I’m truly at a loss for words today. With the news breaking early this morning that Farrah Fawcett passed away at the age of 62, reports of Michael Jackson’s passing at the age of 50 broke this afternoon as well.
Both contributed greatly to each of their respective industries, and to have lost them both on the same day is particularly painful. Firstly, Farrah was most famous for her role as Jill Munroe on “Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981).” During its five years on the air, the show straddled between two dichotomies: critically bashed for its portrayal of the three female leads as simply sex objects, and nothing more; and, on the other side, the show was praised for pushing three females as private investigators as no other television show had ever done before.
When the show debuted on September 22, 1976, it was an immediate sensation. People automatically clicked with the idiosyncracies of the characters and the adventures that they had week in and week out. Ms. Fawcett herself grew to be one of the most popular cast members, winning a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Performer in a New TV Program in 1977.
With the success of the show firmly entrenched, Ms. Fawcett announced that she would leave the show only after one season. However, finding more success after “Charlie’s Angels” was difficult at first. Eventually, Ms. Fawcett scored a few critical successes, staring in a couple of dramatic productions: Extremities and The Burning Bed. The latter led to Ms. Fawcett’s first of three Emmy nominations.
As the years went on, Ms. Fawcett appeared in many more television programs and films, keeping her in the public eye long after “Charlie’s Angels” had left the airwaves. In more recent years, Ms. Fawcett had been battling anal cancer, which she had seemingly beat in 2006. Sadly, however, the cancer returned, metastasizing into a far more virulent form of cancer which attacked other organs in her body. Unfortunately, this resurgence of cancer proved to be her undoing, with Ms. Fawcett finally succumbing to the disease today at 9:28 a.m.
I think we should remember Ms. Fawcett as leaving an indelible impression on many as a sex symbol. As shallow as that may sound at the outset, that is certainly true. In addition, Ms. Fawcett should be remembered as a vivacious woman who grabbed onto acting roles in manner unlike any other. Most importantly, though, I think we should remember Ms. Fawcett for the brave and valiant fight she had against anal cancer. Unfortunately, because of the moniker of her disease, individuals have been quick to rise with sophomoric jokes and immature humor. It cannot be emphasized enough that her battle is something that many across the globe struggle with everyday. I hope, with her passing, more attention will be given to the insidious nature of her condition.
By no means trying to be callous about Ms. Fawcett at all, we all heard the shocking news that pop icon that Michael Jackson passed away earlier this afternoon at the age of 50. Personally, I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Mr. Jackson is gone. I cannot really remember when I was first exposed to Mr. Jackson’s music, but, I knew when I first heard many of his hit songs, I was hooked.
His short 50 years on this planet showed us the ups and downs of stardom. Of course, Mr. Jackson hit incredible highs, as well as unbelievable lows. Today, however, I think we should remember Mr. Jackson for simply being an incredible entertainer. Simply put, he is arguably this generation’s Elvis Presley.
Of course, Mr. Jackson was a pop star from a very young age, starting out in The Jackson 5. There was a certain electricity with many of the songs the group did, including, but not limited to: ABC,” “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There.” Soon after finding success with The Jackson 5, Mr. Jackson moved on to put it mildly, an extremely successful solo career, beginning in the early 1970s.
The 1970s saw the release of a few solo albums by Mr. Jackson, including 1979’s “Off the Wall.” There are numerous great songs on this album: “Rock with You,” and a cover of Paul McCartney’s “Girlfriend.”
As the 1970s turned to the 1980s, Mr. Jackson skyrockted to unparalled success with the release of “Thriller” in 1982. It is the world’s best selling album, and contains some of the biggest hits of career. Here is the famous video from the title track of the album, displaying not only Mr. Jackson’s profound singing ability, but, his incredible talent for choreography as well:
As the 1980s continued, 1988 saw the release of “Bad,” the only album that saw five Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles, including, the title track itself. Here are a couple of videos highlighting only a sampling from this album:
As the 1980s faded away, the 1990s came, seeing somewhat of an ebb in Mr. Jackson’s career. However, Mr. Jackson still showed had prodigious talent with the release of 1991’s “Dangerous.” This album too contained a few hit songs, such as “Black or White” and “Will You Be There?”
I think we are all aware of the child abuse trials that he was involved during the 1990s and, more recently in 2005, but I am choosing not to delve into that painful chapter of his life. As humans, none of us are perfect, so we should not make that the defining hallmark of Mr. Jackson’s life.
By no means is this post a comprehensive one about Mr. Jackson’s career. In fact, I have only scratched the surface in terms of what contributions he gave to the world.
As I said at the beginning of this post, take the time to remember these amazing people and how they may have contributed in some manner to your lives. Rest in peace to you both, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.