Perhaps my last Michael Jackson post was a bit harsh… I’m sorry…I didn’t know what was to come just a few days later (none of us did,) but I hope that my sense of humor isn’t held against me. Truth be told, MJ was one of the most talented entertainers out there, and even if Neverland seemed a bit “different,” it shouldn’t discount his legacy.
The last two days have been just…chaotic in the world of entertainment news, with the passing of Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett. But with both of those figures, we (the public) had sorta been given a heads up by all the media speculation of both parties being in grave condition…
With Michael, it just sorta happened. Randomly. Shockingly.
I was assigned to report from Michael Jackson’s Walk of Fame star this morning, just a day after he died.
Chaos. Words can’t describe the media and fan frenzy surrounding the star. Fans were shedding tears. Reporters were shooing people away so they could get that perfect liveshot, only to invite those same people in for a live, heart-wrenching interview. It was impossible to get through the hundreds of people camped out on Hollywood Blvd.
Or…so I thought. I finagled my way in for that perfect shot of the memorial, for those perfect soundbites. Sitting on the ground next to a fan named Prince, consoling him as he shed tears for Michael… meeting Niki from China, who proved that MJ had a universal presence… and talking to a young adolescent fan named Alpa, who confirms that the King’s music is timeless. These are the emotional moments I love. It’s these moments that remind me the joy I got as a news reporter. The human connection. And don’t get me wrong… I do enjoy interviewing celebrities… but they’ll never give a response that millions of people watching at home will be able to fully relate to.
Everyone has an MJ story, whether big or small. Civilian or Celebrity. Black. White. Didn’t really matter. Mine? The one that sticks out, to be honest, is singing “We are the World” in elementary school, and my 5th grade bus driver being obsessed with “You are not Alone.” I have vague memories of being a toddler who was slightly scared of the “Thriller” video… But what 80’s kid wasn’t? Nonetheless, “Thriller” and all MJs other classics are timeless, and will definitely live on. MJD.
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