The world continues to grieve over the shocking and tragic loss of Michael Jackson, who died last Thursday around the same time that Farrah Fawcett died.
Matt Lauer and The Today Show took viewers Thursday morning a tour around Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, where he also spoke with Jermaine Jackson, whom he considers himself his little brother’s “backbone”, and told Matt that he should be the one that died, not Michael, who he calls “a gift from Allah”. “We lost our brother, our hero” Jermaine continued. “The world is mourning, we’re mourning, the fans are mourning. It’s unreal. It’s unbelievable.”
Speculations have been debated over Jackson’s death, with prescription drugs playing a vital part; a source from The Associated Press has revealed that the DEA is joining the investigation. Since his passing, the King of Pop’s record sales have increased, as fans flock to get his albums. When news revealed of Jackson’s death, they paid tribute to him at the Apollo Theatre last Thursday, over the weekend in downtown Detroit with a concert, going to his Gary, Indiana home, and at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
UVCC (United Voices for a Common Cause) founder and president H. Lewis Smith said in a press release from BlackNews.com:
“Michael Jackson, without question, was an enigma, but a prodigy in his own right: His personal life was sketchy-at best. However, his life as an innovative, history-making, high-achieving, second-to-none, world-renowned and -loved entertainer and artist was clearly absolute and inarguably the grandest of stature. His sudden death was unthinkable and shocking to me, as I am sure it was too many others. Yet in the midst of all of this jaw-dropping news and heart-wrenching time of sorrow-fore America has lost an entertainer, but the African-American race has lost a brother, a true representation of our race’s abilities, I am even more so stunned at a tribute released by Diddy and The Game, entitled Better On The Other Side (www.box.net/shared/z63l72udbo), where they refer to Michael Jackson as “my n**ga.”
“… Michael came from a generation of performers who did not incorporate the use of the n-word in their music; therefore, he should be shown the respect of not being referred to in such a manner. Rappers and others alike may refer to Jackson by the n-word as a way to show their connection to him in terms of race. However, given the history of the term, to refer to Michael Jackson, or any of our brothers, as such is utter disrespect and blasphemy to his name and all that he represented-just as it is blasphemy to our ancestors, all of the struggles they endured, and the accomplishments they attained.
“… I adamantly disagree with any African American who refers to self or another with the cold, harsh term, “n**ga,” but to refer to Michael Jackson as such just doesn’t even “sound right.” Michael is a phenomenal icon who never once reflected the mentality or definition associated with that of a savage, beastlike creature-a “n**ga.” A golden heart has stopped beating; hard working hands have been put to rest. All should allow the King of Pop, Mr. Michael Jackson, to rest in peace…with well-deserved respect, dignity, and admiration as our brother, not our “n**ga.”
Even Barack Obama is a fan, as the President told the AP that he listens to the King of Pop on his iPod. Michael Jackson, Obama said, is going “down in history as one of our greatest entertainers”.
Throughout his four-decade career, Jackson has made the transition from teen idol to mega-superstar to the King of Pop that sold over half a billion records worldwide. At a time where there were no black artists on MTV, he broke barriers and the glass ceiling with “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and the title song from his Grammy-winning blockbuster Thriller album, which stills hold as the top-selling album of all time. Jackson’s music and legendary dance moves such as the Robot and the Moonwalk paved the way for groups such as New Edition, and today’s superstars like Justin Timberlake and Usher.
He has been one of the few artists ever to be inducted to the Roll & Roll Hall of Fame twice — as part of the Jackson 5 and then as a solo artist; he is name by the Guinness World Records as “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”.
However, his personal life in later years eclipsed his popularity with charges of sexual abuse, his changing physical appearances, and being named by the press as “Wacko Jacko”. But who was the real Michael Jackson? His brother Jermaine answers that question to Matt Lauer on Thursday’s Today:
“The legacy of Michael Jackson is Michael being a wonderful person, a wonderful father, a caring person, a humanitarian, a person who wanted good for everyone, a person who would give his last whatever just to make someone happy.
“What’s he done for the world, not just the financial, but the happiness of people. What kind of price can you put on that? How do you value that? The joy…to make someone happy, to make someone smile through your actions, through what you’re doing, there’s no price for that.”