My first memory of Michael Jackson was when he had won his Grammy for the "Thriller" album. My family had then bought the Grammy Awards cassette tape, a collection of 20 (I think) of the winning songs from the year. Two of those songs were "Beat It" and "Billie Jean". And they were so good that my sister and I added them to our own mixtapes. (And yes, I'm that old!)
Then, for a moment, I stopped listening to his songs because I learned that he was a Jehovah's Witness and his albums supposedly made use of "backward masking". But as I grew older and more discerning, I came to enjoy his songs for what they were: fun, little ditties that got me dancing (though I don't dance).
It was also around this time that I became a big fan of his song, "Heal the World", for its strong message of hope. Through some reason, this song came out at the time that Superman died in the landmark Superman #75 comic. As a result, when I hear the song or read the comic, I'm reminded of the other.
I don't remember when, but I remember being amazed at his music video, no, short film for his "Bad" album, in particular, the segment for "Smooth Criminal". The part when he and his dancers leaned forward at an impossible angle harkened back to his other slick dance move, the legendary Moonwalk, which I never failed to perfect.
A few years back, I finally decided to put down some good money for his "HIStory" album. It was a collection of his hit songs, and listening to it was like taking a trip down memory lane.
And this is what I'll remember the King of Pop for. Not his bizarre antics or his ever-changing appearance or his criminal trials. Like many fans, I'll remember him for his music. My parents' generation had Elvis Presley, we'll have Michael Jackson.
I think we'd all like to think that Facebook is the only social network service that we should care about due to its immense reach. But the thing I like to remind myself about Singapore is that we're a very Western influenced country, unlike the rest of the region. As a result, though we follow the U.S. and European trends, our neighbours may not.