My love of Michael Jackson's music began in 1983, when my best friend at the time, Kelsie (whose mom was also my babysitter), somehow got her hands on a Thriller tape, and we would listen to it nonstop on her little brown Fisher Price cassette player. My obsession continued through the release of Bad -- I listened to it practically every day, as well as watched this Bad concert video I had (until the video somehow disappeared -- my mom is the prime suspect in its disappearance, since she kept hinting that she wished MJ "would go on vacation"). And while I got a shiny new pink 3-speed bicycle for my ninth birthday, my favorite gift was my very own copy of Moonwalk, Michael's autobiography.
I got the news of MJ's death when I landed in Seattle on Thursday -- I turned on my phone and had a barrage of text messages from friends who knew I was a big fan. Needless to say, I'm super bummed about it all. This is such a loss to the music world. MJ was incredibly innovative with both his music and dancing, and was a tremendous influence on countless other artists. I hope that everyone remembers all the great things he did, from the obvious contribution to music to all of his humanitarian efforts, rather than some of the darker periods of his life.