"I don't think there's ever been anyone harder to write about than Michael Jackson," writes Linda Holmes of NPR. Try to balance his musical brilliance with, well, just about everything else in his life. So for her, Michael Jackson comes down to this: That moment in 1983 when he moonwalked live across the TV in a Motown special that "caught him precisely at the moment when he was at his most amazing, his most otherworldly in a good way, his most lithe and eye-popping and wonderfully alien."
"For many, many people, this was the first opportunity they had to see this incarnation of him. This is where everyone I knew first saw the moonwalk, and if you weren't there or didn't watch it or maybe weren't a kid at the time, you cannot imagine what a big deal it was. I was in middle school, and I think we all tried it. You can hear the crowd scream when he does it here—it's not a scream of recognition, like it would be when he did it later. It's a scream of shock."