Happy Birthday Michael Jackson

As I was sitting here today deciding what to write about, I realized that today is Michael Jackson's birthday. Today would have been his 53rd birthday. Now we can make all the jokes we want to about Michael and his life, but the bottom line is that he changed pop music in a way that few other artists have in recent years.

Hailing from Gary Indiana, music started at a young age for Michael and his family being a part of his family band, the "Jackson 5". The "Jackson 5" are probably most well known for their songs "I want you back" and "ABC". Needless to say, Michael's musical giftedness and dance moves were established at a young age. If you're a fan of Michael, you probably know that he broke off and went his own way to begin his solo career after the family band didn't take off as well as they had hoped. From there, his music career erupted and the face of music was changed.

Now I'm not going to pretend like I know everything about Michael's life, but I do know this much. He took music and dancing, and upped the ante in performance. I highly recommend watching a live performance of his at some point so you can see just how complex his live performances are, and how he was an artist, performer and entertainer all in one. On top of that, many of his songs including "Thriller", "Billie Jean", and "Beat It" have been taken and covered by various musicians over the years. I can't tell you how many weddings I have been to where the "Thriller" dance is performed. In fact, there is actually a Guiness World Record for the most people dancing to "Thriller" at one time. If you get really ambitious, you can even learn the "Thriller" dance here and impress your friends.

Michael Jackson has been and will continue to be greatly missed in the music industry. Without his influence, the music world would not be the same. Whether it's listening to him singing his own songs, or people covering his music (like KT Tunstall or Mike Tompkins) Michael Jackson had a greater impact on music than few people in this generation have. Thank Mike, and Happy Birthday.

How do you think Michael Jackson influenced the music you listen to?

Seth P.