Home Music Michael Jackson Would Have Been 53 Today

Michael Jackson would have turned 53 today. Let’s concentrate on the good things–there’s enough bad stuff to keep everyone arguing for a long time. I have no doubt that fighting among fans who “know” it all will turn particularly vicious later this fall when books by Michael’s friend, Frank Cascio, and a muckracker named Randall Sullivan, are published. Also, Jermaine Jackson’s book is on its way.

And then there’s the much dreaded MJ tribute concert planned for Cardiff, Wales–a disaster in the making. Somewhere out there David Gest, who knows how to make a buck off all things Jackson, has his “documentary” that will also tell the “real story.” Let’s not forget that Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, continues to invent new money making schemes that just go pfft once they’re revealed.

We won’t even get into Drs. Murray and Klein.

What do Michael Jackson fans want to celebrate on this occasion? His extraordinary contribution to pop music culture and the canon of songs. From “Off the Wall” through the “Michael” album, as well as the Jackson 5 and Michael’s early solo stuff like “Got to Be There,” the legacy is enormous. There isn’t a club in the world that isn’t playing “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” every single hour of every day.

No matter who wrote, produced or directed a particular song, they are all Michael Jackson. His gorgeous voice is unmistakable, as his sense of rythym and pacing. No matter what you think of the “This Is It” movie,  you can see what made Michael tick. Especially in the dancing, it’s all genius. And of course, in the end, that’s the tragedy.

So happy birthday Michael. Listening to the tracks from “Michael,” and hoping that London would have been a success, it does seem like so much more was possible.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
10 replies to this post
  1. thank you roger for the nice words….i read u alot and never agree with what you say about mj…well not always, but you did know some stuff we didnt….thank you for the nice mj words….we love you michael and no matter what ur problems may have been…we all got problems! u brought awesome music to generations.

  2. I too even after two years mourn and miss Michael Jackson; He was a true angel in disguise and certainly a messenger of good news, joy, laughter, love but also a messenger to the world that we MUST take care of each other and our ONLY earth (world). He is sadly missed; there will NEVER be another Michael Jackson; there is only one King of Pop!!

    I miss and love you, Michael!



  3. Thank you Mr. Friedman, but I too concur with another fan that wrote that their was a lot of good in Michael’s life and very little bad. His genius as an entertainer is obvious, but his philanthropic and charitable endeavors, as well as the legacy he left in raising his children, is what is even more inspirational. The vast amounts of time and money he gave to help people is astounding. Who knew that Mike was toiling away in an art studio creating lasting pieces of his artistic talent. The amount and scope of people (both celebrities and everyday people) who have been PERSONALLY inspired by him is cherished by me. Barely a day has gone by in over 37 years that Micheal hasn’t been on my mind in one way or another since that first day that I saw him perform with his brothers on T.V. Not a single day has gone by since he died that I don’t mourn his loss in my own small way. I am still angry for all the creativity we didn’t get to witness because of the craziness that Michael had to endure. Many genius’s are eccentric in some ways, but being eccentric is no reason to be hunted. Michael Jackson lived his life with grace, dignity and truth. I love him and his absence has left a void in my life and in the world.

  4. Happy 53rd to “The World’s Greatest Entertainer”!!!
    He will ALWAYS reign as “King Of Pop & Soul”,.
    Do you know of anybody else born to this world
    who’s sold over 110million
    copies of just ONE album?

  5. No matter what Michael Jackson feared, London would have been a success, because he was so missed and so longed for, and the energy from the audience would have revived him and brought him back from the shadows of agony where a vicious DA and the media put him.

    I see a huge amount of good things and not very many bad things. I’m in awe of his heart (he helped a lot of people, that’s a fact), his genius, his willingness to always work and be better when he could have just sauntered onto the state helped by his charisma alone, and the way he tried to survive the onslaught of hatred and nasty publicity over nothing. He was just one man, he couldn’t give back to everyone who wanted him, loved him, tried to get into his life.

    A tragedy indeed. But also a splendid and successful life. I’m grateful he was here.

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