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Michael Jackson
If you wanna make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
Michael Jackson, “Man In The Mirror”

Sounds kind of ironical, remembering those famous lines at the heels of what all’s transpired with Michael Jackson in the decade past. And, it puts us back into quandary thanks to the favourable verdict he’s just received. A truckload (more!) of supporters would like all and sundry to take in the fact that Jackson followed the dictum he professed to the T, and he actually is a nice little, harmless creature who’s been baited into such a muck pond for being a star.

Then, on the flip side, stand an equally strong contingent that shouts itself hoarse saying the moneybag star virtually bought the verdict. They might concede that the media’s coinage “Wacko Jacko” (that irks Jackson no ends; a testimony to it being the rebuke he gave Barbara Walters) was in bad enough a taste, but it’s there with some reasons. They say they have reasons galore to prove their point. And, it all started pretty early. Much earlier than chimpanzees became companions; much before Chandler and other kids became Jackson’s friends; perhaps when Michael himself was a kid.

Frankly, it doesn’t help coming from a family ruled by a despotic father, a man intent only on turning his children into successful entertainers. No one knows about the pain behind those innocent smiles of those early years. Jackson senior was hell-bent on getting his sons on to the limelight, so what if it took him to take rather tough, inconsiderate ways. Years later, when black-sheep sister spilled all the beans, and even Michael confessed to having been beaten by his father, the world shook its head in shocked understanding.

But, even in those heady days of happy, Motown smiles, sinister things were brewing, and a young mind was registering it all. Perhaps, a wee bit oddly. Such that even some die-hards couldn’t understand the strange offshoots.

To the whole world, the tip off perhaps was falling off with the family, which was, most definitely, not done in the best of ways, one can say. His post-Thriller final breakup with the Five perhaps kick-started the non-conformist rebellion. It was more akin to a little kid raving and ranting and stamping, only to get hurt himself.

The break up came as a bolt from the blue for the brothers who were dumbfounded enough to exclaim: “He dumped us!” Michael’s stand of "If I'm going to be the family business, I'm going to do it my way," seemed propelled more from the instant fame than any deep-stacked grievance. Well, it was just the beginning. Success was like wanting to dance to his tunes.

Two mega albums and seemingly-million mind-blowing pyrotechnics-filled stage shows later, Michael was well entrenched as the “King of Pop.” But, when the going was so damn good, Jackson hardly gave anyone time enough to think anything. The music, the songs, the videos, the moonwalks were more than enough to fill the debate rooms. But, the sight started going sideways once he started showing a distinct slide.

You can read the rest of our feature on Michael Jackson in the July 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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