I was as shocked as everyone else to learn of Michael Jackson's passing this past Thursday. I actually found out via Facebook with all of the status updates referencing his passing. While he had gone a bit off the deep end in the last few years, there is no doubt that he was an influence on me as a child and as a teenager.
My first real dance recital was to a Micheal Jackson song. I was taking a jazz dance class and we performed to "Don't stop til You get Enough."
I remember going to my friend Carrie's house with all of the other girls in the neighborhood so we could watch the world premiere of the Thriller video on MTV. It was all we talked about for days.
I remember watching MJ on the Motown special. I tried to moonwalk in the living room for weeks after that performance. I never did get it down.
My first concert ever was The Jackson's Victory Tour at Dodger's Stadium in L.A.
And, yes, I had a Micheal Jackson poster in my bedroom.
There can be no doubt of Michael's influence on pop culture and music. I am saddened that a life was lost so early, and hope he will be remembered for his amazing presence and not his crazy later in life behavior.