and not as the perfect entertainer. And now with his untimely death, not only are older fans (including myself) rediscovering our love (and near worship) of Michael Jackson, there's also a younger generation who is now listening to his music for the very first time.
I was barely old enough to start school when '''''Thriller''''' hit music stores. Watching his music videos was an event because everyone around me would completely stop what they were doing and just stare in awe of his talent. Jackson's music videos were really short films and nothing like this in music had ever been done before. Videos for "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and of course, "Thriller," not only brought more viewers to MTV and VH1, but also forced other artists of that time to step up their game and make choreography a key component in their own music videos.
During his career, Michael Jackson sold over 750 million records worldwide. '''''Thriller''''' remains as the top selling album of all time. He broke every record he set out to break and just days before his death, Jackson was rehearsing tirelessly for his upcoming tour in London.
Michael Jackson's legacy is that he gave so much of himself in all that he did--as a singer, songwriter, dancer, performer, and humanitarian.