18 November 2015
The Jackson 1
I remember at twelve years old watching television in my living room in the summer of 2009 when the death of Michael Jackson was announced worldwide. I wasn’t a huge Michael Jackson fan, but I did know a little about his music and how great of an entertainer he was. My parents listened to his music when they were growing up, so when I ran in the room to announce the devastating news they were in a state of awe. His death made me curious to learn more about his life and why he was such a great icon. After looking up more information about his life and his music, I could understand why he had so many fans and had such an impact on so many different people around the world.
In “A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50,” the author views Michael Jackson’s life through the hardships that he faced. They all started when he was a young child, but most people never knew that. They only saw the lead singer of the famous group with a smile on his face, having a great time performing. Michael Jackson experienced physical and emotional abuse from his father growing up. Michael speaks upon how as a child his father, Joe Jackson, would whip him on his back repeatedly and called him out of his name multiple times. Even though that eventually stopped as he got older, other things kept coming and never seemed to go away. He experienced financial trouble, health issues, and criminal charges. He was told that he had vitiligo, a skin disease which cause a person’s melanin to go away in different parts of their body, so he bleached the rest of his skin so that it wouldn’t be noticeable to the public. He was also accused by a young boy, Made Robson, that he was repeatedly abused by Michael Jackson for over eight years. However, the case was dismissed due to the judge ruling that too much time has passed since then.
He was going through all of these different things while still living the life as a great icon. His family spoke about how great of a person he had to be to put all of that behind him while still working on his music and doing tours; like the songs “Thriller” and “Bad”. Therefore I think that shows a lot of determination and self-confidence.
The other two sources in my bibliography speaks upon Michael Jackson’s success, but in different ways. The first one approaches the rise and fall of his success and how it happened rather quickly. The second one discusses Jackson’s success as one of the first African-American artists. Michael Jackson started off in a singing group with his brothers called the Jackson 5. As he got older, he took on his own solo career. His album Thriller and his famous moonwalk made his popularity shoot to an all-time high. It wasn’t long after that when his sales started to decline. That became hard on him and he wanted to just make music like he once had. He did begin a trend by approaching a different audience, he began to follow his own dream and started producing Pop music. Most people in his time who were Pop artists were Caucasian getting recognition all of the time. He saw that and went after it, eventually becoming, what people would call, the best Pop artist there ever was, earning him the name “King of Pop.” Even though he was never able to go back to his peak in the 1980’s, when he performed as he got older, we could all see the joy on his face that he had when it was the 1980’s.
Barnes, Brooks. “A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 June 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
In Brooks Barnes’ article, “A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50,” she explains his life through the trials and tribulations that he faced throughout his lifetime. It was written soon after his death so she was explaining the effects that he left on his loved ones. She gathered quotations from some of his family members and friends about different times in his life and how they felt about it. She describes his success with his brothers and how his success grew when he started his solo career.
He made an extraordinary amount of money because he was such a great entertainer, but with that success came other hardships. Michael Jackson was dealing with personal things that a lot of his fans never knew about, such as the incident with getting extremely injured while trying to do a Pepsi commercial in 1984. When the incident occurred he had his injuries repaired and later after that began to participate in experimenting with plastic surgery. After the big problems in his life dwindled away, he wanted to make a comeback and produce the sounds that he had before. He was just a strong person to be through all of the things in his life and continue to pursue his dreams.
Tyrangiel, Josh. “A Pop Icon’s Death: The Talent and the Tragedy.” Time. Time Inc., 25 June 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
In this article, Josh Tyrangiel discusses the peaks of Michael Jackson’s life and how it quickly went downhill. He talks about how famous Jackson was around the world at the young age of twenty-two. Tyrangiel discusses his most famous albums including Off The Wall, and events that led to his popularity. Not long after those moments occurred, his career started to slowly fall apart in different ways; he started to face personal issues as well as he got older and performed at rare occasions. The joy that we saw on his face was the Michael Jackson that we were all used to, enjoyed, and missed.
Wyman, Bill. “The Pale King – The New Yorker.” The New Yorker. N.p., 24 Dec. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
Bill Wyman focused this article on Michael Jackson’s success as an African American who showcased his musical talent in his performances during the pop genre. He was in a time where that style of music was dominated by Caucasian race. African Americans were really held back from becoming pop artists, while Caucasians were becoming well known in this area. As time progressed, African Americans began to crossover and leave the black music to eventually become pop artists, and Michael Jackson was one of the first ones to do it. This definitely helped his career as he not only became the biggest African American star, but the biggest star around the world.
Wyman also discusses how Jackson wasn’t just satisfied with being a popular figure anymore. He wanted to invest his money so it would continue to increase and he would never be in financial trouble, even though he would eventually end up falling into debt. Michael Jackson felt like he had finally made it in America because he was such an iconic figure, and he was making great economic investments.