CNN Headline News just announced that Michael Jackson has just died at UCLA Hospital at the age of 50. He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Beverly Hills about 12:20pm this afternoon and went into a coma. HLN is reporting that other news sources are announcing the death but that they are still trying to confirm it.
Michael Jackson was a true genius and an icon, an ambiguous, charismatic artist who defined the international pop world for about twenty-five years if you count from his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show ion 1969.
His final years have been marked by allegations of child abuse, financial problems, marriages, divorces, odd behavior. Some commentators are saying prescription drugs and anorexia may have contributed to his death.
Michael Jackson’s music and voice is the soundtrack running throughout the lives of people whose music he touched.
Remember HEAL THE WORLD? This is my favorite Jackson song. Hearing it, seeing the music video, before all the allegations, was like a prayer. The sentiments that prompted this song are what I will remember. He once said that HEAL THE WORLD is the song he was “most proud to have created.”
I grew up in the 60’s and then entered the convent. My experience of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 were through new members entering the community and hearing the songs on the radio. Fr. Pierre Babin, OMI, a master audio-visual catechist used THRILLER over and over in his presentations, year after year, as a universal phenomenon of music and culture and Jackson’s ability to reach people.
The pundits are already carrying out the autopsy on Jackson’s life. If anything, I hope anyone who wants to be part of the music industry, or any part of the entertainment industry, will realize that these are businesses with commercial interests. Human dignity and care for persons always takes a hit when profit is involved.
May he rest in peace and condolences to his family and his fans.