« Wanna be in a bartending contest tonight? | Main | Did you see Michael Jackson or the Jackson 5 perform in the area? »

June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson: A brilliant but bizarre life

mj.jpgMichael Jackson didn't just leave his stamp on pop music -- he irreversibly changed it.

From his early days as the pint-sized, Afro-sporting lead singer of the Jackson 5 to his astronomical success as a solo artist in the 1980s, Michael Jackson undeniably earned his title as the King of Pop.

If you listened to top 40 radio in the '70s, '80s or '90s, Jackson was inescapable. His album sales topped 750 million worldwide, and his 13 No. 1 singles and Grammy awards made him into a global celebrity.

In 1983, Jackson stunned audiences with the moonwalk, which, to this day, remains one of pop culture's most famous and enduring dance moves.

But as Jackson's popularity grew, his eccentric behavior and ever-changing physical appearance began to overshadow his many musical achievements. A chilling 2003 documentary with Martin Bashir titled Living With Michael Jackson foreshadowed a trial for child molestation. Jackson was later found not guilty, but the negative perception would plague him for the rest of his life.

In recent years, Jackson struggled financially, and was said to be on the brink of bankruptcy. His death today at age 50 is an abrupt end to a brilliant but bizarre life.

(AP photo)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:08 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Random stuff


Which did more damage being the exploitive Joe Jackson's son or being so massively successful or both, Normalcy was never a hallmark from birth forward.

He literally shopped his way into financial ruination, trying to fill what need?

A brilliant and ultimately wasted talent and a bizarre empty life.

I cant Believe that Michael Jackson has passed away. He will be missed by many and are paryiers are with his family

Michael you were my first musical hero and you will always be my biggest. You are one of the biggest reasons I love music. I will always love you.

Brilliant but bizarre sums it up. Michael Jackson was blessed with talent but possibly could have been so much more. It's just not for us to say. Family, excessive wealth, excessive fame? Who knows. Brilliant, definitely. But....

One of the biggest stars ever. Your genius will be missed.

Michael left his great footprints for the rest of the upcoming brilliant young musicians to follow. God bless his soul.

GDA--I think that in addition to shopping, MJ lost A LOT of money in settling lawsuits related to his allegedly inappropriate contact with children. I read that he was in the neighborhood of $400M in debt when he died! I'd be interested to see what his estimated earnings were in his life, but I don't know how you can shop yourself into that kind of debt (it'd be fun to try though!).

June has been a tough month on celebrities. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, Koko Taylor, Ed McMahon and now, the biggest loss of all, Billy Mays.

R.I.P. Billy. The ShamWow guy will never fill the void left by your sudden and early departure.

Earlier the month British bookies were taking bets Jacko would cancel his tour.

Those Brit bookmakers always seem to have a sixth sense.

Not sure we should immortalize a child molester. Seems in bas taste.

for a guy that was dubbed "Wacko Jacko" and bought his way out of early pedophile claims, he's getting one hell of send off by almost everyone. do people have short memories or way too forgiving?

While a great musical talent and entertainer, he was straight up W-E-I-R-D! I lost a lot of respect for him when he started to "allegedly" touch kids.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "z" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected