It’s been 12 years since fans saw the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson took to the stage at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. The ‘Billy Jean’ crooner was rehearsing for his upcoming series of comeback concerts, “This Is It,” with the first concert scheduled to start at the O2 Arena.
The star showed off and coined several signature dance steps and displayed his vocal prowess, as a taste of what was to come at the concert.
Sadly, fate had other plans for the pop star as he didn’t live to see the beginning of the already sold-out event. Just two days after the rehearsal, he passed away from cardiac arrest in his mansion at Holmby Hills, Los Angeles.
Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, and he would have been 63 years today. Here’s to a legend who passed away but never left our hearts.
Keep reading below for more information.
Jackson’s Death and Legacy
With over four decades of countless contributions to music, dance, and fashion, Jackson was a revered figure.
His influence spanned across many music genres, inducing deep feelings of admiration in the heart of music lovers.
Around the globe, millions of people knew who he was, and could sing one or two of his songs. His complicated dance moves such as the ‘moonwalk’ and the ‘robot’ were a joy to behold and were incorporated into choreography routines around the world.
Jackson is one of the best-selling music icons of all time, with estimated sales of over 400 million records worldwide. His accolades include 15 Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and 39 Guinness World Records.
He was named the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time with over 12 Billboard Hot 100 number one singles and a top-ten singles in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades.
The pop star was so good that he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, with additional inductions such as the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame creating a legacy that seems impossible to surpass.
On June 25, 2009, less than three weeks before the first “This Is It” show was due to commence, news of his death spread quickly online to the dismay of fans. This had a cataclysmic effect online, causing social websites to experience tons of downtime from user overload.
His demise was caused by a propofol overdose administered by his doctor, Conrad Murray. Murray was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and subsequently sentenced to four years in prison.
The Anti-Gravity Shoe
In his mega-hit video, “Smooth Criminal,” Jackson performed a move that seemed to defy the laws of gravity leaving his viewers with dropped jaws.
While dancing he tilted about 45 degrees forward without falling over, and then reverted to his upright position.
Many assumed it was the camera or post-editing trick that was responsible for the move, but in fact, the stunt was invented with the aid of a special shoe that had been designed by the singer, Michael Bush, and Dennis Tumpkin, his associates.
The shoe’s design, plus the rods rising from the stage floor enabled Jackson to execute the spectacular angular stance. He would then go on to perform this move at several live concerts.
In addition to the anti-gravity move, Jackson also had other iconic dance steps up his sleeve. One of them was the legendary ‘moonwalk.’ This dance move showed Jackson sliding backward in a float-like manner whenever he performed it.
Although he cannot be credited with the creation of the move as it was first performed by Jazz musician, Cab Calloway, in a similar slide known as ‘the buzz,’ Jackson popularized the move and owned it, making most people presume it was his brainchild.
The first time fans witnessed the ‘moonwalk’ dance was in 1983 when he presented his hit song Billie Jean on a TV special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” The pop star has since that day included the legendary move on almost every stage he graced.
Michael Jackson Aimed To Inspire
The “Beat It” singer had always aimed to inspire in every activity he participated in. In fashion, he popularized the shining leather jackets as a premium men’s attire making it a unique fashion statement.
He was also involved in several charity works supporting over 39 charities in different parts of the world and held a record for the most supported by a pop star, with hundreds of millions of dollars estimated to have been raised through his efforts.
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Aside from releasing several hit songs, Jackson also redefined music videos, as he made it into more than just a promotional tool by displaying an unprecedented level of art within. His movie-like video, “Thriller” is responsible for inspiring the making of the genre of documentaries.
The video is also said to have single-handedly broken down racial walls that existed in entertainment at that time.
Michael Jackson will forever remain in our hearts.