The Daily Grind Video

There are certain events in recent history that I will always remember. I’ll remember where I was, what I was doing, why, and the thoughts that ran through my head as it all went down. I can still see, hear, and smell New York City on 9/11 and how clueless I was to what was happening even though I was within walking distance from “ground zero”. I’ll never forget the great excitement I felt along with the whole world once we saw the state of Virginia turn blue on the map and counted the electoral votes that determined Barack Obama the winner of the 2008 Presidential election, (and how I danced in the middle of Peachtree Street in Atlanta. lol).

Now, as of June 25, 2009, I will never forget the pain in the pit of my stomach and my heart break when I got the text message saying, “Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital, he’s not breathing”. Mixed emotions of concern, disbelief, what his music meant to me, all clouded my focus as I was driving down the 101 highway in Los Angeles. Part of me wanted to drive over to the UCLA hospital myself to see if it was all a publicity stunt, “please let it be a publicity stunt!” But unfortunately it was not.
It was at that moment the world, not just the United States, realized and remembered how important this icon was in their individual lives.

Regardless of race, class or religion, we all felt a sudden sadness, but it was beautiful and inspiring to see how Michael Jackson touched us all and was literally the soundtrack to so many people’s lives. He opened up our eyes and imaginations, he was the reason many in the entertainment world decided to do what we do, he was the ambassador of America to many people who visited or moved to the States. Studio sessions stopped, BMI cancelled their pre-BET Awards festivities to mourn, and the actual BET Awards staff scrambled to rearrange the program to honor him. People rushed to the stores to buy his albums again until they were sold out everywhere, putting his albums back on the top of the charts. Rediscovery of his genius, innovation and conviction in his videos and live performances occurred as tribute specials played all weekend. 

I never wanted to imagine what I’d feel like when the day came that Michael Jackson passed away. The largest figure that I grew up watching, listening to and that played a huge part in my life is gone. To me Michael was like a teacher. As I record in the studio or rehearse in the mirror I subconsciously am saying “what would Michael Jackson do, WWMJD?”  I thought I had more time to enjoy what he brings, I thought I’d get the chance to meet him and show him what he’s inspired in me, what he taught me from afar. The saddest part is for the last couple years (the media) pushed Michael into seclusion, living in Bahrain, covering his children’s faces with masks and only scheduling his last 50 shows in the UK. Did he know how much we loved him here? Did we know how much he meant to us until we knew we couldn’t have anymore of him? Michael Jackson set a bar of excellence and achievement and at the same time was such a servant to his fans and the world because he did it all for our entertainment. We will miss you Mike, and your legacy will never die.