Welcome to the 2nd Annual SoulBounce Honors. 2009 was quite a varied year. That is a nice way to phrase it. Therefore, let's keep it real as we always do. 2009 was unexpected in both good ways and bad. Since the bitter must come with the sweet and we are all adults here, we were more than equipped to deal with most situations when it came to what we hold most dear: music. We were ill-prepared to deal with one situation in particular. In fact, it seemed that June 24th was the last day that things made sense around here for quite some time.
Michael Jackson was someone who we all believed we had more time to get to pay our respects to properly. Hence, the jokes that we all laughed at that were always at his expense. Hence, the side-eyes and snickers whenever he reportedly did something that seemed more than a bit strange. Despite all of this, he was someone--and Black people are the most adept at this--of accepting and forgiving anything and everything he did. Why? Because of that voice, the way that he always glided so effortlessly past the very people he emulated. The same people who had been looking at him with awe and amazement since he was a child blessed with talent from the heavens above.
Michael was someone who we all knew. He was someone for which the world stopped when it was announced that his life was prematurely snuffed out. And he was someone who the world seemed to beg for forgiveness for handling him so wrongly, as we attempted to buy our ways out of that pain that no amount of endless YouTube watching, crate digging for lost gems from his childhood and ours, and dedication parties would never be able to suffice.
In the end, as always, it was Michael who got the last laugh. For in this woeful climate of something that was once so much better, the music industry, it was he who broke records, again and again as he dominated every music chart in almost every country that had them. We took off from work when his funeral service was held because Michael was not only the American dream personified, he was a proof that there is a force higher than us whose plan we may never understand. So when Janet said that Michael was their brother and not ours, there were those of us, myself included, for whom this statement was a supreme insult. No, we had never grown up with him, had never been nicknamed by him. But we loved him like he was ours, and we cried for him like he was from our blood. You know why? Because Michael told us that he loved us so much. And he gave so much of himself to us that we believed him.
Enough of this sorrow. Ashes hold the promise of rebirth and from Michael's ashes sprang hope eternal. Hope that one day the music that he and we held so dear would return to its roots. Where craftsmanship matters. And above all else, talent, and the desire to share gifts that make others so happy that they sometimes cry because this is the reminder that we are not alone.
Michael is someone for whom we likely would not have been awarding Man Of The Year honors had it not been for his passing. But there really is no one more deserving to be Man Of The Year every year that this world continues to be in existence. He will continue to be in our hearts, minds, souls, collective consciousness as long as people continue to Moonwalk and as long as young children continue to be amazed by a young child singing with a knowledge of pain that his age seemed to betray. Michael will continue to exist as long as we love him and this is dependent upon us continuing his legacy for generations.
Listing Michael's achievements is a chore in itself, one which we could have decided to tackle when it came to shining a light on the single man whose presence changed our lives forever this year. That's the easy way to honor someone of his magnitude. Here at SoulBounce, we prefer to honor Michael with how he made us feel. That's far more difficult. More difficult than watching his memorial service, or watching This Is It without wanting to cry and dance for joy at the same time, or write this without tearing up and reminiscing about what his life and ours could have been had we just had the chance to honor him properly while he was here.
Congratulations, Michael. You did it. Not only did you attain every conceivable honor and award from anyone who recognized your talent while here on Earth, you managed to transcend this world and finally share your talents with your Maker for whom you always said that nothing else would be possible. We really, really miss you. Congratulations and thanks for everything.- Advertisement -