Thursday, June 24, 2010

Michael Jackson : Not "The Greatest"

Tomorrow will be a sad anniversary for pop music fans. It will be one year since the death of music superstar Michael Jackson.

I was actually working that day and was in the area, so I drove by 100 Carolwood to see what was up. It was only 2 hours or so since they had announced his death, and police had sealed off the street, there were media vehicles out in front of his house, and there were news helicopters hovering overhead.

Of course, there were countless accolades piled on the man who revolutionized the recording industry by taking it to heights it hadn't seen before. Some even went so far as to call him the "Greatest Entertainer of All Time".

Although I liked Michael Jackson and enjoyed his music, I think that title would be incorrect.
The Beatles and Elvis Presley sold more records than Michael Jackson did.
Michael had the highest selling single album of all time, Thriller, but he didn't beat these others in overall totals. Elvis still sells a decent amount of records even though he has been dead for 33 years. In comparison, will buyers still be purchasing Michael Jacksons music in 2042? Maybe. Only time will tell.

When discussing the rankings of the greatest entertainers of all time... and certainly the Beatles and Elvis Presley would be in the top 10, one has to consider the depth of the persons talent.
There are 10 people in the world, including Mel Brooks and Barbara Streisand, who have won an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy. To me, this displays a diverse range of talent in many areas.
Even singer/actress Cher sold millions of records and still won an Oscar for her acting. Michael Jackson was a talented singer and dancer, but he wasn't ever going to win Oscars or Emmys for his acting.

In these rankings, I think you have to consider non-traditional people also.
Muhammad Ali was a boxer, but what he really did was entertain people with his skills.
Same thing with Tiger Woods, or Tom Brady, or Kobe Bryant.
They entertain people with their talent.

With that line of reasoning established, I think for my money I have to state that the greatest entertainer of all time is probably movie director Steven Spielberg. Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Close Encounters, Saving Private Ryan, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Is there a movie on that list that you haven't seen? If you are like most people, you have spent over 20 hours of your life being entertained by the talented vision of Steven Spielberg.

The box office totals for his movies surpasses $8 Billion dollars, dwarfing anything the music industry can produce on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

I think there are more homes around the world that have a Steven Spielberg movie on DVD in their house than there are homes with Michael Jackson records.