It is hard to believe, but this week marks the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. The King of Pop is still a cultural icon in society, and it is clear his fans have not forgotten him as they gear up to pay tribute to his life.
On June 25th, 2009, Michael Jackson was found by doctor Conrad Murray in his home not breathing, and with a weak pulse. Security called 911 just after noon, and paramedics attempted to revive Jackson. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, however.
The coroner’s report showed that Michael had died from a combination of propofol and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines lorazepam and midazolam, and that it wasn’t an accidental homicide but murder. Dr. Murray was eventually sentenced two years later in 2011 with involuntary manslaughter and served only two years for the crime.
Some fans think that if Michael Jackson had worked more diligently to get his depression and anxiety under control, and had tried new antidepressant medications instead of continuing his current coping mechanisms, the pop icon might still be alive.
Ten years ago it was uncommon to see the mass social mourning that takes place now when a celebrity or public figure dies. Jackson’s death paved the way for this reaction, with the news of his passing plastered everywhere online and in the media.
A memorial service was held weeks after his death at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the same place he had rehearsed on June 24th. The service was broadcast live around the world, and more than one billion people tuned in to pay their respects to the King of Pop.
At the time of Michael Jackson’s death, his estate was deeply in debt and a mess. Jackson had been known for his spending when he was alive and seemed to have little care for the bills he accrued. After his death John Branca and John McClain took over the estate and with clever fundraising and selling important assets, they were able to gross over $1.3 billion for the estate in the past ten years.
The estate released a statement this week saying that even a decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, and his influence is all over dance, art, and music. They believe that he is “more important than ever” and will continue to be a driving force in the years to come.
Plans for a television tribute this month to Jackson’s death were scrapped after “Leaving Neverland” was released earlier this year. In it, James Safechuck and Wade Robson claim to have been sexually abused by Jackson when they were just children.
Much of Jackson’s later life was consumed by claims just like these, and he was acquitted of any abuse allegations in 2005 by courts. That didn’t stop these two men from being featured in this documentary, however.
The estate has always denied such claims and continues to do so with outrage. One of the men who were accusing Jackson in the documentary had even testified on his behalf at his criminal trial, which some believe is proof that they are just trying to cash in now that Jackson can no longer defend himself.
Even if this day is marked from the documentary, and allegations surrounding it, there is no question fans are mourning the loss of this cultural icon, and that his impact on society as a whole has been massive.