Michael Jackson: King of Pop, public curiosity.

Victor Pross

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Michael Jackson: The self-proclaimed King of Pop, public curiosity.

BEFORE HE BECAME THE MOST FAMOUS FREAK in the world, Michael Jackson changed pop music. He ruled long before he started to call himself the King of Pop—he was the Crown Prince of Motown. The guy was fronting a top ten R&B band when he was five years old, for God’s sake, singing and showing off his James Brown footwork before an adorning nation.

That he refused to grow up – I mean, his voice didn’t even change –didn’t keep him from becoming the biggest star in the world in the eighties. His 1983 Thriller album shattered all previous sales records, and his cinematic videos for “Beat it,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” changed the way music videos are made in the way Citizen Kane changed film and Sgt. Pepper’s changed the album.

But then he turned out to be so damn weird.

His fashion sense might have given us a clue to just how strange this boy was. He had the pseudo-military jackets, the white socks, the single studded glove –but it really got bizarre after that. His Neverland private amusement park, his pet chimp, his attempt to buy the Elephant man’s remains, his, um, strange friendships with young boys, never mind the incredible morphing face and the rumors about the oxygen tent in his bedroom. Can we all be forgiven for forgetting the music and asking, “What the hell is with this guy?”

You can’t really blame the public for being more interested in the man than the music, but still: once upon a time, that kid sure could sing and dance.


Michael Jackson

Edited by Victor Pross
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