The five-year-anniversary of the death of legendary, multi-platinum music icon, Michael Jackson takes place on June 25 this year. Family, friends, and fans all hold heavy hearts in the remembrance of this day, but also grasp the chance to reminisce on a glorious celebration of life.
Known globally as “The King of Pop,” Jackson inspired millions around the world with his incredible talent and uniquely charismatic charm. Jackson’s legacy still continues to flourish today. Following his passing, the documentary This Is It was released to successful reception. The film featured many unseen interviews and rehearsal footage for the comeback tour that Jackson had begun working on.
The exhilarating performance antics of Cirque du Soleil have partnered with Jackson’s estate to create a permanent live experience in Las Vegas featuring the music of Michael Jackson entitled Michael Jackson: One. Another live staging of Jackson’s music in conjunction with Cirque du Soleil, named Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, is currently traveling around the globe.
Last month, a posthumous album was released titled Xscape which debuted at number one and is well on the way to becoming another platinum record for Jackson. The album features a number of unreleased tracks that Jackson recorded before his untimely death. The recordings were taken into the studio and polished to reflect a more modern sound by reputable music producers such as Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and LA Reid. Many disputes over whether or not Jackson would have wanted his unfinished tracks to be produced and released have arisen in the music industry and amongst his fan base.
Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard were Mr. Jackson’s personal body guards for two-and-a-half years and gave personal insight on what they believed he would have thought about the release of Xscape. Jackson apparently disdained the idea of having his classic hits like “Thriller” remixed into hip-hop and other genres because he stated that some pieces of music should simply not be messed with. The body guards continued to tell how Jackson was interested in going people-watching at a high-end club one night. He sat in a private balcony that allowed him to overlook the crowd and the club’s DJ began to play pieces of Jackson’s music remixed and spliced together with contemporary tunes. He was apparently baffled by the fact that his music was still being listened to by young audiences and stated that all he truly wanted was his music to inspire others and live on.
Artists like Kanye West and Rihanna began approaching Jackson with requests to use parts of his works in works of their own. When Jackson’s legal representative brought these requests to his attention and asked how much Jackson wished to charge, he simply responded, “None.” Michael Jackson wanted nothing more than for his musical legacy to live forever and as long as it was being used he was happy to provide for the artists asking to utilize his unforgettable tunes.
The fifth death anniversary of Michael Jackson is a not a reminder of his demise, but a reminder of his legendary, multi-platinum successes that changed the world. The aforementioned mediums of media are only a fraction of the mark Jackson left behind. Impersonators of the King of Pop are a frenzy that has become wildly popular all over the earth. Photographer Lorena Turner has compiled a book of photography called The Michael Jacksons which is due to be released on August 26 in celebration of Jackson’s birthday. The book features various photos of talented performance artists donning the elaborate costumes, hair and makeup resembling that of Michael Jackson himself. The title captures the many faces of Jackson displaying the star quality he was known for exuding. The Michael Jacksons is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
“Michael’s music has always moved me ever since I can remember,” says actor and MJ impersonator Derrian Tolden (who is also featured in Turner’s book), “My uncle played his vinyls, I watched his music videos, and even now I am still inspired by his work. At the time of his death, I felt what many of his die-hard fans felt: an obligation to carry on his legacy like a son to the family business”.
Michael Jackson’s fifth anniversary of death is an opportunity for those he left behind to celebrate and bask in the glory of this multi-platinum-selling legend. He has inspired so many and brought a great amount of happiness to the world that may not have otherwise existed without this man’s efforts. The legacy of Michael Jackson will reside in the hearts of millions, therefore he has achieved his life-long dream of making his music live forever.
By Cody Collier