If you enter this world knowing you are loved,
and you leave this world knowing the same,
then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
Think about this for a minute. Set aside your own perceptions and put yourself in the shoes of another. The person whose moccasins you’re asked to wear is the world’s most famous entertainer. Through hard work and constant striving to perfect your craft, you’ve scaled the heights of fame and fortune. Everywhere you go, people want to catch a glimpse of you…touch you…stand in your aura. You’re the most awarded artist in entertainment history.
Despite the obvious advantages of such attention, what might your life be like if, every single day, your every move… every utterance…was scrutinized by newspapers, magazines and television tabloids and turned into lurid headlines all over the world. Your professional accomplishments are appropriately examined. Of course your artistic output is going to be critiqued. What is attacked is your personhood. Who you are.
What if most of what was published about you as a person was a flat-out lie? What would be going through your mind each time you became aware of yet another exaggeration or innuendo by people who don’t even know you? What if the attacks on your personhood were relentless, day after day, year after year, decade after decade?
Of course, we’re talking about Michael Jackson. What a life! At least, if you’re Michael Jackson, you can vent your frustration in a music video.
Yet…some people knew him and spent time with him and collaborated with him artistically—friends, music industry professionals and those he hired to help him realize his artistic visions. Here are their impressions, in their own words, unadulterated by the scheming, clawing, suspicious and lying speculations of tabloid and mainstream media.