By Radio.com Staff
Michael Jackson was in no uncertain terms a legend. His impression on pop music is so deep and well-defined that without a doubt his music will live on throughout the rest of history. But when you have a career as timeless as MJ’s, everything around him becomes that much more ephemeral in perspective. Especially, all the news.
Since his passing five years ago, posthumous Michael Jackson has been in the headlines arguably more than in the five years before his death. There was the world-wide event of his funeral, the sensationalism surrounding the exact cause of his death, his two posthumous albums, the hologram, the seamy family drama, the wack-jobs (always the wack-jobs) and speculative and inflammatory tabloid gossip.
The news, the blogs, the stories, the rumors surrounding Jackson can’t topple something like Bad or Thriller or The Moonwalk or “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Nonetheless, here are some of the biggest stories around Michael, fives years after his death.
It’s par for the course for a celebrity death to light up social media, but what happened when Michael Jackson died was unprecedented. For approximately 30 minutes following the announcement of his death Google searches for his name were disrupted, based on the high volume of search. People searching for the news also brought down TMZ, Perez Hilton, Wikipedia, the Los Angeles Times and AOL’s Instant Messenger. Twitter crashed multiple times. For some, Google was entirely unreachable. Michael Jackson effectively crashed Google for some people. A spokesperson for Google said the search for the story at its peak was “volcanic.”
Jackson’s funeral was carried live on 18 networks, which in itself was unusual. That is not something generally done for celebrities, but rather reserved for heads of state. That over 31 million people watched was record-breaking itself. It placed him only below the burial of President Reagan and Princess Diana’s funeral.
Fans who never got to experience a live performance by Michael Jackson were treated to just that at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The stage was custom-built, the choreography included his trademark moonwalk and the design was based on Jackson’s circa 1991 look — appropriate, as that’s when this track was originally recorded.