An ode to the King of Pop

Michael Jackson changed the way we listen to music.

By Curtis Taylor Jr. | Sept. 3, 2010

Tags: Music


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Music just isn't the same as it used to be. Neither are the listeners or the stations blasting the voice of Auto-Tune (thanks to T-Pain). This is neither good nor bad, just an indication that music evolves as its own beast and never has a continuous beat.

When I was a kid, music created a sanctuary for me from the lyrics the artist painted in my mind of the world. From the likes of "Parents Just Don't Understand" to "Don't Worry, Be Happy" music has always had that nutritious effect on my mind. The lyrical flow artists express in their craft today has a different swagger than that of the artist before them. One icon who changed my life and the world of music is the King of Pop or, as I like to call him, M.J.

Michael Joseph Jackson is arguably the most influential artist of our time. From his often-imitated crotch grab to his high-pitched E-sharp, the king was one of those artists who was born to be great and share his gifts with the world.

In the rising years of M.J., he grew from a singular entity into a pop-music icon. As a fan, I can say if my house were to catch on fire, one of the things I would grab is my Thriller CD. Thriller is the top-selling album in the history of the recording industry today, making the great Michael Joseph Jackson a legend.

Growing up, I always looked to M.J. not just as some pop mogul, but a big brother who was extended family. Just like a big brother, Michael taught me how to "Beat It" and helped me through my fair share of girls named "Dirty Diana" (just kidding).

His rhythmic genius can still be traced to artists such as Chris Brown, who ventured into the industry because of Jackson. Chris Brown even did a tribute to the King on BET's 2010 Awards.

Even though the King of Pop, my brother, has moved on, his craft and story will forever dwell in the minds of musicians, singers, songwriters and artists. M.J.'s music had no color and brought everyone together -- something artists struggle with today. The hit single "Man in the Mirror" generated millions of dollars for dying countries. Jackson was his own triple-threat player, and he was always up to the challenge of changing the world with his music and dancing. Michael turned out to be a pioneer for both the dance and music industries. The man behind the captivating dance moves "The Moonwalk" and "The Robot" will always be tattooed in the mouths of the musically inclined.

M.J. was more than just an artist; he was a movement and still is. The likes of the man with the white glove and smooth, slick dance moves will never fade to black as long as pop still lives.

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