Fans mark 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death amid ongoing controversy

Fans mark 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson's death amid ongoing controversy
Photo courtesy of Michael Jackson estate

Most of us can still remember exactly where we were when we heard that Michael Jackson had died. Ten years later, it is still the major talking point. 

The hashtag #10YearsWithoutMichaelJackson has been trending globally on Twitter with close to 70,000 tweets, as of this writing, utilizing the hashtag which has largely been used to pay tribute to the late great entertainer. 

The trending hashtag is one of a few that has gained popularity on social media platforms, with Jackson’s estate on Tuesday, June 25, having launched their own campaign complete with a hashtag to mark the 10th anniversary of the King of Pop’s passing. 

The campaign, which seeks to highlight Jackson’s philanthropic legacy,  encourages fans to share acts of kindness with the hashtag #HonorMJ.

The social media campaigns are just a few of the ways Jackson’s estate and fans are paying tribute to the entertainer, with plans already underway for a mass gathering at Jackson’s last home in Los Angeles. 

The celebrations of Jackson’s life and legacy have been somewhat scaled back, however, with some planned public tributes reportedly having been abandoned after the release earlier this year of British filmmaker Dan Reed’s documentary Leaving Neverland

The controversial film has helped to cast a gray cloud of suspicion over the legacy of arguably the world’s biggest star. It is said to be at the root of the many furious online debates, which continue to rage on a day that should otherwise be an occasion for reflection on Jackson’s achievements and accomplishments. 

It is a debate that is alluded to in many tweets and other social media posts, and one that continues to divide.

Even among those celebrating Jackson’s life, there appear to be slivers of doubt, which many of the singer’s hardcore fans who have now become staunch activists for preserving his legacy are strongly pushing back against.

Fans of Jackson’s aren’t simply responding to criticism leveled at the artist, but also flooding social media with resources that counter allegations raised in the documentary along with highlighting his many accolades and accomplishments.

Jackson’s accomplishments were also the focus of a statement released by his estate to The Associated Press on Monday, June 24, which read, “And when mastery of a craft is the measure, Michael Jackson’s divine abilities remain the yardstick by which others are measured and against which today’s masters still measure themselves.

“But we best remember Michael by paying tribute to his legacy of philanthropic work and ask music fans everywhere to make a difference in their community — whether it’s planting a tree, volunteering at a shelter, cleaning up a public space or helping someone who is lost find their way.”

Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, at age 50 remains the most awarded artist of all time with a whopping 13 Grammy Awards.

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