Thursday, June 25, 2009 was a sad day for the music industry and the entire world after the loss of Michael Jackson. To lose such an inspirational artist at such a young age is such a tragedy, and he will be remembered by many generations to come. It was truly amazing to see the entire world mourn this loss as vigils were held across the world. His story is truly inspirational from the start of his career at age 5, to the hardships he faced as an adult immersed in the media, to his final moments in Los Angeles. With a tour in London ahead, no one could have guessed that his days were numbered.
When I come home from work, I usually do not check the news. However, when I was on Twitter, I found out about his heart attack and eventual death. When TMZ reported it first, I did not completely believe it. However, when the Los Angeles Times and New York Times followed TMZ?s reporting, I knew that it was the truth. (I guess that is the last time I will question TMZ – congratulations to them for breaking the news!) Even though I know Michael Jackson was a huge part of pop culture, it shocked me how much media attention he received from all outlets. Even the Wall Street Journal, a financial newspaper, dedicated front page articles to his story.
Days later (which I am sure will continue into months and years later), he is still being covered by the news. His passing has taken over the news and forced the world to forget about the other recent deaths of Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon. Any station, newspaper, website, or other publication that is not covering his story is ignored. Vigils across the world have included playing his music (every radio station and MTV played Jackson’s music over and over on Thursday), doing the moonwalk, and attention from political leaders. President Obama even wrote a personal letter to the Jackson family sending his condolences.
Both Twitter and Google crashed during the time when everyone was unsure whether he was alive or dead. Twitter users talking about MJ reached 15% compared to less than 5% for the Iran election (and as you may know, the Iran election was a hot topic for Twitter). Google thought that it was being hacked into because so many users were searching for “Michael Jackson.” Wikipedia even reported a crash because so many people were trying to find out the truth (I have to admit, I used all 3 websites and was lucky enough to not experience any problems even though TweetDeck temporarily stopped reporting new tweets.)
My predictions: Jackson’s album sales are going to tremendously increase, MTV will temporarily be more successful if they continue their tributes with music videos, and his funeral will be highly attended and well remembered. The hardships Jackson faced throughout the past years are finally being forgotten and forgiven, but it is sad that he reached justice in such a tragic way.