June 30th, 2009 14:12 EST
Michael Jackson: The Jackie Robinson Of The Music Business
Hip hop has totally dominated the radio, and the pop charts for the past decade. Rap has taken over pop culture, TV commercials and movie soundtracks are suffused with urban rhythms.
It`s hard to believe that during MTV`s first few years on the air, very few African American artists were included in rotation on the video music channel. Only a few black singers including Eddy Grant, Tina Turner and Donna Summer received any airplay.
In 1983 MTV (under tremendous pressure) put Michael Jackson`s "Billie Jean" on heavy rotation. This video along with subsequent videos from Jackson`s Thriller album obliterated the color barrier.
Michael Jackson was a performer who appealed to every demographic, he was universally loved by the peoples of the world. The King of Pop was the Jackie Robinson of the music industry, he made it acceptable for MTV, VH1 and other video music channels to air videos by black entertainers.
"Radio celebrated Michael Jackson`s music in a huge way following news of the King of Pop`s death, as Jackson`s biggest hits jumped nearly 1,735 percent in overall airplay over the previous week, with many stations solely dedicating their play lists to Jackson`s discography this weekend.
In all, 20 Jackson songs registered more than 1,000 plays last week following news of Jackson`s death. By comparison, only Jackson`s `Rock With You` managed to crack 500 plays the previous week. `Thriller,` which was only played twice on Tuesday, June 23rd by all stations combined, was spun 1,497 times on Friday, June 26th, and collected 3,570 plays for the week. Also cracking the 3,000 plays mark were Off the Wall`s `Rock With You` and `Don`t Stop Til You Get Enough.`"
Most rap songs contain homophobic and misogynist lyrics, it was great to hear radio stations playing music from a black performer that celebrates life and love instead of glorifying violence and materialism.
Long Live The King of Pop! May radio stations play his music until the end of time.