Two years ago, the Internet almost crashed. It was not because of an elaborate terrorist plot to cut a main source of communicating information. It was not a catastrophic mistake made by some new employee at one of the major server locations. It was a news story.
That news story was the death of arguably the greatest entertainer of all time and one of the most famous men to ever walk on Earth, Michael Jackson.
On the morning of June 25th, 2009 Michael Joseph Jackson, son of Joe and Katherine Jackson, went into cardiac arrest and then went into a coma before passing away at the age of 50.
That day, search engines were used more than ever before as more people from around the globe flooded the World Wide Web to find out what was happening to the King of Music. Twitter, Wikipedia, AOL, and numerous other sites reported crashing as a result of their servers being bombarded with Internet users looking up the latest info on Jackson.
In the days that followed, Jackson’s albums sold at rates the music industry had not seen. For nearly a month, all of his albums were top sellers again. On iTunes, Amazon, Zune, and in stores, Jackson’s albums were filling the top of the charts. For lengthy periods, he would hold all top ten spots on many charts, sometimes more. In downloads alone, Michael Jackson sold over 2.6 million units in the seven days following his passing.
Within five weeks, Jackson sold 7.6 million singles and 3.8 million albums in the United States alone. By the end of 2009, the man we fell in love with as the little boy from Gary, Indiana had become the best selling artist of the year once again. In the United States he sold 8.2 million albums and within a year of his death that number grew to nine million units in America and 35 million worldwide. The numbers are even higher when singles and digital downloads are counted.
His memorial also made records. When all of the television, Internet, and nighttime viewings of the memorial were counted, a total of 2.5 billion people viewed the event on July 7th, 2009. In American alone, 31.1 million people watched it live. That number is even more impressive when it is noted that the memorial aired at 10:30 am Pacific time on a Tuesday morning when the majority of Americans were at work or school.
To this day, Jackson’s legacy has only grown. All of his talents and accomplishments have been appreciated more than ever. Jackson was the front man of the Jackson 5 since he was 5 years old, beat out the Beatles for the number one hit in the United States at 10 years old, had his first solo number one hit in 1972, made historical albums like Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad with Quincy Jones, received 8 Grammy’s for Thriller along with selling over 100 million copies of the album, – a record never to be broken- was the first black artist on MTV, inspired dance trends and fashion trends, in the 90’s he released the best selling New Jack Swing album of all time Dangerous, HIStory, and the best selling remix album of all time Blood on the Dance Floor, headlined a Super Bowl, released one of the best selling albums of the new millennium Invincible, and along the way inspired a world of giving through his charity work and donations which is estimated to be well over $1 billion.
With new projects, including albums, being put together by Sony, the legacy of Michael Jackson continues to live.
Two years ago, one of the most famous men to ever live was taken from the people of the world. But his legend was given new life. The legend of Michael Jackson continues to soar.