July 14th, 2009 16:09 EST
There Will Never Again Be A Superstar Like Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson`s legacy was celebrated all over the world. The King of Pop ruled the pop charts, and his kingdom spanned the globe.
Jackson was comfortable working in several genres (new jack swing, disco, r & b and rock), but his music transcended labels and his many hits like "Billie Jean" were simply pop masterpieces.
Michael Jackson is the last music megastar; there will never again be an entertainer whose memorial service is televised to most of the world.
Today there is a multiplicity of Internet, cable, terrestrial and satellite radio stations playing every conceivable genre of music. Many radio listeners never venture outside of their niche to explore other forms of music. With a gazillion and one radio stations it`s much more difficult for an artist to break out of his little box and become a pop superstar.
Rap has been the most popular genre for the past few years, but it has failed to deliver a pop star of the magnitude of a Madonna, Bruce Springsteen or Michael Jackson. No rap star will ever be a rock star. To be an iconic rock star you have to sell out arenas and stadiums all over the world. The most famous rap stars can barely sell out a club, let alone an arena. The heavily produced and soulless rap drivel was meant to be played booming from a car stereo. Rock has a spiritual element, and its best enjoyed in a huge stadium of worshipful fans who know all the lyrics to their favorite songs.
Michael Jackson was bigger than life, and in the 80`s his fans waited with bated breath for the premiere of his latest video. Today MTV and VH1 don`t even play videos, and most people don`t watch music videos on their huge HD TV`s but on YouTube. A tiny Justin Timberlake dancing on a tiny YouTube screen does not make a superstar.
The CD is a dead format; an album that sells a million units is considered a huge hit. We will never again witness a supernova like Michael Jackson who has sold about a billion albums worldwide.
The future is digital, but digital doesn`t have a soul. Digital does away with the magic, all you have left are numbers. Michael Jackson`s "Thriller" was released in vinyl, cassette and CD. It was a tangible product, not only did you have terrific songs, but you could read the liner notes and take time to appreciate the albums` artwork. The digital age is going to produce fewer artists that fans care enough about to buy their albums.
As we say a long farewell to the King of Pop, we are also saying goodbye to the age of the superstar. Check out the Billboard Charts, not a single superstar in the mix: Lady Gaga, The Black Eyes Peas, Jonas Brothers, Brad Paisley. Talented and in some cases respected artists, but no superstars the caliber of the King of Pop.