Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson; the late King of Pop would have been 53 today

Michael-Jackson

Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

It’s hard not to wonder what Michael Jackson would have thought of last night’s MTV Video Music Awards. After all, he was one of the primary artists responsible, nearly thirty years ago, for turning the little upstart music channel that could into a cultural behemoth, and had countless iconic VMA moments of his own.

Some 26 months after his shockingly sudden death at the age of 50, there are a million things to remember about the King of Pop on the occasion of what would have been his 53rd birthday: His remarkable musical and physical genius; his undeniable eccentricities; his ongoing personal struggles.

Personally, I prefer to think of him at his happiest, purest moments: the ones in which you could see how much he loved what he did, and how ridiculously outsized his talent was — even as tiny, precocious boy in a giant lavender hat, way back in 1969 on the Ed Sullivan Show:

Readers, what are your fondest MJ memories?

More on EW.com:
MTV 2011 VMAs: Beyonce’s baby bump, the moving Amy Winehouse tribute, and other memorable moments
Nick Minaj and Rihanna are the last queens standing in ‘Fly’ video: Watch it here
Tyler, the Creator: Learn more about the potty-mouthed 2011 VMAs’ Best New Artist winner

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • tigger851

    Watching the intense focus on the perfection of every movement! Miss ya Michael!

    • Pina

      I agree! My favorite memories of Michael were watching him blush and laugh. He had the best – most innocent – laugh. And when he blushed, it just made you (me) want to squeeze him. What a beautiful person!!! I love you Michael!! Happy Birthday.

      • Ginger Snapped

        My favorite memories are when he was on trial for pedophilia. Ahhhhhhhhh memories!!!!

  • husna

    happy birthday michael jackson i never believed i will fall in love for the secend time i pray to god to bring me to you and never part from you

    • Hmmm

      I hope you are under psychiatric care…

      • JOANN

        He needed mental health care but folks like you who are so quick to judge did not help this man-child. how cruel our society was toward him! All he ever wanted to do was make the world a better place to be1

      • Robyn Baylor

        & I hope that you find out what it means to have grace & respect for others. Those are her feelings. What are they to you? & Who are you to belittle her? Everyone needs a hero to look up to & love & there’s nothing wrong w/ that. What a sad little ignorant pimple of a man you are. Wow. I feel bad. I just insulted pimples.

  • reena

    miss MJ lots his music and dancing inspired a generation but at least now he is at peace

  • Jerry

    “It’s hard not to wonder what Michael Jackson would have thought of last night’s MTV Video Music Awards.”

    He would have thought, “Justin Bieber isn’t as hot as he used to be.”

    • PLEASE.

      He’d probably be spankin’ his frankin to him.

      • fancypants

        You’re deranged.

      • Urethra Franklin

        Get out.

      • JOANN

        How sad even after death you people can’t leave him alone

      • Robyn

        Maybe your jealous because he thought that you were too ugly to spank so he passed you by.

    • derrrr

      Awesome.

  • JPX

    Why does EW continue to pretend that Jackson wasn’t a pedophile? when I see pictures of Jackson all I think about are the children who had to sleep with him. I’m glad he’s gone.

    • Florence Lanlenou

      I am addressing this directly to you JPX because you worst than Michael. What you hate in other it’s just what you are yourself. If you are not pedophile yourself how you borther with another person’s. You hater. For Michael he will be always remimber for the good he did not what you hater want him to be. Michael died and burried with dignity but you hater will die and noboby with reminber you event your own people or family may not have service for you because that’s what hater deserve and you will go to hell in your weakedness.

      • Hmmm

        I take it English isn’t your first language…doesn’t even seem like it’s your fourth of fifth…

      • PLEASE.

        He’ll always be remembered for being a pedophile who got off by paying somebody off by the intelligent people in this country.
        You probably believe that Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson were both innocent.

    • Pie Thrower

      @Florence: When a grown man invites a child into bed to sleep with him (that is not related to that child as a parent) and then offers him wine, that is simply a pedophile. There is no justification for that kind of behavior. It is a seduction in the truest sense. Michael Jackson was an enormous talent who pioneered a new sense of pop culture that continues to resonate today but in the end MICHAEL JACKSON IS NOTHING MORE THAN A PEDOPHILE.

      Now go learn some English.

      • Pina

        Michael NEVER did the things you just mentioned. If you can read, I would suggest you research the false allegations and what you will learn is that Michael was the victim of extortion – plain and simple. Lisa Marie, Michael’s former wife, spoke about Michael’s innocence as have the many of people who knew him personally. MICHAEL JACKSON WAS INNOCENT AND THE VICTIM OF EXTORTION. Go learn how to read the FACTS.

      • Marie

        @ Pie Thrower That’s what classifies a person as a pedophile? WOW !!! Michael Jackson wasn’t a child molester and you people know it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE (wish you were still here with us)

      • JOANN

        @ Pie Thrower,your ignorance is only surpassed by your judgmental attitude. If you bothered to research what happened to MICHAEL JACKSON,you would have seen the truth.He was not capable of the things h was accused of-he was truly one of the most inno9cent human beings alive. Did you know he gave $300,000,000 to charities? Do you listen to the words of songs like WE ARE THE WORLD,HEAL THE WORLD,MAN IN THE MIRROR,WHAT MORE CAN I GIVE. He has encouraged us to be better than we are-because that is what he saw in us-the human race. Do some research before you judge another human being.He did not deserve what happened to him. AND WE,AS A SOCIETY NEED TO GET OUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE WE ACCUSE SOMEONE OF SOMETHING THIS SEVERE! As ugly as you haters get toward him,he would have NEVER been that cruel to you all.

    • ME

      you are an idiot and your dad is probably the pedophile

      • Pie Thrower

        @ME: You’re right. You convinced me. I must be idiot to think there is nothing wrong with a grown man taking my child overnight in my luxorious mansion to drink wine while sharing a bed with me overnight.

        Thank you for setting me straight. I feel much better now that I can bury my head in the sand.

    • JOANN

      How sad that people really believe he was capable of harming a child. Do you know,JANET ARVIZO,the woman who accused MICHAEL of this was just released from prison for WELFARE FRAUD Have you read the court papers in SANTSA MARIA CA? Do you know that kid described MJ’S genitial area and it was NOTHING like the lying little creep said it was? Do you know the jurors wanted to find him guilty but couldn’t because there was no evidence to support the accusations? Do you know CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES told TOM SNEADON,the prosecutor,he DID NOT have a case? MICHAEL JACKSON was investigated by CPS,

  • Cori

    Happy 53rd Birthday, Michael! I wish you were alive again so you can celebrate your 53rd birthday and you can perform for your fans. We love and miss you so much, Michael and your music and your choreography inspires your fans, including me and other entertainers.

    • derrrr

      You know he can’t hear or read what you say, right?

      • PLEASE.

        Haha

  • Ben

    On January 12, 2009 the National Enquirer predicted that Michael Jackson had 6 months to live. 5 1/2 months later, Michael Jackson was dead. His death was not “shockingly sudden”. The National Enquirer almost got the exact day he died. For that to happen, it was very obvious that he was dying. Too bad Michael Jackson did not check into a hospital and get medical treatment after the story was published. He might still be alive today if he got help from a real hospital and real medical doctors.

    • Chris

      Really? You’re going with the National Enquirer as your record of choice for reliable information and hard hitting journalism? Really??

      • Ginger Snapped

        Well, they were right about John Edwards………

      • JOANN

        THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE TOO LAZY TO RESEARCH ANYTHING SO THEY ALLOW RAGS LIKE THE ENQUIRER TO DO THEIR THINKING FOR THEM! IT IS MUCH EASIER TO BE A JUDGMENTAL JERK THAN FIND OUT THE TRUTH! I HAVE NEVER READ THE ENQUIRER OR ANY OF THE OTHER SMUT THESE IDIOTS PUBLISH. BUT THEN I GUESS HAVING AN EXCELLENT EDUCATION CAUSES ONE TO WANT FACTS NOT GOSSIP!

  • PLEASE.

    Why not post these worthless articles during milestone birthdays only?

    • asdf

      Why not post your comments….never ?

      • PLEASE.

        WoW. That’s like saying, “I know you are but what am I” or some dumb “valley girl” expression?

      • UGH

        You can tell how simple minded asdf is just by the quickest name they could figure out for themselves on the keyboard there.

      • Harol

        I heard they have a brother named “qwerty”.

  • PN

    I remember Michael many times during the year,not just his birthday.

    • PLEASE.

      I do too whenever I pass by our local psychiatric ward.

      • JOANN

        BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO YOU!

    • Archana

      Posted on Individuals are yours alright! . We a munmiim of should get these folks stealing photographs to get started on running a blog! They almost certainly just did a picture lookup and grabbed them. They search great however!

  • fancypants

    Happy 53rd Birthday, MJ!

    • Harol

      Hey, I thought Michael’s name was “fancypants”…..

  • mark thomas miller

    happy birthday michael jackson were glad you’re 53 years old right now but i still believe in you

    • Harol

      Ummmmmm actually, he’s not 53. You tend to stop aging when you die.

  • Pina

    Happy Birthday Michael. I love you!!! My favorite memories of Michael were watching him blush and laugh. He had the best – most innocent – laugh. And when he blushed, it just made you (me) want to squeeze him. What a beautiful person!!!

    • Vanessa

      I was 7 years old when the Thriller album was unleashed on the world. In those days video ucnotdown shows like the CHUM FM Countdown where huge and I’d stay awake late on Friday evenings just to watch the Thriller video. It was always the number one video so that meant I had to stay up until midnight so I could see it. Sometimes I’d fall off to sleep before they played it and that always sucked. I had all the MJ merch glitter gloves, thriller sunglasses, buttons, posters, books, tapes and records. I always regretted never owning the Beat It jacket. I love that jacket to this day. I remember returning to school in September of ’83 and all the kids were wearing leather pants. Some had the Thriller jacket too. The bastards I thought out of jealousy of course.It was sad to see the memorial on tv yesterday. It seems to me like MJ has had his big comeback after all but it is sad that it has had to happen only after his death as this is usually the case. He is top of the sales charts once again as new generations are downloading his music for the first time. Let’s hope the media doesn’t get too carried away with his death though this morning I heard that MJ was nearly bald when he died (either from genetics or from a fighting a recent bout of skin cancer). Oh the things that will come out now

  • Urethra Franklin

    Favorite Memory: his 1988 Grammy performance.

  • savannah

    Happy Birthday Michael!! Your memory lives on!

  • c

    happy birthday michael!!!!

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