World Mourns Michael Jackson's Death

Where to begin in telling Michael Jackson's story, whose influential and tumultuous career spanned five decades of continuous fame and reinvention, with many bizarre sidetracks along the way? Obituaries appear to be split on whether to emphasize Jackson's celebrated musical and cultural achievements or the depressing and grotesque spectacle that followed them. The LA Times leads by noting Jackson's own fascination with celebrity flameouts, including his marriage to Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and his interest in dead icons like Marilyn Monroe, and discusses how "more than any of those past icons, he left a complicated legacy." The New York Times takes a more positive approach to memorializing Jackson, focusing on his incredible impact on pop culture and the entertainment industry in general. "As with Elvis Presley or the Beatles, it is impossible to calculate the full effect Mr. Jackson had on the world of music," the Times piece reads. Meanwhile, the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune of Jackson's Gary, Indiana hometown offers a bitter take that contrasts the King of Pop's meteoric rise with the sad decline of his birthplace, which was largely abandoned by the superstar.