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Tamara Conniff Headshot

We Killed Michael Jackson

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Where were all the weeping fans, the artists who hail him as their hero, the radio DJs who can't stop playing his music? Where were they 10 years ago? Oh right. Everyone thought Michael Jackson was a freak -- a plastic surgery addicted child molester. His last studio album "Invincible," released 2001, failed to garner a true hit single because radio stations refused to play the songs. Music critics tore him to shreds. He was blackballed. People made fun of him, he was considered a washed-up, has-been, crazy person.

The success of "Thriller," which has sold over 110 million copies worldwide and counting, can never be matched. ("Invincible," for the record managed to sell a respectable 13 million copies worldwide to date. No artist can keep up that kind of string of hits. He put his heart and soul into every new recording he did, but judgment had already been cast before anyone heard the music.

He was a desperate man in pain and everyone threw stones at him. Now it's fashionable to be a Michael Jackson fan. Radio stations now play his music on heavy rotation. His albums are flying off the shelves. Urban Outfitters even carries a commemorative vinyl collection that hipsters can frame and put on their walls. Suddenly the entire world has rediscovered Michael Jackson. He's dead damn it. Imagine what this kind of love would have done for him while he was living? Maybe then he wouldn't need drugs to sleep.

Michael's body was still warm when celebrities, music execs, family members and even his personal staffed whored themselves to TV news programs professing to be Michaels' best friends. People who didn't even know him were releasing statements. Where were these so-called best friends when Michael needed an intervention? Needed help? Nowhere. Yes, some tried, and Michael would not listen -- so keep trying!

Things had gotten so strange in Michael's world, that before he signed with AEG to do a string of concerts, one management company was trying to convince him to be 'virtual Michael.' No joke -- they were going to set up a 3D Internet portal so Michael could interact with the world without leaving his house. That's enough to make anyone feel nuts.

The AEG deal gave him new life. It brought him back to what he does best -- perform, be in front of fans, be around humans. Only the inner sanctum at AEG believed in him. The public and the pundits were waiting for him to fail. Many fans who bought tickets to the sold out concerts just wanted to go to see a historic spectacle, hoping they would witness a car crash.

We killed Michael Jackson. We helped create his gilded cage and then we rejected him. Death serves you well Michael, the world is finally acknowledging the amazing force of nature you were. You changed the face of music. Rest in peace.