Can you believe that just over two years ago, the King of Pop was still with us? Yesterday was the second anniversary of the sudden death of Michael Jackson, a tragic loss (and according to some, a possible suicide) that has had the music world reeling ever since. And that’s not just pop artists, mind you — musicians working in every genre found inspiration in MJ’s inimitable voice, style, craft, charisma — and of course, his signature dance moves. Head below for a roundup of tweets and tributes celebrating the most successful entertainer of all time.
E! Online posted a collection of celebrity tweets honoring pop’s monarch, including this one from Rihanna: “MJ We miss you, We love you…often imitated, NEVER duplicated!!! You will live on forever!”
Along with sister Janet Jackson’s simple, heartfelt: “I MISS U. I LUV U.”
The Hollywood Reporter also gathered tweets, including Justin Bieber’s mournful hashtag “#RIPMJ” and Bruno Mars’ more upbeat “Now playing- I Wanna Be Where You Are by The Jackson 5.. Michael was and still remains The Best!” THR also collected the “Bad” boy’s “five most genius TV moments.”
The Huffington Post corralled Jacko’s 10 best music videos — headed, of course, by “Thriller.” CBS elected to collect the internet’s best video tributes instead, like the 2009 clip of Filipino inmates dancing to Jacko’s hits. Meanwhile, That Grape Juice posted lyrics from MJ’s 2001 song “Unbreakable” to describe their take on the unique star’s legacy: “You can’t believe it, you can’t conceive it / And you can’t touch me, ’cause I’m untouchable / And I know you hate it, and you can’t take it / You’ll never break me, ’cause I’m unbreakable.”
MTV News, on the other hand, took a look at the seventh-born Jackson’s legacy by the numbers, including the value of his estate and number of digital singles sold (a mere 16.1 million), while CNN rather morbidly reposted their June 25, 2009 coverage of the singer’s hospitalization for cardiac arrest and, ultimately, his passing. At least young crooner Greyson Chance took a less pragmatic, less grim, more musical approach by covering the onetime Jackson 5 member’s 1972 single “I Wanna Be Where You Are”:
Of course, MJ’s surviving family members were not forgotten. Many sources took note that children Paris, Prince, and Blanket (now in the care of their grandmother Katherine) are coping well two years after the passing of their father. The young Jacksons have steered pretty clear of the spotlight much as MJ did in his later years, besides an occasional TV appearance and one well-publicized jaunt to Starbucks to enjoy some Frappuccinos.
Jermaine Jackson also checked in with the press to discuss his thoughts about his brother’s work ethic, and where it came from:
As reported by TMZ, hundreds of fans also journeyed to his Neverland Ranch for an informal congregation at the moonwalker’s former home.
Often when a celebrity meets an untimely end, there is a flurry of media coverage and a deeply felt period of grieving by the public. And then we move on. Not so with Michael Jackson, whose influence can still be felt daily in the music world, and whose absence is still frequently referenced and mourned. His legacy and relevance have only increased in the two years since his death. It is clearer than ever: Michael Jackson is not going anywhere.
The legend lives on through new and original works like Teddybears’ “No More Michael Jackson,” Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World, and Jacko’s own posthumous track “Hollywood Tonight,” while his iconic videos, songs, and moves are still frequently referenced and revisited by the likes of Glee, Nick Cannon,Chris Brown, and most recently, Britney Spears.
Will we meet another pop artist who is so revered and beloved? Who we watched grow up, but still managed to seem ethereal, otherworldly, and larger than life? Who has such a profound and ever-lasting impact on the landscape of modern music? Who is at once intangible, dark, and enigmatic, but also generous and loving and child-like and human? Few seem to think we ever will.
It’s safe to say there will never be another talent quite like his.