What would pop music be if Michael Jackson weren’t born? MJ would have turned 59 years old today. Even though it’s been eight years since his untimely demise, his music and magic live on.
On behalf of MJ diehards comme moi, allow me to pay a birthday homage to the King of Pop. I also created the Facebook page, DA Loves MJ (please feel free to “like” and “follow” if you love MJ, too).
I remember when I met the Quindoys (the Pinoy couple who used to work for MJ in “Neverland”), they told me that Michael shouldered their roundtrip airfare when they came home for the wake of a relative. I treasure the “Neverland souvenir bag” they gave me, which is part of my MJ memorabilia collection.
A must-have book is “Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson” by Joseph Vogel (Sterling, 2011). It veers away from the tabloid frenzy that surrounded MJ’s unusual life. Vogel takes us deep inside the singer’s creative world. He delves into all of Michael’s albums with vivid “making-of” details, plus lavish photographs.
Another book that I recommend is “Dancing the Dream: Poems and Reflections by Michael Jackson” (Doubleday 1992), reissued by Transworld after Michael’s death in 2009. It contains MJ’s personal writings, over a hundred glorious photos, drawings and paintings from his own collection. The hauntingly beautiful book is a glimpse into MJ’s inner workings. It shows MJ as a person more than just a “personality.”
I cried nonstop when I watched Lifetime Channel’s biopic, “Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland.” It’s based on the book, “Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days” by his personal bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard.
Navi, the singer’s best impersonator (who used to “double” for him), portrays the King of Pop. His uncanny resemblance to MJ gave me goosebumps. How tragic that Michael spent more than half his life making fans happy through his music, yet he felt so alone in his final years.
I got to chat with Bill on Facebook Messenger. I salute him and Javon for not deserting MJ during his darkest hours. Bill told me that his daughter was thrilled when MJ sent her a birthday gift (an iPhone) and even sang “Happy Birthday” to her on the phone. Bill said there was nothing MJ wouldn’t have done for the love of his children and fans.
Almost six decades ago today, a legend was born in Gary, Indiana. We ought to declare Aug. 29 “Moonwalker Day” in honor of the “man in the mirror,” who sang his heart out to “heal the world.”
Happy birthday to the King of Pop. You will never be dethroned in your fans’ hearts!
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