Elvis Presley & Michael Jackson
Parallels in lives, deaths of Michael Jackson and Elvis
- But Presley's path was Trailblazing:
- By Bob Mehr - Memphis Commercial Appeal
See Below for all the Michael Jackson / Elvis Presley stories
Parallels in lives, deaths of Michael Jackson and Elvis - But Presley's path was Trailblazing:
MEMPHIS - The death hadn't even been confirmed, the body not yet cold, before the comparisons were being made.
The passing of Michael Jackson on Thursday afternoon re-ignited the occasional debate between the King of Pop and Elvis Presley, "The King" of rock and roll.
In the hours after Jackson's passing, Canadian songbird Celine Dion claimed it felt "like when (President John) Kennedy died, when Elvis Presley died. We are not only talking about a talented person dying, it's an amazing loss."
The articles analyzing the similarities between Jackson and Presley have been ubiquitous and inevitable over the last 72 hours. Even Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde declared, "The world just lost the biggest pop star in history, no matter how you cut it."
Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, but his personal life may haunt his legacy.
But is there really a case to be made that Jackson's and Presley's places in the pantheon of popular culture were as similar as some suggest?
Certainly, parallels between the two do exist. Both were born poor and became massive music icons on a global scale (though Jackson may have the slight advantage there as Presley never performed outside of North America.) Each sold hundreds of millions of records and reached unimaginable levels of fame and wealth before experiencing rapid personal and professional descents (and, of course, there's the matter of Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie, who was married briefly to Jackson in the mid-'90s)
"Like Elvis, Jackson unified black and white listeners, and made startlingly important, memorable, and era-defining music," says writer and music historian Alanna Nash, author of several Elvis books, including a groundbreaking biography of Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker. "Jackson was also a completely luminous performer - you couldn't take your eyes off of him - and part of it was because you sensed that this was an extraordinarily damaged boy-man, again, like Elvis, a Peter Pan, a puer aeternus (Latin for "eternal boy")."
But unlike Jackson - whose gaudy sales figures and personal excesses defined him - Presley's impact and lasting relevance were part of a larger cultural phenomenon.
Elvis Presley had an impact on the culture of an entire generation.
"Elvis emerged at a point in history where our culture was ready to turn itself upside down," says Dr. John Bakke, a professor emeritus of the University of Memphis' Department of Communication, who staged the first scholarly conference on Elvis in 1979. "From the Depression on to World War II and then into the Cold War, there was a real drive towards security. Elvis came along at just the time the first identifiable generation of teenagers were about to substitute a drive for freedom for their parents' drive for security.
"With the change in values came a change in music and you had the impact of what became rock and roll. Elvis stood at the cusp of that generational revolution."
As Nash notes, Presley's was a trailblazing path. "Where Elvis co-created a musical art form, Michael largely built on one. Where Elvis changed sexual mores in the conservative wake of World War II, Michael only made shocking crotch-grabbing movements. And where Elvis, expanding on James Dean's work, harnessed a burgeoning youth culture, Michael only drew more attention to it," says Nash. "He did it brilliantly ... but his cultural impact pales in comparison to Presley's."
Beyond their impact in life, the question now is whether a cult will spring up around Jackson in death similar to the one that grew around Presley.
Given the particular nature of Jackson's legal and personal troubles over the past decade, it's hard to imagine millions of tourists visiting Jackson's childhood home in Gary, Ind., or his former Neverland Ranch complex in California the way Presley pilgrims - young and old - turn up at Graceland each year.
"There will always be throngs of people who will mourn and revere (Jackson)," says Nash. "But because his personal life was so outsized, peculiar, and tainted with scandal far more lurid than Presley's drug abuse, I can't see him morphing into the Disney-zed figure that Elvis has become.
"It's far easier to overlook Elvis's peccadilloes than Michael's," she adds. "Elvis was beautiful, sexy, and fun. Michael was sweet, strange, and sad. Who wants to see that on a lunchbox?"
Bakke also points out that the worlds in which Presley and Jackson lived and died in were dramatically different.
"In general people weren't interested in (Elvis) personally or that interested in their pop culture figures the way they are now. It was a big deal when one of the networks actually led their newscast with Elvis' death. Compare that to what you're seeing with Jackson - it's totally night and day."
Like Jackson, Elvis' reputation had, by the end of his life, been damaged to some extent (by his divorce, rumors of drugs and diminishing commercial success). But Presley's image was rehabilitated posthumously. Due largely to the continuing efforts by the Elvis Presley Enterprises and RCA records, he's remained a relevant, romantic and iconic figure for successive generations of fans. (Through a spokesman, Elvis Presley Enterprises declined to comment.)
While Jackson's later years rarely saw him create or put out new music, Elvis continued recording up until his death, amassing a voluminous catalog of material - touching on rock, pop, country and gospel - that could be released and repackaged for years to come. "Suddenly after Elvis died, there was a vacuum," notes Bakke, "and there was plenty to fill up the void: RCA started packaging and marketing to those interests."
The opportunity for Jackson to be remembered and rehabilitated will be more complicated given his chaotic family and financial circumstances. Elvis had strong supporters in Priscilla and Parker, as well as a small army of business interests eager to keep his flame burning. Who will step in and play the same custodial role for Jackson? At this point it's hard to say.
The only thing that's clear now is that the tragedy of Jackson's life and death might prove mere foreshadowing for what awaits his legacy.
Written by Bob Mehr of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Click here to original article
Comparing Two Icons.
Died: 50 years old
Age began performing: 8
Albums sold: 750 million
Grammy Awards: 13
Film appearances: 6
Died: 42 years old
Age began performing: 18
Albums sold: 1.3 billion
Grammy Awards: 3
Film appearances: 31
From the Dance moves to love of animals, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson are eerily similar.
The only thing not being noted is that ELVIS CAME FIRST!
As cultural touchstones, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley invite comparison, but as individuals they also shared traits.
Their personal lives shared numerous elements, for better or worse:
Both careers involved "moves" that were part of their attraction. Elvis' moves earned him the nickname "Elvis the Pelvis." Later, he would include karate moves in his act. Jackson's legendary "Moonwalk" was just one part of a dance-heavy act.
Costumes came to symbolize both. Elvis had popularized capes and beaded jumpsuits in Las Vegas. Jackson, known as the "'gloved one," also popularized other distinctive clothes including braided military-style jackets.
Obsessive personality traits were part of their lives. Both were musical perfectionists, spending long hours in the studio doing take after take until they were satisfied. Jackson was obsessed with his appearance, including his notorious morphing through plastic surgery and a meager diet to keep a "dancer's body." Elvis obsessed about everything, sometimes eating meatloaf every night for two weeks at a time. He wore out friends when he insisted they play Yahtzee with him over and over and over.
Both kept animals at their ranches (Neverland for Jackson, the Circle G for Elvis). Elvis, who loved horses, also had peacocks, dogs and a chimpanzee named Scatter. Jackson, who had a zoo at Neverland, had a chimpanzee named Bubbles.
Elvis escaped with whispers and occasional finger-pointing for bringing the underage Priscilla Presley to Memphis from Germany, while Jackson was accused of pedophilia in connection with children's overnight visits to Neverland.
Drugs became part of their lives. Elvis eventually became addicted to prescription drugs and died of a heart attack that may have been triggered by polypharmacy. Jackson, who resorted to painkillers while defending himself against pedophilia charges, canceled part of his "Dangerous World Tour" to go into rehab. Investigators now are looking at drugs as a possible cause of his death.
Written by Michael Lollar of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Elvis or Michael Jackson -
who is the bigger star?
Click HERE for our Spotlight on who is bigger
|Elvis Presley & Michael Jackson, A legacy for the ages: August is a big month for the Kings of Pop and Rock & Roll.
Michael Jackson was born in August of 1958, and Elvis Presley died in August of 1977.
As we all know, Michael Jackson passed away earlier this summer at the mere age of 50, while Elvis was only 42 when he died. Now that both of the Kings have passed away, people are beginning to wonder who's "legacy" will last longer.
Now, of course you have to take all of this with a grain of salt because times have changed! There is NO accurate way to gauge if MJ will remain more popular than Elvis in the long run. Each artist had an unmeasurable impact on the music world (and many other industries.) And each artist changed the way we listen to, look at, and understand music.
|I once heard on the news that Miley Cyrus had surpassed Elvis in overall popularity. How is this proven? They didn't say. Lets look at it though, Miley Cyrus has a much better shot at being seen hundreds of thousands Americans every minute of every day thanks to advancements in technology. Elvis on the other hand, obviously didn't have tools like the Internet to help fuel his success.
For much of MJ's career, the Internet was either non-existant or in a very young state. But if someone said on the news that Miley Cyrus had surpassed Michael Jackson in popularity, most people would have a conniption. Why is this? It could be the very recent passing of MJ. Or it could even be people taking offense to someone comparing Hannah Montana to one of the greatest performers to ever live.
Many original Elvis fans are still around and just as big a fan now as they were the first time they heard The King. Someone like me, however, might not have as big an attachment to Elvis because I was never around for his reign of stardom. When I heard that Michael Jackson died I simply could not believe it. I'm no super fan by any means, but it hit me that I don't know a life without Michael Jackson in it. Im sure that when Elvis died, there were people who felt the same way.
So who's legacy will live on forever (or at least longer?) No one really can say. The only way that anyone could judge it would be if both stars had equal amounts of revenue, fans, and popularity along with careers that would have to be as near identical as possible.
Only time will be able to tell who's legacy will reign supreme. And in reality, in years down the line, the "results" will be skewed anyway because of obvious (and listed) reasons. Some might argue to say that with no Elvis there would be no Michael Jackson. You be the judge.
- By Derek Heidemann.
Go here to EIN's Elvis / Michael Jackson Spotlight
TV Special on lives and deaths of Elvis and Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson (R), the "King of Pop", seen in an April 1995 file photo with Lisa Marie Presley in Los Angeles, died from a heart attack in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009. He was 50 years old.
TV Guide Network says it plans to air a U.S. TV special on what it calls "eerie similarities" in the lives and deaths of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. The one-hour program "Michael and Elvis: A Tale of Two Kings" is slated to premiere Sunday.
"TV Guide Network examines the eerie similarities surrounding the lives and untimely deaths of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. From the mega-stars' pop culture monikers -- 'The King of Pop' and 'The King of Rock 'n' Roll' -- to their fabled homesteads -- Neverland and Graceland -- and the unusual circumstances surrounding their deaths ... ," the network said in a news release.
Jackson, who died of cardiac arrest after a suspected prescription drug overdose at the age of 50, was briefly married to Presley's only daughter, Lisa Marie. The marriage ended in divorce.
Elvis Presley died in 1977 of a heart attack at the age of 42 after years of abusing prescription drugs.
(News, Source: UPI)
Jackson hoopla will linger for years: Is it safe to come out yet? Are the teddy bears still propped up against the lamp posts? Have the sprays of flowers strewn in significant spots withered yet? Has the wailing stopped and the publicly shed tears for a man nobody knew privately dried up yet?
Poor Michael Jackson. He was an entertainer, and there's no such thing as death with dignity for someone in his position. Someday, anthropologists studying the pop culture of our era will be amused at the elaborate mourning rituals and the public theatrics that have become a staple when deaths like his occur.
He is another Princess Diana, another Elvis. Someone compared his death to 9-11. The U. S. Congress observed a moment of silence in his honour. You'd think a statesman or humanitarian of the calibre of Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy had just passed away.
Jackson was an entertainer. He got up on a stage and sang. In the grand scheme of things, what he did was not all that crucial to the world. And for all those people who claim that "he was the soundtrack of my life," well, folks, the soundtrack of your life is actually made up of the voices of those you love, friends and family, who are in the moment with you and whose lives are entwined with your own in a way that the life of a singer, who did not even know you existed, can never be.
I feel sad for Jackson, not just because it truly is tragic when a 50-year-old man is cut down in the prime of life, but because as a celebrity, it is his misfortune that he'll never be allowed to rest in peace. The hype and hoopla surrounding his life and death will not subside for years. If Princess Diana is any yardstick to measure things by, it'll be at least a decade before the dust settles.
The supermarket tabloids are rubbing their collective hands in glee, as we speak, at the prospect of having him for fodder for years to come. I know, because I used to work at a supermarket tabloid. That was in the first few years after Elvis died, and there wasn't any hay that we didn't make out of his death. Our "psychics" held seances and talked to Elvis in the spirit world.
Elvis's face was seen in the swimming pool at Graceland (if I recall correctly, we used a photo of the pool at the Holiday Inn in Montreal with an arrow pointing to a couple of ripples in the water). Elvis's ghost was haunting his birthplace of Tupelo, where he had buried some personal memento and the ghost wouldn't rest until the treasure was found. Elvis lived; he was spotted in a Burger King in Kalamazoo. Elvis was finally reunited in the spirit world with his stillborn twin brother, Jesse. Elvis was tormented by guilt all his life because he had lived and Jesse had died. Elvis had a message for humanity that he wanted to transmit to the world.
When we tired of his being dead, we brought him back to life. Elvis had reincarnated into the person of a baby boy born in New Jersey; the baby's mom had heard the infant belting out Blue Suede Shoes in his crib. Among other story possibilities we kicked around and discarded were: Elvis's face being seen in a pattern of rocks on the surface of Mars, Elvis's ghost saved a woman from a marauding Bigfoot, and on and on it went.
Poor Michael Jackson. This is what awaits him, and it will only get worse as all the sordid details of his life begin to emerge and titillate the never-jaded public, mourning at their makeshift memorials for someone they never personally knew.
It's really strange how the cult of celebrity worship holds people in thrall. I'm not sure what entertainers do to merit this kind of adoration. They sing a few songs to make us feel good for the moment, and they get rich from it. Or, as that satirical lyric goes from the song, Cover of the Rolling Stone, "We sing about beauty and we sing about truth, at $10,000 a show."
How entertainers ever reach, and practically surpass, almost messianic status is beyond understanding. I'm not saying this because I'm a baby boomer who didn't care for Jackson's music. I would feel the same if an icon beloved by my generation, such as Paul McCartney, had passed away.
Shouldn't we be venerating the people who really make a difference in the lives of others? Maybe it's time another Martin Luther King came along, to remind us what true celebrity status is all about. Unfortunately, it's quite possible that with decibel levels at an all-time high over people like Jackson, we might not even be able to hear what such an individual had to say. (News, Source: Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald)
The "new" Graceland?
Joe Jackson asks Priscilla and Lisa Marie for advice on opening of Neverland to the public: bild.com reports that the 79-year-old father of the late Michael Jackson sought out Priscilla and her daughter Lisa Marie Presley - Michael's ex-wife and the daughter of Elvis Presley - because he is keen to turn Michael's former home into an attraction for fans. Joe believes Neverland could be as successful as Elvis' former residence Graceland.
The 'National Enquirer' magazine reported: "Joe secretly set about soliciting advice from ex in-laws Lisa Marie Presley and hard-nosed mom Priscilla Presley on how to turn the ranch into a perpetual money-machine, like Graceland - which has netted the Presleys hundreds of millions!"
Meanwhile Elvis Matters reports that on Ebay, there are several offers from internet companies who are selling domain names that are linked to Neverland, Michael and even his kids. For $1 million, you can buy a handful of those names.
Jackson, Elvis equals in entertaining:
Michael Jackson has ruled the airwaves since his death on June 25, both in television and radio. He just had a massive memorial in Los Angeles, which the city is now asking for donations to help pay for the multimillion dollar service.
Is Michael Jackson really worthy of the attention that he’s getting? What is so special about him? Elvis did it first, right?
For the longest time, no one spoke of his music but more about the child molestation allegations against him, which proved to be just allegations, according to a jury of his peers. According to reports online, Jackson won 197 major awards during his career. T here is no doubt that he is one of the best there has ever been when it comes to entertaining the masses.
Michael Jackson had his trademarked moonwalk, glove, fedora, loafers and his infamous dance moves. Let’s not forget to mention Thriller; the bestselling album of all time. His music was a reflection of his dream to unite the races, care for the earth and live in it without hate.
Sure, Michael Jackson was a troubled man. He is rumored to have had problems with prescription drugs and even admitted to sleeping in the same bed with young boys, although not sexual in nature. I don’t know any 40-year-old men that would sleep in a bed with a boy that wasn’t their own. I watched an in-depth interview on MSNBC the other night, and Jackson had some very odd ideals. I hadn’t realized how “out there” he seemed to me to be. He was obsessed with Peter Pan, possibly because he didn’t enjoy in the pleasures most children are awarded. He was in the spotlight from the time he was 5 until June 25, when he died.
Regardless of the personal side of Michael Jackson, no one can deny that he was one of the best.
Just the other night, my sister and I were jamming out to “Beat It” in the car and I realized why I liked his music so much. He always had such a catchy beat. People will enjoy his music for years and years to come. Those who were lucky enough to have attended concerts or even his memorial will have fantastic stories to tell their children and grandchildren.
I still dispute, however, that he was the best of all time. I would be happy to put him equal to Elvis but not above Elvis.
Elvis was the originator. All those back in Elvis’s day will tell you, I’m sure, how risqué Elvis was and what he accomplished with his rock and roll.
Either way, Michael Jackson was one of a kind. He and his talent will never be duplicated. I will continue to enjoy his music and will always respect the contribution he made to the industry. (News, Source: Lindsay Slater, Times Journal)
|Michael Jackson album sales highlight physical, digital merits: In the first few days after Michael Jackson's death on June 25, bereaved fans downloaded nearly 2.5 million digital copies of his songs, setting a record that's likely to stand for years. Before that, no music act had ever rung up even 1 million digital tracks in a single week.
Just as when John Lennon was killed in 1980, or when Elvis Presley died three years earlier, those who rushed out to music stores looking to buy physical copies of Jackson's albums often found that stock disappeared quickly under the huge demand born of tragedy. The difference this time was that the era of the digital download gave Jackson's followers instant access to virtually anything in his catalog.
"Unlike in the past when the marketplace would be out of stock, the digital part of the business gave a connection for the content that fans were looking for immediately," said Gary Arnold, senior entertainment officer for Best Buy.
Last week, the pendulum swung back the other way. Once online and brick and mortar retail outlets replenished their shelves, an additional 800,000 copies of Jackson's albums were sold in the first full week after his death, according to figures released last week. CDs and other physical media accounted for 82% of those sales at a time when the demise of the CD is estimated to be only a few years away.
Officials at Jackson's label, Sony Music-owned Epic Records, declined to be interviewed for this story, as they've declined all interviews about Jackson's catalog since his death; likewise, neither iTunes nor Amazon would comment on sales-related information.
The latest figures from Nielsen SoundScan show that so far this year, overall music sales have been split 60% in favor of physical media and 40% digital. That's a rapid shift since 2005, when 92% of all music sales were physical and just 8% digital. SoundScan predicts that digital music will account for half of all music sales by the end of next year if current trends hold.
Fan response to Jackson's death has illuminated the distinct needs that physical and digital formats serve. The immediacy and near-universal accessibility of digital music has made it the form of choice for millions today. But physical media still offer an emotional connection that digital music has yet to replace.
Jackson's life and career were unique on so many fronts that most resist drawing generalizations based on what's happened since he died. But coupled with a surge in demand for vinyl LPs in recent years, there are those who see it as a reflection of a broader theme about how fans bond with their favorite music and musicians.
"I think because Michael Jackson's music meant so much to so many people of different generations, that emotional aspect of it created a situation that we saw where people wanted to come into a music store and get something they could hold in their hand as opposed to something to load into their computer," said Dave Cunningham, a floor manager at Amoeba Music in Hollywood.
Beyond looking for a form of music that's tangible, Cunningham said many of the store's customers also were looking for a sense of community they don't find buying music online.
"They were talking with other customers about what they felt," he said. "That's one of the things we try to do overall, foster that environment of the record store . . . People are hungry for that kind of thing -- not just the physical product that you can hold in your hand, but the experience of going to the record store. That sort of got lost in the late '90s and the early millennium with the introduction of download culture."
There's also a generational aspect at work.
"With Michael, his music probably resonates strongest with people who are 30 and above and who remember physical product fondly," said Keith Caulfield, senior chart manager for Billboard. "If we were talking about Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, I don't think there would be a run on physical product."
Caulfield noted that the album format still skews more strongly toward physical media than do singles. In the first half of 2009, digital album sales overall have averaged 21.5%, compared with 78.5% for physical product, Caulfield said.
The recent increase in physical sales of Michael Jackson albums is noticeable, yet not so dramatic that anyone is casting it as a sign of revitalization of the physical side of the record business.
"I think that the death of the CD as it's been called is further out than most would expect," Arnold said. "My belief is that more of a generational transition may occur than a transition driven by a specific device or opportunity.
"It's going to take some more time before we can make any concrete evaluation of what this means," he continued. "But I think in the wake of tragedy as people gravitated to the music, probably there were people who wanted physical forms of the content, but we can't overlook the fact when the moment arose, digital was there to help." (News, Source: Randy Lewis, LA Times.com)
Read more on Elvis vs. Michael Jackson:
"Elvis or Michael Jackson - who is the bigger star in death?"
|US Congress disses Michael Jackson: You've obviously wrapped your righteous outrage around this news: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee wants a congressional resolution securing permanent praise of M.J.—and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pronounced no need for one.
At first, a 1,500-word resolution highlighting, among other things, Jackson's provision of 200 turkey dinners to poor Los Angeles families, may seem a wee tad overweening. Especially given that for every M.J. fan there's a guy like Rep. Peter King, who has called the late star a "pervert."
Then again, Congress has honored other figures sporting their share of major flaws, and nobody is saying much about those anymore...
Take Elvis Presley, whose sexy moves were once seen as so perverted that the FBI had a file declaring him a "definite danger to the security of the United States." A Florida judge once called Presley a "savage" and threatened to arrest him if he performed in Jacksonville—and of course, like Jackson, Presley battled with prescription drugs.
Also like Jackson, Presley faced accusations of inappropriate sexual contact with minors—in Presley's case, future wife Priscilla. One biographer contends the two slept together on their second date, when Priscilla was 14, though Priscilla herself has disputed that account.
Nonetheless, Presley was later honored by the Congress, albeit indirectly, via postage stamp and a Senate-based resolution congratulating Graceland on its elevation to historical status.
Other stars have also gotten the resolution treatment. The Senate created Louis Armstrong Day in August 2001. Johnny Cash, who also had infamous trouble with drugs, was honored by the Senate with a resolution in his honor. Frank Sinatra got a posthumous Frank Sinatra Day in 2008. The FBI spied on Sinatra throughout much of his life thanks to the singer's well-known ties with the Mob; he also got a Congressional Gold Medal, along with Bob Hope. (News, Source: E!Online)
Michael Jackson truly the Black Elvis: While Jackie Wilson is often referred to as the Black Elvis, this accolade is now being given to the late Michael Jackson. David Serchuk from Forbes.com took aim in a recent online article:
"Bill O'Reilly, that very white man, had this to say about the man that is truly the Black Elvis. He said he was "fed up with all the adulation" people expressed regarding Jackson's memorial, and he called the sentiments expressed at his memorial "pathetic in the extreme." I assume he included Jackson's children as among those who are pathetic. Sweet guy."
|Jackson Memorial somber - and with surprising low public turn-out: It was not spectacular, extravagant or bizarre. There were songs and tears but little dancing. Instead, Michael Jackson's memorial was a somber, spiritual ceremony that reached back for the essence of the man. Singer, dancer, superstar, humanitarian: That was how the some 20,000 people gathered inside the Staples Center arena on Tuesday, and untold millions watching around the world, remembered Jackson, whose immense talents almost drowned beneath the spectacle of his life and fame.
If there was a shocking moment, it came in the form of Jackson's daughter, Paris-Michael, who made the first public statement of her 11 years. "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine," she said, dissolving into tears and turning to lean on her aunt Janet. "And I just wanted to say I love him -- so much."
The ceremony began with Smokey Robinson reading statements from Jackson's close friend Diana Ross -- "Michael was part of the fabric of my life" -- and then Nelson Mandela -- "Be strong."
A lengthy silence of several minutes followed, punctuated only by a steady twinkle of camera flashes. The thousands of mourners spoke softly to those in neighboring seats or contemplated their private thoughts. Celebrities made their way to their seats in front of the stage: Kobe Bryant, Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes, Lou Ferrigno, Don King, the Kardashian sisters, Magic Johnson, Brooke Shields, Larry King. While Jackson was among
| the most famous faces in the world, today's megastars were largely absent. Those present mostly reflected some connection to Jackson's life or work.
Among those conspicuously not in attendance were Lisa Marie, Elizabeth Taylor, Ross and Debbie Rowe the mother of Jackson's two oldest children.
Another unexpected aspect was the logistics. The mayhem and traffic snarls that had been feared by city officials never materialized. The thousands of ticketholders began filing in early and encountered few problems, and traffic was actually considered by police to be lighter than normal. An estimate of up to 700,000 gawkers turned out to be only about 1,000.
The city of Los Angeles set up a Web site to allow fans to contribute money to help the city pay for the memorial, which was estimated to cost $1.5 million to $4 million. AEG, the event promoter behind the memorial, has not addressed whether it will give money for the effort, but did contribute $1 million to the city after it staged a victory parade for the Los Angeles Lakers last month.
The ceremony ended with Jackson's family on stage, amid a choir, singing "Heal the World."
"All around us are people of different cultures, different religions, different nationalities," Rev. Smith said as he closed the service. "And yet the music of Michael Jackson brings us together."
Rev. Sharpton wants a Michael Jackson commemorative stamp: The Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday at a church in Los Angeles that he is requesting that the U.S. Postal Service issue a Michael Jackson commemorative stamp. The USPS typically requires a five-year waiting period after a death before issuing stamps. Sharpton also called for a national day of mourning, urging people to gather in schools, community centres, and churches to pay tribute to the singer on Tuesday, when a public memorial service will be held at L.A.'s Staples Center. In 1993 the Elvis Presley commemorative stamp set off a collector's frenzy like stamp collectors had never seen. Demonstrating Elvis' popularity after his death, more than one million ballots were cast by the public to select between a stamp that depicted a young Elvis and an older Presley. The young Presley design, by Mark Stutzman, was selected by more than a two-thirds majority. It is the highest selling stamp ever, its 500 millions copy has been sold, 124.1 million copies are saved by stamp collectors, and has collected over $50 million for breast cancer research. (News, Source;ElvisInfoNet)
Interesting news report published PRIOR to Michael Jackson's death - 'I'm bigger than Elvis and the Beatles': Michael Jackson, who begins his This is It concert run at the O2 arena in London this summer, apparently thinks he is bigger than the Beatles and Elvis. I am told that the alleged King of (kiddie) Poop will perform one song (I wasn’t told which one) that will compare his achievements with Elvis and the Beatles and will show how Michael is on top. The performance allegedly ends with the statement “King of Rock, Pop, and Soul” flashing on the screen.
If all this is true, Michael Jackson is even more of a joke than people ever though he was. Not only did he weasel his way out of two child molestation cases, but his comebacks have been laughable. Back in 1995, Michael Jackson began a Nazi like campaign complete with statues of himself that sailed all over the world. His attempts to top the charts failed miserably, although he was able to get a number one single – You Are Not Alone – by deep discounting the single to ninety-nine cents, one third the cost of regular singles.
In 2001, Michael held a concert dedication to himself at Madison Square Garden in New York City, complete with several special guests to boost his credibility. The television ratings for the concert were very high, but the reviews were brutal. His album Invincible, released around the same time, was an international bomb.
If Michael Jackson is the “musical genius” he and his fans claim he is, then why can’t he just sit down, write his own songs (without relying on several hip producers), play his own instruments, and launch an album without the desperate amount of self-produced hype he usually puts forward? Don’t get me wrong: Michael Jackson was an entertainment phenomenon during the 1980s. However, his relevance and success has considerably dwindled since the early nineties. Elvis Presley may have died and the Beatles may have split up, but both acts can still be mentioned without laughing. Mentioning Michael Jackson's name these days not only brings laughs, but gasps of disgust as well. (News, Source: Daryl D, Examiner)
|Michael Jackson and Elvis - pretty boys gone wild: First there was Elvis, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” then came Michael, the “King of Pop;” the only two musical artists ever to be anointed the title of King. Both their reigns came to an eerily similar, tragic end.
Each artist belonged to a generation coming of age in very different eras — the baby boomers grew up with Elvis while the subsequent generation laid claim to Jackson. But Jackson’s surprising death Thursday has not only sparked an outpouring of grief among fans and the music industry, but impromptu celebrations of his music. In death come the tributes and dissection of the superstar’s legacy — the good, the bad and the ugly.
And comparison’s to the first King, the one who elevated rock ‘n’ roll to dizzying heights, are inevitable.
Both musicians were troubled, both changed the landscape of popular culture with their music and style, both died too young, were victims of fame, and broke musical and cultural barriers. The untimely end of both men’s lives was shocking and tragic. Elvis overdosed on pills and there’s wide speculation that pills may have also contributed to Jackson’s death.
Elvis wasn’t nearly as eccentric as Jackson, but they both underwent physical transformations leaving them shadows of their former selves. Jackson started his career as the adorable, charismatic lead singer of the Jackson 5 who became a teen idol. Both Jackson and Elvis were pretty boys, adored by millions of screaming teenage girls.
Jackson underwent a backwards evolution by starting off as a regular, handsome young man who evolved into a strange, almost alien-like caricature — the man in the mirror staring back without any remnants of the Michael Jackson of old.
Elvis’s transformation wasn’t as extreme, but still dramatic given his start as a gorgeous, highly-sexual performer who burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere in the 1950s. By the 1970s, Elvis’s leading-man good looks had faded as he battled health problems and his weight. In one of his later performances he would appear dazed, bloated and unable to remember the lyrics to one of his most famous songs — Are You Lonesome Tonight.
Both Jackson and Elvis struggled with health problems and abused prescription drugs. They also had problems with their weight — Elvis packed on the pounds while Jackson shed too many.
Their upbringings were very different, but they had in common humble beginnings. Jackson grew up in Gary, Indiana; Elvis in Tupelo, Mississippi.
But what Jackson and Elvis contributed to popular music remains unsurpassed — Jackson is ranked alongside Elvis and The Beatles as the biggest pop sensations of all time. When Elvis first came onto the music scene he was doing what no one could even conceive of doing — his gyrating dance moves were too sexual and too controversial for the time, (so much so that one of his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was filmed from the waist up only.) Elvis moved like no other. His music crossed racial barriers by appealing to both black and white audiences due to his sound; a mix of rhythm and blues, soul and rock. He is regarded as the first “white man” to play “black man’s” music.
Jackson also broke a racial divide with a sound combining synthesized pop, R & B, hip hop and rock, which also appealed to both black and white listeners. In the infancy of music videos, Jackson was not only a pioneer of the new genre, but the first black artist to gain constant airplay on MTV. His spectacular dance moves, like Elvis, were natural and seamless, and bridged the gap between urban subculture and mainstream pop culture. Jackson’s (dance) moves were unlike anything anyone had seen before and like Elvis, the movements were innate gifts.
When Jackson and Elvis were on stage they couldn’t help but move to the beat of their own drummer.
They even had widely-known private sanctuaries — Jackson had Neverland, Elvis had Graceland. For Jackson, Neverland was a place to reclaim his lost childhood, a place where he could escape into his own fantasies. Meanwhile, Graceland provided Elvis with the solace and calm he often sought away from the spotlight.
John Lennon once said: “Before there was Elvis there was nothing.” And so perhaps that is why he is the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the one people couldn’t help falling in love with. But the King of Pop isn’t too far behind. Jackson thrilled audiences just the same; he was bad, accused of being dangerous, but in the end he wasn’t invincible. He may be gone, but it’s unlikely he’ll be dethroned any time soon. (News, Source: The Vancouver Sun)
|Presley Tributes for Michael Jackson: Lisa Marie paid tribute to ex-husband Michael Jackson today saying, "I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me."
Lisa Marie married singer Michael Jackson on May 26, 1994 in the Dominican Republic. She was a major support to him while he went through the public accusations of child molestation.
At the time Lisa Marie said, "I believed he didn't do anything wrong, and that he was wrongly accused and, yes, I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it."
They stayed married from 1994 until January 1996 when Lisa Marie filed for divorce but still remained friends.
In a move that may have been designed to help support Jackson's heterosexuality, Lisa Marie appeared in close to nothing in Jackson's rather bizarre music video for his 1995 song "You Are Not Alone". The song made #1 in the US charts.
Click here to see the 'You Are Not Alone' video.
Priscilla Presley, the pop star's former mother-in-law, also expressed her sadness saying, "I'm in shock, as I know everyone must be. What a tragic loss. My heartfelt thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."
|Like Elvis, Michael Jackson was a troubled king; Michael Jackson didn't want to be just a superstar. Like the Beatles, he wanted to be the biggest, the undisputed king. He wanted to topple the reigning man with the crown, Elvis.
In the end, Jackson came to resemble Elvis in both the best and worst ways - supremely gifted and successful but also self-destructive and beset by demons. And like Elvis, he died way too young.
"It's just so weird. He even married Elvis' daughter," said author-music critic Greil Marcus, who wrote at length about Presley in his acclaimed cultural history, Mystery Train.
Elvis Presley died a over-weight middle-aged man after overdosing on prescription drugs at home in 1977 at age 42.
Michael Jackson died on Thursday at age 50 after being rushed from his Los Angeles home to UCLA Medical Centre.
Jackson was taking prescription drugs as he battled to get into shape for his gruelling concert comeback due to get underway in London next month, a lawyer for the family said on Thursday.
Jackson, like Elvis, fought long-running battles with prescription medication throughout his career, and was taking the drugs after suffering injuries during training for his comeback, lawyer and spokesman Brian Oxman said.
|While endless fame seemed to inflate Elvis like helium, Jackson's fame seemed to scrub away the flesh from his bones.
Like Elvis, Jackson was once beautiful, outrageous, a revolutionary without politics, who broke down the walls between black and white. He had the hits, the style, the ego, the talent.
He was the "King of Pop," and he needed only to fill in the life: He married Elvis' daughter. He bought the rights to some of Elvis' songs.
Elvis owned Graceland, its name a symbol for a deliverance the singer prayed for until the end of his life.
Jackson had Neverland, a fantasy for a man-child for whom money provided the chance to live in a world of his own.
He did, and did not, want to be like Elvis.
In Moon Walk, a memoir published in 1988, Jackson insisted Elvis was not important to him growing up and that he was unhappy to learn a song he recorded with his brothers, Heartbreak Hotel, shared the name of Presley's first national hit.
"I swear that was a phrase that came out of my head, and I wasn't thinking of any other song when I wrote it," Michael Jackson wrote.
"The record company printed it on the cover as This Place Hotel, because of the Elvis Presley connection. As important as Elvis was to music, black as well as white, he just wasn't an influence on me. I guess he was too early for me. Maybe it was timing more than anything else.
By the time our song had come out, people thought that if I kept living in seclusion the way I was, I might die the way he did. The parallels aren't there as far as I'm concerned, and I was never much for scare tactics.
Still, the way Elvis destroyed himself interests me because I don't ever want to walk those grounds myself."
Sadly Michael Jackson like Elvis ended up walking that lonely street to his too early demise.
(News, Source;SanjaM/Hillel Italie)
Pop legend Michael Jackson dead at 50: In a strange twist Michael Jackson who would have been Elvis' son-in-law when he married Lisa Marie has died on this fateful day June 26th. (June 25th in USA). He is reported to have died of a heart attack after he was rushed to hospital in Los Angeles. He suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon and paramedics were unable to revive him. Spokespersons for Jackson could not be reached for comment but earlier, The LA Times reported paramedics went to the singer's home and found him not breathing.
In 1994, Jackson married Elvis’ only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996. Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999. The couple never lived together.
The newspaper said paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene before taking him to the UCLA Medical Centre.
Jackson had been due to start a series of comeback concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. (News, Source;ABC)
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