King of POP passes into silence

thesoulfulyearsI got up this morning to a rude shock when i got an SMS saying MJ is no more. Pop giant Michael Jackson, who took to the stage as a child star and set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades was pronounced dead at 2:26 PM PDT (2126 GMT) after arriving at a Los Angeles hospital in full cardiac arrest, said Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office. The cause of death was not known and an autopsy would likely take place on Friday, he said. The news of the musical genius sent shock waves around the world. Latest news

Jackson had been due to start a series of comeback concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. The singer, whose hits included “Thriller” and “Billie Jean,” had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months. The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale in March. Latest News

His lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards( 8 for Thriller) he received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time. He lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation. Photo Gallery

Tributes:

Larry King : “It was hard to love him, it was hard not to.”

Neil Portnow (president and CEO of The Recording Academy) – He was a “true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim,”

John Mayer : Dazed in the studio.A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us.

Ashton Kutcher : Sending love and light to family and friend but especially his kids

Puff Daddy : MJ showed me that you can actually see the beat, he made me believe in magic, I will miss him.

Madonna : I cant stop crying, his music will live forever.

Cher, Singer : Jackson had extraordinary ability to help people.

Arnold Schwazanager: He have lost a great entertainer and  pop idol.

Like almost everything about Michael Jackson — including his death from an apparent heart attack at age 50 — it’s almost hard to believe the tabloid star was once famous primarily for his music.

But it’s true; until the antics and accusations and exposés and court cases overshadowed his tremendous abilities, Jackson was not just The King of Pop — he was also its master. From his earliest days with his brothers in the prototypical boy band The Jackson 5 to the unstoppable, insurmountable success of his 1982 global blockbuster Thriller — still the biggest-selling album of all time, with more than 100 million copies reportedly in print — Jackson altered, elevated and reconfigured pop and R&B so definitively that the echoes of his influence and legacy continue to reverberate throughout the musical landscape. Think we’d have Justin Timberlake without Michael Jackson? Think again.

And while you think about that, let’s review some of the many highlights from Jackson’s unparalleled career:

1) The  Jackson 5

At the age of five — under the stern hand of his abusive father Joe — Jackson began performing with older siblings Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, quickly establishing himself as a dynamic entertainer and natural frontman. Just five years later, hitmaker and svengali Barry Gordy signed them to Motown Records. In 1969, when Jackson was 11, they released their first singles, achieving overnight fame and becoming the first act in recorded history whose first four singles — I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There — topped the American charts. While the group naturally was unable to sustain that level of runaway success over the long haul, they did continue to issue strong singles throughout most of the ’70s, scoring hits with Never Can Say Goodbye, Dancing Machine and the Michael-penned Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground). And even though Jackson began his solo career as early as 1971, he would occasionally return to record and tour with his brothers for the rest of his life. Photo Gallery

2) Off the Wall

Although he issued a few solo singles and albums, including the theme song to the killer-rat movie Ben, Jackson truly came into his own as an adult performer with his fifth studio album Off the Wall. Released shortly before his 21st birthday in 1979, Off the Wall was produced by Quincy Jones and featured the songwriting talents of Stevie Wonder, David Foster and Paul McCartney in addition to Jackson. Not surprisingly, it spawned a wealth of hits, including Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough, Rock With You, She’s Out of My Life and Girlfriend. Over the years, it has sold an estimated 20 million copies. For any other artist, it would have been a career-defining work. But for Jackson, it was just the warmup for the monumental triumph to come. Photo Gallery

3) Thriller

What is there to say about Thriller that hasn’t already been said? It is the best-selling album on the planet. In the ’80s everyone owned it. Virtually every song was a hit — and, thanks to the coincidental emergence of MTV at the same time, most of the songs came with striking videos that further served to cement them into the public consciousness. Jackson pranced down a sidewalk that lit up under his feet in Billie Jean. He turned a gang fight into a West Side Story- style dance scene for Beat It (complete with guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen). And he went all out with the title track, getting John Landis to direct a 14-minute mini-movie that is arguably the most famous video of all time — and whose zombie-lurch dance steps are still being replicated by everyone from children to Asian prisoners. And we haven’t even mentioned Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Human Nature, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), The Lady in My Life or the McCartney duet The Girl is Mine. The album was in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks, 37 of them at the peak position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles. Bottom line: It’s a classic, no matter how you slice it. He was just 24 years old. Photo Gallery

4) The Moonwalk

The date: March 25, 1983. The show: The Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special. The song: Billie Jean. In the middle of his performance, Jackson — sporting his signature single glove and white athletic socks — suddenly begins walking forward while simultaneously moving backward, instantly creating a new dance craze. Reportedly seen by 47 million viewers during its initial airing, the event’s significance has been compared to the appearances of Elvis and The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. That might be pushing it. But not by much, as anybody who went to a school dance in the ’80s knows first hand. Photo Gallery

5) We Are the World

1985 was the year of the all-star benefit single and concert. Bob Geldof had orchestrated the Band Aid single Do They Know it’s Christmas?, followed by the mammoth Live Aid concerts. Wanting to do his part, Jackson and Lionel Richie cowrote We Are the World, which was recorded during and after that year’s American Music Awards by a supergroup dubbed U.S.A. for Africa, which included Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and more. The song rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for four weeks. It also reached No. 1 in the U.K., and made the top spot in almost every country throughout the world, raising millions of dollars and prompting a slew of imitators. Photo Gallery

Over the next 25 years, Jackson continued to record and tour, albeit with increasingly mixed results and with longer gaps between activity. And while his fan base remained true and he even managed to generate hit singles — like 1987’s Bad, 1988’s Man in the Mirror and Dirty Diana and 1991’s Black or White — they only amounted to fleeting glimpses of the genius and talent that had once burned so brightly. At the time of his death, Jackson was reportedly rehearsing for his latest comeback bid: A series of sold-out concerts to be staged at London’s O2 Arena, beginning in July. Whether they would have been the kickstart his career and reputation needed will go unknown. In any case, his timeless musical legacy remains intact. Photo Gallery

Top 5 Michael Jackson Songs:

5. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” – its appearance in the “Seinfeld Chronicles” cemented its legendary status

4. “I Want You Back” (Jackson 5) – back when MJ was a boy, rather than just an old guy hanging out with boys

3. “Beat It” – bonus points for inspiring Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It”

2. “The Way You Make Me Feel” – barely edging “Smooth Criminal” as the “Bad” album’s entry on this list

1. “Billie Jean” — I’m not sure there was a more significant pop culture moment in the 80s than MJ’s iconic performance of this song at the “Motown 25” special in 1983

Video Tribute :

Jackson’s YouTube channel – which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Thriller – includes all of his most popular videos, many of which have been viewed tens of millions of times.

Thriller

Billy Jean

Bad

Smooth Criminal

Don’t stop Til You Get Enough

Whatever be the controversies that dulled the sheen of his persona, MJ will always be the invincible KING of POP! R.I.P!. It is a day that Music died as one of the fans put it.

Photo Gallery

One thought on “King of POP passes into silence

  1. Tina Turner offers a great vocal range and such powerful voice`.*

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