Jackson, Michael

Michael Jackson, cropped from Image:Michael Ja...
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Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009) was an American entertainer whose international celebrity status lead to his being known as the King of Pop.

Originally a member of the successful soul group, The Jackson Five, in an early TV appearance Ed Sullivan noted how he (the “little fella”) shone above his sibling who were also part of the act.

Jackson’s solo career took off in 1982 with the release of the album, Thriller, selling over 35 million copies. Part of its appeal, aside from slick musical arrangements by veteran producer Quincy Jones, was Jackson’s pioneering use of dramatic video.

Thriller belongs to the genre of schlock horror, arguably generating the kind of numinous fascination which is usually associated with the goul or zombie archetype.

C. G. Jung says that archetypes like these are part and parcel of humanity’s collective unconscious.

Subsequent albums and singles such as Bad and “Man in the Mirror” did very well but never equaled the near-hysterical intensity of Thriller.

Like the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and other performers with outstanding talent, Michael has received much bad press and harsh criticism, particularly in regard to his use of cosmetic surgery and an alleged interest in archeology.

The media attacks intensified with his arrest on November 25, 2003 and subsequent trial over allegations of child abuse at his Neverland ranch. However, Jackson was found not guilty by jury.

Jackson’s untimely death on June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles took the world by storm. The shocking news contributed to internet crashes from excessive traffic, and the media covered the story with the same zeal that Jackson had helped to generate in his lifetime. Also, his record sales were at an all time high for the remainder of that year.

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