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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 2:13 pm | Fair 63º


Commentary: Jackson Leaves Legacy of a Star

The King of Pop is guilty only of creating some of the best music ever

There were the stories. There were the trials — one civil, one criminal. There were plastic surgeries, so many that only the physician or physicians who performed them kept count. He altered his skin color from that of a black man to the ghastly shadow of a white man.

Above all of that grief, however, stood Michael Jackson, King of Pop. His earliest songs made American pop music what it is today.

Jackson once said he felt safer on a stage than around people. Others described him as an intellectual, loving, well-read. He also was described as “wacko,” painfully insecure and, finally, shattered by the allegations of child abuse.

Jackson the superstar was born into a family of performers, and soon his talents surpassed them all. For decades, his career flourished; the other members of the Jackson Five faded from public view. Only his sister, Janet, has enjoyed a portion of the limelight in which Jackson lived. And died.

In offices, coffeehouses and on the Web, there seems to be a split between those who think Jackson was a pedophile and deserved to be punished for his crimes, and those who think he reigned as a global superstar who could do no wrong.

The likelier scenario is that Jackson was both of those people. If he wasn’t guilty of criminal activity, he certainly was guilty of using poor judgment when it came to charges that he allowed gullible youngsters to share his bed.

He was, in life and now death, a star at songwriting, music and dance. He inspired generations of youngsters who now are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. People who, like myself, drifted off to sleep last night with “Thriller,” “Billie Jean” or “Ben” echoing in their heads.

Was he guilty of molestation? Did he fool a jury of his peers? Does it really matter, now? No.

In my mind, Jackson’s guilty only of creating some of the best dance music this world has ever known.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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