In Memoriam

Published:  02:04 AM, 25 June 2020

Recalling 'King of Pop' and his humanitarian outlook

Recalling 'King of Pop' and his humanitarian outlook

Michael Jackson, famously known as 'King of Pop' who made the entire world dance on his music was the most popular entertainer during his time while he has millions of fans worldwide till today. Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, United States. By 1984, Jackson was renowned as the 'King of Pop' worldwide.

On June 25, 2009, he died at the age of 50 at his home in Los Angeles, California, after suffering from a cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs given to him by his personal physician. Just before his death, Jackson was working on a song based on climate change which was disclosed by Deepak Chopra (An Indian born-American Author) in a report of Telegraph UK in the year 2009.

According to Telegraph UK report, the author who knew the singer for 20 years also told that Jackson had recorded a demo of the track and was drafting the lyrics. Well, before this, in his entire lifetime, Michael Jackson expressed his care about various issues through hard-hitting words in his songs.

He was way ahead of his time, the times when pop songs were at the peak, he put his words on the earth's plight highlighting the climatic condition. Along with this, when he faced criticism about his skin color, he spotlighted on the major issue of racial inequality in his songs, that exists in society. 

Michael Jackson was a big advocate for environmental issues and global peace and this song was based on changing climatic conditions in the environment. Today we can see climate change is to a great extent responsible for the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

A few lines from one of his songs on climate change can be quoted here. It is known as Michael Jackson's Earth Song."Did you ever stop to notice All the blood we've shed before Did you ever stop to notice This crying Earth, these weeping shores."

Michael Jackson's song "Human Nature" was released in 1982. This song speaks of humanity in a moving and melancholic way. Here are a few lines from this song. "What about sunrise What about rain What about all the things that you said We were to gain What about killing fields Is there a time What about all the things That you said were yours and mine."

Michael Jackson addressed racial inequality with this songs. He whitened his skin as a protest against racism. Unfortunately, this is still relevant to the current scenario in the society.

July 7, 2009 file photo, the Jackson brothers Randy Jackson (from back, left), Marlon Jackson and Tito Jackson, and (from front left) Jermaine Jackson and Jackie Jackson carry the casket at the memorial service for the late pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009.    -AP

He faced criticism about his skin colour by a lot of critics as to why his skin changed to white from black. Some words from one of his songs "Black and White" are given below. "I took my baby on a Saturday bang Boy is that girl with you Yes we're one and the same.Now I believe in miracles And a miracle has happened tonight But, if you're think in' about my baby It don't matter if you're black or white."

Racism is still glaringly present in the United States. The death of a black American named George Floyd by a white American policeman triggered massive demonstrations all over America a few weeks ago.

It reminds us of Martin Luther King who fought against racism all his life.Martin Luther King, leader of civil rights movement in America, gave an outstanding speech in Washington at a huge gathering on 23rd August 1963 around 57 years ago.

This speech became known as "I have a dream" which was broadcast on television all over America. This speech instantly became recognized as one of the finest ever speeches in history. This speech, which Martin Luther King delivered standing before Lincoln Memorial, has immortalized him.

Martin Luther King described his dream about America like a divine gospel. He asserted that racism was destroying the whole nation, not just the black Americans.

He also put forward his optimism about the future America where everyone would be treated equally. He portrayed his dream to America as well as to the whole world.Martin Luther King once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do it. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do it."

During the 1980s, fights were a lot more common in schools as they are now. The punishments were less severe, and schools didn't have zero-tolerance rules during that time. One of the important issues was bullying. This hit by Jackson from 1983 was based on the same subject.

Let's look at some lines from another song by Michael Jackson."You have to show them that you're really not scared You're play in' with your life, this ain't no truth or dare They'll kick you, then they beat you,Then they'll tell you it's fair So beat it, but you want to be bad."

This song came out in 1979 is all about letting go of the challenges just for the night and was Michael's debut album without the Jackson 5. Balancing a good time in between all his activities as a student can be challenging and this is what has been the main theme of the song.

"When the world is on your shoulder Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down If you can't hang with the feelin 'Then there ain't no room for you this part of town 'Cause we're the party people night and day Livin' crazy that's the only way."

Jackson 5 became a worldwide sensation in 1969 with the release of their first Motown album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael were five brothers who became one of the biggest pop groups in music history. The Jackson family is perhaps one of the most famous families in entertainment.

Michael Jackson's songs were way ahead of the time and these songs should become the youth anthem.Black and white people all are equal. All belong to this world. Equity, justice, love and humanity make this world a beautiful place to live like the following song which was composed by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. This song is focused on next generation and children. This is one of the humanitarian songs that touch me most.

"We are the world We are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving There's a choice we're making We're saving our own lives It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me Oh, send them your heart So they know that someone cares And their lives will be stronger and freeAs God has shown us by turning stones to bread And so we all must lend a helping hand We are the world."

Fraternity and compassion within the people of all colours and creeds was Michael Jackson's dream.Michael Jackson was truly an inspiration. Today is his death anniversary. We pray for his departed soul to rest in eternal peace.

The writer is a diplomat, entrepreneur, author and Chairman of Editorial Board of The Asian Age.

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