Was the crown too heavy?
The music industry has always regaled us with incredible music and visual; composed, produced and engineered by great bands and artists. This is an industry that grew and grew to insurmountable levels and gave us artists like Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2.
It is the same industry that developed these artists, made them crave more success than they'd already attained and caused them to reach dizzy heights.
It is the same industry that scrutinized these artists and battled with them about performance rights and legalities (Prince a.k.a The Symbol and George Michael's very public fall out with Sony) shelved them and their albums or dropped them altogether.
It is an industry which continues to provide the universe with new upcoming artists, who are becoming sensations in an unconceivable short span of time and take over our airwaves and TV sets.
But there is also the ugly side of the industry. The harsh, competitive and ruthless reality, tainted with sorrow and manic depressive artists, struggling to find their purpose in the whirlwind of success they are engulfed in.
The ugly players are the ones playing Puppet Masters. Record Labels, A&R men, Managers, The Media, take control, once the artist loses sight of that game and lets him/herself succumb to the weaknesses which are many and sometimes almost unavoidable.
Michael Jackson, or "Wacko Jacko" as the ‘delightful' press chose to refer to him during the past few years, was to date one of the most successful artists of our time. His life was riddled with paranoia, scandal and a forbidden youth which contributed to his ostentatious living and being permanently stalked by the press.
The irony of it all was that the press had painted their own picture of Michael and only the brave dared to question that. The younger generation wasn't even allowed to make its own judgement of this pop star.
Now please don't get me wrong. I was not a die-hard fan, but I did recognize his undeniable artistry, the legend that revolutionized the art of performance and thrived on the strength of visual matched with great music.
A great song is a great song. There is no denying that. Why is music from artists from the past still played on our radios, still covered by bands, still remixed by today's DJs?.... Because it stood the test of time. A good hook or melody line is the olden ticket and Michael Jackson had plenty of those tickets.
An apt analogy of the Golden Ticket because it was said that in the remake of "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", Johnny Depp's character ‘Willy Wonka' was modeled on the eccentric behaviour that Jackson portrayed to the media.
Jackson however was a true inspiration to the industry and to artists all over the world. His fame had reached all corners of the world, including third world countries, which he so often helped and raised awareness about.
He touched so many with his music and his persona, he was a phenomenon. Was he happy, was he lonely, did he miss out on his childhood? I guess no one will ever know for certain what the underlying problem was. We can read or watch biographies, we can follow interviews with his family or his psychiatrist, lawyer and anyone who claims to have known him on a personal level but we will never hear it from the horse's mouth.
We can however watch and remember young Michael belt out some of the best ever soul pop songs with his siblings ‘The Jackson 5', be amazed by his ingenious videography, be awestruck by his incredulous dancing and touched by his humanitarian work.
The King of Pop is Dead , but his Music Will live Forever!
Ira Losco is playing a Live concert in aid of ‘Inspire' on Thursday 9th July, 2009. At The Grand Excelsior Yacht Club, Valletta. All Proceeds will go to ‘RazzettTal-Hbiberija' and ‘The Eden Foundation.' Tickets are 10 Euro and 5 Euro for children under the age of 16. Available from The Grand Excelsior OR www.jaggedhouse.com