Time flies, hard to believe that it was exactly one year ago that Michael Jackson died. I first learnt about his death (which at the time, hadn’t been officially confirmed) was on the bus on my way to work. I had logged into facebook from my iPhone and a friend of mine who was on holiday (vacation) in the US, had the status: “RIP Michael Jackson”. I responded with “Is this a hoax?” of which I got a response of “No, it’s all over the news.”
My next line of action was to log into Twitter for more information. There were mixed messages, some saying he was dead, others that he wasn’t. Regardless he was a trending topic of the day, he also lead to Twitter’s first major crash, with an apparent 50,000 tweets in the first hour. According to the Social Media site Mashable statistics indicated that 30% of the tweets were related to Michael Jackson (although Mashable states that it was likely to be an underestimate.
Once I got to work I relied heavily on Twitter for updates, and also went to a number of US news sites for live video coverage (which didn’t always work from Australia). When Jermaine Jackson spoke at the press conference, it set in that it was real. I will admit that I definitely shedded a few tears and was in complete shock. It was like a relative had passed away.
The days, weeks and months that followed revolved around Michael Jackson, including his career, his personal life and family. Reading the numerous blogs and posts, it seemed that so many fans had a particularly point in their life when they “discovered” MJ’s music.
This made me think about my past and childhood and when I “discovered” MJ’s music. I think I was a fan from the time I was born, as my older sister liked him and I always mimicked her. I do remember the premier of Thriller on TV (I believe it was on a Sunday on Australian TV). My mom told my niece that both me and my sister got scared towards the end of the video.
I also remember wanting a Michael Jackson doll for my birthday (maybe 6 or 7), it was around the same time of the Thriller album release as the doll had the glove, but someone bought me the Boy George doll!! Not sure how you’d confuse the two! Yes I was very disappointed!
My little brother became obsessed in MJ around the Bad album. He had his fedora, he was always attempting to dance. He would hire Moonwalker from the video (pre- DVDs) store every weekend. He also had the Sega video game of Moonwalker, which he played religiously!
In 1996, in my final year of high school, he toured Australia for his Dangerous tour. Seeing him perform live was amazing. In hindsight, I’m glad I saw his concert, to see one of the world’s greatest entertainers live is a blessing! I still listen to his music regularly and am constantly getting my son (four year old) to watch his videos and see the dancing. His music will live on through me!
“Some lost Elvis Presley and we lost Michael Jackson” – Wyclef Jean on Twitter 25 June 2009.