Michael Jackson had been planning a 50-show residency in London, his first live performances in 12 years. In anticipation of what would’ve no doubt been a bizarre and momentous event, The Guardian wrote a long feature on the King of Pop, a thorough and thoughtful look at his whole strange life. In the context of all the retrospectives currently popping up across the whole world, this piece, written less than two weeks before he died, is as clear-eyed an obituary as you’ll ever see.
A plain-speaking example of what I mean:
Now, almost 51, he looks more like a decaying infant, who speaks in a pre-pubescent whisper while concealing the evidence of time’s assault behind an assortment of surgical masks, coy Islamic veils, and Jackie O-sized dark glasses, with a black umbrella to protect his improbably pallid skin from the sun.