I join the world today in celebrating the life of music icon Michael Jackson.
It is odd to me that just yesterday, I shared one of my favorite quotes with you by John Quincy Adams:
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
– John Quincy Adams
We all may not realize, but if you buy into the above quote, Michael Jackson is one of the most world changing leaders of the last five decades. He changed the way the music industry looked, sounded and felt. He inspired dance. His video Black or White showed that he wanted the world to know about the cultures of the world, wanted to see walls between black and white fall down, and I do believe that his life is an inspiration to us all.
I hope today that everyone will remember and know that Michael Jackson was a genius and was followed by not millions but billions of people. In 1970, when the song ABC came out, I will never forget this day. Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 were on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. My next door neighbor, Teresa Castleberry, had learned a few Michael Jackson “moves” and she came over to my house, and she danced away (and taught me a few of the moves). My whole family was laughing and just in awe over her moves…we had never seen them done before…but they were Michael’s moves. So, he changed even the way Teresa Castleberry and little ole me viewed dance.
So, just a few of the obvious things to tickle your brain.
1) The video TRHRILLER changed the world of video music. After THRILLER, everyone in the music industry (and the public) saw the bar raised on music video and had to start getting super creative with the way they presented their music to MTV and VH1. No more just standing behind the mic and singing your song into the camera.
2) The moonwalk changed dance (just look at the hip hop industry if you don’t believe this)
3) The video Black or White was controversial at its time, but racial, cultural and geographical barriers are falling down as I write this. You may argue that this had nothing to do with Black or White. I would argue the video was the catalyst for the acceptance movement we are experiencing around the world.
So, today, I leave you with the video. Just watch and see Michael Jackson…not just the king of pop but a visionary and global leader.