Michael Jackson died today.

Yet, he will live on through his music.

Much has been said about Michael's various off-field dramas.  The only thing that I think can be said about these, is that as a child, Michael had no childhood.  Entering into manhood, Michael probably lacked guidance, self-acceptance, and always seemed to live a life that yearned for the childhood that he never had. 

In reference to child molestation, I believe that Michael was innocent, though very naive about how his actions would be interpretated.  Many might say that the fact that Michael paid enormous sums of money points to his guilt - I would say that anyone - especially a childlike person - would prefer not to deal with the terrible publicity of that situation, and would pay any amount to see the problem 'go away'. These dramas dogged his later life, and it is too easy to stand in the place of judgment.

Beyond these dramas, however, it will always remain that Michael Jackson was the ultimate artist : singer, songwriter, choreographer and dancer.  As an artist, he was second to none.  And it is for this contribution that he should be ultimately remembered - a person who, through his art, broke down the barriers between race, religion, and socio-economic differences.  Together, we all have shared in the wonder and joy that Michael Jackson's music brought to the world.  

To Michael I say : "Thank you for your gift of music . . . may you rest in peace".