The death of a king

By Ashley Bagwell

The recent death of the self-proclaimed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has done nothing short of set the world of television news broadcasting on fire. Grown men and women are crying at the loss of an icon, and a younger generation is experiencing an entirely new category of music.

As a teenager, not of the golden years, but of the widely publicized dark ages, the average high school student remembers Jackson as the strange looking man who was accused of unthinkable acts. Most teens, while newly aware of Jackson’s significance as a legend in the music industry and a pioneer in the art of making music videos, remember the highly televised court cases that lasted for what seemed like an eternity as the straw that broke Jackson’s career.

Nobody can do any more than pretend to know what really happened, despite rumors spread by the most devoted fans. It is irrefutable, however, that these allegations will always be a shadow on what is undeniably an epic musical career.

Following Jackson’s death there was an air among fans and colleagues that much of his pre-recorded music should and would be released. This feeling turned into reality when on July 16, 2009, following confirmation by the president of Epic Records, a snippet of music known as “A Place with No Name” was leaked by TMZ.com.

In the first full week of sales after Jackson’s death, he once more dominated the Billboard charts with total sales of 800,000 copies. In the four days following his death there were 422,000 copies sold and nine of the top 10 spots on Billboard’s Top Pop Catalog Albums chart were Jackson-related materials. Five Jackson singles made it onto Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart; with “Man in the Mirror” taking the top spot at 159,000 downloads.  Jackson has become the first artist to sell 1 million or more tracks in a single week.