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From Pitts Indeed, by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

This is the last few hundred words I’ll devote to Michael for a while.

40 out of 50: The number of years Michael Jackson spent on earth as a public figure. 5: The (likely) number of years he remembered before becoming a star.

Then life changed. He was a poor kid from Gary, Indiana who suddenly had every thing a kid could want. Why did he have it? Because he was young and talented. Unlike most kids, charismatic youth didn’t merely get Michael his way; it allowed him to make a more than comfortable living in which people showered him with fanatic adulation. For Michael Jackson, idyllic childhood memories include working full time as the charismatic boy frontman of a band everyone loved.

But there were traumas as well. Some of the most significant include the fading of the Jackson Five, being told he was no longer the youthful star people once knew (and this doesn’t begin to take into account the affect his father had on his life). As he developed and aged within youth, he felt the sting of premature mortality otherwise known as adolescence. He stopped being cute and developed acne. Gone was the cute youngster. In his place was a young man going through an awkward phase. In life as he knew it, he had grown old and unloved.

And before he had a chance to live among us mortals, to go through the unique growing pains many child stars experience, Off The Wall happened and he was once again a superstar, handsome and loved. I think it’s this moment, just before he re-entered the stratosphere he decided: I’ll never experience anything like adolescence again. And here, Michael Jackson’s maturation was arrested forever.

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