June 25th 2009 was the saddest day for the music and its ardent followers because the music world lost one of its most spectacular doyens Michael Jackson so untimely. Through knowing his stature very well it was very hard for me to believe his sudden demise in such calm condition.
If we looked back to the last four decades of popular music we could easily locate the most charismatic and relentless presence of Michael Jackson; he redefined the western fast music in his four decades of career and secured his name among the greats of modern music history in series of Elvis Presley, The Beatels, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan etc.
By the statistical records, his achievements are terrific; near about 750 million albums sold worldwide, 13 Grammy Awards another 13 number one singles, two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In true assessment he must be viewed not just as a musician but an integrated phenomenon in music. Though Jackson was a great innovator who found the many unexplored territory of music but in his experiment he heavily benefited from the great ethnic tradition of falsetto singing which basically derived from the gospel music.
Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana; he was seventh among the nine children of his parents. He started his career at the age of four by joining the family pop group The Jackson 5; in 1968 Michael and his brothers sign contract with Motown records.
Next year he came out with his first solo I WANT YOU BACK which hits number one in U.S charts besides this JACKSON5 became the first group in pop history to achieve this landmark for four single performances. In 1972 MJ had first solo U.S number one single, In 1976 his solo career lost momentum for some years, but meanwhile he was became able to produce an epic as the JACKSONS with his brother.
In 1979 he came back with his first solo album OFF THE WALL, which gone to sell over seven million copies; in remaining period he mostly stricken with solo performances which kept his fortune on high. In 1982 Quincy Jones produced THRILLER, Jackson duets with Paul Macatney became biggest-selling album of all time with 65 million copies sold worldwide.
In subsequent year backs with massive hits like BILLIE JEAN, BEAT IT; year 1984 was a mix of good and bad reputation for him, in this year where he secured largest individual sponsorship from Pepsi cola, rejoins Jackson for “Victory” tour and donates$5m performance fee to charity; on the other hand he severely injured during an Ad suiting besides came across the wild rumors about his unusual personnel life.
In 1987 he released his third Album BAD, buys Neverland ranch; in immediate next year he published his autobiography MOON WALK. In 1991 he signed $65million recording deal with SONY and released his fourth solo title DANGEROUS which also marked end of his collaboration with Quincy Jones.
In 1993 he accused of molesting 13 year-old boy; with more or less of its effects Pepsi concealed its sponsorship deal with him. In 1994 he experimented with new twist as he married with Lisa Marie Presley( Daughter of Elvis Presley), although it wasn’t endured for long times, their relationship lasted with divorce in 1996; in same year he married nurse Debbie Rowe, later he became father of three children.
Even during the matrimonial disturbances, he flicked the music world with the mega hit album HISTORY: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE in year 1995. INVINCIBLE (2001) was his last release which got the cold acclaim, after this album he mostly lived a confine life struggling with feeble financial condition and molestation charges; even though in 2005 he acquitted of charges of child molestation.
This was a major respite for him but he couldn’t back to his previous glory even after the acquittal from charges. Despite this he sounded for comeback in media circle along with his music promoter AEG Live for upcoming 50 concerts at London’s 02 Arena but this dream couldn’t be materialized.
Before his last comeback he departed from this mortal on June 25th, 2009 at his Beverly Hills home, like his lifetime his death is also not free from controversies and suspicion; whatever will be the reality, it is true that his death is a major blow for his millions of fans who will missed the thrill and melody of his performance.
As a star and a human being he had great fond for the India, which he had revealed some months back in an interaction with music Maestro A.R .Rehman. Now he is no more but his sounds will remain in air forever…after demise of every legend its taught us a lesson that we must show great respect for their work in their lifetime instead posthumously.
Whatever were the surroundings of controversies around him and ill reputation, at least his music will keep drawing attention from music lovers…with best attributes.
Atul Kumar Thakur
June 30th, New Delhi