June 26, 2009, every major newspaper in the world carried the news story on the death of Michael Jackson. Even the floor of the serious and somber major surgery unit of the Howard University Hospital was abuzz with the news that Michael Jackson was dead.
Few Americans have ever been awarded the attention and adulation of the nation that Jackson received during his lifetime. Even a 22 million dollar settlement for child molestation charges did not stop Jackson from becoming the greatest selling recording artist of all time.
His death in 2009 did not stop the sale of his records. Jackson continues to earn millions of dollars in record sales five years after his death. Only now is the focus purely on his ability as a businessman now that he can no longer be charged with crimes that he was never convicted of committing. He was found innocent of all charges in 2005.
The present writer purchased his first album which featured Michael Jackson in 1969. Working in a small business in Atlanta gave the writer the income to purchase a record album that is now a collector’s item in storage and that introduced the world to the voice of a child who would go on to create the record album, Thiller in 1982 that is still the greatest selling record album in American history.
Having purchased the 1969 album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson Five from a record store in Atlanta made an exchange in cash and a contribution to the millions of dollars that Jackson would earn in his career. It also was a lesson in the American free enterprise system that allowed an impoverished child from Gary, Indiana, to go on to become one of the richest men in America. The song I Want You Back was a favorite in 1969 and remains a favorite in 2014.
School children in Bamako, Mali, West Africa, in 1985, wore t-shirts with Michael Jackson’s face printed on them. His song, “We are the World, We are the Children,” played on radio stations across the city. His universal appeal was a phenomenon that few recording artists have ever achieved.
Michael Jackson proved that the America Dream was alive and well for any person who created and made something that was better than anything on the market. Thiller was such an item. An incredible record album that appealed to all races, creeds, colors, and ages. Few people have ever created anything with the mass appeal that Jackson managed with Thiller.
As crowds gathered in Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma in October of 1983, it appeared as if there was a special bulletin or alert from President Ronald Reagan. However; the crowds had not gathered to hear the great American president, the throngs of people were all staring as a giant screen monitor was playing the new Michael Jackson video that he made from the song Thiller.
June 26, 2009, was a day when newspaper headlines around the world reported the day the music died; however the memory of that first album for Christmas 1969 will always be remembered..
Michael Jackson was 50 years old when he died; but his music did not die with him. His music will live on forever.