Michael Jackson was not only the king of pop, but he was also the master of marketing his own brand.
Somewhere around 1992 just after releasing Dangerous, Michael Jackson shot yet another commercial.
This commercial, which featured an older Michael Jackson meeting his younger self, was originally to sell Pepsi. This directors-cut like version of the ad doesn't feature any Pepsi product. This commercial does however provide a telling sign of Michael's emotional state.
In the ad itself, Michael is playing a sobering less youthful version of his classic with the Jackson 5, "I'll Be There". Midway through playing it, the young Michael makes an appearance. When he looks back, a series of photos and videos of Michael in his Jackson 5 days come across the scene.
As I watch the commercial feeling this new version of "I'll Be There", I couldn't help but wonder what he was saying in the way he was signing the song. It's no secret that in the later years of his career that Michael was getting more and more isolated; Who wouldn't be?
You are a legend.
Everyone knows your word could bless anyone into fame and fortune.
How could you possibly gauge who is there for you as an ordinary person and who is there for you because of your fame?
Michael in this current state during this commercial sounds depressed and slightly not believing the lyrics of the song. He often sang it mentioning his family sometimes while performing it on tour. I believe the older he got and the more demanding his family became, the harder it was for him to sing that song with any sense of joy.
We discuss the end of Michael Jackson's life by pointing at the doctor who was looking after him, the grueling child molestation cases and maybe even old fashioned racism. This commercial, to me, speaks more about what really drained him to his death; his own family.
You may wonder why I post this commercial rather than discuss a favorite MJ tune or music video. It's simple really: We need to remember these are people first and entertainers second. Every bit of their lives that they give in the name of pleasing an audience means that a portion of their youth goes forever.
In Micheal's case, he gave so much to his audience and his family that his candle burned out. This commercial, to me, is the sign of the beginning of the end of Michael Jackson.
Just watching it now makes my heart break.
As people who write about Entertainment, it is our job to keep it real about an artist's content -- not their personal lives. Since we like to see celebrities spill into the depths of despair (by their own hand or someone else's), there will be no end in sight when it comes to celebrity gossip or the blogs that seek to gain a dollar sign from it.
On that note, I will honor Michael Jackson by not reporting anything else on him and living my life. Something that he, if he were still alive and not with the weight of the world of his shoulders, would have done.