The Most Shocking Death in Music

Posted: July 22, 2011 in other

Today as I was talking to my wild heart tweeters on twitter, I saw a very interesting trending topic come up on my Twitter account: Aaliyah. I haven’t heard of that name since she died. Kinda sad because she was talented. But it got me to thinking, was it shocking? Not as shocking as what happened 9 years later – even though it probably was a shocking death to both her fans, friends, & family.

To me, the most shocking death in music was none other than Michael Jackson. His is one death that, when I found out, I was in a state of shock. It’s not something that I will forget anytime soon.

Here is my story of where I was when I found out Michael Jackson had died. I was in college at the University of Houston taking summer classes. I also worked at the campus newspaper as the beat writer for the Moores School of Music – one of the best music programs in the nation. I was assigned to write an article on the Concert Chorale going to a major music festival in Llangollen, Wales. So I had to call a few of my music school friends for help. So when it came time for me to go to my own voice lesson, it was there that I found out about his untimely death. My voice teacher told me about it and it was all over the news networks. I was rather upset, but not crying. When I finally got home, it was all over the networks from CNN, ABC had some Barbara Walters Specials airing that were devoted to the King of Pop, you name it. The next morning my friend, Jenny called me as I was getting ready for school. I had it on the local R&B station (Hot 95.7 I believe) and people were sharing their memories about him. I was sharing my memories of him with Jenny. As a newswoman, I figured that I need to jump on this so I called the newsroom after class and asked them if I could do an article and they let me do a tribute article. Needless to say, I was in for a big ride for my college journalistic career that hit me between the eyes.

I spent an entire weekend working on that article. I watched Captain EO at least 5 times on YouTube. It was probably for inspiration. I enjoyed it – but not at the cost of death.

Also, my opinion of him and whether he was inappropriate with a child changed. Like every other American, I thought he did it. Now I look back, the evidence doesn’t measure up.

I remember both when the actual article was published – I was proud of my work and still am. I also remember watching the funeral on CNN and going to a celebration of his life at school – I got a tshirt out of that one.

Needless to say, it  was an unforgettable time.

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