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The Sensation of Tabloids

For four decades, Michael Jackson played a big role in shaping our pop culture/history. Whether through his music, his groundbreaking videos, or his drastic changes in appearance, people talked about him, and still do today–but mostly concerning his appearance and what we see in the tabloids.

Before and After

As Michael’s popularity grew, so did the tabloid attention – with tales of Michael sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber and trying to purchase the skeleton of The Elephant Man that caused him to be dubbed ‘Wacko Jacko.’ More controversy erupted in 1993 when it was revealed that Michael had children sleeping over at his Neverland Ranch, prompting accusations of sexual abuse and a lawsuit by one of his alleged victims. The matter was settled out of court in 1994, but the damage to Michael’s career had been done. Later that year, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley, presenting her with an awkward kiss at the 1994 MTV VMAs. The marriage between the ‘King of Pop’ and the ‘Princess of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ broke up after only two years. In 1996, he married his dermatologist’s nurse Debbie Rowe, and during their brief, three-year marriage had two children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. (a/k/a/ Prince) and Paris Michael Katherine. Michael also had a third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (nicknamed ‘Blanket’) in 2002, who, in another infamous incident, was dangled over a hotel balcony in Berlin. Despite the scandals, Michael’s albums continued to sell well, with his 2002 release Invincible sold 10 million copies worldwide. In December of 2003, he was charged with child molestation and went to trail in January of 2005, eventually being acquitted of the charges. As evidence of the singer’s continuing popularity, the 25th anniversary edition of Thriller has been a worldwide success, reaching No. 2 on the U.S. album charts. Love him or hate him, Michael Jackson is still the ‘King of Pop’ – and pop culture.

So many tabloids headlines surrounded Jackson’s personal life:

  • He bleached his skin because he wanted to be white.
  • Numerous nose jobs had caused MJ’s nose to fall off.
  • Jackson molested former child star McCaulay Calkin.
  • Jackson and his ex-wife Debbie Rowe are not the biological parents of his three children.
  • Jackson’s dermatologist is the biological father of his children.
  • Jackson cross-dressed and lived a closeted gay lifestyle.

Rather than sitting back and taking crap from the tabloids, Jackson gave statements to many of these claims, and even wrote/produced a song called “Tabloid Junkie.”

Tabloid Junkie

Speculate to break the one you hate
Circulate the lie you confiscate
Assassinate and mutilate
As the hounding media in hysteria
Who’s the next for you to resurrect
JFK exposed the CIA
Truth be told the grassy knoll
As the blackmail story in all your glory

It’s slander
You say it’s not a sword
But with your pen you torture men
You’d crucify the Lord
And you don’t have to read it, read it
And you don’t have to eat it, eat it
To buy it is to feed it, feed it
So why do we keep foolin’ ourselves

Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
Though everybody wants to read all about it
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual, actual
They say he’s homosexual

In the hood
Frame him if you could
Shoot to kill
To blame him if you will
If he dies sympathize
Such false witnesses
Damn self righteousness
In the black
Stab me in the back
In the face
To lie and shame the race
Heroine and Marilyn
As the headline stories of
All your glory

It’s slander
With the words you use
You’re a parasite in black and white
Do anything for news
And you don’t go and buy it, buy it
And they won’t glorify it, ‘fy it
To read it sanctifies it, ‘fies it
Then why do we keep foolin’ ourselves
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
Everybody wants to read all about it
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
See, but everybody wants to believe all about it

Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
See, but everybody wants to believe all about it
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual, actual
She’s blonde and she’s bisexual

Scandal
With the words you use
You’re a parasite in black and white
Do anything for news
And you don’t go and buy it, buy it
And they won’t glorify it, ‘fy it
To read it sanctifies it, ‘fies it
Why do we keep foolin’ ourselves
Slander
You say it’s not a sin
But with your pen you torture men
Then why do we keep foolin’ ourselves

Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
Though everybody wants to read all about it
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
See, but everybody wants to read all about it

Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual, actual
You’re so damn disrespectable

SOURCES

http://photos.essence.com/galleries/michael-jackson-truth-or-tabloid?slide=19706

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson

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