August 29 marks Michael Jackson’s 65th birthday.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Volumes have been written about Michael Jackson (1958-2009). How to fit his life into a single note? Maybe we’ll talk about it through five of his famous albums.
This is one of many Jackson 5 albums where little Jackson sang along with his brothers; It stands out for the fact that there is a great pop song, Can You Feel It?, for which the group is mainly remembered today. Already then everyone admired Michael’s professionalism and voice, said that he was “an adult in a child’s body” (in ten years they will say, on the contrary, that he is a child in an adult’s body).
The group was formed by the brothers’ father, Joe Jackson, who turned Michael’s childhood into a nightmare. He could easily beat him. He scared him (one night he climbed through the window wearing a monster mask, after which his son suffered painful nightmares for many years). He also told Michael all the time that he had a “fat nose”. This became a curse for him, he developed a mental illness called dysmorphophobia (when a person, some part of the body, or, for example, his own face, seems unbearably ugly). This is a very serious story, something similar to anorexia: out of despair, a person can commit suicide or, like Jackson, endlessly resort to the services of plastic surgeons. In the end, Michael made his nose repulsively thin and he still could not calm down (but it was no longer possible to carry out operations: everything in the nose area was completely destroyed).
They also say that Michael was castrated by his father. Not literally, but… According to Dr. Conrad Murray, who treated Jackson for many years, Joseph Jackson injected the boy with sex hormones to slow down puberty and prevent his voice from cracking. Murray is the same doctor who finally gave Michael a fatal injection of propofol, a drug that helped the singer, exhausted by insomnia, “turn off” (after this injection, he no longer woke up). But on the other hand, Murray has spent hours talking to Jackson and knows a lot about him…
Meanwhile, in 1980, Michael simply has an unhappy childhood, about which almost no one outside the family knows. And no one can predict the dire consequences of it.
Jackson’s second independent album, which produced the effect of a bomb explosion. It went down in history as the best-selling album in the world: according to official figures, more than 50 million copies were sold, and according to unofficial data – 70. This record has not yet been broken and is unlikely to be broken. . Michael wanted to create a record where “every song would kill the listener” and had several all-time hits: the title track, Beat It, and of course, Billie Jean.
At the same time, the period of work on the album for Michael was rather sad. He said in an interview: “Even at home I feel lonely. Sometimes I sit in my room and cry. It is very difficult to make friends with someone. After all, there are things that cannot be discussed with parents or relatives. Sometimes I wander around the neighborhood at night hoping to find someone to talk to. But I always come home.”
This was said by the famous singer, who already had millions of fans, including some crazy ones. A girl wrote dozens of letters to him, where she claimed that he was the father of her child. In the end, she said that they should commit suicide together. She indicated the exact moment that she would kill the child and kill herself, and demanded that Michael do it at the same time as her. After that, the letters stopped coming. It turned out that the girl was placed in a psychiatric hospital. This is how the song Billie Jean came about. Billie Jean is the name of a girl who claims to have given birth to the hero’s son, while he himself insists: “She is not my lover, this is not my son!”.
The title track is inspired by a story read in a magazine about a young man who escaped the ghetto, went to a good school, but returned to his hometown on Thanksgiving and was murdered by envious ex-boyfriends. Jackson was going to record it as a duet with Prince and stage a dance battle in the video clip, but Prince was fine with the idea. (Surprisingly, many refused to collaborate with Jackson: for example, the song I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, he wanted to record with Barbara Streisand, then with Whitney Houston, and they both said “No”).
Martin Scorsese agreed to shoot an 18-minute video, even a mini-movie, of the song Bad, and overall it was a disaster: Jackson taught the teacher how to direct the video, insisted that everything should look like West Side Story (a movie that adored, going literally crazy with the choreography of Jerome Robbins). The budget tripled, the critics booed the clip, but today it is clear that Jackson shows himself to be the greatest dancer in the history of pop music.
At the same time, for publicity purposes, Jackson began spreading rumors that he slept in a pressure chamber to live to be 150 years old. And then, that he goes to buy the skeleton of the Elephant Man, an unfortunate Briton named John Merrick, who lived in the 19th century and became a phenomenon due to illness. Jackson liked to be seen as eccentric, but as a result, he came to be seen as a lunatic. The journalists themselves began to invent new gossip: that he wants to marry Elizabeth Taylor, that he bathes only in expensive Evian mineral water, and, finally, that he had plastic surgery, transplanted someone else’s skin to become white. (Actually, Jackson suffered from vitiligo, a disease in which areas of the skin turn milky white; he had to choose whether to cover white or black areas, and eventually began to cover black areas.)
Black or White, the first single from this great album, is about racism, but also about gossip, which we talked about earlier. And the title Dangerous is about a girl, divinely beautiful, but “bad” and “dangerous”. The video was never shot, it was not released as a single, because Michael himself was soon considered dangerous. Suspicions arose that he was a pedophile and corrupt children. On August 23, 1993, 13-year-old Jordan Chandler announced that the singer had had sexual contact with him. Jackson had to defend himself against this accusation for a long time. He did have the strange habit of sleeping with children in the same bed, but this, apparently, was the result of his clinical infantilism.
Supporting Jackson are James Safechuck and Wade Robson, two other guys who slept with him and nothing happened (let’s remember those names). In the end, Jackson pays the Chandler family $25 million; However, according to the official version, this is not an admission of guilt, he is simply tired and wants them to shut up forever. They were silent.
In September 1993, Jackson came to impoverished post-perestroika Russia to give a concert in support of Dangerous at Luzhniki Stadium. He becomes a sensation. Jackson walks around Moscow, marches on the parade ground with the Tamanskaya division (it is clear that he loves to play soldiers), takes pictures on Red Square … The concert itself is not very successful: it is raining, to Jackson it is difficult for him to dance on a wet stage, and it is difficult for the audience to look at him from under umbrellas.
Double album where half of the songs are “Greatest Hits” and the other half are new songs. In particular, You’re Not Alone, one of his worst compositions; In the clip, he appears half-naked with his new wife, Lisa Marie Presley. Journalists suggest that the marriage was entered into in large part to defend himself against accusations of child abuse. Soon, Jackson and Presley divorced, according to Lisa Marie, because “they felt more like partners than lovers.” In 1996, Jackson remarries nurse Debbie Rowe, and she gives birth to two children. Surprisingly, they are both white, even though his father is black.
And the best song on HIStory was Stranger In Moscow, in which Jackson sings about loneliness and cold, feeling in danger, like a stranger in Moscow, with Armageddon on his mind and hot on the heels of the KGB. .
HIStory is Jackson’s last serious album. He no longer had anything comparable to his first masterpieces. In the 21st century, Michael expected a huge child molestation lawsuit (he was acquitted) and an untimely death that shocked the world.
Life after death
Jackson’s records sold incredibly well even after his passing: he became “the richest dead artist” in history. However, in 2019, the case smelled like kerosene. The four-hour documentary Leaving Neverland has been released, in which choreographer Wade Robson and actor James Safechuck describe in detail how Michael Jackson sexually abused them over the years. True or not, go and find out. Both the singer’s fans and his family say that everything is a lie. After all, earlier Robson and Safechuck foamed at the mouth and declared that he didn’t even think of corrupting them (and now they say they lied because the artist supposedly had irresistible power over them).
Let’s remember that Safechuck is an actor who knows how to portray suffering in front of the camera. And at the same time, a loser actor. And Robson, who once hosted his show on MTV and worked with Britney Spears, was impressed with his career. Maybe they just want attention and more fame? They filed lawsuits against the companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, owned by the singer; they claim that the employees of these offices helped Jackson in one way or another to carry out his atrocities. The claims were rejected a couple of times, but it was decided the other day that the trial would still go ahead. Lawyers for the Jacksonian companies argue that both men are driven solely by a desire to make easy money. We will soon find out what can be included in the case, except for baseless accusations and tremors in the voice.