Almost immediately after Michael Jackson’s death his image was positioned on the top of iTunes. His titles then began to repopulate the top spots on the Billboard charts. To most, this wasn’t much of a surprise- after all, he’s the King of Pop. It’s pretty obvious that Michael’s name will forever have a place on the top of most things pop music related. The world fell in love with him as a child, and our fascination never waned. Is it unknown if popular music will ever see a spectacular talent that will dominate the world’s imagination to the extent that Michael did. Regardless, for today’s aspiring music stars seeking longevity, there are significant lessons to learn from Michael’s career.
On and off stage, Michael was not only an icon, but the world’s greatest entertainer. His music and career will be revisited forever. The music industry is full of performers whose careers won’t span more than a few years, never mind decades. Even if they’re successful at breaking through all of the noise, their music will quickly fade. If you are a performer, you should study Michael’s career, and take extra focus on the “Thriller” album. The purpose is obviously not to imitate, but to recognize greatness and challenge yourself by asking some tough questions: 1. Am I truly talented? 2. What can I do to improve myself? 3. Am I bringing something new to the table? 4. Am I working with the right people 5. Lastly, am I the best in my world?
By answering these questions honestly, and then following through, you might have a shot at longevity. Your goal doesn’t have to be reaching the status of King of Pop- that slot has been filled. It is doubtful that any performer to come in the future will sell 750 million records. However, maybe you can be a king or queen in your space. Today, more than ever, music needs original kings and queens, and less imitators. Individuals that accomplish this, regardless of the genre or even the size of their audience, will break through the noise and have a shot at longevity.
All hail Michael the Great! -I. Vasquetelle