Bye-Bye, Michael Jackson — “The Day the Music Died”

Michael Jackson may have died at the untimely age of 50, but his inspiration lives on. Musicians such as Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Justin TimberlakeUsher and the recent pop sensation Lady GaGa have admitted to his influence over their work. Not to mention the legions of other fans inspired to sing and dance by Jackson’s celebrated music videos and stage performances. Madonna, Elizabeth TaylorLisa Marie Presley and Naomi Campbell, among others, have come out with statements publicly mourning the loss of the pop star.

One million fans are disappointed they will not be able to see Jackson’s “This Is It” tour at London’s O2 Arena this summer. I was one of those fans. As a college graduation present, my parents planned a trip to London for me to see the famed entertainer. We Jackson addicts were looking forward to seeing the legend dance his renowned moon walk to some of the most famous songs of all time. His first series of concerts in 12 years, the London tour was expected to launch Jackson’s comeback.

Depending on whom you ask, he might be remembered as a glittery plastic-surgery nightmare, the wacko who got off the hook for molesting children, or for marrying Elvis Presley’s daughter. But there is no doubt that Jackson will be remembered forever as one of the greatest musical talents to ever grace a stage. May Michael Jackson rest in peace alongside the iconic pop figures of all time who died too young: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, James Dean, Janis JoplinBuddy Holly and Heath Ledger. Bye-bye, Michael Jackson — we miss you.

Credit: Don McLean’s song “American Pie” about Buddy Holly’s death in a plane crash