He had an incredible 50 years during which he enjoyed fame and endured infamy. Michael Jackson was that one-of-a-kind performer whose influence is felt, musically and culturally, for years after he's gone.
Here are a few things people are sure to miss and remember about that once baby-faced kid from Gary, Indiana.
The Jackson 5: 'ABC,' 'The Love You Save,' 'I Want You Back'— No offense to your brothers, but it was your prepubescent soprano and effervescence that made these songs, and the group, hits.
Videos: Many say "Thriller" is their favorite, others say "Bad," but some of us still "Remember the Time." You made music videos an art form.
"A-Hee-Hee-Hee": You learned from the master, James Brown, that a great R&B singer must have a signature wail.
Moonwalking: Marcel Marceau did it long before you, but you made it the most imitated dance step of the 1980s.
Bubbles: Carrying that chimp around reminded us that the best celebrities are always a little weird, ah, make that eccentric.
Working with Quincy Jones: You had the good sense to realize that anyone who worked with Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis certainly knew how to make a hit, which is exactly what you had with "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad."
The television shows: Your family variety show "The Jacksons" from the 1970s was one of the very first to feature an African-American family. And your Saturday morning cartoon, "The Jackson 5," ushered the way for Bill Cosby's "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," at a time when African-American characters weren't staples on kids' TV programming.
The Wiz: As the "Scarecrow" to Diana Ross's "Dorothy," you 'eased on down the road,' in this soulful adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.
Billie Jean: With every sidewalk paver that lit up in this video, you cleared a path for other R&B artists trying to break onto MTV's play list, which was almost exclusively rock and new wave.
The ballads: People may still snicker that you sang about a rat ("Ben") but they smile and turn up the volume when they hear "Human Nature" or "She's Out of My Life."
The Oprah interview: Yes, it was at times painful to watch (particularly when you claimed you were suddenly light-skinned because you had vitiligo). But it was necessary for those of us who up until then refused to believe that the little Michael Jackson we once loved was forever gone.
Tabloid headlines: The hyperbaric chamber? The snake? The elephant-man bones? Man, you knew how to make us pause in the supermarket line even if you didn't have a hit at the top of the charts.
The glove: "Roboglove" or no, Beyonce (aka Sasha Fierce) should know the only celebrity that could make an embellished glove iconic was you.
The Thriller Jacket: OK, so the red leather jacket wasn't quite as iconic as the crystal-encrusted glove, but it sure did spark a lot of imitations sold in suburban malls all across America — and the world.
Your original nose: Even though you told Martin Bashir that you'd only had two plastic surgeries, we knew better. You taught us that there is such a thing as plastic surgery addiction and that you were never happy with the man you saw in the mirror.
We Are the World: Besides dance floor hits, you also did humanitarian work that never quite got the coverage that other aspects of your life received. But you did get recognition from Pres. Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House for your charity efforts.
Your musical spawn: Usher (who people call the Missing Jackson), Ne-Yo, New Edition and Justin Timberlake owe a debt to you just as you owed one to James Brown, Fred Astaire and Jackie Wilson.
Kissing Lisa Marie Presley: At the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. It made that show, and their marriage, water-cooler talk for a while.
Super Bowl XXVII: Unlike your little sister Janet's Super Bowl half-time performance, there was no 'wardrobe malfunction.' You simply stood there for two minutes, frozen in a pose that drove the crowd crazy. And then you removed your sunglasses and proceeded to "Jam."
King of Pop: It was a bold move, to crown yourself sovereign of an entire genre, but you did and your record sales proved that we believed you.
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