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Saturday, June 27, 2009

MJ

I've been trying to wrap my mind around Michael Jackson's death. Over here, the European music stations have been playing his music videos non-stop. They've been showing a lot of Michael's newer stuff that I hadn't before like the "Stranger in Moscow" song, etc. But having them go through the catalog of his work really triggered a lot of memories and reminded me what a big part his music played in my life growing up.

I can remember dancing to his music in nursery school. When a neighborhood friend came over to play, I remember she was wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and her mom said, "Annie loves Mickey. She wants to marry him." My mom looked at me (wearing my baby blue iron-on MJ t-shirt) said, "My future son-in-law might be Michael Jackson."

I used to carry my MJ slouchy fake leather purse with his picture on it--the same one all the middle school and high school girls carried. I'd see the older girls at the bus stop with their purse sitting on top of their books, so I'd pull my workbooks out of my Care Bears backpack and set it on top. How they didn't laugh their asses off at me I'll never know.

I listened to his music as a little kid with a crush, then in grade school, and high school. Even over here, I would look up one of his videos on YouTube to listen to or watch as I worked. Had you asked me, who's you favorite singer, I'd say, "George Michael, Elvis, Michael Buble." But when I think about all the great music he's left behind, how could I leave Michael out? Few singers have moved me to tears with their music, but I have teared up when I've heard, "Man in the Mirror," "Heal the World," and "You Are Not Alone."

No matter what happens next, or what we find out, he has left a great musical legacy behind. And that's how I want to remember him.