Michael Jackson's Music, Controversy and Cultural Impact

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Table of contents

  1. The Legacy of Michael Jackson
  2. The Influence of Michael Jackson
  3. 'Michael Jackson: On the Wall' Exhibition

The Legacy of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, widely known as the 'King of Pop,' inspired love, hope, and compassion across the world. Even after his death, his music and his tireless humanitarian work when he was alive helped the suffering and underprivileged. One of the major ways Michael Jackson influenced people all over the world was through music and dance. You'd have been hard-pressed to find someone who wasn't blown away by his performances. 

From powerful songs, moonwalks, twirls, high-pitched shrieks, and crotch-grabs, Michael Jackson truly left a mark that will truly remain after many years. Aside from changing music forever, he also managed to engage his followers in relevant global issues such as climate change. Aside from that, he donated to organizations that support cancer and AIDS research. Michael Jackson changed history.

Ten years after Michael Jackson's death, his legacy has been called into question. This is after a documentary entitled 'Leaving Neverland' was shown on television in the United States and the United Kingdom last March. According to a report from the BBC, James Safechuck and Wade Robson revealed that they were abused by the King of Pop when they were children. This left the whole world, especially his fans, confused. 

The issue involving Michael Jackson is encouraged to be talked about in a recent exhibition in Bonn's Bundeskunsthalle entitled 'Michael Jackson: On the Wall.' Launched on March 22 and open until July 14, the exhibition aims not only to showcase the life and career of the singer but also serve as a platform to critically discuss the issue of his legacy. 

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The Influence of Michael Jackson

Born on August 29, 1958, Michael Jackson was an American singer, dancer, recording artist, and entertainer. He was probably the most popular in the era of pop during the '70s, '80s, and '90s, thus, gaining the title 'King of Pop.' He remained a global icon until his untimely death in 2009. Still, his legacy and influence in the pop industry live on. His name not only lingers in the United States but also around the world. 

One of the most significant ways Michael Jackson influenced listeners of his music across the globe was through global culture. He wasn't just famous in his country, but also in countries that were seemingly untouched by Western influence. He was able to bring the world a sense of connection through his music. It has been said that the music legend envisioned a world where there would be peace and harmony. Indeed, his legacy goes far beyond being a musician. 

Michael Jackson was considered one of the most influential celebrities, using his platform and fame to raise awareness for several issues. In fact, he supported organizations that advocate certain causes such as the American Cancer Society, UNICEF, Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. He engaged in humanitarian work and was a huge advocate for children. 

'Michael Jackson: On the Wall' Exhibition

Despite Michael Jackson's alleged history of sexual abuse of minors, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn in Germany has no plans of canceling the exhibition dedicated to the King of Pop. The exhibition was first opened at the National Gallery in London which featured the musician’s influence on contemporary art. However, in line with the recent issue, the museum organizers decided not to 'discuss his biography' in favor of “examining Jackson’s cultural impact.' 

According to an article by the DW, the exhibition features over 134 artworks highlighting the legacy of Michael Jackson created by 53 artists such as David LaChapelle, Yan Pei Ming, Isa Genzken, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol. The show is all about how the music legend means very different things to many very different people. Most of the works displayed in the exhibition were drawn from public and private collections around the world. There are also new pieces that were made especially for the show. 

Produced with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson Estate, the museum stated in an interview that they will not stop viewers from talking about the issue. According to an article by Hyperallergic, the museum said, “The allegations made in the film are shocking. The lawsuit, however, has not been resolved and since Michael Jackson’s death [these allegations] have been considerably more difficult to prove.”

Additionally, Rein Wolfs, director at the Bundeskunsthalle, stated that this exhibition can be a way to reassess the King of Pop especially now that there have been many abuse accusations thrown at him. The exhibition is to be shown from a critical perspective. 'I believe it's better to have a platform that enables discussion rather than simply to extinguish a cultural memory,' Wolfs said.  The museum says that this exhibition dedicated to Michael Jackson is a great place to discuss the accusations against him. They see this show as their responsibility to not ignore the issue. 

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