In 2009, we lost a man who set records, challenged racial boundaries, and revolutionized the music industry. This man was the King of Pop: Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson, 1987
Michael Jackson set and broke records throughout his entire career. As of 2009, he was the most awarded person, artist, entertainer with 372 recognized awards. This was excluding Diamond, Platinum and Gold Certifications. In 2000, he became the biggest selling artist of all time, with 380 million records sold. His song, ?Thriller,? still hold the record for most copies of a single sold ? 110 million. At his Super Bowl half time show in 1993, he attracted the biggest TV audience of all time ? 133.4 million. His impact was immense and undeniable. The list of records he broke is seemingly endless. However, his real influence took place in the cultural changes he made within our society.
Michael Jackson, 1988
Michael Jackson?s lyrics challenged the country?s ideas of how an African-American man should behave and be seen. ?Billie Jean? illustrated Jackson as the object of everyone?s admiration. ?Bad? depicted Jackson as a rule-breaker. ?Human Nature? showed a more sexual side. All of these things were taboo topics in our country at the time. However, Michael Jackson had no fear in challenging the established norms.
?Thriller? music video ? Jackson depicted as handsome
Michael Jackson took risks and challenged racial boundaries through his music. His music video, ?Thriller,? showed a metaphor for the existing racism and conflicting emotions toward Michael ? and African Americans ? in our country at the time. The video showed Michael moving from a handsome young man to a beast and illustrated the conflicting emotions white people had, at the time, about being sexually attracted to an African American male in a racially divided country.
?Thriller? music video-Jackson depicted as a beast
Michael Jackson revolutionized the music industry with his song, music video and album, ?Thriller.? The music video for this song changed the way the music industry produced and promoted new releases. ?Thriller? was one of the most expensive music videos ever produced at the time it was released. Albums by African-American artists were usually marketed to an all black audience. However, Michaels record label, Epic, advertised ?Thriller? everywhere to everyone. The ?Thriller? music video and single were released simultaneously on a global level, forever changing the promotion of music by African-American artists.
Though ?Thriller? changed a lot about the way music was produced and promoted, the real importance of this album lies in the racial impact it had. After ?Thriller,? African-American artists were featured more prominently on MTV. ?Billie Jean? and ?Thriller? were two of the first music videos by an African-American artist to air on MTV. Jackson faced much resistance from MTV. However, he eventually paved the way for other African-American artists ? Prince, Whitney Houston ? to receive air time on MTV, as well.
The impact Michael Jackson had on the world is immense and undeniable. He set and broke records, challenged racial boundaries and revolutionized the music industry. Michael Jackson?s music and groundbreaking creativity changed the very infrastructure of the way music is produced and promoted. Michael Jackson has gone down in history as a legend, and he may always be the King of Pop.
Michael Jackson, King of Pop