On a day already saddened by the passing of another American icon (Farrah Fawcett), this news somehow stings all the more. For those of us who were alive in the 80's and witnessed his fame at its height, there will never be an equal.
As I think back to my childhood, MJ was one of the first cassette tapes I was ever given. He was the first musical artist that I ever remember lip synching to, and was probably the beginning of my love for music. On top of that, I have such a vivid memory of Thriller (the music video). When it first premiered on television (on every major network in primetime) and ran on MTV constantly, I couldn't watch it because it scared me so much. I would run to my room, shut the door (then crack it), and watch the TV through the crack. Even now, seeing that video transports me back to my old house, standing behind a door, holding the doorknob above my head.
And now a new memory will be entered alongside all the others. Where was I when I heard of his death? I was at my Great Aunt's house cooking dinner for my family. I got a text from a former student, but I thought he was mistaken. Then, the news came over the TV.
I'm not sure that there will ever be another entertainer quite like him. His music will live on, inspiring other musicians (as it did me), forever...