On air: Michael Jackson and you


He clearly means an enormous amount to many of you (we’ve had over 10,000 message already into BBC News). But some of you need persuading that he was this big a deal, and that he warrants this much attention. If you’re mourning, tell us why the man and the music are so important to you. And if you think the reaction is over the top, tell us why too. Is it because you don’t like his music, or just that no musician warrants this level of adoration?

178 Responses to “On air: Michael Jackson and you”

  1. 1 James Loudermilk
    June 26, 2009 at 12:56

    I mean I really like a lot of his music and I think he did a fine job and all at his craft but, as you said “the reaction is over the top,” and “no musician warrants this level of adoration?”
    He made money for himself, his family and other around him. He got to do what a lot of people dream of and that is make a living doing something he liked to do. He didn’t save the world or do anything that would warrant such a hoopla.
    I did like his music though.

    • June 26, 2009 at 14:35

      What a tragic and abrupt end .. His music transcended boundaries.. He will be missed – his unique style, dancing, gravity defying ‘smooth criminal’ and unforgettable moon walker.. may you rest in peace.

      • June 28, 2009 at 00:48

        Really…? What is unforgetable is the man’s greed and utter dis-regard for other people and the planet…The fact that he never ‘grew up’ did not stop him having a larger global footprint than the entire nations of Botswana, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Rwanda put together…He wasted energy and wealth like few other people….Just think of all the money he spent on his so-called toys, food, drugs, travel, consumer goods and so on…

        Also, I never heard his name mentioned about the genocides in Rwanda, or Bosnia; or the poverty in Malaysia and the Philippines…He was just a wasteful, mindless man who was used and abused by his equally greedy hangers-on ….including so-called ‘fans’…who are turning out to be equally mindless and selfish.

        Good riddance,

        Eustacia from New Zealand

    • June 26, 2009 at 15:14

      We do not mourn the ‘Michael Jackson out there’ whom very few people knew — that would be insensitive to the thousands that suffer and die daily around the world — but the ‘Michael Jackson in here’, a small but fascinating part of our own lives that has just turned from an ongoing, open-ended story into a personal legacy we all share. His life, and now his death, has proven for so long an occasion for millions to think about their intimate concerns and aspirations together. The apparent mismatch between the sheer talent and the murky personal affairs only makes this legacy more relevant to our own messy lives.

    • 5 Aboy calledhate
      June 27, 2009 at 07:29

      May I also add that in my minds eye, Prince and Bob Marley as far as male entertainers go are my favorite. Plus Bob wasn’t weird at all and Prince isn’t half as weird as Jackson was. Marley and Prince were and are better if you ask me, and neither accused of being a child predator as far as I know.

    • June 29, 2009 at 04:17

      James you are out of touch with reality and I don’t know why. The man deserves the praise and adoration for his good work andacheivement. His role in the entertaiment field is beyond imagination. His dancing skills are what is being emulated throughout the world. Elvis received praise and adoration to date and to me Michael’s music is more appreciated in the world over and not only in the US as Elvis. So, you tell me how the reaction is over the top? Your above reasons are too flimsy to accept.

  2. 7 Bob in Queensland
    June 26, 2009 at 12:56

    I’m sorry when anyone dies but find the general outpouring of grief from many to be unwarranted. Jackson may have been a talented entertainer but surely nothing more than that.

    Further though, Michael Jackson was a deeply flawed person and, even if these flaws are not his fault, I’m not convinced he was a person to be idolised.

    • June 29, 2009 at 09:18

      Bob, well, that is your opinion and you have right to it. Just remember that opinion too can sometimes be wrong. Talking about flaw, I believe that every human being is flawed including you and I.

  3. 9 patti in cape coral
    June 26, 2009 at 13:02

    Sometimes famous can be a sort of marker for our own lives, and when I remember Michael Jackson, I mostly remember being very little and laying in front of the TV with my little brother and watching him with the Jackson Five, then being in middle school and watching him on Friday night MTV. Most people at work are not much affected, and although I’m not prostrate with grief, I am sad at Michael’s passing. He just always struck me as kind of a tragic figure, somebody who couldn’t enjoy what he had, like being seated at a sumptuous banquet and tasting only gruel. I have gotten a lot of grief from friends because of the child molestation charges against him, they seem to think he doesn’t deserve any sympathy,and I do acknowledge how they feel, but it doesn’t stop me from being a little sad that he didn’t seem to be able to find any contentment in life.

    • 10 patti in cape coral
      June 26, 2009 at 13:19

      Sorry, I meant to type “famous people.” Most people can remember where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was assasinated, or when 9/11 happened, or the first steps on the moon. Part of the grief people feel seems to stem from the fact that it was very unexpected. After all, Farah Fawcett died the same day, and Ed McMahon died earlier this week, and it did not receive the same kind of attention.

  4. 11 Usha
    June 26, 2009 at 13:02

    Celebs don’t easilly affect my daily life..
    But I owe Michael Jackson a big thank you, he got me trough most of my puberty depressions. And I believe he had a miserable youth and adult life.
    Thank You Michael and R.I. P. I aspecially love the tracks “Human nature” and
    the one with the words ” It ‘s out of my hands” ….
    Usha from Amsterdam

  5. 13 ROADEAGL
    June 26, 2009 at 13:06

    OK, he was an incredibly creative, talented artist and performer who was taken before his time and my heart goes out to his family. But he was no “role model” or hero that our youth should have looked up to. To be kind, he was not grounded in reality. But he was clearly a hero to our pop culture so what does that say of us?

    • June 29, 2009 at 09:34

      If pop culture is part of society that I even consider more peaceful, friendly and better than Hip-hop whta’s the big deal. Evene though he was misguided in the use of his finances and exploited through allegations of child molestation, his performance in the entertainment field could still be emulated and leads someone to a better life and fame. If this is possible to happen then what is wrong with regarding him as a role model?

  6. June 26, 2009 at 13:09

    Hi Ros,
    MJ and me? well, with his music a very little something. With MJ himself, Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

  7. 16 emmanuel
    June 26, 2009 at 13:13

    Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with only one radio station to listen to, Michael Jackson was a phenomenon. His fame and achievements warrant attention, he not only rose to be the a mega star but he also broke through the racial and colour barrier in the USA and his music became a unifying factor in a much segregated country. He had his faults just like any other human being and no one wants him to be treated like a saint. However, lets give credit where it is due,and what better way to do so than to pause a bit, set aside the Irans,Afghanistans and Iraqs which have become part of every day discussions, and salute talent, which was hard earned.

  8. 17 Denise in Chicago
    June 26, 2009 at 13:14

    Michael Jackson was indeed a big, big deal. His artistic contributions to music are matched by only a handful of people worldwide. However, I am somewhat torn with all this admiration given the many accusations over the years about his too-close relationships with children. There were certainly times where his behavior was pretty creepy.

  9. 18 Ann
    June 26, 2009 at 13:19

    Michael Jackson’s life story has something to teach us all.

    It is a story of how a superbly talented young man, was pushed into the madness of the music industry when he was far too young to cope. He struggled with the fame, the power, the pressure and it seemed he grew increasily confused and isolated. And the media loved him when he was up and stabbed him when he was down. They took a pervereted pleasure in ridiculing him when was clearly suffering and confused and maybe we all had a hand in that.

    Essentially it is a tragic story, not just for Michael and his family, but for us as a society too.

    I hope and pray he is now at peace.

    Thank you for the wonderful music Michael.

    • 19 Jessica in NYC
      June 26, 2009 at 14:46

      I always wished Micheal who never recovered from his traumatic childhood would find happiness and peace in life.

      June 28, 2009 at 21:16

      @ Ann,
      That was so thoughtful you Ann. I hope Michael will read this; he could not agree more. I have read widely of Jackson over the weekend and your comments mirror his feelings widely quoted by those he worked with. He was a tortured soul who had such a gift of giving us thrills through entertainmen while in actual fact he was grieving in wretchedness. He tried to look for answers and most of his escapades ended in tragedy. Other times he would torture his own body to forge a figure that he thought the world needed; it was a nightmare that could not be undone. He trully deserves peace now.

      “Ah! these little ice-cold fingers-
      How they point our memories back
      To the hasty words and actions
      Strewn along our backward track!”

  10. June 26, 2009 at 13:22

    I still remember, when I was just 10 years old in 1988, I had a picture of MJ. I wondered about his talent. I was dreaming of having that kind of a talent, image in my country (Sri Lanka) too.
    I was mad about his songs. Heal the world, black or white, bad, … Oh my god… He is really a legend.

    Doha, Qatar.

  11. 22 Sergio Joaquim Dique
    June 26, 2009 at 13:24

    He sure means a lot. Regardless of him many troubles, which we all have to the degree of our popularity, he did a whole lot for a lot of us in a million and one diferent ways. He therefore deserves our respect.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 13:27

    I have not problem with BBC running this story. It is news enough given that he had an enourmous number of fans across the globe and the station should rightly cater for their interests. The second reason I think it should be aired is because no one knows for sure what attracted the huge following to him. This too will alter our perspective this week which was too political.

    I have known Michael Jackson as a celebrity for so many years even though I cannot claim to be his fun. I am not sure wheter I have his music because I did not connect that well with his music and his lifestyle which was always strange to me. To me he appeared like a social protester of unknown kind. Nevertheless his music had achieved a brand name: MICHAEL JACKSON. I wouldn’t fail to recognize it on the streets or the local radio stations whenever his music was put on air.

    His haters and lovers were all touched in different ways. Some jittery, others are mournful, some do not want to hear news about him for long etc…. They have the right to feel what they feel anyway because to me the man was just another puzzle to me. There are those who connected with him very well for reasons we are all hearing and perhaps I will be able to understand him from comments of fans.

  13. June 26, 2009 at 13:32

    Michael was treated unfairly by many on this planet, particularly the greedy, grasping lot who had no scruples to act in order to draw money from him, It often happens to people who have real genius, and a naive generous soul. All this this came through in that famous interview later manipulated by a British Interviewer. He was a an immenselly talented performer and a boy who loved to climb trees

  14. 26 Hamis
    June 26, 2009 at 13:36

    Michael certainly means so much to so many people.

    I’ve got no great interest in music but am a great fan of his incredible talents.
    And themes of his music are touching. The Earth Song, the We are the World etc represent monumental contributions of this great icon to world peace and powerful statemeents on climate change.

    Am not wailing. Am at work and working alright though I’ve been touched and sombered by the incident.

    His controversies aside, I perfectly understand those around the world who’ve cancelled trips, taken a day off work, etc just to gather in popular places to celebrate his life and music.

    He totally deserves it.

  15. 27 faria
    June 26, 2009 at 13:49

    My daughter is six years old(Fatima), she is a greattttttest fan of Michael Jackson. She was collecting money to attend Michael’s concert. Today shez shocked n saddest person on earth. May God rest ur soul in peace!
    From Pakistan

  16. 28 Ron S. from Ft Myers Florida
    June 26, 2009 at 13:51

    I was absolutely stunned when I heard of his passing. He was vibrant, still young at 50, and was ready to give the world one more show, as only he knew best. But fate, it seems, is not without its sense of irony..that he left us before he could take that stage.

    I remember growing up on Long Island, listening to his music, as my dad was a fan of his work. Back then, I didn’t know what it took to create a record. Now, all these years later, having experienced it first-hand, I can see and respect just how much talent he had. Listening to “Thriller” now, sounds as vibrant as it did 25 years ago.

    And let’s not forget his contribution to pop culture….which, they are enormous. I can only imagine how sites like Myspace, Facebook or Twitter would have handled their sites if they were created back in his heyday!! MTV went from some silly little channel that played music videos, to a place where creativity was expanded 10-fold.

    Love him or hate him, his mark will be felt for a VERY long time to come. I now wonder if he left any music behind we can enjoy as well.

  17. 29 Glenn L
    June 26, 2009 at 14:02

    I love/loved Michael’s music as barrier shattering and creative for it’s time. No doubt in my mind Michael’s music “changed the world” as his song laments. I have most every album Michael has ever made and each one was iconic in it’s day. It’s too bad his image was so tarnished by his fetishes and plastic surgeries. I think we want our idols to remain untainted. Some refused to listen further after accusations of petaphile surfaced. I remainded loyal to the music, if not the “idol”.

  18. June 26, 2009 at 14:09

    When I first heard Michael Jackson in the 80’s through his famous songs like Billie Jean I couldn’t utter an English word, but like many fans I was thrilled by the rhythm of his music and voice.

    He filled the life of many young people through his thrilling music and voice. Even those who couldn’t speak a word in English were charmed by his style and art.

    Michael Jackson was almost artistically dead since his successive falls as his place in the world of art drastically diminished. Paradoxically, his death brought him back to life. His death must have kindled many memories among his fans who enjoyed his art through live concerts and parties.

    Michael Jackson was an era on his own. He will probably continue to influence art from his grave as long as his art continues to be an inspiration for current and future artists.

  19. 31 Jennifer
    June 26, 2009 at 14:22

    Re: Michael Jackson

    I think Michael Jackson was a talented entertainer of his time. It is always a loss to see any such talent leave this world. However, as we can see with the round the clock coverage; it seems that Michael Jackson will live on forever through his music.

    I am a little shocked at the way people are fawning over him now. Where were these people when he was alive? Why is it that now they are supporting him? Have they forgotten the man that underwent investigation for child molestation? The one who dangled his small son off of a balcony? Hmm.

  20. 32 Justin from Iowa
    June 26, 2009 at 14:23

    …alright. The more politically correct version:
    Michael Jackson lost most of the respect he may have accrued with me when the despicable side of his personal life came out.
    His impact on pop culture cannot be contested, but his personal life choices left much to be desired in any sort of “role model.”

  21. June 26, 2009 at 14:25

    Hi Ros

    This man was a phenomenon. Without the music Michael Jackson was a show by itself. He created a SHOW bigger than him and couldn’t unfortunately handle its good the bad and the ugly that came with it. He was a man who lived a fantasy and conjured a lifestyle that polarized everyone. There will never be another Michael he died with his Phenomenon show.

  22. June 26, 2009 at 14:32

    Hey im sorry that the pop star had past away he was the best nd will be the best michael jackson RIP we will never forget you well I rember when I was like 8 nd my mom was into the jackson 5 I use to be like who are them ppl and she be like the best of the world JACKSON 5

  23. June 26, 2009 at 14:32

    Not my type at all. May he rest in peace.

  24. 36 Mike J
    June 26, 2009 at 14:39

    Coverage about whether “the reaction is over the top” is just more coverage…

    Please give it a rest..!

  25. 37 ~Rhoda in the United States
    June 26, 2009 at 14:40

    It’s really sad that anyone passes but Micheal was a “pop icon” for the entire world. With that being said, this kind of reaction from people is totally expected. I feel really bad for his life. He was mentally, physically and emotionally tormented as a child and young adult and I don’t think he totally came to grips with adulthood and that is a very sad life to have to live. My heart goes out to his babies, close friends and his family.

  26. 38 Nigel
    June 26, 2009 at 14:43

    Enough already! This guy didn’t want to be black, wanted to remain at 17 years old, has been accused of all sorts of weird and criminal acts and hasn’t produced any real work for the last few years. In a curious twist of fate however it is we who must be crazy to give the riduculous amount of coverage and attention to his death that we are.

    • June 26, 2009 at 16:34

      Yeah, you have a good point.
      But it seems his demise has changed the minds of a lot of folks for them, they suddenly forget that they didnt really like him, and that they wont leave their children inside 100 miles radius of Micheal Jackson.
      I never really liked him when he lived, and I havent changed my mind, neither will I.

      • 40 Nigel
        June 28, 2009 at 02:03

        I am 64 yo and grew up at a time when we listened to music and didn’t watch it. So his music did not resonate with me at all and his over produced stage shows were fantastic but of no real meaning. That left me nothing to offset what he did and was accused of. I saw no redeeming factors in the man at all. Lord!!! Now the family is looking for soemone to sue.

  27. June 26, 2009 at 14:43

    Michael Jackson we will always rember you. you where the best and you will alway be the best I give my sorry to the family
    MICHAEL JACKSON your fan love you nd we will never ever forget you

    R.I.P 1958 -2009

  28. 42 Jessica in NYC
    June 26, 2009 at 14:45

    I don’t keep up with celebrities lives and am annoyed they always seem headline all news programs and trump all other topics in the media. However, I’ll play nice and share my “Michael” moment.

    My father died while I was a child and one of my fondest memories of us spending time together is while in the car listening to Micheal’s music. My father had bought a car cassette player just for me to listen to the Thriller album. This was my father’s type of music, but he sang along and let me blast it while we sat outside eating. I’ll always be thankful for Micheal Jackson’s music for giving me those moments and memories.

  29. June 26, 2009 at 14:45

    I’ve never understood what anybody liked about Michael Jackson’s performances. The unbelievable amount of money that was poured into his productions merely made me suspicious of his real ability as a singer. He was so tricked out with mikes, dance groups, backup vocals and support personnel that he seemed invisible, like a disembodied [castrato] voice out of the ether. Growing up as he did, without a real childhood, I could understand his obsession with children, but not the ways it emerged in his personality; his identity was too twisted to be attractive. Requiescat in Pacem, Michael.

  30. June 26, 2009 at 15:02

    He has been through alot in life aside from the fame and fourtune, Alot of people tried to bring him down why didn’t they just leave him alone for christ sake you all should be ashamed.I grew up on michael hackson’s music my brothers , cousins and I, He would never be forgotton by me.

  31. June 26, 2009 at 15:06

    As a 57 year old person I am always shocked at the death of one younger. Some of his songs I liked. And I feel sorry for his family (children) but the mass hysteria is a bit over the top. But I was not one of his devotees. Each of us loose one’s icons and mourn. I was over the top when Douglas Adams died so I am no judge of another’s response. We all loose when one who is famous dies since we all know him/her in a way.

  32. 46 Tom K in Mpls
    June 26, 2009 at 15:07

    Damn, now who am I gonna laugh at whenever the topic of fashion and modern beauty comes up. He was the epitome of what the fashion industry could do to you. I hope the parody of his ‘humanity’ lives on as a lesson to all.

  33. 47 Niks
    June 26, 2009 at 15:12

    Now if I was ticketmaster, I’d get on the radio and let it be known that I’d gladly reimburse you the cost of the ticket, but you might want to consider holding on to them and speculate on their future value.

  34. 48 John in Salem
    June 26, 2009 at 15:16

    Everything that can be said about Michael Jackson has already been said millions of times, but I’m sure all of it will be repeated ad nau. He was an archetypal tragic figure, a classic image of fame gone bad, and for me his death is simply a good reason not to turn on the tv for the next week.

  35. 49 deryck/trinidad
    June 26, 2009 at 15:19

    I remember trying to moonwalk to Billie Jean and that was great.

    MJ was a musical an artistic genius, but most of all he was human so the fact that he did things that were wrong is no different to the 6 billion people on the earth.

    There is no perfect role model because every human has faults and if you believe you have none someone will find one.

    The man deserves the praise and acclamation he is receiving worldwide.

  36. 50 Usha
    June 26, 2009 at 15:23

    As a fan ever since I was child growing up in the 80’s I am extremely saddened by the news I don’t think that the reaction is over the top as he was a unique, extremely talented artist whose work was phenomenal. He was admired by many and someone who inspired many current musical artists who try to mimic his music and style.
    Music is the medium that helps people to come deal with what’s going on in their lives and his lyrics were meaningful unlike some of the crap out there.

  37. 51 Roy, Washington DC
    June 26, 2009 at 15:25

    The outpouring of attention he is receiving illustrates how popular he really was. Even though he faced quite a bit of controversy over the years, he was a talented entertainer, and that’s what people will miss.


  38. June 26, 2009 at 15:52

    Salaam… His song “You’re not alone” managed to enlighten some of the darkest moments of my life, and for that I’ll shed a tear for him today. MJ, may you at last find some peace away from this troubled earth. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad.

  39. June 26, 2009 at 15:52

    Kericho, Kenya
    That’s sad….so so sad. That’s kind of news that rocked(broke) my day.It’s a never land, the place he’s gone to.but he’ll be remembered for all the good and the bad reasons. RIP

  40. 54 N.D. (Abuja, Nigeria)
    June 26, 2009 at 15:53

    Something is a little bit wrong with us as a public. When Micheal was alive he had fallen from Grace to Grace, I heard the authority had to remove the animals from the park he had because no one was caring for them. Things got so bad that MJ had to live away from public life in some quiet country and was only just trying to make a comeback to the world of entertainment into which he was born and had lived all his life. MJ was so ignored and not aired that I only recently heard from a friend that he had done a song with Akon a while ago.
    Now the guy is dead and everyone is ‘mourning the loss of the King of Pop’. When last did he cross our minds before we heard he has died? Do you have a copy of his CD? If yes, when last did you play it?
    Personally, I never really liked MJ much (I don’t like too many musicians, dead or alive). However, I think he was good at what he did, and we will still be humming his tunes for a long time to come.
    We should learn to respect folks while they are still alive, not wait till they die before we begin pouring tributes to BBC News.

  41. 55 ThatsMyboy/USA
    June 26, 2009 at 16:12

    Michael Jackson is a legend and a world personality. I personally believe that even if his death reaches coverage on every news station for the next 24 hours it will be well worth it. He deserves a day. In the US Michael Jackson’s reputation has been tainted by allegations surrounding his sexual behavior and his unusual appearance. People called him a freak and a weirdo for his reclusive tendencies. My take is that he was pressured very young into adhering to an image that was at odds with his personality and he expressed himself at times in ways that did more to alienate him than to show his point of view. So he bleached his skin and later shrouded his face – He had vitiligo and lupus both of which made him sensitive to sunlight. But in all, Michael Jackson spoke most powerfully in song and he moved from popular singing to activism for peace, racial equality, and understanding between cultures. I mourn the loss of a musical great and I have resolved to dance to his music to pay tribute.

  42. June 26, 2009 at 16:20

    Micheal indeed did alot for the world.He entertained lots of people.Brought smiles and hope to many.He inspired most of the big musicians today.He will be missed for his love for humanity.His music his great for all times.This is the King of pop.He is irreplaceble.He did a fine Job and no doubt deserves all the adoration and attention.Africa mourns your death.

  43. 57 RightPaddock
    June 26, 2009 at 16:34

    It had not intended posting on MJs death, never liked him much – mediocre musician, talented dancer, good video performer, master of over production, flawed personaility.

    But I feel “forced” to post to say that I think the BBC World Service is completely overdoing his death given that he was a has-been self obsessed pop star of limited talent. The BBC seems to be giving his death the coverage it might justifiably have given MLK Jr in 1968.

    Enough already, get over it, move on.

    Commiserations to those who “loved” MK, but there must be as many us who were indifferent to him when he was alive and equally so now that he’s dead.

  44. 58 Anthony
    June 26, 2009 at 16:37

    Yeah, M.J. died while N Korea is on the verge of nuking Hawaii. Come on BBC, EVERY radio station in the U.S. is already playing his music around the clock and talking about him non stop, WHYS should be talking about more important things, like things that could potentialy start another world war, and with nukes too.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  45. 59 Julia in Portland Oregon
    June 26, 2009 at 16:41

    @ John in Salem…..I’d have to agree.

    He was talented, abused and messed up…’nuf said. I feel more for his children who are saddled with an enormous amount of debt, no father and a future that will likely include out of control media coverage.

    He was no John Lennon…………….

    I am much more impressed with Farrah Fawcett’s iron will that kept her going up against a cancer that ravaged her body. Pure determination that I would never have guessed she would have.

    That’s about the extent of how much I want to think about this….I’m still too worried about the state of the world to put much concern on celebs. My thoughts go back to the people of Iran, Israel, Palestine, Darfur etc. etc. etc.

  46. 62 ecotopian
    June 26, 2009 at 16:44

    The best article about Mr. Jackson I’ve seen yet is here: http://field-negro.blogspot.com/

    Is the reaction over the top? Maybe a little. I’m not much of a fan, although I liked the Jackson 5 when I was kid, but I understand the hype that has surrounded Mr. Jackson for years. This kind of frenzy seems right for his passing. Anything less would not have been right. He was over the top. Shouldn’t the reaction be just as over the top?

    I wish people would understand what he gave up to entertain us. I wouldn’t have wanted to trade places with him. I wouldn’t want to have the kind of childhood he did. All he knew how to do was entertain. He didn’t seem to have any other choice in life than that. Can you imagine not having any other choice in what you want to do with your life? While I may not like Mr. Jackson, there is a part of me that feels really sorry for him.

  47. 63 Elias
    June 26, 2009 at 17:07

    He was brilliant and popular for his music skills, had an unfortunate upbringing. His huge success the world over and perhaps his medication resulted in his untimely death, similar to Elvis Presley. Its a price you have to pay with your life when over bundantly successful.

  48. June 26, 2009 at 17:24

    The cultural world and real world has changed a lot, His music played a role in both cases. Despite his controversial life style, he will remembered for his positive input in pop culture. World slowly healing from astonishment the big blow and realizing the contribution Micheal Jackson. May his soul be in peace.

  49. 65 Chrissy in Portland
    June 26, 2009 at 17:50

    I was genuinely saddened by the news of his passing. As a student of music who has also worked in the music industry, I can honestly say that Michael Jackson and his music have directly influenced my life. The man was an incredible talent who helped shape popular music into what it is today. We’ll never see anyone like him! My condolences go to his family (especially his children) and friends. Rest in peace, Michael.

    How many other people in history have affected people around the world like he has? He absolutely deserves the coverage he’s receiving.

    • June 27, 2009 at 06:59

      How many other people?…. think Buddha, Nelson Mandela, Chopin, the Lord Jesus Christ (apparently), Napoleon, William Wilberforce, John Lennon, Hitler, Stalin, John Le Carre, Karl Rudolf von Gerd, Sir Donald Sangster, Theodolsius 11, Theophratus, de Vinci, Mozart, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Zorrilla y de Moral, Charles Dickens, Bernadette Soubirous, Joan of Arc…..

      ….to name a few…

      there’s more to life than pop idolatry, being a ‘fan’ and the USA entertainment industry…

      As one student to another, Chrissy of Portland….WAKE UP!!!!


  50. 67 Mike in Seattle
    June 26, 2009 at 17:57

    It’s silly to ignore the incredible music Mr. Jackson made, but that does not excuse the BBC and others from just turning cameras to the hospital for hours on end.

    If you want to do a retrospective on Michael Jackson’s life, great. But I don’t need wall to wall coverage on the story from every news station I can lay my hands on.

    Michael Jackson has passed on, and we all hope he finds the peace that elluded him in life. There isn’t much more we can expect to find in the way of updates to this news story.

  51. June 26, 2009 at 17:57

    I agree with the other Anthony. While MJs death was tragic there are far more important things to be talking about. MJ and me?? Did you know him personally? I didn’t so there is no MJ and me at all.

    I realize that music plays a large part in our lives but the reaction around the world is a little much

    Anthony Reno, NV

  52. 69 Shannon in Ohio
    June 26, 2009 at 17:59

    A tremendous talent, no doubt. But Jackson was also a middle-aged man who failed to come to grips with his past–or the very real fact of his waning fame. Growing up is mandatory when one becomes a parent, but Jackson seemed to feel he was above all of that. His relationships with boys (some very ill, some very poor–all especially vulnerable)were questionable at best. His child molestation trial here in the US was at once pathetic and truly disturbing. I admit some of those old Jackson 5 tunes as well as “Thriller” sound just as good now, but that cannot exonerate a life of terrible excess that hurt Mr. Jackson–and others around him.

  53. June 26, 2009 at 18:00

    Micheal Jackson appealed to fans across the world. They were prepared to pay well in advance for his live concerts. He touched so many hearts. In the same breath there were many who questioned his behavioral traits which certainly tainted him badly. His large band of admirers would surely mourn his death with deep grief. He may not have been in the league of the Beatles or Elvis Presley but the sheer fact that his music resonated to millions is most certainly an achievement by itself.

  54. 71 Nate, Portland OR
    June 26, 2009 at 18:02

    The man’s music was undeniably great, and in his prime he was a brilliant entertainer. But for me he had long since wandered off into a realm of mind-bending weirdness. I’m not sure who to blame for it (e.g. he started paying the price for fame at a very young age), but the result is that after, say, the “Bad” year(s) he was musically uninteresting to me. As the cosmetic surgeries got out of hand he got – how do I say this gently – difficult to look at. As his behavior got more bizzare he became increasingly difficult to care about. I view his death as the culmination of a tragedy that had long since reached its peak.

  55. 72 Chrissy in Portland
    June 26, 2009 at 18:05

    I think people underestimate the difficulties of his life. How many other people can say they were the leader of a band at the age of five? I saw a documentary about him on MSNBC last night that stated he and his brothers were performing in bars and strip clubs before they were signed to Motown Records. What kind of life must that have been for a small child? Kenny Rogers, obviously a man who’s enjoyed a large amount of success in his own career told Larry King last night that he wouldn’t wish the level of fame that Michael Jackson had on anyone.

    I completely agree with Ann in her description of his relationship with the media. They loved him when he was up, but they definitely kicked him when he was down. My personal opinion, he was a lonely and at times very sad man who displayed increasingly odd behavior in his later years. While I think that his behavior at times was a bit inappropriate I have never seen conclusive evidence that he was guilty of abusing any children. To those of you that keep bring it up, where is the proof? I keep thinking of the phrase “walk a mile in his shoes.”

  56. 73 Ayo
    June 26, 2009 at 18:05

    I am only going to reply to Bob in Queensland. Before I knew what the word donate meant, I heard “We are the world” and learned that Micheal Jackson was the person behind all the giving to famine torn countries. That man was a living lengend. A man whose great heart, I can only compare to one other man… Jesus. He touched so many hearts. He was so sweet and so ever so talented. Michael Jackson ignited my love for music and dancing. Everyone knew him. Does anyone know anyone right now that does not know Michael Jackson. its impossible for anyone not to have known him. Michael was an angel and now he is singing with them as their lead choir singer. I love him. and its a shock and a blow to me. I loved him I will always love him. I Idolized him. He was the greatest american and idol that ever was, is and will be

  57. June 26, 2009 at 18:07

    had he died 15 years ago it would have been tragic. today, his legacy is that of a distrubed pedafile.

    Not a loss in the least

  58. 75 Donald
    June 26, 2009 at 18:11

    After speaking with a co-worker the point was made that there is almost nobody else in the world who’s death could grab the attention and headlines Michael Jackson did.

  59. 76 Ramesh, India
    June 26, 2009 at 18:14

    Well, all i like about Michael jackson is his talent and not his personality or alleged misdeeds. Personally I am a great person. But do you care about me if i don’t impress you in a way similar to any famous person? lol!!

  60. 77 Venessa
    June 26, 2009 at 18:15

    No doubt Michael Jackson was a musical genius and influcenced many people around the world. Let’s face it though, what doesn’t the media turn in to a circus over these days. Another fine opportunity for them to make some money and sell some copy.

  61. 78 Tom D Ford
    June 26, 2009 at 18:19

    He was good and i liked some of his songs but it was not generally the type of music I really like.

    I think that my favorite singer of all was Nat “King” Cole. What an amazing voice!

  62. 79 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    June 26, 2009 at 18:19

    Why is this such a big deal? It’s a shame WHYS is focusing on this instead of other topics…I would have liked to hear the compensation story (BBC’s posting of salaries) mentioned yesterday. I did like his music but his personal life was questionable at best. I realize he had a hard life growing up and that’s a shame, but that doesn’t forgive him of his indiscretions.

  63. 80 chidi (from Minneapolis, US)
    June 26, 2009 at 18:20

    We all have our deep dark secrets so for those people who are so against Michael look in the mirror and ask yourself how you would cope with being the most recognizable artist of all time.

    RIP Michael !

  64. June 26, 2009 at 18:22

    His global significance is more than just his music. He was the first pop star to bring our attention (in the States) to famine, parentless children, and other political issues. I believe people have attempted to vilify him over the recent decades because they are unhappy with how he successfully highlighted the trivial distinctions others have comfortably depended on such as race, gender, and age. His first-rate, appx. 45 year recording history is unequaled by any other American recording artist and that accomplishment is closely seconded by his unofficial humanitarian efforts worldwide.

    Best Song: Billy Jean

  65. 82 Stephen
    June 26, 2009 at 18:22

    I think it is always tragic when someone dies, especially a great ENTERTAINER… but it pains me more to see people go crazy about this, especially on facebook, twitter, and then the media too. The media should know better. It is not like Nelson Mandela died, Michael Jackson was an entertainer, nothing more. Yesterday, 25,000 children died, i think 6 killed and 40 injured in Iraq, and the list goes on and on. I ask where is all the interest for these issues? I turned on World Service this morning hopping to get my dose of the NEWS, not a more educated version of TMZ. This speaks volumes about the deterioration of our society. Play some songs, have a few drinks, but that should be it. I’d wish the coverage would stop, cause I’ve had enough…

  66. 84 Claudio Aliaga
    June 26, 2009 at 18:23

    I think that is sad that a great singer like him died, but we must not forget all the “odd” things in he was involved. Although he was acquited in 2005 (i dont know why) i can’t separate the person and his (bad) behavoiur from the singer.

    A lot of children has been damaged and that must not be forgotten.

    Best regards from Chile

    Claudio Aliaga A.

  67. 85 Lew in Ohio
    June 26, 2009 at 18:23

    I don’t believe you can seperate the string of allegations against this man and his music. Furthermore I find it impossible that people view the charges against his character as not important because he was never convicted. In my opinion if you settle out of court you are admitting some culpibility. No this adulation is not warranted and we should let the guy fade away. I’m against giving a pass for celebs on anything.

  68. 86 Robyn, Lexington, KY
    June 26, 2009 at 18:24

    I like previous people who posted have great memories of dancing to his music the night clubs. The Wall is still one of my favorites albums. Michael spent his life in the media he had major talent and some major flaws. I hope he has found some peace. I understand the media attention because Michael was a World Star, not just a US Star.

  69. 87 Laura
    June 26, 2009 at 18:24

    Mixed feelings here…shocked at his death (of course). I enjoyed his earlier music…he was incredibly talented. However, a bit surprised at the unabashed adulation given to a man with obvious pedophilic tendancies (although I will note he was not convicted). I personally just can’t get past such allegations. Many great artists have eccentricities…but child abuse is something I can’t overlook no matter how many catchy tunes were written.

    • 88 prakash from Nepal
      June 27, 2009 at 09:42

      Laura u know everybody has their share of high and lows and michael is not exception but it will be injustice to the word MUSIC if we shadow down michael geniousness and creativeness by such nasty allegations and blame which never proved. afterall he was innocent and descent.

  70. June 26, 2009 at 18:25

    Young boys the world over are just a little bit safer this morning now that this child molester is dead.

    • 90 patti
      June 26, 2009 at 19:23

      @ J. Heman – Young boys are still at risk, since knowing parents will exploit them for money.

    • June 27, 2009 at 06:43

      Right on , Bro….most sensible, realistic and intelligent thing I’ve read/heard about Mr.M.Jackson. A gratifying relief from the sych0phantic sentimentalism broadcast on many,many websites.


  71. 92 Liz in Chicago
    June 26, 2009 at 18:25

    No one is arguing whether or not Michael’s music was groundbreaking and cross generational barriers. But as good as his music was, I don’t need to know how Joey danced to Thriller in the 8th-grade talent show or how Susie used to lip-synch with a hairbrush as her microphone in her bedroom. We ALL have personal stories of how Michael touched us, but that’s just what they are. personal stories, personal disbelief–we’ve all got them. Now let’s get on to the news!

  72. 93 Cris in El Paso, Texas
    June 26, 2009 at 18:28

    My experience with Jackson was one of complete fanatic for his music from “Off the Wall” to about “Dangerous”. After that, both musically and, more importantly, personally, I began to be sadden by Michael. His behavior and his music continued to disappointment for the next 10 years or so. I’m mixed in my feelings to his death. A part of me is sad and another, is quite indifferent. In a way he has been gone from my life for a very long time. I will continue to love his music from before ’94 though.

  73. 94 Mike
    June 26, 2009 at 18:28

    I hasn’t been 24 hours, and I’m already tired of hearing about Michael Jackson. I won’t deny that he was a talented artist, and there is something to be said for that, but what about all of the over-the-top behavior? I realize that he wasn’t convicted of child molestation, but it certainly seems that all of the people with their emotional support for this man have conveniently forgotten about all of the weird stuff he was into. Even setting all that aside, was he really that great of a musician? Better than the others that have passed away in the past few years?

  74. 95 steve
    June 26, 2009 at 18:31

    Problemed man, but a very, very talented individual, who made many great songs. I feel horrible about having laughed hysterically to the South Park episode that featured “him.” I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch any parodies of him anymore, even though some were absolutely Brilliant, like on In Living Color, their version of “Black or White”.

    • 96 Ann
      June 28, 2009 at 10:36

      Steve – I really admire the honesty in what you have said here. I think most people (including me) had moments when we were less than kind and understanding towards Michael Jackson’s more bizarre behaviour.

      Words said in the privacy of one’s home are one thing, but the tabloid press fed and created a disgusting vampirish frenzy of interest in him. Media interest was of course to some extent justified; there is no doubt he engaged in questionable, sometimes disturbing behaviour, but it was blantently obvious he was a lost, confused, lonely and very troubled man… More in need of serious psychological and spiritual help than brutal condemnation and ridicule – I wonder if the editors of all those media outlets have the courage to own up to their part in the destruction of another human being. Maybe now they’ll stop and think about what they are doing to celebrities like Amy Winehouse and Susan Boyle.

  75. 97 Cris in El Paso, Texas
    June 26, 2009 at 18:32

    One of my favorites has been “I’ll be there”. Could we hear it?

  76. June 26, 2009 at 18:33

    It is obvious that, with the most albums sold for any musician (solo or otherwise), Michael Jackson is the most successful entertainer ever lived…..second in impact only to Bob Marley whose legacy cannot be measured……

  77. June 26, 2009 at 18:34

    What about the negligent parents LETTING their kids have over nights with a grown man?!? Want to give the first parent a pass? Fine. But, after that you’ve got to question the morals, ethics and intentions of the PARENTS.
    That aside, his global impact and WHY people are moved by his life and career is above the witch hunt consuming Jackson’s later years. Get over the need to vilify and look to the positive! After all, that was the majority of his impact and relevance…

  78. 100 Miranda from Oregon
    June 26, 2009 at 18:34

    I liked some of Michael Jackson’s and the Jackson Five’s songs, but … this outpouring of media coverage is ridiculous. Last night the three major networks in the US had nothing but Michael Jackson coverage. Today he’s all NPR can talk about. I’m already sick of it.

  79. 101 Vijay
    June 26, 2009 at 18:35

    For people who weren’t white but lived in the west ,sportsmen and entertainers were the role models in the 70’s, I remember The Jackson five cartoon show,fondly.
    I have Michael Jackson recordings,but they are on vinyl ,don’t think he did anything good after Earth Song.
    I think I only played his songs once when spinning the wheels of steel on the radio in the USA.
    Not too surprised he died relatively young,probably of an OD,his erratic behaviour suggested he was out of control and it was only a matter of time before he checked out.I am reminded of John Entwhistle ,you can not get away with the same behaviour as when you were 20 at 50years old.

  80. 102 Tom D Ford
    June 26, 2009 at 18:36

    I can understand WHYS having Michael Jackson today because he was such a phenomenon to so many people. Let the fans have their day.

    I’ll just wait for another day to talk and write about things more interesting to me.

    So. No complaints from me about topic choice.

  81. 103 steve
    June 26, 2009 at 18:39

    It really does seem that celebrities die in threes. Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, all in about a day.

  82. June 26, 2009 at 18:41

    I was living in France when my mother died . I travelled to Scotland for the funeral and on the return to France, twice during the following week on 2 different occasions on 2 different days, when I switched on the radio Michael Jackson was singing the line ,’you are not alone , I am here with you ‘. Thank you Michael. xxxxx Mary

  83. 105 Nicole from NY
    June 26, 2009 at 18:42

    As a little girl growing up in the 70s and 80s, Michael Jackson and the Jackson Fove was the first music I ever bought, and he the first boy I ever had a crush on. There is a whole generation of us girls who grew up in love with Michael, and we come from all races all over the world. I wish our collective love could have filled the hole in his later life. As for the news-worthiness of this story, I remember when Elvis Presley passed away and when John Lennon was assassinated, and the press coverage was huge. Michael Jackson is the music icon of my generation, and I think his passing absolutely deserves this, and I thank World Have Your Say for giving us fans a chance to express our sadness.

  84. 106 Tom D Ford
    June 26, 2009 at 18:44

    @ Liz in Chicago
    June 26, 2009 at 18:25

    “… We ALL have personal stories of how Michael touched us, but that’s just what they are. personal stories, personal disbelief–we’ve all got them. Now let’s get on to the news!”

    It is called grieving, please let it be.

    Michael Jackson is dead but the living who loved him need to be allowed to grieve him in their own way, and talking and journaling are well established and recognized ways of psychotherapy in the grieving process.

  85. 107 Brigitte
    June 26, 2009 at 18:49

    Please realize that many of us are waiting for the BBC to return to their high-quality coverage of events in Iran. My respects to Jackson, he was a troubled soul who had tremendous talents. But I’m still waiting for news coverage.

  86. 108 Brigitte
    June 26, 2009 at 18:49

    Please realize that many of us are waiting for the BBC to return to their high-quality coverage of events in Iran. My respects to Jackson, he was a troubled soul who had tremendous talents. But I’m still waiting for news coverage.

  87. 109 Peter_scliu
    June 26, 2009 at 18:50

    MJ . If you can reads WHYS , this is what I want to say. When you were a kid and sang ‘Ben’ I was sold. 40 years later I was waiting for a new album. You maybe whacko Jacko but so is Peter Pan. So I hope you are in ‘ Never never land,’ carry on singing.

  88. 110 Vijay
    June 26, 2009 at 18:51

    Michael Jackson and you

    Of the cuff my memory of Michael Jackson would be Waiting in anticipation for the Thriller video to come on Channel 4 in the UK,for the first time,and the Jackson 5 tune “Can you Feel it”.

    Michael Jackson,Michael Jordan and “Magic”Johnson ,the three MJ’s

  89. 111 bjay
    June 26, 2009 at 18:51

    NO !
    I am a JAZZY fan, how ever I do not taking away his ORA.
    All I can say we/humanity is sucker for tragedy.
    Ye, that I can say. He got a big ‘soul’-a troubled one, we unite in that.
    He is defiantly part of our life like so many others troubled has gone, in our life.com.

    bay, simply.

    ui: please do not compare to anyone A ONE OF KINDE.com !!!

  90. 112 Ronique
    June 26, 2009 at 18:51

    Michael Jackson cannot be viewed as just a person. He was never seen in that light. He was the art o music and dance –he was completely a value added personality.
    However it is sad to know that will all of his creative genius he was not viewed as a human being who needed love and support like everyone else.
    May God rest his soul and may his musical legacy live on!

    Fan From Jamaica

  91. 113 bjay
    June 26, 2009 at 18:53

    NO !
    I am a JAZZY fan, how ever I do not taking away his ORA.
    All I can say we/humanity is sucker for tragedy.
    Ye, that I can say. He got a big ‘soul’-a troubled one, we unite in that.
    He is defiantly part of our life like so many others troubled has gone, in our life.com.

    bjay, simply.

    ui: please do not compare to anyone A ONE OF KINDE.com !!!

  92. 114 shanti
    June 26, 2009 at 18:55

    i love many of his songs. what i find missing from the discussion so far is his obvious suffering. in a way, i feel like his soul is now finally at peace.

  93. June 26, 2009 at 18:57


  94. 116 James Brady
    June 26, 2009 at 18:57

    Hi All,

    Just want to say: Michael jackson was the greatest!! People like him and Freddy Mercury were so gifted in their arts, the exhilarating way they would come alive to entertain us! Wow!

    His shows had to be heavily produced in order to have been some of the best live concerts ever given!!

    All this nitpicking and defamation is a disservice to us all and doesnt sound nice on the radio on the day the such a legend pass away.

    Rest In Peace Michaal Jackson!

    james – Berlin, Germany

  95. June 26, 2009 at 19:04

    We have lost a Master of a whole chapter in music.

  96. 118 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    June 26, 2009 at 19:04

    Artists should be judged by their art. Prattling on about their private lives is dreary and petty. If I show you a beautiful painting by Picasso, and then I tell you that he had abused the woman in the painting, is it no longer a masterpiece? Ridiculous.

    As for being “overproduced,” that is meaningless. Are we to believe that only one man strumming a banjo is “authentic?” It’s the 21st century. Production is part of music, and just as authentic as anything else.

    Entertainers and artists are not “role models.” They are not astronauts either, or nuclear physicists. They aren’t supposed to be.

    Finally, to the petulant Iranian rebels who resent the distraction, we will all get back to you in a day or two. Anyway, you do not have an automatic claim to the whole world’s full-time attention forever until you sort things out.

  97. 119 Mark Benner
    June 26, 2009 at 19:07

    Never cared for the Jackson Five – teeny bopper dance tunes – very little depth musically or lyrically – Jackson’s music improved but was still at best pop dance music.
    Having said that there is no doubt Jackson had an impact on the pop world, for what that is worth.
    A tortured soul ?? Maybe why else so many changes in personal appearance; As for the child molestation aspect of his life – he apparently was never convicted – and it is easy to imagine a variety of things happening from the very innocent simply trying to recreate and relive a childhood lost to actual pedophelia – however compared to say the policies of the Bush administration torture and abuse corruption – so on, Michael comes off pretty clean compared to the children whose lives have been ruined by U.S. invaisons and world monetary and trade policies.
    I have to wonder however what were those parents thinking who allowed their children to stay over – shouldn’t they share some of the responisbility???

  98. 120 Russell A. Hopkins
    June 26, 2009 at 19:10

    There was a Tiananmen Square type massacre yesterday in Iran. Is one man’s death from a heart attack really more newsworthy than a whole nation’s struggle for freedom? All of you in the newsmedia who have shut your eyes to the unfolding tragedy in Iran are enabling the Iranian govt.’s crimes. The childish obsession with professional entertainers is derailing the courageous efforts of reformers who depend upon their struggle being seen by the outside world. Would the media have interrupted the Apollo 11 landing for something like this.

    Also, stop saying he was “cleared” of charges. He was acquitted on one specific criminal allegation. He was not tried for being a pedophile. He was tried for specifc criminal acts. The fact that the state failed to prove guilt on that specific accusation does not mean he is innocent of that charge or of any of the other allegations that have dogged him.

  99. 121 Joaquín from Spain
    June 26, 2009 at 19:20

    Definitely, the reaction is over the top. For example, yesterday night I was watching a movie on the TV, and suddenly a message of braking new appeared on it, I got scared thinking in a possible terrorist attack or something like that, when I realized what it was I couldn’t believe it.

  100. 122 Joseph
    June 26, 2009 at 20:26

    Michael Jackson was an extremely talented individual whose life was a gift to the world. His contributions to music, and western culture shall invariably be his lasting legacy.

    Unfortunately his life also reads as a cautionary tale to others who seek acceptance from others. Michael had a troubled upbringing, and his yearning for acceptance lead to a troubled life due to a few token opportunists, the media – for whom profit trumps social responsibility – supporting unprincipled celebrity journalists who would rather pander to speculation and gossip than ever exercise sound judgement.

    The world is full of cruel, unjust opportunists, and schadenfreude remains the vice of ‘humanity’. Michael Jackson unfortunately bore the brunt of this thus was exploited ruthlessly.

    One comforting story I learnt today was on the subject of why Michael Jackson made his children wear a veils: apparently this was only done when he went out with them in public, consequently their faces are not well known which means that they can lead something approaching a normal life – something their father was denied.

    Rest in Peace Michael Jackson

  101. June 26, 2009 at 20:38

    Michael Jackson was an outstanding and talented person. His legacy will live till eternity. It is impossible to find any sane person on the face of the earth that was not touched by his immense talents. But again, the measure of no man can surmount nature. He has done his part. May he rest in peace.

  102. 124 Thomas Murray
    June 26, 2009 at 21:39

    I’ve already related this story to another of your respondents (on another topic: burqa v. hijab, believe it or not), but I thought it relevant enough to merit repeating.

    In the 3 years I spent in Los Angeles trying to learn something of the movie business, I quickly learned to take celebrity sightings in stride. My very first celebrity moment was hearing Sandra Bullock outside my car window yelling chauffer at the premier of “Two Weeks Notice.” The first wow factor for me was seeing Harry Dean Stanton in my rear view mirror in his expensive black German car (an Audi, I think) sharing the left turn lane onto Sawtell. After a while, you get use to it; the biggest operating rule being not to bother them, make a fuss, or steal their photograph.

    One day while window-shopping in a Pier One on Sunset Blvd. (near Western Ave. tho the store’s not there anymore), I noticed another shopper who stuck out like a Mars light. He was the whitest person I have ever seen, with a healthy, trim, almost girlish, figure, very young-looking, only with 40-year-old elbows. What made him so singular was that he wore the blackest fake beard I had ever seen, especially on skin so light, and under a nose so delicate. I tried to move around to the front of him to get a better look, but he kept moving away. I was wearing a hands-free cellphone headset at the time so I guess he thought I was paparazzi. Then it hit me who it was. I knew that he had a large ranch near Santa Barbara (about an hour’s drive north of LA), but didn’t realize he also had a lace in Bel Aire (north of UCLA) off Sunset.

    He seemed lost in thought. And didn’t want to be bothered. So I did the right thing and left him alone.

    The other two things I learned out there was if a celebrity nods at you, you’re allowed to nod back. And if you’re about to walk into a shot of a movie (no matter how lo-budget) play along with the action and, under any circumstances, DO NOT LOOK INTO THE CAMERA.

    I sighted Jackson some month’s before his last criminal trial. But he seemed at peace with himself enough to prefer solitude. It was a moment. But I still really don’t know how to describe it.

    –Now in Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  103. June 26, 2009 at 21:57

    i agree totally that his soul is now finally at peace. His contribution to music is unmatched, his love for people was undeniable, let us continue to lift him up. He is…indeed in my mind IRREPLACEABLE there will never be another entertainer so great, he is truly a LEGEND, his musical legacy will live on forever. May his soul rest in peace……

    love Marlene

  104. 126 stephen/ portland, Oregon
    June 26, 2009 at 22:17

    I know he is talented, but lets face it he was one wrench short of a tool set. With questionable interests.

    Can you imagine societies reaction to his behavior if he was an Electrician from Ohio! If your rich and famous you are just exocentric, the rest of us get committed to a center for mental health.

    Fame in fortune can be a curse!

    I am still sad for his passing.

  105. 127 Ireneh
    June 26, 2009 at 22:28

    It’s amazes that you always hear of people feeling outraged for people and places they have never been to or even have a clue about. How many of these so called morally outraged have been to sudan,iran or aghanistan?
    For me here in africa MJ represented a way out of the racism,condesending white attitude that always knows what is best for the rest of the world. MJ showed africans (american) if you were good at what you did,people would pay and honor you. Highest selling albums,singles and one of the if not,greatest musical video ever and someone says oh he’s a poor model! It is a sad person who looks for role models on TV or in the media! All they do is show us how great we can be but how little we really are. In africa reality is with us and we dont worship TV,Web or Cable network personalities as we know deep down they are not really as they are shown to us.A man is dead,show respect.If you dont want to hear about it switch off your radio or TV or internet,buy a ticket and go to iran or sudan and do SOMETHING! We will always have wars,famine and economic crisis but micheal jacksons are only once in a lifetime. RIP MJ.

  106. 128 Rony
    June 26, 2009 at 22:43

    At the beginning I would like to pay my last tribute to Michael Jackson and pray to the almighty that “may his soul rest in peace”.I am not a great fan of Mj.But,I like his songs as I was used to hear his songs (usually played his songs in my house)from my little age.I am from a country where people are impoverished with poverty but still people are cultural minded.From my childhood I have seen michael was a great celebrity figure to us and even a poor rickshawpullar of my country could recognize him.From,my point of view,it is the greatest prize and respect for an artist who has really created position and value in a person who lives thousands mile away from him (artist)and lives in extreme poverty.As I have already mentioned that,I was never a great fan of him and somehow,had little bit bad impression about him bcos of the scandals.But,today I am really felling myself as a great fan of him and feeling soroow similar like a die hard fan because I had understood that,how valuable he was to us and to the world.


  107. 129 IZ
    June 26, 2009 at 22:49

    Michael Jackson was great unique in many ways. But does it justify that BBC World has turned itself into a Michael Jackson Fan Channel putting on hold its role of a responsible international news channel? This is as bizarre as Michael Jacksho’s life and character. Perhaps BBC is counting on commissions from a new wave of sale of his records!

  108. 130 V.E.G.
    June 26, 2009 at 23:56

    It is hard believe Michael Jackson died that way! He is best known on film and television and will be known forever as the King of Pop. Jackson is part African and Native American. Farrah Fawcett died the same day and they are together forever!

  109. 131 Gewrry Watts, Tasmania
    June 27, 2009 at 01:40

    ENOUGH, ENOUGH, let’s get back to the important matters PLEASE….

  110. 132 Tracvy Rudd
    June 27, 2009 at 02:55

    Not unlike Elvis, Michael Jackson was a tragic figure. Yes, he had genius but he was a human being who was denied a childhood- abused by his parents in a quest for the ‘American Dream’. He had nothing else to relate to apart from performing. This caused him to be detached from reality, unable to live an even vaguely normal life.

    Child stars of all types suffer greatly and usually die young. That is a sad fact so his death was for me, not unexpected.

    Yes, his death is hyped- shockingly so. I think that Farrah Fawcett’s passing from cancer (reported on the same day here) was more noteworthy.

  111. June 27, 2009 at 06:30

    I disagree Shanti,

    Michael Jackson’s music was crap – a childish mess; he was accused of child molestation; he spent millions of dollars on himself when people in the world are starving; he was preoccupied only with himself and had almost no social and emotional skills…good riddance to bad rubbish…his fans should be ashamed of him – and themselves.


  112. 134 prakash
    June 27, 2009 at 08:02

    michael is my all time favourate music genious who has gone all the way to heaven for peace. i am happy indeed that he have to no longer face nasty fabricated media controversy. he is man of golden heart with massive talent and novelity .

  113. 135 John-Clinton
    June 27, 2009 at 08:46

    I grew up hating Michael Jackson until I came to understand how he really was. I initially thought that he was not proud of his black skin, then later on, I came to find out why he changed his skin colour : «He wanted to prove to the world that the skin colour does not make a man». He is the only man on earth so far who has lived 3 different skin colours in his life: «he was born black skinned, has been asian skinned and died white skinned ». He broke the barriers between skin colours and proved that there is no change or magic or suppremacy in being white skinned. He made it. He is a Legend.

  114. 136 prakash from Nepal
    June 27, 2009 at 09:33

    we organized late night gettogether last night to play and dance with his all time hit songs with close frens to pay tribute to michael soul. u know we are not his fan but fanatics.

  115. 137 Tad
    June 27, 2009 at 09:56

    Every human being`s death is sad and makes you reflect on life and its meaning, but I don`t understand why so many people pull their hair out because of someone they have never met personally.

  116. 138 Gabriel from Nigeria
    June 27, 2009 at 09:56

    The media helps to accelerate the rise of upwardly mobile stars. They are the first too, to brutally finish off an injured one, even if it means contriving falsehoods, or biasing interview outcomes via sophisticated editorial work. Like that British reporter whose interview of Michael Jackson was like a stab in the back.

    Either way, there is money to be made! Because the naive public pays. So, we are all guilty too.

    I look forward to the documentry that would provide the balanced Michael Jackson story: His exceptional musical talent, his dance, his physical and emotional injuries, the lies told by and about him, his failings, his philantropy, the sharks who fed off and on him, etc.

    May his soul find easy passage. My heart goes out to his children and family.

  117. 139 Netra kharel
    June 27, 2009 at 11:39

    This is a deep sorrow and storm of music, person who terminate unique spirit of music field including his physical body at the midterm of life, even he had lack of attention in his health to create good careear of musician.

  118. 140 Netra kharel
    June 27, 2009 at 11:50

    This is a deep sorrow and storm of music, who terminate with unique
    spirit of music field including his physical body at the mid-term of life,even he had lack of attention in his health to create good career of musician.

  119. 141 Prem Nizar Hameed
    June 27, 2009 at 11:55

    The Sudden departure to the infinite of Michael Jackson is a great loss to the entire music world. Maybe he is the only singer almost all the people in the world can easily remember, because he was in such a fame and glory.Dont walk like Michael Jackson was the comment we used to make on our school singers and dancers. Thriller still thrills millions in the world. His personal life however does not shadow his music life. No one can replace him. Legends are born only, they dont die. He will live on and on till music ends.

  120. 142 Netra kharel
    June 27, 2009 at 11:59

    This is woeful and storm of music field in the midst of his life.

  121. 143 Joe Polly
    June 27, 2009 at 12:13

    I like most of Jacko’s output( Beat it probably his best). None of which he wrote incidently. He was not a composer unlike Prince. I will never forget his portrayal of The Scarecrow in the ” ‘The Wiz’ and of course Moonwalker. I hope he fares well in the afterlife.

  122. 144 Netra kharel
    June 27, 2009 at 12:43

    Jackon`s death is the deep sorrow and storm of in music at the midst of life.Even he had a lack of attention in his heath .

  123. 145 jehane
    June 27, 2009 at 13:10

    Micheal was always larger than ife. Even his death seems beyond grief. Not only me but many, many have enjoyed his music and admired his courage. I am grateful he spent time with us on earth, lets hope the scandalizing forces don’t drown out the music.

    Who’s bad?

  124. 146 m leon
    June 27, 2009 at 13:47

    A very simple one liner on his tombstone should sum up his life. It should go like this……………Michael Jackson was a pedophile.

  125. 147 Iris
    June 27, 2009 at 14:31

    Thanks for asking. Last night, I wanted to send a mail to aks if you had gone out of your mind to report so extensively on this death, untimely and strange as it is. But Michael Jackson was strange anyway, since the world of pop is strange.

    I’d be more than happy if you could concentrate more on the real world instead of reporting so much from the world of pop. As if you didn’t have listeners above twenty! I wonder why 26 of your managers earn more than a million a year if all they can come up with is to focus on the airheads among the listeners. Really. Please.


    Iris Hanika, Berlin, Germany

  126. 148 dorothy
    June 27, 2009 at 15:26

    The pedophilia thing was just a ruse to get money out of the man.
    I think he was INNOCENT of all those nasty charges.
    He was an easy target. I am sure if the TRUTH came out it will be found
    that he was taken for a fool. He should NOT have paid any money. That only
    gave a suspicious world fodder!
    As for what he meant to me..not knowing the person as such, I was greatly
    saddened by his death, as he was not paid the respect in life that he deserved.
    And his music coloured my youth.

  127. 149 larry
    June 27, 2009 at 15:42

    For a time, he was the other half of the equation of easing racial tension in america. His pop music mixed rock with soul. Alas, he went crazy and ruined it. Like all things, he was a time and now he is gone. Long live the prince.

  128. June 27, 2009 at 16:15

    to me mj was only a singer nothing more not even a peace maker his songs effect on youth without forget he was pretty good in dancing which make some guys of my country imitate him but for me i was watching the bbc news whole night i never imagined mj will be the head of the news with high-quality coverage of events some fans were gathering around the hospital also his body escorted by two police cars they were always escorted him even when he died so what i want to say is mj don’t worth all that . why , the bbc news did not show the bad side of mj ?!!exactly when he was in court all i seen that night the good side of mj . we still got loads of singer so now they will start think they will had same attention from that mj got from our bbc news

  129. June 27, 2009 at 16:56

    I regret the loss of the King of Pop Michael Jackson! Jacko is a legend. I hope he gets where he is now, finally in peace.
    Leave also your last greeting at Michael Jackson on our site, thanks.
    a big and now sad fan

    June 27, 2009 at 20:48

    R.I.P. Michael ! Sincere condolences to family friends and fans !! Your music lives on!

  131. 153 Nabil from Casablanca
    June 27, 2009 at 20:55

    I felt very sad when I heard in news thirsday night, that Michael Jackson left this world. Michael will be alive by his songs, his deep words and his humanity. Added to the revolution that he made in POP music, and his high performance in scene during decades, he was
    always present for human issues, helping everybody all around the world by the revenues of his concerts. He was the example of the militant artist by songs and real acts. He was the star that never forgets the mass
    people or lived apart of them. And the mass people felt that and liked this person for what he was and not the false image that celebrity gives of stars.

  132. 154 Listener
    June 28, 2009 at 04:11

    He was the symbol of the western freedom; he was the living art, nakedly honest artist.

  133. 155 janet
    June 28, 2009 at 07:20

    I was only sadden by his untimely death, as I am 50 years of age. I was only one of the masses to this pop star who grew up on his music. I tired of the media coverage as I watched as people, without lives, paraded in their unrealistic sorrow. Although, I did reflect on what pieces of his life I had seen through the media.

    He seemed driven by his father from childhood for success. When he was at the height of his success, he fired his manager, Quincy Jones. A man with a farris wheel in his backyard, with a compound called Neverland, accused of being a pedifile, whom completely resculpted his face, several times, to the point, he no longer looked masculine, married Elvis’ daughter for two years, showed his adopted children with veils over their faces in the name of privacy. And now the media speculates too many anti-depressants.

    He seemed to have a very unhappy and troubled life.

  134. 156 Kate_D
    June 28, 2009 at 08:41

    I have never been Michael’s fan, but i think that it’s a great loss for all the world. The greatest since Elvis’ death.
    Most of the people in Russia and here in Kazakhstan mourn for Michael and still can’t believe that he’s not with us anymore.
    i think that he was a wonderfil singer and dancer. He was as talanted as no other. He was the real King. And we’ve lost our Last King.
    RIP Michael

  135. 157 simon G
    June 28, 2009 at 09:56

    I am 52 and grew up with MJ music, he was 13 i was 15 so we grew up with him and his records from when he was a kid,. his records with the jackson 5 and when he was solo i can tell you what i was doing, and where.i was doing it, so although i wasnt his number one fan, i loved his music and can trace my own life according to his. alot of people have made this simliar comment to myself when discussing this.

  136. June 28, 2009 at 11:41

    The mourning period for MJ should come to a close soonest in light of what’s happening in Iran. It’s what MJ would have wanted. Neda was after all a young woman in a society dominated by zombie zealots a la Thriller. If it weren’t for capitalism led by democracy there would be no MJ – that’s why the pro-democratic revolutionary events in Iran are so important to the world for years to come. For certainly more than MJ’s 50 years on this earth. Sure MJ softened the resolve of a hard to crack culture in Iran, but at the end of the day there are tons of undiscovered artists the Iranian people have yet to adore and won’t be able to until hopefully this purdah they are under falls around the ankles of their clerics; Church and State don’t mix. Emphasis should be given to helping organizers in Iran, giving them attention and voice, making them celebrities. Protesters and Politicians and Clerics can be – heroes that make the world a better place for its children. That’s what MJ wanted, to help children. Let’s focus on MJ’s charity and the spirit of freedom that he would want extended to those fans the world over who fight for the same freedoms that MJ was given to enjoy and largely exploit as a celebrity here in America living the American Dream. Don’t let the death of this American Peter Pan be in vain – focus on the youth in Iran he would have wanted to save. The limelight must be on them now.

  137. 159 Tom, Toronto, Canada
    June 28, 2009 at 18:06

    This outpouring of support is totally unjustified. Commercial music and the entire industry that supports this freakish behavior is a total waste of society’s time and resources. It is crazy that this man/boy/whatever he morphed into, would command such respect from the media, after all the faults/mistakes in life he committed. In the business world or in real life in general, he would have been hung out to dry with no 15th chance. All the good he may have done would have been negated. But no, the media wants to sell this storey this week (make money/attract eyeballs) and dare anyone that questions his value to society or to the music industry. This absurdity came to light this week when one of the rock’in roll stations in Toronto, that has never ever played a Michael Jackson song in 30 years, spoke at every turn so highly of this person. I have never bought a single recording from his eastate. That included the Beatles when he own that library.
    With a couple of famous songs, a few dance moves and a manufatured image, MJ does not deserve to imortalized with the likes of (“The Greats” of Elvis, Lennon, Elton, Jagger, Daltery, Neil Young, etc…)
    These people have all done so much more for music and society.
    Sorry, but somebody had to say this. We hear about the universal outpouring of support, but the media is searching out this minority and giving the impression of everyone. I just wasted 20 minutes on this subject, but think the world needs to hear it.

  138. June 28, 2009 at 19:45

    To have a father not say’ I love you?’ As he is reported to have said, shows he was brought up in terribly tough environment. Unfortunately, I guess it probably stopped him maturing properly, as he sort out adulation from elsewhere; his fan base. Probably a guy who didn’t have the heart to say’ No’ to anyone, a guy looking for love and to please. Thereby working his guts into the grave. A sad ending to a sad life. Yet, I hope some part of his life was fulfilled and happy. I hope his own children aren’t pushed so hard. However his music was phenomenal, and his dancing second to none. And I thank him for making me leap on the dance floor, he kept a few generations fit and alive, uniting black and white kids. Yeah you have to recognize there was a genius living inside him. RIP MJ


  139. 161 ernesto
    June 28, 2009 at 21:30

    After the beautiful culture shock and the wealth of songs of the Sixties came this tiny voice and powerful music of MJ. He gave a glimpse of gladness in an increasingly morose world without becoming indifferent or superficial. He really made me dance!
    So, yes, he was greater than most, but not the greatest of all times. Let’s not go over the top. We have Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and many more avant-garde musicians with a much wider scope and who were above all entertainers making their own music.

  140. June 29, 2009 at 02:05

    As the news flashes around the world about the death of Michael Jackson the various news media will fight for air time. Some will stay with the message of his death and the positive aspects of his life. Others will throw in memories of charges of pedophilia.

    Well, let’s get one thing straight! Michael Jackson was, and will continue even after death, to be one of the most talented, gifted and magnificent performers of all time. Michael was also a kind hearted man. He loved children but not in the way some try to portray. Michael, I believe, found the company of children much more desirable than adults because of their innocence. In the adult world all he saw was greed, corruption and cruelty.

    Michael, because of his father’s constant persistence at show business success at all costs, was never allowed to enjoy his younger years. As a result Michael did everything he possibly could to re-establish that feeling of childhood and its worry free attitude toward life. To enjoy life without all the complications.

    Michael also loved his fans and did his utmost to entertain them to the fullest.

    Let us remember Michael as a good man. A caring man. One of the greatest entertainers of all time.

  141. 163 Kelsie in Houston
    June 29, 2009 at 04:37

    I turned on World Service this morning hopping to get my dose of the NEWS, not a more educated version of TMZ.

    Hear, hear.

  142. 164 otieno nixon
    June 29, 2009 at 06:58

    mj was a small god

  143. 165 David
    June 29, 2009 at 07:32

    I remember having my mind blown the first time I saw Michael sing and dance…
    with his electric moves done at warp speed…so much in harmony with his singing
    knowing how hard it is just to sing and have command…without having to bother
    about your moves. The coverage of his passing…however…has been enormously
    over the top…and I think more to do with people making money out of M.J.
    programs…and people looking for their own 15 minutes…or trying to promote
    their own stuff. David. Vancouver. Canada.

  144. 166 LLM
    June 29, 2009 at 07:37

    Stop! Stop! Stop!
    The first eight hours of including his death on news reports was sufficient for this stop\ry, even allowing for fans particular interest. It has become insane.
    BTW, you have spelled “Michael” wrongly on the link to your lead story in the BBC worldservice website. (Grumble: Gen Y can’t spell – maybe less time listening to Michael Jackson and more time reading, would help.)

  145. 167 danielle
    June 29, 2009 at 08:33

    While I must say that any death, including that of Michael Jackson, is regretable, I do feel that the extreme reaction and premature attempts to define his legacy in terms of social and political impact are unwarrented. Yes his musical accomplishments are amazing. Thriller is the number one selling pop track of all time. Naturally the situation is devastating for his family and children. But attempts by individuals like Jesse Jackson or organizations like BET to place Michael Jackson up as some sort of archetype of so called “black america” does a dis-service to everyone, Michael included. It aggrevates the very problem the US has with race, by “claiming” him and alienating anyone else, including biracial people like me, and Jackson’s own children. Things like long term legacies are rarely cut and dried and certainly take more time to solidify than a number of days. If one is looking for events that are currently occuring that are likely to have lasting social and political effects, one should look beyond the cult of American celebrity to Iran which has been largely pushed out of the news in favor of Jackson mourning. Keep it in a more long term perspective. Jackson was a legendary entertainer, but don’t tarnish that acheivement by attempting to mold his memory into something it isn’t.

  146. 168 Duarte Nuno Serrao
    June 29, 2009 at 10:11

    Michael just a few words to say haw good were you, you are and you il be the best for the next generations, love you with all my heart you are the KING OF POP.
    You ill be missed every day of my live R.I.P MICHAEL GOOD BLEE YOU XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  147. 169 khaled
    June 29, 2009 at 10:48

    Dear BBC,

    I’m 39year old Kuwaiti and I do relate ALOT to M.J.’s songs… I practically grow up with him. What makes me assured of the influence he had on me personally is the huge amount goose pumps I’ve been getting whenever ever I listen to his hits played on local and regional radios around here and on TV.

    His life was of a true artist. His early fame deprived him of his childhood which stayed with him till the day he died. Not many deeply understood or appreciated him.

    He is ONE of a kind, indeed.


  148. 170 Martin
    June 29, 2009 at 12:26

    I did not care for him or his music…but there is no doubt he was extremly talented and made a huge impact on the music scene. In his personal life he was a total mess, a sad, lonley, lost, troubled soul. I have no doubt he was a pedophile ..even if he was not convicted..after buying off the people concerned. So yes this whole thing is way over the top. I can not understand why there is all this hysteria over this “sorry” human being, he should have been locked up long ago.

  149. 171 Angela Ghansah
    June 29, 2009 at 13:10

    Dear BBC,
    You can’t imagine the power of music. As I was driving to work last week Friday and I heard BBC playing Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the world’, I broke down crying and before I noticed that the traffic light was green again, cars all behind me were honking and yelling for me to move on. I was confused.

  150. 172 Angela Ghansah
    June 29, 2009 at 13:16

    You can’t imagine the power of music. As I was driving to work last week Friday and I heard BBC playing Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the world’, I broke down crying and before I noticed the traffic light was green again, cars all behind me were honking and yelling for me to move on. I was confused.

  151. June 29, 2009 at 13:37

    Michael Jackson was one of the most socially conscious human beings to have lived on this planet. He donated more than $300Million to charities during his lifetime. He was never found guilty of any crimes against minors and it should not be insinuated that he ever hurt any children. People who choose to defame Michael Jackson without knowing him are people with small minds who sometimes confuse talk of love with thoughts of sex because of their own hangups. Many individuals forget that John Lennon was persecuted by a variety of organizations such as the FBI and the Religious Rightwing–the same thing was done to Michael Jackson, not just to extort money from him, but rather, perhaps because he was speaking out about subjects such as war, poverty and caring for the environment. I suggest everyone (those who appreciate Michael Jackson and those who don’t ) watch the Earth Song video and then think for a moment about what they have done to help Heal The World. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqeADZgjtpY

  152. 174 Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    June 29, 2009 at 14:12

    This is what Jamie Foxx said at yesterday’s Black Entertainment Awards in LA.

    “We want to celebrate this black man. He belongs to us and we shared him with everyone else.” – extract from WHYS E-Mail

    It is a great pity Jamie Foxx got such an inferiority complex about being black! Disgusting – Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan

    PS / If a white person had said that about Elvis Presley ………. ???!!!

    When and where does Jamie Foxx talk of Mike Tyson? Please let me know so I can avoid the place and the television broadcast. I cannot handle racists.

  153. 175 Toners Bruxtin
    June 29, 2009 at 22:37

    Boring subject already.

  154. 176 eezy
    July 3, 2009 at 14:25

    We have miss grattest misician in the world.may you gengle soul rest in perfect peace.
    i love you jackson

  155. 177 Dennis Junior
    July 8, 2009 at 02:43

    ….Is it because you don’t like his music, or just that no musician warrants this level of adoration?….

    I think that the media when the story first broke; gave M.J. enough coverage and it should go into the background until something more happens.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  156. 178 galflop
    July 15, 2009 at 10:27

    I dont know Micheal Jacksons family personally,Ive never spoke to him face to face,Ive never been to America.
    I suspect that nobody on this website knew him either or his family.Does antbody think that the owners of various media outlets have become rich from telling the truth?
    Has everybody who posted a comment on this website lived a perfect life without incident?
    “BUT WERE NOT PEDOS”! I hear you say,
    have you read or watched something from one of the many truthful media outlets or maybe spoken to a policeman working the case?
    If based on what you see in the media you are prepared to judge then why when the media reported he was found NOT GUILTY are you not convinced?
    Micheal was abused mainly by the rich record companys constantly squeezeing a fragile but hugely talented individual for that last buck.Well now he finally has the rights to where and when he performs and the media can no longer influence it.RIP MIKE.

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