One of the hardest working, and dedicated men in all of entertainment history is Michael Jackson. Despite having his reputation ruined and multiple insecurities, his genius and greatness is much more realistic and more important than any allegation. He is, in my opinion, the Mozart of the 20th century.
“I just think that when sex is used as a form of blackmail or power, it’s a repugnant use of one of God’s gifts”
Performing in night clubs and strip joints was an unusual type of education for Michael Jackson. He explains that seeing strippers (some of whom turned out to be men) gave him the freedom to concentrate on his music as an adult.
While most rock stars are somewhat closer to adulthood when they become famous, Michael was seeing the dark side of the entertainment industry as a child. While most young superstars are seeing girls flock to them, Michael was already over that.
“Once I hit the stage, I didn’t think about anything else. All that worry was gone. But once I came offstage, there was that mirror to face again.”
Michael’s teenage acne had an incredibly negative effect on his self-image. He went from the “cute kid” to an awkward teenager while at the same time being a public figure. Imagine what that would do to a person’s confidence.
He developed a lonely demeanor. When it came to dating, he explains how girls that he dated would try to share his loneliness and he didn’t want anyone to deal. I don’t know if this depressed mentality started with the acne and the poor self-esteem, but it bothers me when people demonize him without taking this depression into account. That’s why it is important to learn about a person before you judge them.
Driven from Within
“Wait until next time, they won’t be able to ignore the next album.”
In 1979, Michael’s album Off the Wall became one of the hottest albums of the year, yet the only Grammy nomination it received was Best R&B Vocal Performance. He was very hurt and felt ignored. But instead of letting this get him down, he became driven to make the greatest album ever. It was like a fire that lit inside of him. That reminds me of when Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team. A fire lit inside of him to prove everyone wrong.
“I told them Thriller would be the biggest-selling album of all time. They started laughing. It was seemingly unrealistic to them.”
Part of Michael’s genius was his ability to bet on himself and believe in himself. He saw unlimited potential in himself. He worked so hard on his album because he was a perfectionist. His outward appearance does not show the mental toughness within him. He was a hard worker, but he was working on something he was passionate about. He thought like a sculptor, shaping and molding until his craft was perfect. He would look at every detail of the songs and music videos.
I have noticed that the media can make good people look bad and make bad people look good. That’s the danger of gossip. Gossip can cause us to see good people in a negative way. It’s better to observe someone’s character before casting judgement on them. The level of slander Michael received throughout his life is hard to imagine, but he handled it and pushed through it. Despite his insecurities, he had an inner strength that I have never seen before. That’s why he became great.
“Sometimes when you’re treated unfairly it makes you stronger and more determined.”