Elise's blog: Reflections on two great entertainers

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI MS. (WLOX) - The world lost two amazing entertainers on Thursday: First Farah Fawcett, then Michael Jackson.

For months, people have watched as anal cancer took over Farah Fawcett's life.

The beautiful actress reached the height of her career before my time, but I definitely knew who she was.

Like so many women, my mother, a woman of color, attempted to take on the trademark tresses of Fawcett.

She was an American beauty who became the stand-out international star in her stint with Charlie's Angels and she brought domestic violence to the forefront with The Burning Bed.

I learned today that Fawcett made headlines not too long ago, when she decided to pose nude for Playboy at age 50.

It's unfortunate that cancer took the life of the Hollywood actress and just hours after her death, the world lost the greatest entertainer of all time.

I was a toddler when Michael Jackson released his Thriller album. And I have to admit that both Thriller and Billy Jean frightened me as a child and it took me years before I could watch either video. However, I have always been a fan of Michael Jackson.

This week I am spending some time with family in my hometown of Atlanta. I was listening to the radio when I heard the broadcaster use words like cardiac arrest, details unfolding and then I heard the name Michael Jackson. I immediately rushed to the TV to find out what was going on.

For hours I watched in disbelief as details unfolded about Jackson's death.

I couldn't believe it, the King of Pop dead at age 50.

Words can't describe how many people the legendary entertainer affected. Think about it: Jackson spent four decades entertaining the world. People cry at the sight of him. He is the only artist I can think of that integrated people of all ages, races and socio-economic status. Jackson broke barriers by becoming the first black artist to have a video on MTV. In fact, I think he raised the bar for music videos, concert performances, and number one albums. Now his death will probably impact more people than any other artist of our time.

As fans and music historians remember Michael the entertainer, others will focus on the later years of the pop icon.

Everyone knows about the past decade of legal troubles and obvious signs of deteriorating health for Jackson. And while many will choose to focus on his past and speculate about what took Jackson's life, I hope many more will reflect on the wonderful music that we have from the pop icon and the music that's to come.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see Jackson perform live. But like many people, I too have my favorite Michael Jackson songs.

Don't Stop til You get enough, Rock With You, The Way You Make Me Feel, Wanna Be Startin' Something, The Lady in My Life, Remember the Time (which is also my favorite video of all time) and of course, my favorite P.Y.T.

I remember making up a dance routine with my friend to Don't Stop til You Get Enough as a teenager. We spent hours emulating some of Jackson's moves and incorporating some of our own. Fortunately, no one ever saw the routine.

I also remember learning sign language for the chorus of Heal the World, after performing it with a group of classmates when I was in the 5th grade. I think it is still one of the most touching songs I've ever heard.

Michael Jackson is the only artist I can think of who made music for all generations, all occasions and for all people.

I think my two-year-old nephew heard Michael Jackson for the first time yesterday as we were watching the news. He immediately ran to the TV and attempted to emulate some of Michael's Thriller dance moves. I couldn't help but laugh because I think everyone attempted some of those moves at one point or another.

No one will forget the icon, his fancy costumes, signature hair and let's not forget that signature glove.

I would love to hear your stories of Jackson 5 routines, moonwalk attempts, Thriller jackets (that many of you still have) and other experiences you remember. Oh, and don't forget to groove while you type, I'm sure he would have wanted it that way.

R.I.P. Michael. You will be missed.

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