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Where Were You When Michael Jackson Died?

Phil Walter, Getty Images

This day marks the third anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson.  Where were you when you heard the news?This is one of those bitter-sweet days, for me.


Bitter and contradiction in that, Michael Jackson was a phenomenal singer, dancer, songwriter and producer. But he was an addict, yet he was a father and was haunted by allegations of sexual abuse lingering, smearing his reputation and name. He also lived in excruciating amount of pain from the Pepsi commercial accident. He also lived with a ton mental anguish, because of his upbringing.

Where it is Sweet for me; we get to hear his music and allow the memories to come flooding back about how Michael Jackson’s music was the soundtrack to many of our lives.(At least it was for mine.)

So where was I on June25, 2009?

I was working in Phoenix, AZ at a Rock station when the DJ, on the air, came to me and said “TMZ is reporting that Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital dead.” Screen shot from TMZ

At this point, I kind of blew it off, I mean she just used TMZ as a credible source and followed that with the most immortal man in music was dead.

Then an hour later, it was all confirmed and I learned that she was right. At first, my thoughts were that of being numb to it all. I just went about my day. Then I went out to grab something to eat and every radio station of every kind, including the Rock station for which I worked, was playing Michael Jackson (our was “Beat It”, “Dirty Diana” and Jacksons with Mick Jagger “State of Shock”).

Then it hit me, even though Michael Jackson hadn’t be relevant for years, he still mattered and his music was great. Above all, he was the father to 3 childen who loved him. Regardless of what the press said ab0ut him; he was still “Daddy”. He was someone’s father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, etc.  Above all and despite all the weirdness, he was a man.

Rather than trying to figure out the parts of his life that we will never understand or get the full story, go with what you know. Where were you when Michael Jackson died?

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