We've always known or try to know him as the King of Pop, performing his onstage signature dance moves singing his monumental hits "Rock With You," "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Thriller," "Bad," "Remember the Time" or "Smooth Criminal." But, indeed, Michael Jackson is more than the music legend that he is, inspiring billions of fans and influencing generations of artists.
And, this is exactly what we ignore most about the celebrated pop icon--he is an outstanding, self-sacrificing humanitarian!
Jackson is notable for his multiple charitable efforts. “Jackson is best known for his music, but he possibly touched just as many people through his love and compassion for those less fortunate,” said in the opening statement of this website on the pop icon’s charitable works.
Even with his phenomenal success as an artist, Jackson has set the example to other artists by giving back, whether through monetary donations or spending some time with the less fortunate. To name a few, Jackson was an advocate for helping underprivileged children and for research to treat cancer.
If you would analyze some of Jackson’s songs, they are in fact more than your typical pop songs that you would sing along with your friends. Take the case of “Man in the Mirror,” which talks about Jackson’s desire to make the world a better place to live in.
With the lines “If you wanna make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change”, Jackson’s message to his audience is very clear: That change begins with one’s self, hence the “Man in the Mirror”.
Another striking Jackson song has to be “Black or White”, as it tackled on racial harmony, an issue that remains relevant today in light of discrimination and racial stereotyping. Even if it is a danceable pop song, the song delivers a message that everyone can relate to, especially with the lines “I Said If You're Thinkin' Of Being My Brother/ It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White”
“Heal the World” is also a socially relevant pop song from Jackson himself. Like “Man in the Mirror”, the song also talks about making the world a better place (in this case, through helping out children living in war-torn countries). In fact, this song best showcases Jackson’s advocacy for world peace and unity, a good reason why thousands (or maybe millions) of his fans were in grief when Jackson died in 2009.
Six years later, we still get to enjoy Jackson’s socially relevant music with The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Concert. With shows from December 14 to 15 at The Theater at Solaire, let UK-based group BEN make everyone, fan or casual music lover, appreciate Jackson’s hit songs. A lot of us Filipinos have yet seen the pop icon perform live, and this is the closet we can get to witness Jackson’s energetic performances live.