Remembering the legend

In Tokyo, fans are planning a sleepover surrounded by his possessions, in Los Angeles, devotees will visit his grave.


Reuters June 25, 2010

In Tokyo, fans are planning a sleepover surrounded by his possessions, in Los Angeles, devotees will visit his grave, and around the world TV and radio stations will provide the King of Pop’s fans with Michael Jackson’s hit songs that will not stop until they get enough.

In the family hometown of Gary, Indiana, matriarch Katherine Jackson will unveil a monument to her son outside the humble house where the legendary Jackson 5 began their singing career half a century ago. A memorial and candlelight vigil will follow, ending with the song “We are the World.”

Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, are expected to mark Friday’s anniversary privately in Gary.

Jackson’s sudden death at age 50 on June 25, 2009 in Los Angeles sparked an outpouring of grief around the world for the former child star. Jackson was at the time rehearsing for a series of concerts in London aimed at reviving a career shattered by bizarre events including allegations of child molestation.

A year has passed, and Jackson’s personal doctor is awaiting trial on the criminal charges of causing the singer’s death by giving him a powerful anaesthetic as a sleep aid, but fans are focusing on the artist who won 13 Grammys and whose dancing skills inspired thousands of performers all around the world.

Jackson’s estranged father Joe, has helped organise a Forever Michael tribute in Beverly Hills on June 26, where 1970s band The Chi-Lites and a niece of the Jackson clan are expected to perform.

Mother Katherine Jackson, 80, has given the fund-raising dinner her blessing, and her self-published book of personal family photographs, Never Can Say Good-bye, will be sold there.

Elsewhere, The Ultimate Thriller tribute stage show makes its way from Europe and the Middle East across the Atlantic, and kicks off a US tour on Friday near Boston.

Fans are expected to gather at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where the Jackson 5 launched their careers, and Madame Tussaud in New York will install an exhibit as part of a global wax celebration of Jackson’s career.

Some of the more unusual events will take place in Asia, where Jackson had a devoted fan following even after his 2005 trial and acquittal on charges of abusing a young boy.

At the worlds only official Michael Jackson exhibition, randomly selected fans will pay $1,000 for an opportunity to spend the night inside The Neverland Collection at Japan’s Tokyo Tower. Some of the singer’s clothes, furniture and awards brought in from his famed Neverland Valley Ranch in central California have been on display in the tower since May.

The cemetery where Jackson is buried near Los Angeles will open its gates to fans on Friday but they will not be allowed into the vast mausoleum containing his body. Balloons, doves, radios and candles have also been banned in what officials hope will be a quiet and respectful occasion.

Yet, airwaves will be filled with Michael Jackson hits. MTV is amongst numerous TV and radio outlets planning to screen back-to-back videos, retrospectives and documentaries throughout the weekend which will be looking at the singer’s influence, key developments of the past year and how his family has fared after his death.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2010.

COMMENTS (2)

Sarah | 11 years ago | Reply LOVE YOU MICHAEL, RIP
Umayr Masud | 11 years ago | Reply A true musical genius, unfortunate how the massive cartels of music industry and media tried to malign his image. Probably the most known global personality of our times. One of the best performers to grace the planet. He will be missed. And for all the haters .. read http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-thomson/one-of-the-most-shamefulb610258.html
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