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Michael Jackson: The talent, the tragedy and the triumph

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Michael Jackson brought magic into music and even dared us to look at the “Man in the Mirror” – but he would also literally deface and deform what he saw in the mirror. Martin Jalleh reflects on the flawed life of the ‘king of pop’.

You brought back magic into music, leaving an indelible imprint. You gave dance an indescribable grace and showed impeccable mastery of movement.

You merged music and video and brought about an MTV generation. You magnificently and incredibly blended and bridged arena rock, soul and pop.

You moved the world’s conscience with your humanitarian spirit and inspired us with your clarion call to care for the hungry, homeless, HIV/AIDS victims and those without hope.

You mesmerised peoples of all races, languages and cultures, in every country, instilling in them the message that what mattered most was love and mutual respect.

You were matchless – you were an original, creative, unique and magnetising musician and artist.

You were a true troubadour who ruled and “thrilled” the world” and you were also a tortured soul and a troubled life with a tumultuous childhood.

You were the very “Man in the Mirror” who chased after a “Childhood” you never had. You craved to be Peter Pan, and clamoured to be a child forever on Neverland.

You were extraordinary. You were enchanting, exciting, entertaining and enamouring, and you were also notoriously eccentric and erratic.

You were the world’s greatest pop icon, and an inspiration to countless – and sadly you were also accused of ignoble deeds such as being a child predator and “dangerous” to the young.

You dared us to look at the “Man in the Mirror” – and you would also literally deface and deform what you saw in the mirror, with three decades of plastic surgeries.

You sang “We are the World”. You moonwalked all over the earth. But often you walked alone – like a lonely lost comet spinning out of control, a sullen solitary sorry sight.

You wanted to “heal the world” – you, a “wounded orphan”, a masked man with a “washed-out dream” and a weary worn-out soul of make-believe marriages, a king of pop finding peace in painkillers.

You were so free and yet so “addicted” to the adulation and adoration of your fans – which in the end annihilated you. You were alienated from a normal life, a man of undisputed fame made to look like a freak.

You were a “beautiful boy” who tried so hard to bounce back and to “beat it” when you realised you were near-barren of creativity and bankruptcy. You were a blessed soul who died of a broken heart.

You were a superstar scarred. You were a very human hero – frail and flawed – and yet, the finest and “simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived”.

You were tainted talent with transcendent creativity – musical magnificence of immeasurable magnitude. Goodbye Michael Joseph Jackson. May God grant you peace.

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