For me and most of my generation, Michael Jackson, as with Thudercats, KFC and Dr M, is an icon that not only hallmarked but practically defined our growing up years.
We were in the golden age of VCRs and cassette decks when Thriller debuted. I could not get my head around Bille Jean and I thought the chick that played in Thriller was such a wuss (a 7-year-old feminist I was). Maggi Mee hair was in and everyone saw or had a recording of THAT MTV programme which also featured hits like Telephone by Sheena Easton and Every Breath You Take by the Police and not forgetting, the original Uptown Girl by Billy Joel.
Every MJ album and movie was awaited and revered. He was the only one who could get away with grabbing his crotch on TV. To the young, we never understood why the adults sniggered so.
The Gloved One encapsulated all that was strange and wonderful and magical. He was true royalty with stardust on his lapels.
And as his eccentricities and lawsuits drove him further away from reality and relevance, time quietly swept him under the carpet. We all knew who MJ was but, lets be honest, we also ceased to care.
Did he molest the children? I don't know but with America's preoccupation with Sex and the Celebrity (truth optional), I can't really say that I am totally convinced.
So in typical fashion - with his death, we celebrate his life.