With his sudden passing at the age of fifty, we memorialize those things that made Michael Jackson an American original.
1. When he died, it came as a shock, revealing that in our hearts part of us was still rooting for him, unwilling to believe that he was actually a frail 50-year-old man, that the innocent mastery of the voice that sang "I Want You Back" was still undiminished beneath the painful painted cheekbones. And that's how good he was - after all that, despite everything that is small within us, we still believed. - John H. Richardson
2. Parasols. He was sun sensible - you have to give him that. - Chris Jones
3. For Off The Wall, and the way he blended space exploration with black tie.
4. In a time when reality stars bare all and celebrity sex tapes are common, Jackson was uncommonly opaque, both literally and figuratively. His private world will forever remain shadowed in conjecture.
5. Not a big MJ guy - never was - but after listening to the nostalgia orgies of the past twenty four hours, I'm reminded that art can matter. That the stuff of great artists - their songs, their paintings, their books - becomes a part of our lives, and that whether you're talking about the first time you saw the "Thriller" video or the first time you tried to moonwalk, you're not really talking about Michael Jackson. You're talking about yourself. The art is just a marker, allowing each of us to find our way back to some earlier, happier, more carefree version of ourselves. - Richard Dorment
6. "Billie Jean" is the best pop song ever written. For sure. I don't even want to discuss it. - Stephen Marche
7.The crotch grab.
8. "I'll Be There." Because he was twelve and sounded like twelve-hundred.
9. Without him, we'd have nothing to compare the Justin Timberlakes of the world to.
10. I'll miss telling Michael Jackson diddle jokes. My favorite: What did the woman on the beach say to Michael Jackson? Excuse me, you're in my son. - Chris Jones
11. The video premiere as social event. "Thriller." "Bad." "Scream." Remember when they first ran? Of course you do.Continue Reading 43 Things We'll Miss About Michael Jackson
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