Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he made his debut as an entertainer in 1964 as a member of The Jackson Brothers (later renamed The Jackson 5). He then began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group, and that successful career led to him being dubbed the “King of Pop” in subsequent years. Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller remains the world’s best-selling album of all time, and four of his other solo studio albums are among the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).
A LIFETIME TO REMEBER
History will remember Michael Jackson as a black man who managed to break through every racial and artistic barrier to become a global pop icon, a true musical genius.
A winner of 13 Grammy awards, he etched a place for himself in the hearts and minds of people as the King of Pop with his signature song and dance moves, unusual wardrobe, feminine voice – and also as Wacko Jacko for the weirdest controversies.
Capable of unleashing mass hysteria like the Beatles and Elvis, he introduced mega-stardom through his massive live concert tours. He made a mark on the music scene by selling a total of 750 million records, a record for a solo artist.
SUPPORT AND CHARITY
Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his Heal the World Foundation, charity singles, and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his changing appearances and behavior, generated significant controversy that damaged his public image. The singer had experienced health concerns since the early 1990s along with conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, actions which caused further controversy. The singer died suddenly on June 25, 2009 at aged 50.
THE OTHER SIDE OF FAME
“Celebrity [is] the reward of those who project a vivid or pleasing exterior or have otherwise attracted attention to themselves,” Christopher Lasch wrote in The Culture of Narcissism. “It is evanescent… In our time, when success is so largely a function of youth, glamour, and novelty, glory is more fleeting than ever, and those who win the attention of the public worry incessantly about losing it.”
“To be a celebrity means to have more than the usual assaults on one’s ego,” says Charles Figley, Ph.D., director of the Psychosocial Stress Research Program at Florida State University. “You’re very vulnerable to the personal evaluations of other people. The public is ultimately in control of whether your career continues.”
The celebrities’ reactions to stress are: depression, loss of sleep, crying over nothing, bad moods, acting out and misbehavior on the part of their children, lack of concentration, stomach problems, paranoia, over-spending, lack of trust, and self-hatred.
Causes of stresses peculiar to celebrities, conducted a survey in which 200 questionnaires were mailed out to names randomly selected from a list of the public’s top-ranked celebrities. From 51 replies, he compiled a list of the primary sources of stress for celebrities and their families, as well as their reactions and solutions. Most of the questionnaires were completed by the celebrities, the rest by a spouse, friend, or adult child of the celebrity. The top 10 stressors, in order, were:
The Other side of FAME, sadness, loneliness, distress. The worse of all the accusations and lies. The pressure from the critics and the Media.
Hope is Better on the Other SIDE!
Peace to Michael and to all the people who chose this path in Life! You will be haunted by:
- the celebrity press
- threatening letters/calls
- the lack of privacy
- the constant monitoring of their lives
- worry about career plunges
- lack of security
- curious fans
- worries about their children’s lives being disrupted
FROM HIS OWN HEART
“I wanted to have a place that I could create everything that I never had as a child. So you see rides, you see animals, there’s a movie theatre. I was always on tour travelling, you know, and I never got a chance to do those things. So I compensated for the loss by – I have a good time – I mean, I can’t go into a park, I can’t go to Disneyland as myself. I can’t go out and walk down the street. There’s crowds and bumper-to-bumper cars. So I create my world behind my gates.” Michael Jackson
“Everything that I love is behind those gates.”.Michael Jackson
AS IT HAPPENS WITH MOST GENIUS
U.S. retailers sold 415,000 albums by Michael Jackson in the four days following his death last week. In addition, Michael Jackson sold more than 2.3 million digitally downloaded songs since his death.
* Thank you for your Music and for your Genius.Unforgetable that’s who you are!
What a beautiful and eloquent tribute to Michael, Adriana! I’m so glad that you pointed out what the ‘other side’ of fame is–loneliness, sadness, and distress. So many people overlook the fact that being a celebrity has a downside. However, in spite of the fact that Michael is no longer with us, the legacy he leaves through his music and life is eternal!