It’s been 5 years since Michael Jackson died. Five. There have been constant tributes, celebrations and memorials since that shocking June 25th in 2009, when we collectively learned that one of the most undeniable musical forces ever to walk the Earth was no longer with us. So it’s not like there hasn’t been time to process the reality and finality of his passing – but for me (and I know I’m not alone), as every year passes, Michael’s death hits harder and harder.
I love that his music and legacy live on not only in his family and children, but also in every (and I do mean every) modern entertainer alive today. Usher, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, NeYo, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Beyoncé… who among them doesn’t echo Michael in their movements, their singing, their showmanship? But when I hear the posthumous Jackson album “Xscape” from earlier this year – which, even though critically referred to as “B” level Michael, is better than most pop music currently out there – or a current song that sounds like it could have been a Michael song (see Timberlake’s “Take Back The Night”), the totality of his loss is all the more evident.
There is comfort in the fact that he existed at all and gave us a lifetime filled with thrilling, soul-stirring and oft-emulated art via dance and song. And according to the Orlando Sentinel, today, on what would have been Jackson’s 56th birthday, he is being remembered in different ways around the world.
Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas has launched the #MJWeAreOne campaign in conjunction with MichaelJackson.com.
Fans worldwide are urged to use Instagram by sharing videos — using the hashtag #MJWeAreOne — honoring MJ and sharing ideas of how to make the world a better place.
The MJ Global Party has fans celebrating Jackson’s birthday in live-time around the world using the hashtag #MJGBP2014. Check out the website here.
The fifth annual Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts is underway in Jackson’s birth home of Gary, Indiana. The three-day festival celebrates Jackson’s life and career while helping revitalize part of Gary.
So on this day, remember the King of Pop in your own way. Listen to your favorite MJ song. Watch your favorite Michael video for the thousandth time.
Below I’m posting one of my all-time favorite Jackson songs and videos, the John Singleton-directed “Remember The Time” and I know I’m going to shake my head (for the thousandth time) when Magic Johnson says “Behold, great Pharoah Ramses!”, laugh (for the thousandth time) when Eddie Murphy’s eyes bug out at Iman crushing on Michael, stare in awe (for the thousandth time) at the dance moves, and lose it (for the thousandth time) when Michael sings the “Rah dah /dah dah dah / What about us, girl?!” part because it is just so uniquely Michael, uniquely musical and uniquely inspiring.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)