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Michael Jackson

The “Thriller” Journey of Jackson

As the ninth anniversary of the death of  Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” approaches, the Maroon and Gray looks back on his life's journey. It seemed like Jackson was born to sing, make music, dance and to shine. Despite the nine years since his passing, his music and spirit live on in the broken hearts of his fans today.


Jackson was born August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away June 25, 2009 at his home in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. As a child, he took a role in his family music group, The Jackson 5, with his siblings Randy, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie, and Marlon. This was where Jackson's music career and dream first started. In 1970, the group dropped their first song, “ I Want You Back,” and from that point on came more songs accompanied by albums. The start of the whole Jackson family’s love for music and performing was their father Joe Jackson. Joe was  an old time guitarist who stopped his music path after marriage with Katherine Jackson, their mother. Their support and family bond helped Michael become the star he was.


Michael Jackson’s music spanned nearly four decades and impacted millions of people, all over the world. Some of Jackson's biggest hits were “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “ Wanna Be Startin Something,” and “Man in the Mirror.”  His name went down in history February, 28, 1984 when he won eight Grammy Awards. He won Album of the year for “Thriller” and Record of the Year for “Beat It”. In 2002, he made it to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Many feel that "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" were his best albums.


Michael's death on June 25, 2009 shocked the world and impacted many. He was working on a new tour, when he suddenly passed. Nutley High School freshmen, Armani Calvo and Jordan Green, have always been fans of Michael. “ When I listen to his music I feel free because I can dance to all of them,” said  Calvo. “My favorite song to listen to would still be “Pretty Young Thing” and to dance to is “BAD.”


The artist inspired many young teens today who started listening to his music after his death.  Jordan Greene said, “ I started listening to Michael Jackson when I was about four of five, at home. My mom was a big fan.” Today’s teens don't get to fully experience Michael and his music though. They can just listen to it and watch old videos.


Ms. Greco, the NHS journalism teacher was a big fan of Michael and first started listening to him when "Thriller" came out. “ I was about four years old when 'Thriller' was released and my older brother played it constantly at home,” she said. “I remember being terrified of the video, but loving the music. Even now, his music just makes me happy.”


Michael Jackson lived a journey and a dream throughout his life.  His talent and performance touched the lives of many. The name Michael Jackson will forever be legendary and held in the hearts of many.