The world's biggest pop star died 10 years ago Tuesday, and the estate of Michael Jackson marked the occasion with a statement calling him "more important than ever," reports Billboard. "A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, his influence embedded in dance, fashion, art, and music of the moment," says the statement, which goes on to suggest that his fans honor him by performing a charitable act in their community. The anniversary, of course, comes on the heels of a documentary that put a serious dent in Jackson's reputation with new allegations of child molestation. Related coverage:
- Conspiracy theories: As often happens in celebrity deaths, some fans insist Jackson isn't really dead. Vice digs into the various theories, with one of the most prominent the result of cryptic messages from Jackson's longtime stylist, Steve Erhardt. "In a recording studio, somewhere in the world, in an undisclosed location, he's coming soon," he wrote in 2018. Other truthers say he faked his death because of crushing debt, and so on. There's even a website devoted to "sightings."
- The other death: Farrah Fawcett died the same day as Jackson, and E! News recounts the crazy media day. "I always had the sense that Farrah would kind of be getting a laugh out of that and saying, 'Thank God, they're over there, finally,'" says her friend, Alana Stewart. "'They're leaving me alone. The paparazzi, the reporters, the news cameras.'"
- The drug: Conspiracy theories aside, Jackson died after his doctor gave him a lethal dose of propofol. The AP takes a new look at the "Michael Jackson drug," which is a widely used anesthetic during surgery. Jackson, though, took it because he was having trouble sleeping. He called it his "milk." (Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.) Propofol is now being studied as a possible treatment for depression.
- Complicated legacy: Music critic Chris Richards digs into what it's like hearing Jackson's music, which still seems to be "everywhere" these days. A sample from his piece at the Washington Post: "When I listen to 'Billie Jean' today, my brain spins as violently as my stomach, thinking about how this hero of pop culture spent his most untouchable years hurting other boys my age. I feel betrayed, complicit, repulsed, and ashamed. My kid-self still wants to skate right into the music, but I have to protect him from that beautiful, horrible sound."
- Ditto: Here's the take of Jonny Coleman at the Hollywood Reporter: "Michael Jackson was a pop culture hero for much of his life. But, in death, his musical legacy will forever be tethered to his legacy of alleged abuse, which is the closest thing to justice that anyone will ever get with him."
- What Janet says: In an interview with the UK Sunday Times, Janet Jackson doesn't sound worried about her brother's legacy. "It will continue," she says. "I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music. It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world."
- His kids: Jackson had three children. Paris is 21 and has the biggest spotlight, thanks to her modeling, acting, and music. Prince is 22 and just graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; Blanket is 17 attends the Buckley School in Los Angeles, though he now goes by Bigi, per Inside Edition.
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