What can I say, he's been there my whole life. I remember giggling over "Tiger Beat" magazine and the other teen mags when I was in the third grade with my friends. We were in love with Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson and Bobby Sherman. Of course in those days we couldn't admit our love for Michael because he was black and it just wasn't proper.
That had changed by the 80's. My stepdaughter Kandi had the most incredible crush on him! She was moved to tears (Thriller days) just by the mere mention of his name and she fully intended to marry him someday. We all used to crowd around the TV and marvel at his every move. When the moondancing started I thought the world just had to be turning backwards on it's axis!
Early one morning after I had just moved to Huntington. There was a radio trivia question and the prize was a trip to Cleveland for 2 to see Michael Jackson. Apparently I was the only one in WV who knew the answer - I spent 1/2 an hour trying to reach the radio station before I left for beautician school. I didn't know the number and they never announced it and I didn't have a phone book either. Alas, that meant that Kandi didn't get to fulfill her life's dream to see Michael Jackson. I would have been the world's greatest stepmother if that call would have gotten through!
Then we watched him turn white. Of course we all just shook our heads and wondered why he would want to do that to himself. I remember when MTV went to Afghanistan for the first time. One of the teenagers was proclaiming his love for Michael's music. They showed him a picture of the now white Micheal and he couldn't and wouldn't believe it was him.
I learned an interesting bit of trivia in the 90's and it still holds true for the young people of today because I have asked. Much of the under 30 crowd believes that Michael and Latoya are the same person - you know, Latoya is Michael in drag. They do not believe you when you try to tell them differently. I guess they will find out now though.
When it is all said and done I believe he will be remembered for his music and his showmanship and his talent. Hopefully all the ugliness will fade away but I don't believe his star ever will.