Presley, the Beatles, Sinatra, Michael Jackson. It is no exaggeration to say that Michael Jackson was one of the most spectacular and popular entertainers of all time. Last night, he moonwalked off this mortal coil and left his millions of fans in a state of shock, grief and bewilderment.
It feels like music's JFK or Diana. People will remember where they were when they heard the news. At 23.20 CET I logged onto Twitter (now ablaze with MJ posts) and saw the below.
Half-suspecting a rumour or hoax, I turned to my girlfriend with a puzzled look on my face and muttered "I think Michael Jackson might be dead..."
We turned the TV to CNN and frantically searched online news sources. TMZ seemed to be the only outlet claiming he had died - then Reuters supposedly confirmed it, and CNN stated he was in a coma. An hour or so later the LA Times and CBS confirmed his death, followed by the BBC and finally, another 45 minutes on, CNN. Incredulous and saddened, we went to bed.
And that was that. The media will be filled with obituaries, 'Life In Pictures' and TV specials, and no doubt there'll be pubic displays of grief too. I'm going back to London tonight (for the Killers, a wedding, DMB and Springsteen) but will sadly miss the mass moonwalk at Liverpool St (18.00 BST). Short of Glastonbury or Hyde Park, that must rank as one of the prime events in the UK to go and pay your respects to the King of Pop. C'mon.