"But, will he actually be dead?" asks the headline of L'Osservatore Romano, the day after Michael Jackson died of a heart attack in Los Angeles. Today the Vatican's newspaper looks back at the pop star's life and comments on the popular impact of his death.
LOR begins its story by saying that, despite his personal scandals, Jackson is on his way to becoming a pop icon like his former father-in law, Elvis Presley; or like Jimmy Hendrix. Besides, the story notes, Jackson started his career as a member of the Jackson Five, which brought him fame even before he began his solo career.
"In those times he was still black. He hadn't started yet the process of self definition, that was beyond race, that within the years made him look no longer like an African American man," says the article.
This path, says LOR, was "a hard human way, probably painfully marked by some severe falls, that were reflected in his artistic itinerary.”
He was original because he "intended to overcome the limits of black music, in which he had his cultural roots, arriving at some territories that were still closed to black artists."
The article recalls that “Thriller” was the best selling album in history, with 100 million copies sold. This hit made it possible for Michael Jackson to make a big difference, at least musically, the paper added.
L'Osservatore also notes that the fame Jackson acheived wasn't solely due to his singing and dancing. "Everybody knows [about] his problems with the law after the pedophilia accusations.”
Many people are mourning his death in a very emotional way, the Vatican newspaper concludes.