I'm starting to believe that's a destination; the next step in life once you get that title.
It seems we're living in a world where people build you up just so they can break you down. No one has ever really come back to the level that got them there in the first place.
So I ask you, was there a stage left big enough for Mike to moonwalk on that would have satisfied the hunger of someone who is beyond great? Honestly, I don't think so. I said it plenty of times to every artist I've worked with: if I were to produce a record that sold over 40 million, you people would never see me again in that light. Cause, after all the applause, award winning and love comes the hate, in all forms, sizes and shapes, and you can only ignore it for so long before the competitor in you is awakened. After a while, that hate starts making you think it's possible to outdo what's already been done. Mike had already achieved something that no one else could. That was his destiny.
When the media first started reporting on his death I was in New York. The minute I heard the news I was on the plane LA. As soon as I touched down the coverage started blowing up, and in all those reports they talked about "Thriller" being the biggest-selling album ever, then jumped right to, "But after that, he could never seem to top that and his legal problems, etc, etc."
First off, no one; I repeat NO ONE, has topped that and never will!!! Even in death he's done something no other artist has done before: He broke records by being the first artist eva to sell 2.5 million downloaded songs, and counting! As of today, he owns the entire top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. No artist living today can match that.
But back to my original point: This being a world-stopping moment, I got a chance to view this world I live in for what it really is. I've felt that pressure cooker that the public puts you through when you've achieved a certain level of success and no one gives you props for what you've already done. Instead, they say, "So, whatchu got for us now? What's next?"
Don't let that small mindset take away from what a great artist has already given us. No one can touch what he did. We were blessed to have someone with his incredible talent living among us. God put Mike here to do what he did and wasn't gonna allow the devil and his helpers to destroy something so beautiful. He put him on the biggest stage of all. The whole world loved Mike, and Mike gave that love for his fans back tenfold. No one, not even President Obama, can top that.
Quincy Jones said it all the other day in his tribute to Mike on a blog post for the Los Angeles Times.
"This blessed artist commanded the stage with the grace of an antelope, shattered recording industry records and broke down cultural boundaries around the world, yet remained the gentlest of souls. Michael Jackson was a different kind of entertainer. A man-child in many ways, he was beyond professional and dedicated. Evoking Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr. and James Brown all at once, he'd work for hours, perfecting every kick, gesture and movement so that they came together precisely the way they were intended to. Together we shared the '80s, achieving heights that I can humbly say may never be reached again and reshaped the music business forever."
Beyond great is the place Mike holds in our hearts for eternity. It was part of God's plan.
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