UPDATE: This Is It trailer has arrived:
There’s no getting away from it: Michael Jackson was bonkers.
He had a pet monkey called Bubbles. He lived in the Peter Pan inspired Neverland Ranch. It had a zoo and a theme park. He was famous from the age of 11. His dad would beat him and the rest of The Jackson Five if they got their dance moves wrong. He was born black, he died white. He was accused of having numerous ‘not fine’ relationships with children. He had a brief, bizarre, appearance at Exeter City’s football ground when his friend Uri Geller had stakes in the club. He married Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie. They divorced. Then he married a nurse, Debbie Rowe, and had two kids. The children made public appearances with veils over their faces, and were called Michael Joseph Jackson Jr (or Prince Michael) and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. And so it went on.
But there’s no getting away from his genius, either.
He died of a heart attack, aged 50, having sold 750 million albums worldwide, including an estimated 50 million copies of the best selling album of all time, Thriller. He was responsible for helping to launch the popularity of music videos. He pioneered new ways of dancing. He led the way for black people to have a worldwide influence on popular culture. He was loved by fans in a way that only Elvis and The Beatles have experienced. Since his death, 15% of all Twitter updates have been Michael Jackson related. The previous high, for anything, was 5%. He was the ultimate pop star. No one could touch him.
And celebrities everywhere have been paying tribute.
Madonna said: “I can’t stop crying over the bad news. I’ve always admired Michael Jackson – the world has lost one of its greats but his music will live on forever.”
Quincy Jones, the producer who worked with Jackson in the early days, said: "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. He had it all – talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
Martin Scorcese said: “Michael Jackson was extraordinary. When we worked together on Bad, I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion.”
Steven Spielberg said: “Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson. His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him a legend.”
Here are some hits:
Billie Jean at Motown’s 25th anniversary. Awesome dancing:
The Jackson Five performing I Want You Back. Great vocal, for an 11-year-old boy:
Thriller, live. Brilliant, and ridiculous:
Beat It. Live:
And here's some sad words:
Finally, when the news broke that Jackson had been taken to hospital, Perez Hilton said this:
"We knew something like this would happen!! Michael Jackson was taken by ambulance from his Holmby Hills home to a nearby Los Angeles hospital on Thursday afternoon!! Supposedly, the singer went into cardiac arrest and the paramedics had to administer CPR!!! His mother is even on the way to visit him!!! We are dubious!! Jacko pulled a similar stunt when he was getting ready for his big HBO special in ‘95 when he "collapsed" at rehearsal! He was dragging his heels on that just like his upcoming 50 date London residency at the 02 Arena, of which he already postponed the first few dates!!! Either he's lying or making himself sick, but we're curious to see if he's able to go on!!! Get your money back, ticket holders!!!!"
Perez Hilton is a terrible human being. We would like to extend, again, our thanks to Will.I.Am's manager for punching him in the face this week.
Oh, go on then. Here's our three favourite Jacko gags:
1/ Reports say that Michael Jackson had a heart attack after discovering that Boyz 2 Men were a band, not a delivery service.
2/ Apparently Michael Jackson is going to be buried face down, just in case Elton John fancies a cold one.
3/ Michael Jackson has had to cancel all of his arranged his dates. They include Jonny, aged 9. Nick, aged 8. Paul, aged 9.
For more, go to DeadMichaelJacksonJokes. Or TeamTalk, for some brilliant headlines.