Michael Jackson died three years ago today, so here's my favorite remix of my favorite of his songs, done in the mid-90's by none other than the godfather of house, Frankie Knuckles. I love how Frankie keeps all of the elements in that matter (the strings, the horns, the bubble-keyboards) and emphasizes some to make them matter more — I never realized how gorgeous this vocal performance was until I heard the stripped-down intro.
Remember when, three years ago, it was reported that Michael Jackson was being taken to the hospital and everyone was like, "If he dies..." and then he fucking died? Insane. I think people felt a lot of complicated things as a result of that death, not the least of which was the idea that often thinky coverage was needed to send off the undisputed King of Pop off properly. Or maybe that's optimistic, as there was as his death drove the industry of celebrity journalism for easily the next month, if not two or three.
In a way, that kind of public mourning is consistent with the very open forum that is a celebrity's life. In another, it introduces an element of clinical necessity when a performer dies for those of us who are paid to respond, or in the habit of doing so. Everyone's a critic, says everyone. I remember having to work on a Saturday at my job then when Amy Winehouse died, and part of me really resented that — I just wanted to mourn this person I admired in peace by myself.
Oh well, boo hoo. It didn't happen, and I find that the sentimentalism attached to celebrity death is addictive. Hence this.