I was a little young (more likely non-existent) to admire the Jackson Five but I loved Billy Jean, Beat It and of course Thriller. I even rocked out to the Bad album with my older brother. We used to pretend we were djs and play a mix of songs from our favorite tapes. We had song intros and even did our own lame commercials, usually about toys, but I probably still have our studio efforts locked away somewhere. Even more dated than the fact that we had tapes is that we had E.T. on vinyl with Michael Jackson narrating. And I remember when they used to play Captain EO at Disneyland instead of the lame Honey I Shrunk the Audience. I hope that maybe Disney will bring it back for a limited time because that movie was so cool. At least, I thought so at the time.
We borrowed Moonwalker from my neighbor and even with it's weak plot, I still loved watching all of the musical segments. My all time favorite being the Smooth Criminal part. Everything was awesome; the song, the choreography, the storyline, everything. Pure genius, in my opinion. If you have 9 minutes to kill, you should watch it in its entirety. If you have even more time, this same person uploaded the entire Moonwalker movie to Youtube. It's broken out into 12 segments, because you can't upload that much at a time on Youtube, but the whole thing definitely brought back memories. (Don't worry, the sound is on, don't adjust your speakers).
His death is a tragic loss, not only in the talent he had, but mostly because of his children. They've only ever known a household with one parent and I'm sure they feel orphaned about now. It's also sad that he was never able to do his planned tour and let his kids see him at his best: an immensely talented performer with the world watching in awe.