I was in the elevator at work and two other passengers were chatting when I overheard: "Apparently Michael Jackson died." "Whaaa....??" I blurted in disbelief. He repeated the bombshell news, but it barely registered as I stepped off the elevator in a daze, heading to the nearest computer to confirm the news. I constantly refreshed the news feeds, some of which were still reporting of his being rushed to hospital. TMZ was the first to report his death, though some held out hope that as a gossip site they weren't the most reliable source. The tweets I followed were a mix of shock and denial with the most useful updates were coming from @BreakingNews. An hour or so later, the LA Times confirmed without a doubt the King of Pop died.
Tributes and pre-written obituaries have popped up everywhere. Jian Ghomeshi has a nice piece on the mess of conflicts faced by media and public alike in paying tribute. Yep, every blurb comes with an asterisk, disclaimer, or Big But and I'm no different. Eccentricities and controversies aside, Michael Jackson was an incredible talent and performer whose legacy and influence are undeniable.
We pay tribute here at Fong Songs the only way we know how, with a sampling of some of my favourite MJ covers, remixes, and mash-ups.
Heath Brandon - Billie Jean [originally by Michael Jackson]
Neil Finn - Billie Jean [originally by Michael Jackson]
The Lost Fingers - Billie Jean [originally by Michael Jackson]
Originally the subjects of today's post, I'm going to see these guys tonight on Granville Island as part of the Vancouver Jazz Festival. This MJ cover is from their first album Lost in the 80s, which covered 80s pop, while their sophomore record released less than 2 weeks ago is all French-language covers.
Speak Low - Thriller [originally by Michael Jackson]
J. Viewz - Smooth Criminal [originally by Michael Jackson]
Dick Brave & The Backbeats - Black or White [originally by Michael Jackson]
Transformer di Roboter - Stranger in Moscow [originally by Michael Jackson]
Konishi Yasuharu - I Want You Back (Readymade 524 Mix) [Remix of The Jackson 5]
Ben Double M - I Want Your Digital Love [The Jackson 5 vs. Daft Punk]
MadMixMustang - The Way You Got Me That Feeling [Michael Jackson vs. James Brown]
team9 - Screaming Pro [Michael Jackson vs. Beck]
Bittersweet headline of the day: Thriller inmates saddened over death of Michael Jackson
If you're not one of the 23.5 million viewers of the youtube video, check it out here.
Saddest typo of the day: "Micheal Jackson" as seen on Twitter's Trending Topics