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Worst: Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is one of the most important and iconic figures in pop culture. He was one of the most talented -- and troubled -- men in music. It was a shock to lose him, but the media circus to follow his death was, sadly, to be expected.
Father Joe Jackson's push in the courts for money is embarrassing and infuriating. The rest of the Jackson 5 parade their grief in their own A&E show. Jackson's children are fatherless, his estate millions in debt. Sister Janet thankfully, mostly, keeps singing the right tune -- her tunes -- in quiet honor.
Jackson's former labels released and re-released music to capitalize on his death. "This Is It" deserved a question mark at the end of its title. The movie wasn't the blockbuster that its makers needed, and swan song its fans craved. There seemed to be a war of "I knew MJ best" surrounding his funeral. Countless, and sometimes brainless, cover songs and homages followed.
The Moonwalk, "Thriller," the fashion... its these things that will survive as Jackson's legacy. But not in 2009. Uglier things trumped.