I'm going to be unoriginal today. I imagine that three quarters of the blogosphere - if not more - will be blogging today about Michael Jackson, and I am no different.
We heard the news that he had been taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack while we were on Twitter yesterday evening (UK time). That news alone was such a shock, but as we monitored the internet and flicked between CNN, the BBC and Sky News as the night wore on, the news just got worse and worse. It was literally unbelieveable. Not Michael Jackson, it CAN'T be true.
But as we all know, that terrible news was indeed true and we have lost an icon, a musical genius and a true pioneer. Dori and I have been very lucky to see some true greats in concert over the last few years - Prince, Madonna, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder to name a few - artists who have provided the soundtrack to our lives. But Michael Jackson probably did that better than any of them. From his time with the Jackson 5 to his amazingly successful solo career, MJ just churned out iconic song after iconic song. And there aren't many music videos that you can vividly remember seeing for the first time, but that was certainly true of Thriller - shown here late at night on Channel 4 amidst much ballyhoo. He was oft impersonated but never remotely equalled. We have lost a giant of music, of pop culture, who I cannot imagine will ever be equalled.
We hadn't mentioned it here before, but Dori and I had been wonderfully lucky earlier this year when the tickets went on sale for MJ's 50 concerts at the O2 in London, and we were able to get 2 tickets to see him perform on July 24th, just 4 weeks from today. Neither of us had ever seen him in concert before, and obviously now we never will get that chance. We had both been so excited at this too rare an opportnity and were counting down the days til we could be there watching him moonwalk. In a way, that just makes this sad news even more unbelievable. Every time the news programmes show a picture of MJ with the caption "1958 - 2009" it seems so unreal. It just cannot be true.
The music died again this day. Rest in Peace, Michael.