By Wei Hongxia
Michael Jackson, one of the hottest names in pop culture recently, has spread to every corner of global media since his death on June 25. People all over the world are playing his music again and again to mourn the super star. His life stories are published by newspapers, magazines and websites. The extreme media coverage of Michael Jackson gives great testament to just how influential this superstar was.
Michael Jackson has always idolized a particular age of music as “The King of Pop”, so he is not only a person, but also is the essence of America’s cultural influence in other countries. Starting in the 1980s, American culture icons, such as Michael Jackson, Hollywood, Mcdonald's, KFC and Coca Cola, appear on the scene internationally for the first time. This really began to influence traditional cultures around the world, for example, traditional Africa music in south Sahara was replaced by Michael Jackson’s rock-and-roll, even teenagers in Iran, are crazy for Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson’s entertainment package became very profitable worldwide. Entertainment companies greatly promoted his music and his personal style; his unique music attracted many people and also influenced many of his fans as his successful career began flow onto the international stage. United States’ values, ideas of democracy, and freedom influenced young people all over the word; including their personal behaviors, dress styles and even social behaviors.
The King of Pop may be gone, but his reign will continue through his music and the love of his fans. Michael Jackson has truly become an international pop-culture icon, bringing mainstream American culture to all corners of the globe.
Ms. Wei Hongxia is a research fellow with the Institute of American Studies at the China Academy of Social Sciences.
(China.org.cn translated by Wu Huanshu, July 7, 2009)