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The King of Pop

Michael Jackson's legacy continues.

Sometimes it’s necessary to find ways of relaxing when feeling the ordinary stresses that life brings upon us. Although a new year has only just begun, there are those moments when I must turn to the only thing that helps me to relax, almost instantly… music. Those moments occur most often when there’s no visible progress of something that I’ve been attempting to do for a while. Instead of crying and pulling my hair out, I turn to music. Something about the sound and beat of music that just resonate through me, relaxing my nerves and allowing me to release unwanted tension and stress.

The challenge is what artist to listen to when I’m in one of my need-to-hear-some-music moods. I’ve always been what some may consider a true music lover because I listen to all genres of music and admire the artists that create it. Still, one artist, performer, icon sticks out a little more than others when I’m feeling lost and confused about life’s usual instances of disappointment that happens to everyone. From the moment Michael Jackson’s talent became available to the public, I have been a true lifelong fan of the King of Pop. At such a young age, it touched my heart to hear the voice of Michael Jackson, so entertaining and full of energy, and not much older than me, performing with his older brothers: Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, and Marlon.

Born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958 to Joe and Katherine Jackson in Gary, Indiana, Michael was one of nine children living by modest means. After watching the biography of the Jackson family’s early life as they began their pursuit to fame, it seemed obvious that each of the children had inherited their musical talent from at least one of the parents. Before becoming a father, Joe Jackson had pursued an interest in music, even performed in a band for a while. And though Michael Jackson’s brothers had begun the musical group without him, because he was so much younger, it didn’t take much to convince them that Michael also possessed singing talent, once they heard him perform at a school talent show.

From the moment Michael was placed in front of his brothers with a microphone and began singing, his voice began capturing the attention of music lovers around the world and there was little doubt that this young man would make it in the music industry. At age 13, though still a part of the famous Jackson Five, Michael became interested in performing as a solo artist, releasing the hit "Got to be There" in 1971. The following year, at age 14, his song Ben became a number one single on the charts. With each new solo hit that Michael released, there was this unspoken belief among many that this young man had been blessed with such a phenomenal voice and dancing talent! There was no doubt that success was close on the horizon for him. Hit after hit, Michael Jackson shared his soothing voice through the songs he wrote and performed throughout many decades in the public eye.

As a youth and fan of Michael Jackson, my interest in his music was more in the upbeat tempos that he performed both with his brothers and as a solo artist. "Dancing Machine," "Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough," and his other chart-stopping upbeat hits filled me with the desire to get up and move each time I listen to either one of them, as a youngster. The tunes were so catchy that even when I wasn’t listening to the song, I was humming the words to myself whenever I thought of it. Michael Jackson’s collaborations with various artists of different genres, proved that he had the gift of the type of voice that could easily adapt to any style of music.

As a longtime fan of Michael Jackson, I was one of millions of people who were heartbroken at his tragic loss, almost 10 years ago. Though some people focus more on his death, and the circumstances surrounding it, I focus on his life as a phenomenal singer and performer that blessed the music industry with his outstanding voice and indescribable talent. Michael Jackson left a legacy that cannot be touched, plain and simple. Whenever I listen to any of his music, it’s easy to imagine him performing his signature dance moves to that particular song. Music artists may come and go, in some form, but not many have left an impression like the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. May he continue to rest in peace. 

Nathonia Smith
Nathonia Smith

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, inventor and online published writer who recently completed studies at Ashford University earning a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management. Writing has always given me such joy and fulfillment.

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