There are tributes across the world. It took over Twitter, at one point 30% of all Tweets were referencing Michael Jackson. You have probably seen the 1500 inmates in the Philippines honor Michael Jackson, the entire BET awards show was focused on paying respect to one of the greatest performers of all time, and on Tuesday, The Apollo will be opened for a Tribute Ceremony. Reverend Al Sharpton has obviously rearranged his schedule and is now putting his time and energy into setting up ceremonies across the country. Individuals are sharing stories and paying respects everywhere. Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, said last night at the BET awards, “”Remember, we just lost the biggest superstar in the world. I just wish he could be here to celebrate himself. Sadly, he’s not here, so I’m here to celebrate for him.”
50 Cent was the first to record a tribute song to Michael Jackson. You have to respect 50, he knows the instant he heard the news, he needed to get to the studio and go back to work. He tweeted it immediately upon completion. Take a listen…
The Game and Chris Brown have also put out a heartfelt tribute song to Michael Jackson:
The NY Times have put together an interactive map of theirs readers feelings and reactions to Michael from around the world. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/06/25/arts/jackson-legacy.html
I read a story that I thought was kind of cool, Drew McWeeny from Hitfax, shared this story on Vulture:
“This was the week that “Home Alone” had just been released on laserdisc, and so we’d been playing the movie on an endless loop at the store, over and over and over, and we were all sick of it at that point. That’s important because when Michael showed up, he had a guest with him. Macaulay Culkin.
My manager … was on the phone with a friend, and as Michael went to look around and shop, Macaulay stopped, listening to Anthony as he ranted. ” … and if I have to watch that movie again, I’m going to stab my own eyes out. Seriously. That kid … it’s like he’s haunting me. I go home, and all I can hear when I’m trying to go to sleep is him taunting Pesci and Stern, and I wish there was a cut of the film where they caught him. That’s what I’d watch.”
By that point, it was obvious what he was talking about, so Macaulay settled in to wait for Anthony to turn around. Michael noticed what was going on. Finally, Anthony turned around, and there was Macaulay, right behind him, hands on his face just like on the “Home Alone” cover, and as all of us, Michael included, burst into laughter. That moment, watching Michael trying not to laugh as we all waited for Anthony to figure out what was going on, was the least guarded thing I saw from him.”
This leads into the obvious question. What is Michael Jackson doing hanging out and renting movies with MaCaulay Culkin. Michael was acquitted of his child molestation charges but nonetheless it left people with a bitter taste in their mouth.
Check out Katt Williams rant on Michael Jackson, talk about not pulling any punches. He might have said this in in a comedy sketch and put a funny twist on it, but there a large group of people that share these beliefs.
No matter how people want to remember Michael Jackson, I will remember him for his professional abilities. I have heard people say that he was a perfectionist, other artists that had the opportunity to work with him said it was an experience they will never forget. When you can reach a level of success that is that high, people tend to forget the work that is put in. Michael Jordan wasn’t born with a jump shot, he worked on it everyday. Do we try to forget the unbelievable things he did on a basketball court because he had a gambling problem? There are a lot of famous and talented people that have done corrupt and horrible things. But if we were to erase their professional feats because of their faults, mistakes, or crimes there would be a lot less beauty, art, and achievements to admire. Ray Lewis was accused of murder, but it is a beautiful thing watching him play middle linebacker in the NFL. Martha Stewart is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in history, but she spent time in jail for insider trading, does that mean we should not honor the success she has had? I will continue to appreciate the select individuals that have the persistence, ability, and determination to impress us with their skills.
Michael Jackson was the greatest pop superstar of our time, totally a weird dude, but my iPod wouldn’t be the same without him.