Three years ago on this day, the music world lost a legend that I don’t think can ever be replaced. At 50, Michael Jackson died unexpectedly, leaving all of his fans in a state of shock and grief. He was on the cusp of embarking on his world tour and everyone was preparing for his big comeback, but, before we could all watch it unfold, he was gone. Michael Jackson was undoubtedly an inspiration for musicians, dancers, artists, and humanitarians, serving as an irreplaceable icon for so many people. As the most-awarded recording artist in popular music, it is virtually impossible to overlook his impact on the world and to not know what MJ’s legacy means.
I, personally, have a strong connection with Michael’s work and, like many others, grew up as a big fan of his. It was hard not to when my mom loved his music, even emulating his notorious style back in the ’80s, and when my brother was always trying time and time again to master the Smooth Criminal lean. Not to mention that Halloween where I helped do my brother’s make-up for his zombie-Thriller MJ costume. But Michael didn’t just bring me good music, he also heightened my love of dance. His dancing talent was incredible and I’m not sure how my dance career would have ended up without his example. My first year in my high school’s dance company we even did a tribute to the legendary king. The first duet I ever did with my Capitan was to MJ’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” (Of course, we killed it!) That was just the first of plenty of dances that I performed to his many great songs… and trust me the routines to his music just keep coming. (We’re currently conjuring up a dance to “Dirty Diana.”)
Say what you want about Michael Jackson, but there is no way you can take away the outstanding success he experienced throughout his career and the iconic talent that he possessed. After so many years, Michael still holds world records for album sales, award wins, and charitable donations. Also take into account the fact that his music and life continues to inspire today’s individuals. He’s still being recognized in new songs and he is still being named as the inspiration of many. Now with the Cirque de Soleil tour honoring him, it is clear that MJ is not going anywhere. He may not be here in person, but his spirit is still with us all. MJ will forever be the King of Pop. To all of the supporters of Michael Jackson, let us take today to celebrate the many great things that he accomplished throughout his life that ended way too soon.