EDITORIAL >> ‘King of Pop’ 1958-2009, RIP
Jackson, who died Thursday at the age of 50, probably from abusing prescription drugs, was vaguely aware that the music that had made him a millionaire was transplanted here on slave ships. It evolved into jazz and blues, created by poor blacks in the
Arkansas-Mississippi Delta who had moved up North, like his parents, transplants in Gary, Ind.
But the pop star may best be remembered as a dancer as innovative and entertaining as Fred Astaire. Jackson was inspired by the moves of the late, great James Brown, but expanded them in a way that became as memorable and unique as Michael Jordan slam-dunking.
Jackson’s fans will always remember his moonwalk, along with his bizarre plastic surgeries and courtroom spectacles.
Jackson was tainted by child sex-abuse charges and had tried to change his complexion to appear white. Despite his millions, he was not known for supporting hospitals or schools in urban ghettoes — but his success made his fans proud, especially those back home. Jackson, like Elvis, could become a more valuable commodity because of his sudden death.