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Suzanne De Passe

Suzanne De Passe

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The Moon Walk.

The King of Pop.

Michael Jackson: Dead at age 50.

Surreal, but for real.

His storied past was checkered with so many ups, and so many lows.

He transformed the music industry.

His music videos, sophisticated choreographed dance routines, imaginative costumes and concerts set a new standard for performers of all kinds.

Without his influence, there would be no MTV, no VH1, no BET. Jackson had accomplished a feat no one has topped yet, and music pundits don't believe it can ever be topped: Thriller is the best selling album of all time, generating more than $115 million in sales.

His other albums also are classics and among the world's best selling all-time: "Off the Wall", "Bad", "Dangerous" and "HIStory."Beyond his music, many a performer has tried to copy his dance moves even the troubled Chris Brown â€" saddled with his own troubles.

Hard to believe that Motown founder Berry Gordy originally had no interest in hearing the youth group perform that included Michael and his brothers Tito, Germaine, Randy and Marlon.Acclaimed producer and director Suzanne de Passe told CNN's Larry King that at first Gordy was skeptical, but once he heard the Jacksons perform, he was hooked.

Before they ever toured, de Passe said, the Jackson Five were already racing to the top of the musical charts.The word "icon" has been tied to his name with one reporter saying that despite his troubles in recent years, he had reached 'royalty' status, the likes of Princess Dianne.

"It's like the black Elvis Presley has died," said one mourner on CNN.

The "Rock and Roll" Hall of Famer transcended race.

He was not known â€" and never will be known â€" as the world's best black performer, but as one of the world's most profound musicians of our time.

He's known throughout the world not by he did for the "race", but he did for music and how he entranced millions of fans during massive conferences in Europe, Asia and North America.As he got older, stranger and more aloof, Jackson began to alienate many black fans as his facial transformations fueled the debate that Jackson hated his blackness, and was trying to turn his himself white by lightening his skin and narrowing the size of his nose. Beyond his eccentricities, everyone is full of memories and emotions when they talk of Jackson.

There's the first time you saw the Jackson Five singing "A-B-C"; or when you tried doing the 'Moon Walk" in the living room and disco dance floor; or as a teenager who coveted magazine covers to plaster on your room's walls and in your locker at school. He touched everyone â€" and that's what unfortunately tainted his life.

He was accused of being a pedophile and his reputation of inviting children to Neverland, and his own stories of having children spend the night at his house and in his bed dogged his "King of Pop" image.The small-framed musical legend reached his heights in the 80s and 90s, earning as much as $50 million a year, according to Forbes Magazine.

The hokie, but hugely successful "We Are the World" video brought together the world's best known musicians â€" black and white, and zoomed to the top of the music charts.

His famed 'White Glove", crotch-grabbing and sparkling, sequin costumes symbolized his distinct, lavish style that pushed him over the edge.

The Neverland Ranch became an icon of his wealth and his weakness: Roller coasters, chimpanzees, acres of toys. His ever-changing face surgeries became the butt of jokes, and only heightened concern about his mental stability.In the end, he was fighting to restore the life he once had, but he had lost his strength.

His time had come, succumbed by cardiac arrest.

His body â€" and perhaps his soul â€" were drained.

For this performer had left everything he had on stage.
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