Age of Celebrity Didn't Die with Jackson

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2009 3:31 AM CDT
The image of a young Michael Jackson appears on television screens as the memorial service for Jackson is broadcast inside the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas yesterday.   (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)
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(Newser) – Media commentators claiming Michael Jackson's death marks the end of mega-stardom couldn't be farther off the mark, Richard Florida argues in the Atlantic. It's true that the fast route to stardom the Internet offers has made celebrities a dime a dozen, but like every other new communications technology, the web promises to continue to deliver bigger stars than ever before possible, Florida writes.

Potential global megastars are already emerging, like mixed-race rapper Sean Paul, who is as big in India as he is in Jamaica, Florida notes. "In each previous epoch, the rise of a new technology has led to a celebrity even bigger than the last," he writes. "Digital networks and social media are platforms with such enormous potential and global reach that they are tailor-made for the Next Big Thing."