Jackson never fails to “thrill” the public

Karen Schubert

On Aug. 29, 1958 a legend was born in America. This legend is none other than Michael Jackson. In his youth, Jackson was part of a hugely successful family singing group, The Jackson Five. In the ’80s, Jackson became the most influential and successful solo performer of all time, while throughout the ’90s, he was hailed as one of the most controversial public figures of all time. But what about now? What is the self-proclaimed King of Pop up to today?

Jackson was recently in Germany to accept his “Bambi Award” for best pop artist of the millennium. However, while he was there, he managed to get himself into the headlines for controversial actions once again. While in Germany, Jackson dangled his baby son, Prince Michael II, over the fourth floor railing. Jackson’s brother Jackie claimed that Jackson was simply holding his baby over the railing for the fans to see. Critics are skeptical of Jackson’s actions and question his affection for his children. Accusations about child molestation haunt Jackson to this day, and his antics with his child are causing more controversy for the pop star.

But the molestation allegations in 1993 and this more recent scandal with his child are not the only reasons his fame has subsided. Jackson is haunted by the success of his 1984 release, “Thriller.” The album became the best-selling album of all time, and the video for the song has been ranked number one of the century by VH1 and MTV. With so much success from one album, it has been impossible to maintain that level of critical and commercial success.

Michael Jackson’s most recent release was in 2001 with “Invincible.” It has only been certified double platinum, and in comparison to his previous releases, double platinum is close to failure. In order to break back into the public scene, Jackson’s efforts include performing with ’N Sync at the MTV Video Music Awards and two tribute concerts where tickets cost as much as $2,500 apiece.

Jackson has been exploring other avenues with a cameo in “Men in Black II” and trying to start a film production company, “Neverland Pictures.” Jackson’s goal is to introduce a new form of film that focuses on music, movement and dance. The company is working on a movie, entitled “Wolfed.” Jackson is once again working with Rick Baker, producer of the “Thriller” video, for studio effects in his movie.

Also in the works for Jackson is an album with Carlos Santana and his son Prince. Jackson is even talking about taking a trip to the moon to do a real moonwalk.