Many of us grew up as huge fans and were consistently affected by his music and persona for much of our lives.

Hearing the news of his shocking death has quickly reminded us of our own mortality and imminent death. The world was absolutely crushed when the reality set in that he was gone too soon and would never return. This will deeply resonate within the now-seemingly hollow spot Michael Jackson left in the hearts of followers across the globe who grew up with the pop star-turned-tragic figure — one that even the masterful craftsmanship of Shakespeare couldn’t create.

Many of us knew of his well-documented trials and tribulations but continued having empathy and downright pity for him as we continued to see him slide into depression and plain weirdness. Many can tell the story of hanging his posters in our rooms and developing ingenious plans to find ways into his concerts. Everywhere you looked, Michael Jackson made cultural imprints crossing genres. It is without question there was deep love and affection for him from sea to shining sea.

Having communicated with Mr. Jackson during the furnace of his trials, what came across? A man who reached great heights and had his childhood stolen from him; he was skeptical of people because he was oftentimes exploited. Yet through his emotional underdevelopment he remained sincere, humbled by stardom, a man you wouldn’t be afraid to call brother and friend.

Many of us were so moved by his persona that we were purchasing tickets to his performance in London next month, in hopes to have flashbacks of his great dance moves, his musical hits for the ages, his masterful artistry.

Unfortunately, the pressures of life ensnarled him. This is a man whose lavish spending put him at roughly $300 million in debt in 2005. He was being sued on all sides, abusing prescription drugs, constantly pressured to go back to touring — and it proved to be too much. Who could ever forget the transformation of his face, string of marriages, oxygen tank that would make him forever young and God knows what else. But he was then and always will be our Michael.

The dynamism of Michael Jackson can never be forgotten. His contribution to the world of music and the greater nation will become big- and little-screen movies, documentaries, books, plays, etc., for generations to come. Like Arthur of Camelot, his legend will never die.

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