Blazing King of Pop, infrugal debtor, aberrant appearance alterer

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JULY 01, 2009 7:21 AM

Michael Jackson: The Good

Michael Jackson, a man of extremes, was never simply good. When he was low, he sunk way low, but when he was “good,” he was the all-out blazing King of Pop. His achievements in the musical industry are too lengthy to list, but a quick search on YouTube reveals thousands of awe-inspiring moments in the spectacular life of Jackson — unveiling a small portion of the enormous effect he had on his business and his fans.

He was a natural-born performer. In the Jackson 5, as early as age 8, he fronted the band with his amazing vocal ability, his stupendous stage presence, and his feet that grew increasingly invulnerable to the laws of friction. He was impervious to failure, and in 1982, he cemented his spot in pop music history with the release of the record-breaking album, Thriller. The album contained such songs as the demandingly danceable “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and the title track, “Thriller,” all of which produced a caliber of music video that had never been seen before.

Aside from releasing the world’s best-selling album in history and forging the art of the music video, Jackson continued to blaze trails and blow minds in his later career. His live performances, such as 1995’s MTV Video Music Awards, ensured that he would not be forgotten as the King of Pop and one of the most gifted performers to ever grace the world’s stages.

— by Ryan Fosmark

Michael Jackson: The Bad

The best financial move Michael Jackson ever made was when he paid $47.5 million in 1985 to purchase the Beatles’ catalogue.

His more private money problems weren’t nearly as savvy — he spent millions of dollars on various paintings, purchased a chimp named Bubbles, and spontaneously jet-setted around the world.

He supposedly earned $700 million from the 1980s to the present but sank most of it in his Neverland Ranch, in court, lawyer, and settlement fees for various child-molestation cases, and in his escape from the United States to the Middle East after his 2005 acquittal.

Neverland Ranch, located in California, housed its own amusement park and zoo and required titanic amounts of money to maintain as well as to pay the nearly 150 employees. When Jackson defaulted on a $24.5 million loan in 2008, he almost lost his precious retreat.

Soon, Jackson would have gone on tour — something sure to help revive his tanking finances. Obviously, the tour can’t happen, and the concert promoter is looking at losses of almost $100 million through pre-show investments and ticket refunds, among other expenses. Of course, that depends on what kind of insurance claim can be filed based on cause-of-death.

In death, he is estimated as being $500 million in debt. That, folks, is definitely bad.

— by Ellen Harris

Michael Jackson: The Ugly

Some say America is the only country where a young black boy can evolve with age into a white woman. Michael Jackson may be the only reference to that cliché.

In his later years, he was known for the frequent altering of his appearance. The two most recognized shifts in his look were, of course, his skin and nose.

The skin — spontaneously lightened during the ’80s — garnered more reaction than his 1987 album Bad, and with it came a plethora of excuses. Most widely speculated was that Jackson had been bleaching his skin. It is, however most aptly explained by his apparent vitiligo.

The nation can excuse a skin disease, but when it comes to his thinning — and ultimately disappearing — nose, there is little room left to be kind. The numerous surgeries he received on his nose became so frequent and overdone that it began to almost deteriorate — leaving behind an exposed nasal cavity that he allegedly covered up with surgical masks.

It seems as if Jackson used plastic surgery as a way to cover alleged deep-seated emotional issues — something of which he should never be judged.

While he may be idolized by earlier generations as the stud who had all of the confidence in the world, many 20-somethings will forever remember him as a celebrity who was, unfortunately, painfully ugly.

— by Kristen Peters

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