Grief-stricken fans of Michael Jackson around the world are still mourning his death one week after the pop idol passed away of cardiac arrest last Thursday. Michael Jackson was truly a brilliant singer entertainer and dancer extraordinaire. During his 'reign', the King of Pop influenced global trends in music, dance and fashion. His 1982 album Thriller which contained the blockbuster hits Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller is the best selling album of all time with sales totalling some 100 million copies. Michael had 13 number 1 hits in the US and this puts him behind only The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Elvis Presley. Michael's dancing skills are legendary. He could do fast multiple swivels, dance 'en pointe', and he helped popularize the moonwalk.
The moonwalk or backslide is a dance routine that gives the illusion that the dancer is stepping forward while actually moving backwards. It gives the appearance of a person walking against the direction of movement on a walkalator. The dance move gained widespread popularity after it was performed by Michael Jackson in his song Billie Jean on the television special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" on March 25 1983. Michael did not create the moonwalk, he just made it famous and it became his signature dance move. Many artistes have been credited with creating the moonwalk but the honour is usually given to the French mime, Marcel Marceau. Michael Jackson can however lay claim to being the greatest moonwalker on earth!
Michael was in Malaysia as part of his HIStory World Tour in 1996 and performed two shows at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur - on October 27 & 29. The event received plenty of press coverage and generated a lot of buzz. The paparazzi and fans gathered at the Concorde Hotel where he was staying, hoping to shoot photos or just catch a glimpse of the King of Pop. Traffic around the hotel came to a standstill as motorists slowed down to have a look. Michael took time off during his stay here to do some shopping. When he arrived at the shopping complex there was near pandemonium as the multitude of shoppers crowded around him and wanted to get his autograph, shake his hand or simply to touch him. Michael was like a demi-god to his fans!
The concerts in Kuala Lumpur were held at the iconic Merdeka (Independence) Stadium where the then Malaya's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had proclaimed the nation's independence from Britain on August 31 1957. Among the audience at the performances were their majesties the King and Queen of Malaysia, several cabinet ministers, and dignitaries. Because of the hot and humid weather in Malaysia, Michael chose to wear his specially designed thermal suit to help keep him cool. And he really was cool on stage, putting on a magnificent display of showmanship which won the adoration of his fans. Rest in peace, MJ. You will always be in our hearts and remembered for bringing so much joy and happiness to the world!