I know I will. :)
I have been a long-time fan of Michael's for going on 16 years now. My very first album (ever) was his 1987 release "Bad". I was around 8 years old at the time -- and I recalled lying on my bed with one of the older school cd boom boxes propped in my window. As the sun went down, I would turn off the lights and click on this tape and play it for hours and hours...
Tracks like "Bad", "Speed Demon", "Smooth Criminal" and "Liberian Girl" melted the night air....
It was magical.
Later on I would collect his albums, attempt the moonwalk (unsuccessfully ;), and become inspired by his music videos, style, determination and work ethic.
My beautiful mother (who bought that first MJ cassette for me) even told me once that she thought that it was made in the stars for me to be so into Michael Jackson. It just so happens that I was born the very same day that his hair caught on fire in that Pepsi commercial (January 25th, 1984).
Mom told me that she watched the news coverage on the TV when she was in the hospital with newborn-me and informed me with a laugh that that was really what started my admiration for the man. ;)
On Thursday evening -- she called me to tell me that she had burst into tears when she heard that he was gone. :(
Am I saying that I believe that Michael Jackson was some sort of saint?
As everyone in the press has pointed out (and will for many months to come), Michael had a lot of demons.
He was a supernova of a talent who was plagued by bad judgement, low self esteem, distorted perceptions, and a shady inner circle that enabled him to self destruct.
I'm not denying this.
However....that's not the way I want to remember him.
I want to remember the first time I listened to "Bad" all the way through or the electricity I felt the first time I saw "Scream" for the first time or how badly I wanted to dance the way he did in "The Remember the Time" video.
I want to remember the way I felt the first time I saw the man DANCE.
For all of his glaring flaws, the man has left me with a lot of joyful and -- yes -- magical memories that I'll keep forever. Like a lot of other fans, I am beyond shocked and heartbroken and without the words to really express what his music and artistry meant to me.
Where words fail ...I tried to fill in the gaps with my art. I don't know if that effort was even remotely successful, but just know that it is coming straight from my heart.
Below is my all-time favorite summation of the amazing legacy that Michael is leaving behind: