Michael Jackson is dead


The King of Pop, a faded child star, a musical genius with a flawed personal life, there are so many ways to remember Michael Jackson.
The tributes have been flowing since the rumours of a cardiac arrest first started circulating late last night London time. Confirmation of his death of his death came just before midnight here, and judging from the comments here and on the BBC’s Have Your Say site (5000 comments in the space of less than twelve hours) this is what you’ll be wanting to talk about today.

How do you view the world’s first truly global pop superstar? Do the traumas of his personal life, the child molestation charges, the money problems, the strange circumstances of the relations with women and his children taint his musical legacy? Or were these all just a sidebar to the real story which was his record number of brilliant songs and albums?

And tell us what you think of the coverage of his death so far too.

59 Responses to “Michael Jackson is dead”

  1. June 26, 2009 at 00:12

    We have media like the ocean has sharks: at the first scent of blood, they will be all over this. May his family be sheltered from the worst of it, so they can mourn the son and brother they lost.

    • 2 Dorothy Wodrich
      June 28, 2009 at 10:53

      I agree with Dechant – it is time for the media to show a little constraint and stop behaving like the uncivilized ‘sharks’ they seem to have become.

      The cause of his death is completely immaterial and in fact, is none of our business. The only people who have a right or a need to know are his family. The rest of us should have the decency to withdraw to the outskirts of his family so that they might deal with their loss.

      I suspect that Michael has been suffering from Body Dismorphic Syndrome since his teens and this would explain the repeated surgery. Very few sufferers of BDS survive as long as he has and most end in suicide.

      We have all been fortunate that he shared his huge talent with us. We should celebrate his life and leave him to rest in peace at last.

  2. 3 Eli Aino
    June 26, 2009 at 00:30

    What does celebrity do to an individual? I wonder sometimes what it’s like, to have millions of strangers talking about you. It sends a shiver down my spine–and not in a good way. Perhaps the only happiness he ever found was on the stage, making stadiumfuls of people dance or cry with happiness–then to go offstage and find that the demons were still there.

    Talented men and women seem to have a tough time in this world; and I can’t imagine that the psychological pressures of fame, starting at age 11, helped any. I don’t want to excuse him for whatever crimes he may have committed; if the allegations of child molestation are true, they cannot be justified by his genius, money or fame. But to demonize a person to such an extent is inexcusable, even if they have committed a demonic act.

    Why haven’t we evolved to the point where we can aid extraordinary people without giving them carte blanche?

  3. 5 Ramesh, India
    June 26, 2009 at 01:34

    So sad news. Actually I remembered him just a few hours ago while writing on the WHYS blog about cosmetics and racism. Some asian I met in Europe stumbled me by saying Michael Jackson became white because he changed his blood(from black blood to red or white blood?)!!
    Michael Jackson is the one of the two most popular pop stars during my college days, the other being Madonna. My belief was that even a 100 year old would twist his/her legs, when Michael Jackson’s song is heard. I don’t know the reason but Billie jean is my favourite song among his all songs.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  4. 6 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 26, 2009 at 01:54

    An awfully sad day. Michael Jackson was a musical genius. I loved the SMOOTH CRIMINAL video.


  5. June 26, 2009 at 02:08

    I’ve never particularly been a fan of the man (or of any man or woman) but so much of my life has been accompanied by his music. Weird to think we won’t hear any more from him, although there will be that catalogue of unreleased stuff that the record cos will milk out of this.

    Billie Jean, Black or White… and probably the first one that really got me, Ben (I didn’t know who sang it but as a kid it stuck with me for years). End of an era.

  6. 8 Ian Singer
    June 26, 2009 at 02:20

    Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson!! Michael Jackson!!!
    In his tme he was okay, now he’s dead and all I get of the BBC World Service news is Michael Jackson!!!!
    When will this program start reporting valid news again ?

    • 9 Scott [M]
      June 26, 2009 at 02:52

      When will people stop reporting on what news, is or isn’t valid? I didn’t like Michael Jackson personally, but he was obviously one of the most famous individuals on the planet—it goes without saying (apparently not) it will get coverage.

    • 10 Karin
      June 26, 2009 at 02:53

      This was CNN all over again. Reporting it, moving on to other topics and eventually updating it would have been enough. What is so important about Michael Jackson? Weird!

    • 11 Jenny Pearson
      June 26, 2009 at 04:12

      Agree with you 100% Ian, I couldn’t believe my ears this morning when the 6 oclock news devoted a straight 25 minutes to the death of a pop star when so many other compelling and important world stories, which also include people dying, weren’t covered at all. Some reivew and balance in the editorial policy needed I think.

    • 12 Dennis Junior
      June 26, 2009 at 04:54

      @ Ian Singer:
      This is technically a news story and its’ the duty of the BBC World Service to report this type of news story….

      ~Dennis Junior~

    • 13 Aboy calledhate
      June 26, 2009 at 06:46

      Yeah, I’m kind of with you on that one. It’s sad and all but not news I listen to the BBC for. I mean mention it but don’t spend any really news time or money on the story.

    • 14 stanislas
      June 26, 2009 at 09:31

      Am sorry for you Ian but i cant help but ask u from which your are?, to be so hard on one who has been the model of a whole generation. Michael Jackson is to music what Oprah and Obama are to television and politics respectively. It is but right that the news of his death make headlines in the news. He is one of the Greatest artists the world has ever known and am sure his lagacy will last for several generations to come. He a was great performer. May your soul rest in peace M.J.
      Stan, Douala Cameroon

      • 15 naveen
        June 26, 2009 at 13:23

        I agree with you stanislas, MJ as one of the Greatest artists the world has ever known. Its impossible to ignore this history for any sensible media.He whould be always remembered for his exceptional talent and contribution to the music world.

  7. 16 Dennis Junior
    June 26, 2009 at 03:19

    Sad news that Michael Jackson has passed away in California….My heartfelt condolences and prayers are being sent to everyone he had influence…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  8. 17 Ann
    June 26, 2009 at 03:52

    I hope the poor man finds some peace now.

    Thank you for the music Michael.

  9. 18 Amit C Javgal
    June 26, 2009 at 04:24

    I’ve heard just a few of his songs and I liked ’em

    This is sad news. He was only 50!

    I also agree with Ian Singer in the previous comment that this story has gained too much prominence on the World Service and, although the story must be run because it is news and I agree with this, but time spent reading out this story must be gradually cut down over the hours,

    Again this is your decision but thank you for reporting it all the same.

  10. 19 Peter in Jamaica
    June 26, 2009 at 06:16

    The man was a genius in his own right and an untouchable in his field. The field of entertainment.
    The world has lost the greatest entertainer ever and he can never be replaced or emulated. Had the gift of being able to whip up a crowd with just his presence on a stage.
    I remember seeing one of his concerts on HBO and even before it got started a few girls were being taken to emergency units and then when it stared he just popped out of the stage floor in a flash of lights and smoke and then just stopped and stood there like a statue for about i swear 3 to 4 minutes.
    The crown went wild and all of a sudden i saw a continuous flow of girls being carried out the emergency units and I swear to you i actually saw a girl being carried over the crowds to the medical team for treatment but what got me was that she was in a wheel chair at the time cause she was paralyzed from the waist down. when i saw that i was blown away.
    THIS MAN WAS THE GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIME and i believe past, present and future. He will be missed

  11. 20 emmanuel
    June 26, 2009 at 06:37

    I remember trying to do the moonwalk with my little brother at the back of our house in the 90’s, and singing along to his great hits which have stuck on my mind for all this years.Michael was a musical wonder and legend, whose name shall forever be etched in the memories of many. From God we all come and to him we shall all return, Micheal’s turn has come and he shall be missed. My condolences to his children,family and friends

  12. 21 IZ
    June 26, 2009 at 06:56

    Michael Jackson’s death makes me sad like many others around the world. He was very special and extremely creative. But I wonder what makes the news so special that the BBC has converted itself into an MJ Fan Channel. It has completely shut itself away from being a BBC World! What would they do if, touch wood, something happened to Obama, or if the Queen of England died?

    I fully respect his contribuion. He was great indeed. But like the bizzare part of life that BBC has been showing for last 10 hour or so, BBC itself is behaving bizzarely. This is too emotional and irrespondible for a Channel of BBC’s standard. They are expected to be more profesional. Can BBC World take a survey of what proportion of its viewers are endorsing such exclusive coverage of the news?

  13. 22 M Sakalli
    June 26, 2009 at 06:57

    I couldn’t believe it…indeed…


  14. 23 CD Tauber
    June 26, 2009 at 07:00

    Why is this the first item on a program like “The World Today” and why is it getting so much emphasis? Surely, in the scheme of world affairs, this is fairly minor. I accept that he was famous, but surely this is not up to the generally high standards of the BBC, whose function, in my view, is the in-depth reporting of important stories and stories that other broadcasters ignore. Especially where there are limited resources, let these be spent on items that have more impact on the world.

    • June 26, 2009 at 09:53

      The truth is the Micheal Jackson story is too big to be ignored. If any news media is not reporting it, people will simply find where they can get the info.

    • 25 emmanuel
      June 26, 2009 at 12:19

      Much as the world is faced with a host of challenges that warrant attention and resources, i believe it is also prudent to pause for a moment and appreciate the people who have made contributions in making it a much better place, and Michael happens to be one of them. Music universally unites people, especially in such hard times. In addition who decides on what is newsworhty or not? it is the majority viewers,listeners and bloggers, let it be!

  15. June 26, 2009 at 07:08

    So the King of Pop has popped?
    So sad that a black man born so handsome would yearn to and actually die an unattractive old white woman.
    ‘Nuff said.

  16. 28 Jim Newman
    June 26, 2009 at 07:24

    Hello again
    I think Michael Jackson is a good illustration of what I say of life when I want to put things in perspective. We’re born, we fidget a bit and we die. No disrespect meant.

  17. 29 Orji isaiah
    June 26, 2009 at 07:49

    This is a great shock and at da same a big lesson to us all…We must learn to be proud of ourselves irrespective of da colour,race etc. Micheal was a true legend! This death is just a “THRILLER”

  18. 30 suraya
    June 26, 2009 at 08:00

    Honestly, I refuse to accept that Michael Jackson has truly left us! It’s just too difficult to let him go; I hope it’s a bad dream that I will wake up from. But reality is that Michael Jackson is dead. In truth, Michael gave the world more than what the world gave him. Despite his contributions to pop music, Michael died a lonely man. I hope he finds eternal peace in the heavens. My heart felt condolences to his family!!!

    Ontario, Canada

  19. 31 Roberto
    June 26, 2009 at 08:43

    RE “” Michael Jackson is dead “”

    ———– Not sure where MJ fits into the world’s economy and environment imploding inward as new wars seem primed to explode outwards, but I wish him well on his new journey.

    Was never a fan of his from his earliest moments even though I grew up with soul music. He never rang true to me and I suspect I had a natural instinct that there was something terribly wrong with him even as a prepubescent.

    I must say that Billy Jean melted my hard heart as long as I didn’t have to see the video, a timeless contribution to the world that will be the basis of any positive memories about him. The rest is mystery which is exactly what he seems to have wanted.

  20. June 26, 2009 at 08:56

    There’s no denying the fact that Michael Jackson was a huge phenomenal icon in music, he was simply in class of his own,however I am pretty amazed at the out pouring of grief by the same media organizations that correctly or wrongly vilified him over certain aspects of his life.

  21. June 26, 2009 at 10:24

    Is the life of an internationally known artist such as Michael Jackson too demanding? Exactly how much pressure do we expose artists to? Quite often stories emerge, telling about celebrities and their drug and alcohol abuse. I don’t know about Michael Jackson about that, but he had his own set of problems. Tragic.

  22. 34 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 26, 2009 at 10:40

    In defense of the media

    The media organizations are doing their jobs and responding to the magic that was Michael Jackson. The devotion of time by most of the media was done in a professional way.

    The job of the media is to bring you the stories that trending at the moment and this was and is a hot topic.

    On the issue of Michael Jackson being villified over certain aspects of his life.
    If MJ really committed the crimes he committed and it appeared he did he deserves villification and he got alot of it.
    MJ was also praised greatly for his talent by the same media and nothing is wrong with that.

    The media were therefore CORRECT in how they treated him i.e you deserve praise for when you excel but villification for when you mess up. No one deserves a free lunch no matter who they are.

    For the media to have turned a blind eye to his faults because they love and adore him would have been very unprofessional and biased.

  23. 35 Sahar Irani
    June 26, 2009 at 10:54

    Hi, we have in our own country a lot of problems but this news has made me very sad.Michael Jackson will stay in our hearts forever! …

    June 26, 2009 at 11:05


    Its difficult for me to write about Michael Jackson (Jacko) without getting into a lot of trouble. This is one man who was always looking for something that most of us did not understand. I do not know to what extent he perceived his own great success or the world in general.

    Many things will come to mind when we write agout Jackson: race issues, pride, celebrity, Icon, entertainer, private life, gender orientation, family issues and so on. All will be very correct and wrong because I feel that it is only Jackson who really knew himself that well and I have not seen any biography to learn of what he thought of life and himself. He was the kind of fellow who was a fellow who always caught you off guard because he was children, men and women all interwooven in a single individual. Given all these, I wonder how he ever got time to sleep.

    Its an end of a career and an end of one of the champions of an era that is now behind us.

  25. 37 VictorK
    June 26, 2009 at 11:12

    Sad news but, as others have noted, serious journalists need to keep a sense of perspective. The deaths of millions in the DR Congo and the prospect of famine in Somalia go unreported, while people who never knew the man shed tears over an eccentric – though brilliant – entertainer? Another good example -following on from Iran – of how sentimental and faked emotions, together with a herd mentality, can drive the news agenda.

  26. 38 Sarah Louisa
    June 26, 2009 at 11:21


  27. 39 khalil
    June 26, 2009 at 11:38

    i m so sorry about maichael jackson death.he was such a nice guy.he will be remember forever.just 2 days ago i watch his music on website n keenly waiting for his concert in london.


  28. 40 Aanchal in London
    June 26, 2009 at 11:42

    It is so sad to that Michael Jackson died at such an early age of 50!
    Michael Jackson was an undoubtedly amazing singer, astonishing performer and superb dancer especially with his original moonwalk! Some of his songs were meaningful such as ‘heal the world’ and ‘black or white’. I enjoyed his music so much and grew-up listening and watching his songs on MTV.
    He was a true genius with his talent in music. A genius and an eccentric is only a degree apart from each other. So, was the case of Michael Jackson, with all his genius contribution in music contrasted his weird personal life. I think it rooted, to his difficult childhood, gigantic fame at an early age, mental complex of his physical appearance and then later loneliness. His image was hugely tarnished with his court cases on child abuse, divorces and multiple plastic surgeries in the madness of becoming lighter etc.
    Nevertheless, apart of all his personal issues, he with always and always be remembered for generations for his amazing musicals gifts and unforgettable contributions to the world of Music.
    May his soul rest in peace!

  29. 41 Spaz D.
    June 26, 2009 at 11:44

    If you ever get to read this from wherever you are now Mcheal… this world never deserved You! in Life or in Death!
    But i guess you were allowed to come so some of us may see the evil that gropes this world form our Homes, to the streets, to the faces that we speak with and the many that claim to like us.
    Only those in oneness of hearts as we are and will be, Know the truth that lies within…
    Unfortunately i should have Know better, people like you don’t last long, you come , change the world, make a scene and Leave.
    Anyways THANKS for THE Music but POP is officially DEAD!!!

  30. 42 Kushal
    June 26, 2009 at 12:01

    It’s a great sad to hear the loss of Michael Jackson. He is one of our greatest icon in the music industry. He will be cherised in the heart of millions of fans including me. We all miss him dearly.


  31. June 26, 2009 at 12:04

    Rest, oh rest King, from trash tabloids and snoopy paparazzi chasing you all over. RIP.

  32. 44 Steve in Boston
    June 26, 2009 at 12:14

    Michael Jackson was someone who desperately clung to childhood and did everything in his power to stop the sands of time.

    It’s probably no coincidence that he passed away at 50. Can anyone imagine Michael Jackson as an old man?

  33. 45 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    June 26, 2009 at 12:54

    I saw the Jackson Five perform at the beginning of their career, when Michael was just a little boy. It was clear even then that he was the stand-out. In spite of all the bizarre happenings in his life, I’ll always remember him as the little kid who filled the room with such excitement.

  34. 46 Linda in Italy
    June 26, 2009 at 13:20

    To quote the Who – I hope I die before I get old!
    Not really a fan, that awful falsetto voice did nothing for me, but I did like the Quincey Jones arrangements and I appreciate what he meant to many.
    At least he popped his clogs on the eve of his big comeback, and he and the world will never be disappointed – the ways of the rock world can sometimes be kind to those who wish to preserve the illusion.

  35. 47 Jade
    June 26, 2009 at 13:33

    A talented child star tried to re-live his missed childhood but exploited by adult fans whose real interest was in his money rather than appreciating his art.

  36. 48 Chris in Ohio
    June 26, 2009 at 13:35

    I’m not sure that this is so much hardline news to present and critique as it is the passing of a cultural icon…like, for instance, as John Lennon’s murder, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe medicating themselves to early deaths, or James Dean obliterating himself on the highway.

    However, I was particularly struck by the American networks’ (NBC, ABC, CBS, etc.) immediately jumping on the lionizing bandwagon by salubriously annointing the recently dead King of Pop – being the same fellow they mercilessly tracked, trashed, and traumatized in the pursuit of “news” of another kind. Not sure if the BBC did it as well….but I presume they did.

    That being said, there is no doubt that he was a rare talent and, with that rarification typically come tragic flaws.

    Jackson family – let your dead brother rest in peace, and try not to profit by his passing.

  37. 49 Ibrahim in UK
    June 26, 2009 at 14:33

    He was a great entertainer, and while he didnt solve the world’s problems, he was a man who brought joy to millions all over the world. It is easy to underestimate the value of that.
    Rest in Peace.

  38. June 26, 2009 at 16:10

    He was a great man who had serious difficulties in life. He remains the most popular singer in the world, his kingship lasted for over three generations, a diffiult feat to surpass.
    There is no one like him.

  39. 51 Dennis Junior
    June 26, 2009 at 16:11

    My heartfelt condolences are being sent to everyone who love Michael Jackson as a person and his music….

    That also includes his family….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  40. June 26, 2009 at 22:41

    For most African American women born between 1958 and 1964, Michael Jackson was our first boyfriend. He looked like us, sang to us, was the same height and was cute. Our generation did not have someone in our age group to fall in love with. I mean there was Donny Osmond and a heap load of white teen sensations, but “they could not use our comb”. The evening of his death I went to a music bar in Washington DC and met 3 women from Kenya who were 10-15 years younger than me. They were distraught and we urged the band to keep the MJ hits comming. One girl told me, ” I was going to marry Michael Jackson” and I realized that it was not just a little black girl’s dream in America, it was an international dream.

    I told her , “Get in line and the queue is long”. She responded, “Really?”
    I told her to multiply her wish by every little girl in the world and you understand how long the line was.


  41. 53 Lino - Malta
    June 27, 2009 at 06:22

    When listening to Thriller, Bilie Jean, Bad etc I remember the good times we had, the dancing, the moonwalk attempts (hilarious); basically I remember myself 30 years or so ago.

    I really just have to say this about MJ’s passing – part of my youth and my life has passed away with him. Thank you Michael for the fun, the music and the dancing.
    Sincere condolences to his family

  42. June 27, 2009 at 09:24

    A billion in royalties this week for the late mike jackson! easy, and more, with all the TV and radio stations throughout the world playing his music this week, don’t think his inheritors will not know what to do laugh or cry. karl portugal

  43. 55 charles
    June 27, 2009 at 21:51

    Ok Jackson was a good muso if you like that sort of thing. I don’t.

    I cannot forgive or forget the fact that he used his wealth to settle a child abuse case out of court. If you have nothing to hide you have your day in court..

    Also remember that he said in public that he saw nothing wrong with sleeping with children.

    Isn’t it amazing how quickley we forget that our idols have clay feet?

  44. 56 globalcomedy
    June 28, 2009 at 05:09

    On the one hand, I’m sorry for the loss to his family and friends. And fans.

    On the other, enough already! For the past two days now, the MSM has become the Michael Jackson Network. Literally almost everything is about this. Why? The MSM naturally recently said “Britany Spears is news, damnit!” Which means the feeding frenzy will go as long as possible.

  45. June 28, 2009 at 06:27

    Michael Jackson was an indisputable talent. It’s quite sad that it was squandered on the infernal commercial machine known as ‘pop’.It must also be said that child stardom has a poor prognosis.A child needs to form an identity of his own. His brain is still forming. To submit it to the irrational demands of show business is frequently harmful to the psyche. Parents, please,please don’t do this to your child!

  46. June 30, 2009 at 17:12

    poor michael he lived a short life … worked from when he was 5 like a person that was 50 and died when he was 50 because his heart couldnt take anymore abuse

  47. 59 Des
    August 1, 2009 at 23:17

    he’s gone and, and will ever never be with us again.
    Its verry sad to listen to all the good things he did for the world.
    When he whas a live we didnt give him the love and support he needed.
    Let this be a lesson for all of us, lets us appraise peopele and give them love and support withoutjudging them when there a life. because after dead he or her can hear or see non of it.

    r.i.p. my dear Michael

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