The world bade a very tearful goodbye to Michael Jackson at Staples Center last
night.In an elaborate ceremony involving family,friends,a handful of music artists,actors and other celebs and thousands of mourning fans Michael made his last public appearance as memorable as any of his other stage performances were.And it lived upto its expectations of being 'the greatest media event ever'.I think so atleast.
When I was like 7 or 8 I used to be hooked to MTv.Bad thing?-I know.But I loved to watch the music videos of Celine Dion,Shania Twain,Backstreet Boys,Madonna and of course Michael Jackson.
I'll be bluntly honest.I wasn't ever a big MJ fan.But whenever he'd appear on Mtv singing and dancing up a storm I just wouldn't be able to take my eyes off him.
The thing is my dad was always a sworn MJ fanatic.I didn't seem to have inherited that from him.But then as I think about it now I might have always liked him even though I didn't.Weird no?
That spooky 'Thriller' video with the zombies and all used to freak me out.But then I liked it as well.Just as I liked those magical dance moves and that iconic moonwalk- even the crazily ostentatious outfits,the glove and the cap.
In the end it's true what people say.MJ=Magic.In his personal life Michael might have been an eccentric person,caught in his own world of fantasies...but on stage he was a hurricane.He was a wave.A phenomenon like no other.Just like Berry Gordy,the founder of Motown records put these feelings into words-'..The more I talk about Michael Jackson, the more I feel the King Of Pop is not big enough for him.
..I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.'
So true.So very true.
And I guess I'm not alone when I'm remembering Michael and his electric stage presence.Thousands of MJ lovers poured into Staples Center yesterday to say a final goodbye to their all-time favorite.
For those who missed this event I will try to summarize the whole thing.
The event started off with Smokey Robinson's speech-'We come to this space where only days ago Michael Jackson sang,' he said. 'First and foremost, this man was our brother, our son, our father and our friend.'.After this Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz belted out 'I'll be there' in which unfortunately enough Mariah Carey's voice quivered noticeably which was quite a letdown.I've always been a fan of her amazing voice.
Among the ones who shared their memories about Michael and paid their tributes to him were actress Queen Latifah,Motown founder Berry Gordy,close friends Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson,actress Brooke Shields,Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee,Martin Luther King lll and Bernice King,Mariah Carey,Trey Lorenz,actress/singer Jennifer Hudson,Lionel Richie,Stevie Wonder,John Mayer,Usher,Jermaine Jackson and Britain's Got Talent runner-up Shaheen Jafargholi.
The performances that touched me the most were Jennifer Hudson's Gospel rendition of Jackson's 'Will you be there',Usher's 'Gone too soon',Lionel Richie's 'Jesus is love' and Jermaine Jackson's 'Smile'.To be frank the lyrics of 'Never dreamed you'd leave in summer' are beautiful but Stevie Wonder didn't sound that good-must be the signs of age.John Mayer was good with his guitar as he belted out 'Human nature'.However the surprise package of the evening was 12 year-old Shaheen Jafargholi who was supposed to join Michael onstage for his concert that
was scheduled to have taken place this month.He has a really powerful voice-that kid
has got it in him.
A tearful Brooke Shields who called MJ a 'lover of life' recalled fond times with her old pal and quoted lines from the book The Little Prince saying to her Michael was like a little prince rather than a king.
In the very end after Marlon Jackson made a very emotional speech remembering old times with brother Michael,Jermaine handed the mic over to Janet Jackson to say a few words.But she dodged and handed it over to Paris,MJ's 11 year-old daughter who could only manage 'I just want to say... ever since I was born.... daddy has been the best father you can imagine.And I just want to say I love him so much.' through her tears.
You know Janet it doesn't matter if you didn't have a very good relationship with Michael during the last few years.He was after all..family.Saying a few words wouldn't have hurt.
Anyway conspicuously absent from the event were Jackson's close friends Diana Ross and Elizabeth Taylor.Diana Ross could have wanted to stay away to avoid an awkward confrontation with the Jackson family maybe.But I donno why Taylor didn't come.I mean come on,an 8-months pregnant Jennifer Hudson could take the pain to come and perform but the evil old hag couldn't...saying her grief for Michael wasn't something she wanted to share at a public event.Whatever lady..you suck!
Another thing that I couldn't help but notice was the absence of white celebrities and music artists.Most of whom climbed up on the stage to say or sing a few words were all colored people.Maybe Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird hasn't lost it's significance even in 2009..if you know what I mean.
At the very end Jackson's backing singers,his family and friends performed 'We're the world' together.And strangely enough...or maybe not..I found myself singing with them with tears in my eyes.
Woah I thought I wasn't going to cry.'Cause I never liked MJ that much.In fact at some point of time I thought he was a big old freak addicted to his popularity and lavish and twisted life.And here I was crying my eyes out just like I did while listening to Elton John's soulful rendition of 'Candle in the wind' at Princess Diana's funeral a decade back.It was only at that moment that I realized that it's very hard to hate MJ after all.Eccentric he might have been..but then which genius isn't?And his charity work across the globe can't be forgotten right?That's why probably Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee declared that they were making Resolution no 600 which will give Michael Jackson recognition for his humanitarian work.But of course it has to be passed at the House of Representatives first which won't be that easy.
Several facial surgeries,sex-change operations,child-abuse scandals and his eccentricities aside MJ was the King of Pop and he'll always be.Nobody or nothing would ever be able to replace the phenomenon that was Michael Jackson.
And even though he was way too young to pass away maybe this is how he should have gone-shocking the world,creating a stir,with a BANG-Michael style.
Rest in peace MJ!You'll always be alive in our hearts.
P.S:Ironic but I'm downloading MJ tracks now for the very first time in my life.Better late than never.