Numerous Guinness World Records and Hall of Fame inductions, 26 American Music Awards, 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles and now a number one cell phone application. More than two years after his death, Michael Jackson is still in the limelight, but this time for more than one million downloads of “The Michael Jackson Doctor Trial App.” Even with no new music, The King of Pop still hits the top of the charts.
With the help of the new phone app, the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray has dominated internet news, and blogs are brimming with discussion over what really happened on June 25, 2009. Only 18 days before he was set to launch the This Is It Tour, Michael Jackson was pronounced dead due to an overdose of propofol, a sleep aid drug. With a tour that would go down as “The biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city,” “The most amount of people to attend a series of arena shows,” and “The fastest ticket sales in history” looming, it’s no surprise that Jackson was nervous. Millions of fans anxiously awaiting the return of a pop star, who had supposedly hung up his touring career more than ten years ago, would undeniably cause sleepless nights. Everyone seems to have an individual theory on the death, including one woman who insists that Jackson is still alive, according to Huff Post blogger Tanya Young Williams. Certainly with theories like that the court has a difficult task in finding who’s to blame for the overdose.
Yet how ironic that a tour titled This Is It really was it for Michael Jackson. With apparent health issues long before he decided to go on tour, the grueling schedule of a concert nearly every day for six months could have led to doubts if he really had it in him. Perhaps the title was meant to tell the world that this tour really would be the last, similar to Michael Jordan’s third retirement speech. Or maybe he knew that merely launching the tour would be the last thing he ever did for his music career.
But it’s not all depressing in the world of Michael Jackson. Coinciding with the Murray Trial is the opening of a new Cirque du Soleil show, Michael Jackson – The Immortal World Tour. Other famous musicians including the Beatles and Elvis have already been commemorated with a Cirque du Soleil show, so it’s logical that Michael Jackson be immortalized along with the rest of the music pioneers of our time. During the show, Jackson’s music morphs into more than just the hits we remember today. Moonwalking above the stage, actors dressed like the Jackson 5, life size bats flying to “Thriller” create a new life for his number one hits.
In the end, the This Is It Tour was never really “it” for Michael Jackson. Long after the trial verdict is made, all the new photos and videos have been streamed on the internet and Cirque du Soleil moves on to a new commemorative show, the Michael Jackson’s music will still play on the radio, be performed in local bars and fill homes around the world.