Friday, June 26, 2009


I am in shock right now.

Can't believe Michael Jackson's really dead.

Just saw the Internet news reports this morning. Confirmation of details surrounding his tragic demise are still pending, but I'm extremely saddened by this sudden turn of events.

Possibilities: 1) drug overdose? 2) some viral illness causing myocarditis? 3) an underlying disease which he hid from the media and finally did him in?

I still remember the night I saw him in concert at the Kallang Stadium. It was 1993, just days before my prelims, but my mom knew how much I wanted to go and generously purchased the most expensive tickets for us. We ended up standing on our foldable chairs for 2 whole hours, craning our necks to see MJ above all the outstretched arms in front of us. We also sang Happy Birthday for him as he turned 35 that very same day.

It remains one of the best shows I've ever attended and, weeks later, a letter I snail-mailed ( not much Internet back then ) to Shadoe Stevens - the host of American Top 40 - was read to a global audience. In it, I detailed his visit to Singapore, including his gifts of free concert tickets to healthcare personnel who took care of him at a local private hospital.

Wow, everything's still fresh in my mind...

Despite all the controversy and bad publicity that has dogged MJ these past 15 years, there's no question that he will always be a musical icon - a genius who fell victim to the perils of fame and fortune and, sadly, never managed to recover.

Time magazine's tribute edition will arrive in my mailbox next week. Will store it somewhere safe, next to the commemorative issue from 9/11.

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