The further deification of Michael Jackson

March 8, 2011
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We still don't know much of the summer music schedule or the big A&E events for the fall.

But we do know that the "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour" will be coming to Conseco Fieldhouse next February.  The show--the creation of the Cirque du Soleil folks and Madonna's creative director Jamie King--promises "a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture." It takes place "in a fanastical realm where we discover Michael's inspirational Giving Tree--the wellspring of his creativity."

Whatever the merits of the show turn out to be (and I look forward to seeing anything that comes from the Cirque minds), I continue to be a little baffled by the deification of Michael Jackson.

Yes, I know, he was phenomenally popular, an amazing dancer, a singular singer, and a trend-setter.

But his reign at the top (not to downplay his earlier solo work or his Jackson 5 years, of course) lasted from about 1982--with the release of "Thriller"--through about 1988, when "Bad" singles stopped getting to the top of the charts. (Quick: Name a song from 1991's "Dangerous" besides "Back or White"?) 

After that, he became a national joke, better known for dangling babies and fighting court cases than for creating music.

Yes, I know, Jackson was creating a comeback tour when he died. But the contrast between the popular attitude before and after has been jarring. I can still appreciate what Jackson pulled off musically when he was on fire. But everything he created wasn't gold (I'm looking at you, "Captain Eo." And even Elvis didn't squander his creative capital the way Jackson did. 

My question: What am I missing? Yes, he achieved a popularity in the music business unlikely--in an increasingly segmented world--to ever be seen again. But what did he actually create in the last 15 years of his life besides source material for late-night comics? 

And am I alone in thinking calling the show "The Immortal" is a little much? The Cirque Beatles show was at least, humbly, called "Love."

Your thoughts?

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  • Sorry Lou Harry but you are alone....
    You said it yourself, amidst all of the other unfounded garbage and innuendo that you mentioned. "he achieved a popularity in the music business unlikely to ever be seen again." Does that alone count for nothing in you tiny world? There are many reason Jackson's music from his later years isn't as well known as some of his earlier work. Most of the reasons have to do with deceit & politics within the music and media businesses. The molestation charges that you mention are well documented as originating with money-hungry, star-struck parents who saw Jackson as a walking cash register. There has never been any actual proof of any kind that either of the allegations were anything but extortion attempts. The public was led to believe otherwise because it sold a lot more magazines and cheap tabloid newspapers to paint Jackson as a freak. It was a shameful way to treat a man who only ever wanted to help the world and children and unite us all through music and dance.
    From Dangerous: what about Remember The Time, Heal The World, Give In To Me, Gone Too Soon, Dangerous, Jam, In The Closet? Do yourself a favor and check out: Keep The Faith, pure beauty.
    • Whoa, Nellie
      Sorry, Nellie, but Harry isn't alone. The deification of Michael Jackson is a little bizarre, although it may be unfair to criticize Jackson for being at the height of popularity for only 5 years. The Beatles were at their peak for only slightly more than 5 years, although their volume of work during that time was much more extensive, and certainly their work has held up very well over time.

      I don't doubt that many of today's rap and R&B stars were heavily influenced by Jackson. But the cult movement going on currently to place Jackson's greatness and influence above that of The Beatles (and a few others) is ridiculous.

      I would argue that Jackson revolutionized the music video more so than he did music itself, and we see where the music video is today.

      As for Jackson personally, you can make the argument that he didn't engage in criminal conduct, but he was truly a freak. Sorry, but a guy who thinks it's OK to share a bed with little children deserves the ridicule he gets. He was obviously compulsive as hell, too.
    • Lou Who?
      The mere fact that you have taken the time to write an article about Michael, no matter how negatively slanted, is testimony itself as to just how impactful of an artist he was to everyone (including those who don't consider themselves fans). See, he even had an impact on you. I know who Michael Jackson is but until now I have never heard of Lou Harry. Have you had a 5-year reign at top? Sorry.
    • What a joke
      What a joke...Dangerous was the best album of the 1990's and for me, his greatest work. Its his second biggest seller after Thriller and still sounds cutting edge nearly twenty years after release...so where the hell are you coming from with this article? Any Artist in history would have been phenomenally proud of Dangerous' success!

      And as for today's acts, if Lady Gaga, Eminem, Timberlake, Rhianna, Usher etc could get anywhere near the level of success Dangerous achieved they would be considered a musical genius!

      He created an incredible image and was by far and away the most talented performer i have ever seen...he wrote and composed the vast majority of his work, his dancing was awesome, his music outstanding, costumes and image instantly recognisable and live performances unbeatable. Add to this he practically invented the music video and took it to levels that still haven't been matched, breaking down racial borders in the process!! Nobody comes close...

      Elvis...didn't write or compose his own music and could not touch Michael Jackson for dancing

      The Beatles...Great music and costumes, but no all round performance or spectacle to match Jackson

      Madonna...Like MJ, she has survived over the years, but has not made the same kind of impact on the new artists of today, nor did she create the same kind of hysteria in public, or sell as many records

      All the above are great artists, but there was just something else about Michael Jackson...so yes, to answer your question, you were definitely missing something, but how you missed it, i do not know!!

      He deserves this show more than anyone else in music history.


    • Dying alone
      Wow...you are indeed correct in your assertion...look at popular culture 5 years to MJ's death - he was a national joke...that is the truth.

      Maybe if more people defended Michael BEFORE he died alone - strange and lonely - maybe he might just be producing this "angelic" music you all love so much today....think of it that way...
    • Why Ask Why?
      Are you kidding me??? This guy(Michael)did more to try and make the world a better place than any other artist(and most human beings for that matter). Just check the World Records for Most Charitable.
    • You are not alone
      I go to the Cirque de Soleil show every year when they are in town. This is one I will be skipping.
    • Lou Harry = Duh
      I wouldn't call it "deification" but an explosive reaction to the decades that Michael Jackson was subjected to systematic vilification by a malicious media hell bent on exploiting Jackson for ratings and profit. If Jackson was a "national joke," it was medialoid (defined as mainstream media infected by tabloid journalism) that made him, through the media's naturally occurring enhanced megaphone, into one. Talk about blaming the victim! Now that social media is ubiquitous, news consumers have the ability to talk back to media scum such as Martin Bashir, Nancy Grace, Diane Dimond, Maureen Orth and others of their ilk, who made it their full time job to slander Jackson--to his ultimate destruction. Not a single one of us could have lived Jackson's life with the grace and unrequited love for his fellow man that he did, and THAT is what multi-millions of Michael Jackson admirers are responding to.

      I think, for all practical purposes, Lou Harry is unevolved, unenlighted and uninterested in lifting a finger to learn the truth about the extraordinary Michael Jackson. Harry would much rather ignorantly pontificate from his computer about a man who did more good for the world in one day of his spectacular life than Lou Harry is likely to do in all the days of his pathetic existence in what is amounting to a world ruined by irresponsible, unethical journalists.

      The Lynching of Michael Jackson
      http://www.apj.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2474&Itemid=2
      • What planet are you from
        On this planet, Jackson's reign was way longer than 5 years! Off the Wall, released in 1979 was huge and heard everywhere, to be followed by Thriller and Bad, two of the biggest selling albums ever. With Dangerous you yourself are referring to a song everyone knows, Black or White,(and Jam and In the Closet and Will You Be There immediately come to mind) so let's see that gets us to about 1992 or so. And then, despite the efforts of extortionists, opportunists, and a salivating media to drag him down, Jackson's remaining work still more than holds its own against other contemporary artists, many of whom are fleeting. The reality of THIS planet is that Michael Jackson is credited as a major influence by a huge number of performers today--in the world of music, dance, and video. It's a bit mind-boggling to imagine what outcomes would have been without extortionists, opportunists, and a salivating media in the picture.
        Your statement about 5 years is simply inane. I only ask that people with a public platform do us all a favor by doing their homework a bit more thoroughly.
      • Brainwashing is O-V-E-R
        In case you haven't noticed, Jason, it has been only relatively recently that an effective mechanism (social media) to defend Michael Jackson has existed. Had the ability to rebut ignorance spouted by Lou Harry and some commentators here been ubiquitous, Jackson would have, in fact, enjoyed a proper defense. As it was, all the public had was the malicious media and, unfortunately, they bought the media's dreck--hook, line and sinker. The public, however, has generally come to realize media's role in shaping public opinion, and we're not buyin' it any longer--especially where Michael Jackson is concerned.
      • The truth is out there but only if you're interested.....
        The writer of this article is clearly a victim of the anti-MJ propaganda that has existed and been perpetuated on a large scale in the media since 1993. Unfortunately the media/tabloids have gotten away with this and for some as we see, it was very successful. It would be fascinating for those people to do the kind of research that so many of us have done to get the real truth.

        For the 1993 allegations Mary Fischer wrote an excellent investigative piece for GQ magazine.

        http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread477059/pg1

        For the 2005 allegations a wonderful book called "Michael Jackson Conspiracy" was written about the subject by an author named Aphrodite Jones who covered the trial from inside the courtroom.

        http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Jackson-Conspiracy-Aphrodite-Jones/dp/0578061112/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

        If you can't afford to buy book journalist Charles Thomson did a nice summary for the Huffinging Post.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-thomson/one-of-the-most-shameful_b_610258.html
      • It's A Real Shame
        Mr. Harry ~ It's really quite simple. The truth is, many people had their eyes opened AFTER he died. They read about him, looked over the facts and realized he wasn't so bad afterall. His talent and generosity was enormous. Yes, I'm one of those that discovered this after he died. I grew up with his music, but didn't really see the whole picture. You would too, if you looked hard enough. His album, Invincible (from 2001) is great. He would have put out more music if the tabloids hadn't taken over his life.

        SOME PEOPLE DON'T KNOW A GOOD THING UNTIL IT'S GONE. And that saying certainly applies to Michael Jackson.

        And for those complaining about the show, it's pretty simple. No one is forcing you to buy a ticket. Quit complaining.
      • both
        What say we cut the name calling based on an opinion, eh LibelFreeZone?

        I admit to having a skewed perception of MJ based on the media. And the media is notoriously bad at giving credit where credit is due. I'm also human, and therefore subject to the opinions of those around me, so yeah, I heard he was wierd and not cool at some point from someone. I'm too young to have caught the impact of Thriller's groundbreaking elements. I own Dangerous, and I like it, though I haven't heard it in a while. There is a lot I don't understand about MJ, and I haven't taken the time to research and find out the truth about allegations and whatnot, if that's even possible. I expose myself to less media now, and I'm older, so I think I'm more objective than I was. There's lots of ways that piling onto a bed with a bunch of kids can be not criminal - watching TV, telling stories, comfort during a storm. I wasn't there. Not my job to judge.

        Related to Lou's point, however, I have never understood the way popular culture has deified/villified any celebrity. So often the judgement is passed based on hotness, wierdness, a hit, or association. While I appreciate all these things, I'd rather know a little more about the trip that lead to the hit, the story behind the wierd, the art and the awesome that someone is creating and how they are changing the world. With the resurgence of all the MJ interest, I've realized that popularity doesn't just go away because the media stops paying attention, which is pretty cool, and maybe obvious to some. I might do more digging someday to find out more about MJ, but I've got my own wierd awesome life to create, so I'm a little too busy right now.
      • follow-up
        Thanks to all for chiming in.

        I don't want to squelch discussion. But I do want to clear up facts (Yes, I do my homework).

        I didn't say Jackson wasn't successful before "Thriller." I said that his reign at the top began with "Thriller." That doesn't mean its a lesser album, just that Jackson wasn't yet the phenomenon that he became.

        I never said Jackson was guilty of the charges--just that he became better known as a national joke than for making music.

        I agree that the media was embarrassing in the way it salivated over the case--just as it is in most stories dealing with celebrities. Whatever the case, though, Jackson did little music making for 15 years. Whether that's his fault or that of an unjust world, it remains a fact.

        I never claimed that Lou Harry had more impact than Michael Jackson. That's just silly.

        Some perspective: Bing Crosby, who revolutionized the recording business, had over 300 singles chart, including more than 40 #1 hits. Every year from 1931-1954 he had songs charting. All that--plus hit movies--and most people today only know him from "White Christmas." Immortality doesn't last long.

        Oh and, not that you asked, but I thought Jackson was terrific in "The Wiz."

        --Lou
        • Tall Poppy Syndrome
          Well, I'm glad to see you explaining yourself, but the thrust and intent of your piece was to marginalize Jackson's contribution to the music world; thus the word "deification" in the title.

          BTW, Crosby's chart positions were U.S.; Jackson international.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bing_Crosby_discography#Charted_singles
        • My answer is Neither Black or White
          Lou's point is well taken. But I think the "intangibles" behind the mere statistics may be lost on our writer. Yes, he was only "at the top" for about 5 years, and yes, he created a smaller number of "important" albums than artists like Elvis or the Beatles.

          But my point is here that what Michael Jackson the "King of Pop" wasn't just the notes, lyrics, and dance steps. He was always willing to speak up against injustice, and made an impact globally in much the same way Muhammed Ali did. For whatever reasons that we may never be able to fully explain, he became larger than life. His "memory" (without intending to deify him) WILL probably live on forever - as will the memory of The Beatles, Elvis, Madonna, and Henry Lee Summer (OK, maybe not that last one).

          Maybe the word "immortal" seems a bit over the top, but I think they're referring to the fact that his legacy will be immortal. They could have used the word immortal in a show about the Beatles, and it wouldn't have been "wrong" but "Love" just seemed to fit.

          No matter how big or important the person is - they don't impact everyone the same, so let's cut Lou some slack here.

          Let's just agree to disagree and say that we "get" Michael Jackson and his place in history, and Lou doesn't.... and that's OK.
        • Media abuse
          wowkelly wrote: I admit to having a skewed perception of MJ based on the media.

          Well, multiply your experience by millions of people who are susceptible to media brainwashing and stop blaming Jackson, who mostly unsuccessfully tried to be heard above the din.

          To those who now fully understand what the media put him through (as well as other celebrities) as the media routinely abuses their First Amendment privileges, we are standing up for him. It's not "deification," it's called "getting it"--finally.
        • Umm...no
          Actually, this 'diefication' that you speak of is more correctly defined as, finally, a recognition and appreciation for the man's work as an artist
          and humanitarian throughout his life. Thanks to the caricaturization of Jackson as someone
          he never was by media chasing a buck, there
          were many people cheated out of appreciating his gifts while he was with us. Now that's changed and it is about time. So, no, no one
          is making a god out of Jackson, it just feels that way to some because he was so cruelly treated before. The man's lyrics and films spoke to issues such as racism, bigotry, poverty, hatred, conservationism and individual responsibility to give to the less fortunate.
          Definitely reasons to celebrate a life and
          the grand music it produced.
        • OK
          Lou - Thank you for explaining your position. And I agree with your regarding your opinion of how our media behaved during the 2005 trial. And there is no doubt that tabloid headlines took over, and many people stopped paying attention to his music. I think he would have given us the gift of much more brillant music and shows if it weren't for that.

          I also believe after we are all long gone from this earth, Michael Jackson will be of the biggest interest of those looking back on icons of the past. His legacy will live on and only become bigger as the tabloid style gossip disappears.
        • Fuzzy math
          "Thriller" was released in late 1982, so even by Lou's definition, Jackson's reign on top was actually about nine years, which is a millennia in pop music. And, seriously, it's not fair to minimize his years with the Jackson Five and his solo career. "Off the Wall" was a bigger musical breakthrough and a more influential album (at least in the dance music genre) than any of those that followed.

          From Cirque du Soleil's standpoint, does it make more sense to base a show on Michael Jackson or Bing Crosby? C'mon ... ridiculous comparison.

          Elvis had creative capital? As the other posters have pointed out, Jackson was a legitimate songwriter. And even if Elvis HAD creative capital, he went into deep debt with his two-dozen-some schlocky movies. And have we all forgotten how creepy Elvis was? Wasn't Priscilla about 15 when they started dating? Wasn't he feeding her amphetamines when she was 17 or so?
        • Well said!
          Thanks for your wonderfully well articulated comment! I agree that much of the so-called "deification" (not the right word" of MJ now stems from the general recognition that the man was bullied and ridiculed to never-before-heard-of levels by the press, others in the entertainment industry, and the general public. Our culture really does seem to revel in taking down those who rise to the top. Too bad we can't direct our ire where it truly belongs -- against the super-wealthy and the politicians responsible for the global war against working people and the poor! When I need an infusion of energy and inspiration, I listen to MJ.

        • Pure Ignorance
          I don't know if I can even call Lou Harry a journalist. It's clear he hasn't bothered to do any research.
          Thriller came out in 1982, Dangerous came out in 1991 and produced hit singles until 1993.
          Even after the allegations he sold millions of albums and his history tour's total attendance was 4.5 million, a record for a solo artist. And this was in 95 and 96.
        • Simple Response
          Lou, based on the comments I have read here I think you can simply write the following: "I rest my case."
        • $$
          When a popular (or once popular) entertainer dies young, he or she is usually pushed to an even higher level of worship by the media. This often creates an opportunity for promoters to make money. If today's level of cable & tabloid media had been around 30 years ago there might have been a similar event celebrating John Lennon in 1981 (providing Yoko approved of it).
        • Wow
          Was he an amazing musical force. Absolutely.

          But, ummm...where there is smoke there is usually fire.

          please tell me you simpletons dont actually think he wasnt doing "bad things".

          He was a joke for the most of the last 15 years and for a sane person...he still is.
        • MJ Who?
          I am only 18 years of age and I cannot remember any Michael Jackson single making No1 in my lifetime. I had heard of him before he died, but apart from a few songs I would never have known anything from his albums. All I know is that he was very popular with my parents generation. I think you have to go back to a time before 1993, the year when I was born to understand how popular he was in his day. But in my lifetime he did nothing musically that was revolutionary or memorable. And I really do not think anyone, apart from Jackson fans can compare him to something like the Beatles.
          • correction
            Given the insight from posters, I've corrected the original text. I had said Jackson was on top for five years. It's more accurate to say that that period lasted from the release of "Thriller" through the releases of the #1 "Bad" singles.
            Thanks for the input.
            --Lou
            • To Emma Regarding MJ Who?
              Emma,

              Michael Jackson only released 6 albums in a 30yr span.

              He started at age 19 with Off The Wall which was released in 1979 and ended with Invincible which was released when he was 43yrs of age.

              Michael died in 2009. (30yrs)

              Off The Wall, Thriller, BAD, Dangerous, History, and Invincible.

              Off the Wall was the FIRST album in the United States to generate 4 top 10 hits by a solo artist.

              The other albums ALL debuted at number One.

              Michael released History in 1995 and it generated the FIRST song ever to debut on the Billboard hot 100 at number one.
              It went on to sell 20 million copies.

              Later released his last album Invincible in 2001.

              It debuted at number one.

              What I'm saying is that Michael NEVER released album after album yet you knew who he was after only being born in 1993.

              It wasn't that Michael Jackson had fallen off it's just that you were born at the wrong time. LOL
            • No Whoah to Nellie
              Jackson is no more being "deified" than Elvis or Sinatra were in their day. Of course he's right up there with the Beatles. His music is similarly timeless (and I suspect that the Beatles' will appear less so when their mainly Baby Boomer white male audience finally gasps their last bit of influence over "What Rolling Stone Says." But I digress. Jackson also achieved a greater global reach and much more diverse fan base than the Beatles. He performed over a much longer span of time--virtually his entire life. He certainly inspired more people in a wider range of the arts, including song writing and song singing, performing, iconography and style, dance, and video. And he was one person, not a group.

              Some people are only now waking up to the reality that Jackson was savagely diminished by the media for years and years, and newly appreciating what he accomplished. You may recoil and call him a "freak" if you wish, but he made the world a less mundane place for sure. And I guess the likes of Prince, and Mick Jagger, and John Lennon himself were called pretty much the same in their day. Funny how that works with artists sometimes--they challenge us to stretch our narrow little boundaries and perceptions.
            • Again....
              Actually, it's simpletons who continue to
              buy into and endlessly repeat old media tapes about Jackson. In fact, he was a lifelong humanitarian who put his money, and lots of it, into hospitals and orphanages; a social activist who, again, spoke through his music about injustice, racism, hatred and bigotry and how to change it; a champion for children who opened his home to
              improve lives and impart hope to those in need; and always an innocent man, the victim himself of extortion and the evils of racism and jealousy. That's who the real Jackson was, not some cartoon character promoted by those looking for financial gain. So, no deification here, just a recognition of the exceptional contributions of an extremely talented man. Oh, and by the way, all of the above and more is readily available and documented for anyone interested in truth.
            • Just some facts Lou
              Lou,

              I see that you seem to feel Michael Jacksons reign was only 5 years.

              Come on Lou.

              You got to do your homework before you come against MJ fans. LOL

              Ok Let's begin.

              Off The Wall-Released in 1979.

              It was the FIRST album by a solo artist in the United States to have 4 top 10 singles.

              Thriller-Released in 1982. Went on to sell 110 million copies. First to win 8 Grammy awards in a single night.

              BAD-Released 4yrs later in 1987.

              It is the ONLY ablum EVER to have 5 Number One singles. Sold over 30 million units.

              Dangerous-Released in 1991.

              Generated 4 top 10 singles in the U.S. The album is certified at 32 million selling.

              So between Thriller (released in 1982) to Dangerous (released in 1991) we're up to 9yrs of Michael Jacksons global reign.

              Let's keep going shall we.

              In 1995 Michael Jackson released History.
              I will concede that after the allegations things did fall off a bit BUT like Geraldo said you could cut it in half and he still did more than most.

              History: Released in 1995.

              Had 2 top 5 singles in the United States. Scream which debuted at number 5 and You are not alone which was the first song ever to debut at number one.

              The album went on to sell 20 million copies which is remarkable for what happened to him.

              And lastly and Invincible: Released in 2001.
              The album debutes at number one.
              There were only 3 singles released as Michael was fighting with his record company who eventually stopped promotion on the album altogether.

              You Rock My World came it at number 10.
              Cry was never released in the U.S.
              Butterflies which was a WONDERFUL song came it at number 14 although there was no video for it.

              Overall Invincible debuted at number one and sold a total of 13 million copies.

              Name anyone else that sold 13 million copies in the early part of the decade.

              One last note: Invincible was voted, by readers of Billboard magazine as the best album of the decade when it was released in 2001.

              Do you still think Michael Jacksons "reign" was only 5yrs?
            • Ha ha ha ha ha
              Cirque du Soleil is not deifying Michael Jackson -- they are latching on to a catalog from a performer which is guaranteeing huge ticket sales for them. They know what they're doing. (I guess -- I have never seen Cirque du Soleil, although I believe it is Cirque du Soleil and not Cirque de Soleil.)

              I am no huge Michael Jackson fan -- Prince was more my guy -- but I don't understand why you keep starting his career at "Thriller." "Off the Wall" was a HUGE success, and I recall it much more fondly than I do "Thriller."
            • response
              Pasquale: Again, I never said his career began with "Thriller." Reread the post to clarify.

              Gary: I take no issue with Jackson's talents. My initial post expressed my admiration. What I pointed out--and directly invited readers to comment on--was the dramatic difference between what he achieved during his time at the top, what he didn't do in the last 15 years of his life, and the public attitudes toward him before and after his death.

              I think what's happened posthumously with Jackson is a bit different from what happened with Elvis and Sinatra. Yes, they all have their worshipers, wide bases of fans, and respect in the industry for their influence.

              However, with Elvis and Sinatra, I saw an energizing of the fan base and some retroactive appreciation of the best of their work, but also an increase in the amount of jokes and dirt revealed about them. Rather than being deified, Presley and Sinatra seemed more sadly human after they departed. Is that because Jackson was so trashed during his lifetime? Perhaps.

              That's my take, but I'd be interested in hearing civil discussion on this as well.

              --Lou
              • Some Facts
                Lou:

                You had better correct your statement -'But what did he actually create in the last 15 years of his life besides source material for late-night comics?'

                As mentioned by many in the above posts this period saw him release the 'HISTORY' Album ..with the first ever song ('You are not alone') in the history of Billboard 100 (which was in the 37th year then) to debut at No 1. The HISTORY album also had crtical gems such as the 'Earth Song' , 'Stranger in Moscow' (considered by many critics to be his best ever) and 'They don't really care about us' (possibly the most hard hitting protest song of all time). This 15 year period also saw him deliver the 'Invincible' album which I firmly believe will be recognized in due course as a masterpiece way ahead of its time.

                I guess its time you checked your facts before making incorrect lofty statements !
              • Back to the Cirque title
                At the end of your post, you ask if the title of the Cirque show, Immortal, was a little much. I think you are missing the genius and whimsy of the Cirque creators. Look at the titles of Jackson's own last few albums, Dangerous, History, Invincible. I think the Cirque title is simply a play on what they believe the next step in that naming evolution is and at the same time knowing that for the real fans that will be a very literal and meaningful title. Genius.
              • Michael Jackson is an extraordinary King that unified the world in ways no other world leaders (religious or polical) ever did!
                The writer of this article is a part of the anti-MJ propaganda! Whether you admit it or not, Michael was the Greatest Entertainer that ever lived! He also has the most enduring career, compare with any other artists dead or alive! He has millions of fans from the 80's up to the day he died. The only reason he stopped making concerts and music for 10 years was because of his own choice. He went on exile after that second accusation that proved he was INNOCENT!!! That case however took it toll on him.

                Michael was mobbed and loved by the world in all eras. There were youtube videos where he was mobbed in Japan in 2006, UK in 2005, UK in 2009. Different generations have chased his car in all eras.

                Lastly, you've forgotten one thing. Michael Jackson died while doing a rehearsal for a 50 sold out show concerts in London. His fans are willing travel to London to see him.

                Whether you admit it or not, MJ is a King!!! And he deserve the deity being given to him. But if you don't agree, why waste your time to even write and article?

                I guess some people are just hypocrite!
              • Deleted post
                Lou,

                I see that my post was deleted. That's ok. I won't post it again.

                I now know where you and others who think like you regarding Michael stand.

                For some reason you dislike him and will never give him the credit he deserves as the King of popular music.

                I guess you realized that Off the Wall was released in 1979 and was the first to have 4 top ten singles long before Whitney Houstons debut in 1985. (6yr difference)

                I support the Cirque du Soleil Immortal Michael Jackson tour.

                And yes, the name is befitting.

                No one has achieved what Michael Jackson did in the music business as a solo artist.
              • Backlash
                Hmmm-you got them going with that Lou. You have articles albout all kinds of arts, and the one about Michael Jackson is the one that gets everyone writing...some things you write about, more high minded artistic endeavors, no comment at all. But obviously, your readership is wider than one might think. As far as Jackson goes, I remember him from the beginning, Jackson 5, "I Want You Back". A very talented kid. He blossomed into an exceptional performer, ..like Elvis, whom you cite, he knew how to take what others did and blend it with his own strengths. I still think "Off the Wall" was his best record, though as you noted, Thriller was when he went super Mega platinum...Quincy Jones was a big part of his success, as were songwriters like Rod Temperton , who wrote many hits on Off The Wall and Thriller...There were a lot of nice details in his records, guest appearances, like Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo in Beat It. I think what put Jackson over the top was the video era...Jackson burned the brightest during the time when music videos were most popular, and he leveraged that for all it was worth. Although some of his videos were ridiculous (Bad...did anyone think Michael was "bad"...I doubt it...Michael might have grown up in Gary, but by that time there was nothing "street" about him), they were little mini films, meticulously choreographed, he became a sort of multi media star...he was so visible, so popular, and he sold so many records that it is hard to evaluate his artisitic contribution in a rational manner. He was a terrific dancer, but he borrowed liberally from sources like Marcel Marceau, who "moonwalked" 25-30 years before Michael...Michael was a smart guy...he had a gift for being able to identify what would work, and bring it to the party. I don't know about his later work...I listened to it all, but from Bad on, the records just were not that good...don't care how many records he sold, he became a characature of himself, he repeated himself, the evolution slowed...the constant facial altering. He just became a tragic figure to me...he was obviously scarred by his childhood, growing up in an abusive home, and being famous so young. That doesn't seem to be good for anyone, to be famous at a young age. As for the allegations against him, you can find plenty of source material on either side you want to be on.
                I guess if you are an artist, you hope to leave something behind that lasts after you pass...so if Michael is "Immortal" in that sense, then I guess the moniker fits. I thought the Cirque people were just poking fun at his album titles myself...Bad, Dangerous, Invincible (clearly he was none of the above). Maybe it will all shake out in time...I personally would opt for Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, or Prince, in that genre of music, but Michael had a big impact. In the meantime, you definitely shook the tree, and the Jackson fans fell out and came after you! I personally see nothing wrong or unfair with what yopu wrote.
              • Lay off of Lou
                I have to say as well, that Lou did not say anything harsh at all. And as a previous post points out... talking about Michael Jackson is what it takes to get you to post?... if someone saying anything remotely to the fact that Michael Jackson isn't great, is what gets you worked up?... then some of you people have some bigger issues to face in life. My personal opinion is that Michael Jackson was great... keyword being "was". His Jackson 5 years and the beginning of his solo career were his great years. The middle to the end of his career was just a downward spiral... and I do mean his music, I'm not talking about his personal life issues before some of you fanatics jump on me.

                I was thinking some of the same things that Lou was thinking during this sudden "resurgence" of Michael Jackson fans in the past year.
              • Thanks for participating in the discussion Lou!
                Thanks for clarifying your stance Lou. I see now that you were not trying to trash Michael Jackson. It seems that you're trying to understand the resurgence of interest by the general public. My take is that media did do a number on the North American audience. I think the media focus on MJ after the 1993 allegations became more about MJ's personal life than his music, atleast in North America. However, as his popularity waned a in North America it continued to soar in other parts of the world. The History tour had more in attendance then any of his previous tours and as others mention the album sold 20 million worldwide, which is phenomenal for a double album. I do think though that because MJ's name had been so sullied in North America that it had an impact on sales. I think by the time "Invincible" was released alot of time had passed and MJ was competing with a younger group of performers and a changing climate in the music world. Clearly the unfair Bashir documentary and 2nd set of false allegations did it's share of damage as well.

                After the trial MJ should have felt vindicated as was referenced in the article that I posted above by Charles Thomson but he didn't because of the misrepresentation of the facts. I think the public ( and casual fans) picked up and moved on with their lives and didn't really confront their personal feeling about MJ or his music, it all became about whether or not they thought he was guilty.

                I think a comeback tour would have forced casual fans to confront their personal feelings about MJ but the tour didn't happen. When he died the whole world had to confront their personal feelings about MJ, and the media's 24 hours non-stop coverage both positive and negative only forced more and more people to come face to face with hearing about Michal Jackson and coming to a conclusion about how they were going to move forward in their opinion of him.

                I think that could be one reason we see such a resurgence in his popularity. I'm sure their are several reasons for it though.
              • Man In The Mirror
                I agree! The media villified Michael Jackson and continues to do so even after his death! Evil journalists make money off of him, degrading everything about him-from his music to his looks to his mental health! Freedom of speech is one thing...but the type of abuse bestowed on Michael Jackson from the media is evil and shameful! The man was found not guilty! Let him rest in peace! When I think of Michael Jackson, I see an innocent man who gave so much and got so little in return.His beautiful music and the love in his soul changed the world for the better! It's time for the media to take a step up and recant!
              • Seek The Truth
                I think that first we need to remember that the interview with Martin Bashir was heavily edited, so perhaps if people would take the time to go back & see the unedited version as well as Martins' admittance, that in itself may shed a different light on many people.
                Michael was guilty of telling the truth & unfortunately for him, his truth in admitting to having boys in his room led to the obvious.
                However, that does not make him guilty of sexual acts upon children, as was proven over & over again by the accusers themselves.
                Society likes to dictate what is normal & what is not, & when we have an individual such as Michael Jackson going against what we perceive as normal, it causes people to instantly believe he is a freak.
                Perhaps, some people believe it was abnormal for him & his brothers to all sleep together? Perhaps not, because they can rationalize that the home was small.
                I can assure you that many found that "freaky" as well.
                In my humble opinion, it was "freaky" what Michael had to deal with all in the name of what is normal & what is not.
                What about fathers that sleep with their sons? Is that perceived as normal as the mother sleeping with her son? What age limit is acceptable to stop sleepin with ones' own family?
                I pose these questions because it shows that people make up their own "rules".
                Simply put, Michael led his life in such a way that he found appropriate & was ridiculed for it.
                If you look up the "standard" type of ped profile, you'll find that Michael doesnt fit the catagory at all...not even close.
                He never denied or tried to cover up his life & THAT is what got him into trouble.
                However, IF he had done that, the first thing people would say is "look! I told you he was up to something".
                I think it is irrelevant as to which artist is better than the other. I am a fan of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the like.
                I do like Michael Jackson, more, but I see no need to compare them & bicker about them.
                Michael Jackson lived his life completely in the public eye & he never tried to hide anything, so you might wish to consider why such a public figure would even take the chance of committing such an act.
                Lastly, please take the time to actually read & hear the documents before you pass judgment on anyone.
              • Keep the Faith
                My thoughts you ask?
                I think you've been living under a rock for the last 20 years. And,there are 14 songs on the Dangerous album, one of which is called Remember the Time? You sure don't.

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