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Michael Jackson: An American Icon

Many names people have entered the music industry and experienced some measure of success but few have had as great an impact on it as Micheal Jackson. His name is known all over the world and even as newer artists sample from the trends that he made popular, his originality sets him apart. This essay will briefly explore his childhood, his controversies and his untimely death.

Michael Jackson was born into a large and deeply religious family in 1958. His father, Joseph, managed the band that five of his older brothers played in. He was physically abusive and demanding and when eventually Michael’s talent for singing and dancing was discovered, he turned much of that pressure onto him. They practiced day and night and eventually caught the eye of Motown executives which led to The Jackson Five becoming household names. He entertained audiences around the world with his brothers and became the darling of the American public but only those close to the family knew of the abuse he and his brother suffered.

Michael’s career transitioned through his teenage years to adulthood at which point he left the band and struck out on his own. His musical style and influences changed to reflect the greater level of control that he was able to exercise over his music. His appearance also began to change. He suffered from a skin condition that eliminated most of the pigment from his skin. Some claimed that he bleached his complexion to appeal to white audiences but this was never proven. The scars of his childhood were also reflected in his eccentric behavior. He collected strange animals and hosted parties for children which raised questions about his sexual tendencies. He was accused of molestation on more than one occasion but these allegations have never been definitely proven true or false.

In 2009, while in the midst of preparations for a comeback tour, he died due to an accidental lethal combination of drugs administered by a medical professional whose qualifications have since been called into question. Despite the long span of his career and the allegations against him, many fans were devastated and continue to mourn.

There are many unanswered questions about how he lived his life and why he made some of his stranger choices. Still, the complexity of a human being is hard to pin down to a few good points and he will always be remembered for his gift to the music industry.

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