His personal life was a mess, but he was the ultimate showman. He wrote his own songs, and developed a dance style which every young kid wanted to emulate. Young kids today are still trying to emulate him. His pop videos were in a class of their own, and many pop stars owe their success to the ground rules set by him.
His ‘Thriller’ album of 1983 was the biggest selling album of all time, and was part of the 750 million albums sold in his name. The accompanying video defined ‘pop’ videos and was a major factor in the initial success of MTV.
Unfortunately, like many stars, he became a victim of medication abuse, partly brought on by use of prescription drugs used to overcome the pain from injuries sustained while perfecting his craft.
His behaviour was a little weird, but what can we expect from somebody who never had the experience of being a regular kid. Accusations of child abuse and generally poor health in the last years of his life drove him to be a recluse. Since 2007, he was trying to rebuild his career. As I type this, the cause of death is not known. The world will have to wait for toxicology reports.
Rest In Peace, Michael. It is most likely the first you have ever known..