Michael Jackson will always be the King of Pop. Period.
In case you have not already noticed, I’m a big fan of Michael Jackson. For someone who cannot dance or play music to save his own life, I’m extremely impressed by Michael Jackson’s immense talent in music. From a child prodigy in the Jackson 5 to the music genius who swept 8 Grammy awards in a single night, Michael’s meteoric rise to stardom was built on his incredible talent of music and dance. Why is it that Michael Jackson was crowned the King of Pop and never dethroned for the past 30 years? Here’s a short look of we can learn from what Michael the greatest performer of all time.
Be yourself – black or white
Michael battled allegations of his skin condition for most of his career, and he claimed that he suffered from vitiligo – a condition that causes blotches of paler skin. The media alleged that MJ was bleaching his skin to become a white because he was ashamed to be African American, or that being white made album sales better. Michael always maintained that his condition was medical, and he never strayed away from his family, friends or black people. Even as the media intensified their criticisms and published allegations of him having “weird” behaviour, Michael seldom caved in to change anything. It takes a truly strong person to resist social pressure to change, especially if your behaviour has nothing to do with the rest of the other people.
Never forget the child in you
Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch was always in the news for the wrong reasons – for MJ’s alleged childhood abuse, his excessive spending habits and his weird love for Peter Pan’s ability to never grow old. What many people fail to see is MJ’s embrace of the child in him. The Neverland ranch was Michael’s refuge when the commercial world became too much for him, and it provided the only privacy and sanity he desperately needed as the King of Pop. MJ would pen his songs while he sat on the branches of the trees, and he enjoyed the rides in his own amusement park. By embracing the child in you, you can take refuge from the cruel demands of the world.
Killer instincts with unshakable belief
Before the Thriller album was released, Michael went against the advice of his managers and music producers and insisted on his concept for the music video – to dress him up as a werewolf. MJ pushed ahead for the music video and the result was revolutionary – it pushed the envelope of consumer acceptance and defined the style an concepts of MTVs. Michael Jackson had killer instincts in defining style, and unshakable belief in his instincts. Most people will follow the herd in opinions and not risk failure, but as the saying goes “nothing great has never been done without risks”.
Develop your own style and signature
While many artistes are happy just to remain at the forefront of the latest style, Michael Jackson defined the style of music. In 1983, MJ made jaws dropped and he performed the moonwalk for the first time in front of a live television show. For the teens who grew up in the 80s, everyone was talking about Michael Jackson, breakdancing and the Thriller video. And who can get away with wearing white socks with black pants and shoes (the fashion police would kill for such a crime) except MJ? Or wearing a single white sequined glove? Michael did not care for following styles – he defined styles and created signature moves and icons.
Recognize your genius– and break away if you have to
Even though Michael Jackson started his career as part of the Jackson Five, he realized at a young age that he had immense talent, and he knew he had to go solo if he were to make it big. It wasn’t easy to break away from the comfort zone, especially when his stint with the group gave him the experience and exposure, but MJ had to do it if he were to fully exploit his talent. It is difficult, but an eagle can never soar if it stays within its nest – so break out from your comfort zone and explore the world if you feel constrained.
Be altruistic – help the world
A great part of Michael Jackson’s appeal to the world stemmed from the fact that he was a great philanthropist and humanitarian. MJ wrote songs about the plight of the third world, the suffering of the people and the environment. He donated generously to worthy causes and was always ready to perform at charity events. Michael always appeared genuine and consistent in his message – he loved the world, the people and his fans. He used his greatest talent to help the world, and the world loved him for that. It was this strong relationship that set foundation for his success, and that was why vicious rumours and allegations failed time after time to topple the king of pop. Help the world – and the world will help you when you need help the most.
Surround yourself with talents if you want to do great things
Michael Jackson had talents the world had never seen – but that alone was not enough to bring him to such stratospheric heights. MJ worked closely with talented individuals such as Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie to take his music to greater heights. Michael understood that unless he worked with other talents, he would only be restricted to his own shell and unable to grow. The collaborations were crucial in developing his talents, and often resulted in win-win scenarios.
A powerful combination of talents
This is probably the biggest reason why Michael will never be dethroned as the King of Pop. Unlike many artistes who excel in one or two areas, Michael Jackson had a multitude of talents which he fused together as the unstoppable power in pop music. He was great in singing, dancing, performing and songwriting, and that made him invincible in the music arena. Nobody else could control their destiny like MJ could, because his talent gave him the power to control every aspect of his performance. If you have multiple talents, explore the ways you can harness the power of your talents combined. The results can be remarkable.
In his short life of 50 years, Michael Jackson has done what no other musicians could have accomplished in their lives. He was the best-selling artiste and music genius, and most importantly a music icon that touched lives everywhere. Rest in peace Michael – you were the King of Pop and you will always be.
Michael Jackson: Aug 29 1958 to June 25 2009
One of my favourite videos of Michael Jackson is "Smooth Criminal". Catchy music with incredible dance movement and impeccable timing. Like his trademark moonwalk, Michael pioneered the anti-gravity lean which set people talking for years to come. In case you're curious, no... there wasn't any wire-harness or digital editing involved in that move, which made it even more amazing.