Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2009 from an alleged drug overdose. He wasn’t a guitar player, but the impact he made on the music scene warrants respect from those of us who share a similar passion. His legacy is long, and much can be learned from the life of this man who came to be known as the “King of Pop.” Michael rose to fame from the obscurity of a small Indiana town to become the most recognized pop star the world has ever seen. This in itself demonstrates how others in like circumstances can do the same. You do not need to be rich or well connected to be successful in the music industry, but you do need to work hard and develop your talent. Michael showed us how to do that.
I can still remember my first impression of Michael when I saw him perform with his brothers, The Jackson Five, on TV around 1967-8. He was so cute and looked like he was only about ten years old! It was amazing how he could sing and dance so freely and effortlessly. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was definitely the star of the show and stole many hearts that night. Who would have known back then that one day he would create an album called “Thriller” which would become the biggest-selling record of all time? Certainly not me. But that’s exactly what he did.
How did he do it? Well, I think there are several things that factored into his becoming such a huge success…
- First and foremost was the fact that Michael Jackson possessed an incredible musical gift.
- He followed the direction of his father/manager when he was starting out.
- He was not afraid to step out of his comfort zone later, go solo and make a new direction for himself musically.
- He explored creative ideas and took advantage of the media tools he had available to him.
- He worked hard to perfect his skills.
- He allowed others in the music industry to offer him their professional expertise and advice.
- He learned how to promote himself and create an image the public would follow.
But, as with so many others in the music business, Michael’s life began to suffer under the strain of constant media attention and ended unexpectedly in a sudden tragedy. Unexpected, that is, to most of us. But suspicion arose as to his alleged perscription drug abuse, as well as to other allegations. Apparently he had even expressed his own concern that he might die like Elvis. Well, it now looks like there may have been some basis for his fear.
Which points to one final lesson we can glean from the life of this talented superstar, and that is to…
- Seriously consider the cost of publicity and the subsequent loss of personal privacy.
Perhaps it would be wise for those of you who are pursuing your own indie artist dreams, to take some proactive steps right now by answering such important questions as…
- How will I handle the stress of publicity should success come my way?
- Will I seek to escape pressures and expectations through drugs and/or alcohol?
- Can I find a positive way to cope with the stress that fame brings?
Too many talented artists and musicians have died as a result of drug abuse associated with the world of music and rock and roll… Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Kurt Corbain, Michael Jackson… to name a few. Sadly, it seems that when they suddenly found themselves in the throws of fame and fortune, they didn’t know how to handle it.
It’s a well know fact that Michael Jackson created some controversy in the media during his lifetime. However, just to set the record straight, I would like to share a statement I found regarding the causes of his death…
“The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, and his personal physician Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.” The official report declared that… “Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. ” ~Wikipedia
I know that Michael was concerned about the environment. The music video above indicates that he was also concerned about human-rights issues. My question for you today is…
- Why not be really different and take a stand for something positive instead of negative?
- Why not be a survivor, instead of just another victim?
Your musical influence will likely leave a greater lasting impression on the world in the long run if you do. Perhaps you’ll even start a brand-new trend and have a music career that celebrates the wonderful gift of life instead.
Learn More: Shiloh – Indie Music Video