There could be no answer as icons never are something or other solid. Great artists can create something significant and new, sometimes it can be a break out. Michael Jackson was quite a modern phenomenon, working inventively for and with a view of a modern mass audience, but within a general history of music I can compare him to Amadeus Mozart, a great classical composer of Baroque times. The reason is that Mozart was making a personal combustion to everything in music working in a many different genres of coeval times. Similarly, Michael Jackson was working mixing genres of coeval music, and similarly to Mozart Michael Jackson never knew a life without music. Both artists were performing since a very early age, both were encouraged by fathers. The only great difference was that Mozart composed a classical elite music (it was a different social structure in Mozart times) while Michael Jackson was working in a popular music for a mass audience. There were other popular singers and bands in later 20th century, some of them being quite ahead of time from Michael Jackson (like Elvis Presley, or Frank Sinatra, maybe Freddy Mercury, and all the members of The Beatles), but no one made such a wide spread, a cross-genre and cross-cultural contribution as Michael Jackson.The point is that Michael Jackson was a mass media phenomenon, a great show man, despite being a musician. Friends and producers say, Michael Jackson was always reaching out for audience, and often appreciated a public image before music (Gest & Eastel, 2011). Maybe it’s a strange thought, but to my mind, Michael Jackson was too reaching when following all the steps a mass culture was only going to make, foreshadowing show business industry development. Starting with bubblegum and soul styles, extremely popular in 50-s-60-s, but imposed by family and environment, Michael Jackson fitted well until growing up. Inventing a solo music quite successfully, Michael Jackson was receiving Grammies while selling a milliard of copies of world-famous albums of mixed genres (Gest & Eastel, 2011). Since becoming an iconic culture authority (even named “the king of pop”) Michael Jackson made calls for attention to a cross-cultural problems, working for charitable causes within his financial activity, and within a music (Gest & Eastel, 2011). Singles like Earth Song, They Don’t Care About Us, and earlier mentioned Black Or White were created with a view of global postmodern concerns and
ReferenceGest, D. & Eastel, A. (2011). Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon. DVD. Universal Studios.
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