The death of Michael Jackson shocked and saddened people around the world. In recent years, Jackson was best known for his financial troubles and disturbing legal problems. But before those issues dominated his life, he was the consummate entertainer. His nickname was, of course, “The King of Pop.”
According to an article from MSNBC, the origin of the nickname is a bit of a mystery even now. “Most accounts said it (the nickname) was self-imposed, although Jackson claims it was taken from friend Elizabeth Taylor’s speech about him at an awards ceremony.”
I found a clip of Elizabeth Taylor referring to MJ as the “King of Pop, Rock, and Soul” at a 1989 awards show. You can view the video here. Other sources, including this one from Starpulse Entertainment News, agree that Ms. Taylor did indeed coin the phrase.
The Y chromosome sages at AskMen.com assembled a list of the great nicknames in show business. Among the marvelous monikers: the Godfather of Soul (James Brown), the Boss (Bruce Springsteen), the King of Cool (Steve McQueen), and the Chairman of the Board (Frank Sinatra). The site also explains that Jackson “allegedly only allowed MTV to broadcast” his Black or White video “on the condition that they refer to him as ‘The King of Pop.’” Ms. Taylor may have came up with the phrase, but apparently Jackson is the one who enforced it.
Regardless of who thought up the expression, it was certainly well deserved. The King of Pop had a dozen number one hits over the course of his career and leaves a legacy of great tunes, magical moves, and a very complicated and tragic life.
Please feel free to share your favorite Jackson memory in the comments below.
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