Originally when I had first posted about M.J.’s passing, I was at a loss for words….so I just put up some videos.

With the amount of coverage that this is receiving (and will undoubtedly receive for the next few months) there’s not much I can say that won’t come off as redundant.  However, that being said, I feel as though I owe him something.  Being a performer and musician myself, the impact he had on my upbringing and growth as an artist was obviously great.  Anyone who is, was or has attempted to enter the popular music realm, regardless of vehicle (rock, hip-hop, r&b, etc) has, whether they recognize it or not, been influenced by this man either in their dance and performance or songwriting and content, the way they present their persona and style or create Music Movies as opposed to videos.  And for all of that, we are forever indebted.

Despite his obvious problems and eccentric behaviour, at a moment like this, we need not remember Michael Jackson for the rumour and speculation that surrounded him in the final years before his passing, but for his fact.

The fact of talent.

The fact that he inexplicably and effortlessly was able to reach and communicate with the world several times over, passing through barriers of race, gender, culture, language and age with next to no resistance.

All I remember is in my house, Michael was a big thing.  My parents being landed immigrants from Taiwan obviously had broken English when moving to Canada from Taiwan, however, they understood Michael.  They bought us Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad on Vinyl.  They bought my brothers Michael Jackson wallets.  They took me on the Smooth Criminal ride at Universal Studio’s.  And more importantly, any time he was on TV, they never failed to yell out to us to come see another milestone performance.

This may come off a touch like my parents were Michael Jackson freaks but they really weren’t.  He wasn’t a common topic at the dinner table.  And we didn’t play his music non-stop.  But if you account for the enormity and range of momentous events and milestones that Michael Jackson was responsible for in popular culture, whether you wore the rhinestone glove or not, you might be surprised to find just how big a Michael Jackson fan you really are.

Thanks Michael.  You’ll truly be missed.

R.I.P. Michael Joseph Johnson.

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