Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958. If he was still alive, he would turn 58 years old today.
Of course, he died in 2009, a victim of either incompetent doctors or his own hypochondria or some mixture of both. I am not a student of his life by any means; all I know is that he left behind three children and an amazing body of work.
To romanticize his life, it's almost as if it was fated that he would "die young," as, really, he "lived young." He signed with Motown when he was ten years old. By the time he was 12 he had four Number One hits. By the time he was 24, he had the largest selling album of all time.
|"Original" Michael Jackson, circa 1972|
However, Michael was an intensely creative person. He *had* to make music. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that he was also an intensely private person. He told in several interviews that he really only felt "alive" when he was on stage, entertaining people. This probably led to him having a tragic life.
|MJ after his first rhinoplasty, circa 1980|
The first Michael Jackson record I ever had was his version of Bobby Day's hit, "Rockin' Robin," in 1972. My favorite Michael Jackson song, however, was "Man In The Mirror," from the album Bad (1988). The official music video is so powerful, even now it brings tears to my eyes. However, it doesn't actually feature Michael. So here he is doing the song live on the 1988 Grammy Award show.
Happy Birthday, and Rest in Peace,