Disclaimer right now: I am not a huge Michael Jackson fan. I don't own any of his CD's or songs. I hated Thriller when I was a girl of 8 and everyone else was like, "OMG! HE'S THE BEST!". I have the same mindset of Bono regarding Michael Jackson songs -- if you imagine that they're in a different language, it's some of the best music you've ever heard. I also always though Janet was the coolest Jackson.
However, that doesn't mean that I can deny the great impact that man left on music and popular culture. He broke the color barrier on MTV, ushering in other acts like Run DMC. The Jackson 5 is the original boy band. Justin Timberlake, Usher and other artists like them owe Michael Jackson for their moves and singing styles.
I am not bummed, but more surprised with the news of his death. Admittedly, I thought it was an attention ploy -- much like the recent tabloid events that have occurred. Jackson had become a punchline to a joke in my mind (and admittedly other people -- even Lewis Black said so). I didn't expect this. In a way, I expected him to live on until 80 or 90, looking freakishly unaged (similar to Liza Minelli).
But he is dead. And while I may not have been a fan, I can appreciate the impact he left. He made interesting music videos, he was an amazing dancer (I wondered for YEARS how he did the lean in Smooth Criminal) and while I didn't care for his music, you can see how it influenced many artists today. For that, I have respect for the man.
This is my favorite video of his: