Those that know me, know that Michael Jackson is absolutely everything to me. When he died, I was one of those that was super depressed for months as if I had lost a parent. That’s because that’s what his loss felt like to me.
I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to explain why Michael Jackson holds the place that he does in my heart and in honor of his 59th birthday, I want to share that. Like most Michael Jackson fans, he has been a part of my life since I can remember. My mother and my aunt’s were big fans of the Jacksons (like I imagine every black girl in the 70’s was) so of course, that fandom eventually trickled down to their children.
I will never forget my first introduction to Michael Jackson’s music. It wasn’t Thriller, it wasn’t Bille Jean or Beat It…It was this song from this Jacksons album that resonated with me as a little girl
It was “Destiny”. The Jackson’s Destiny album. My mom had this bad boy on cassette and I swear I would listen to it every single night on my walkman (remember those? lol) before I went to sleep. That album was literally the spark that made me not only want to listen to every single song that family had ever created, but that was when I officially fell in love with music. My mom also had Off The Wall on cassette so between that and the Destiny album, my introduction to MJ was far away from the pop music he would go on to create. In fact, I didn’t discover Thriller til much later in life because shockingly, my mother didn’t own it! (Which I never understood because she literally had EVERY MJ album but that one. We gonna have to have a conversation lol) I thought every song and every artist was Michael. It got so bad that for the longest time I thought “I Miss You” by Klymaxx was a MJ song, like I know I’m not the only one that thought that girl sounded JUST like MJ?
As I got older and discovered more and more music from Michael Jackson and the Jacksons, I realized that it wasn’t just the music (or the fact that Michael was fine as hell ESPECIALLY during the Bad Era lol) that made me gravitate towards him. It was the feeling and the energy that he gave through his music, performances and his dance. We all know Michael Jackson was a bad ass singer, dancer and entertainer, that’s just a given. It’s what he chose to do with his gift is what set him a part and made him the icon he is today. Michael Jackson just makes you happy and feel good about yourself. He had a way of making you feel like you were a part of him and you can tell that his fans genuinely meant the world to him. He’s taught me so many life lessons through his music and his life. Anytime I am feeling down or I’m doubting myself in any way…I put on a Michael Jackson song (Keep the Faith from the Dangerous album to be exact) No one evokes the spirit of love in their music Michael Jackson did and that’s why Michael was and is loved by millions and millions of people of all backgrounds.
Every year since his death in 2009, the world celebrates the life of a man that we never truly gave him his roses while he was living. It hurts my soul to think that MJ may have possibly died feeling unappreciated. Me, I celebrate and honor MJ every single day just how he would want his fans to..by spreading love and being a kind, giving person. The music is just a part of it and I’m SO glad he left us with a catalog full of gems that we share for years to come. But I need people to understand that Michael Jackson was more than just a moonwalker, he was a BLACK MAN that used his gift for good and made an immeasurable impact on our culture and our world.
Share your thoughts, favorite songs and memorable moments of Michael Jackson with me on Twitter, I’d love to hear them! @bykeenarenee