As more details emerge of the death of Michael Jackson yesterday (6/25) , it’s becoming clear that the final act of the King of Pop resembles that of one of Jackson’s icons, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley — in many ways beyond the crowds of tearful fans leaving flowers and greetings at sites associated with the entertainers.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
The King of Pop
ELVIS DEATH: Died young of heart attack, though questions about drug involvement persisted. A 1994 re-opening of the case led the coroner to declare that all signs pointed to a sudden violent heart attack, but that there was little doubt that his “polypharmacy/Combined Drug Intoxication Pill dependence” was a factor in his declining health.
MICHAEL DEATH: Died young of coronary failure. Questions swirling about possible drug involvement as police impound car of doctor.
EP LAST PERFORMANCE: Barely made it through his final concerts as his health issues escalated.
MJ LAST PERFORMANCE: Health problems and “a onetime prescription pill addiction” had doubters saying he wouldn’t make London concerts as scheduled (L.A. Times May 12)
EP RIDICULED: In the years before his death, was called a gross caricature of his former self, a washed up has-been.
MJ RIDICULED: In the years before his death, was called a gross caricature of his former self, a washed up has-been.
TABLOID FODDER, EP: As paparazzi captured pictures of his grossly bloated body and cheesy, jumpsuit-clad performances – and tales abounded of his eccentric behavior, such as gunning down a TV set.
TABLOID FODDER, MJ: As paparazzi snapped photos of his grossly distorted face and his eerie disguises and militaristic costumes – and stories abounded of his eccentric behavior, such as dangling his baby from a hotel balcony.
MARRIED w/CHILDREN, ELVIS: To Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley’s mother, later divorced.
MARRIED w/CHILDREN, MICHAEL: To Lisa Marie Presley, later divorced. Also married to Debbie Rowe. Children: Michael Jr., Paris, Prince
ELVIS’ TELLING NUMBERS: Estimated to have sold a billion records and counting. 1,500,000,000 viewers watched his “Aloha From Hawaii” global satellite special.
MICHAEL’S TELLING NUMBERS: More than 750 million records sold, and counting. 60,000,000 viewers tuned in to Diane Sawyer interview with Jackson and Lisa Marie. $500 million in debt.
ELVIS, RACIAL CONTROVERSY: For sounding black
MICHAEL, RACIAL CONTROVERSY: For looking white
FAMOUS PRESLEY HOME: Graceland
FAMOUS JACKSON HOME: Neverland
ELVIS’ GRAND GESTURES: Loved to give away cars
MICHAEL’S GRAND GESTURES: Loved to treat disadvantaged children and sick children to days of fun at his Neverland fairground and zoo
ELVIS INFAMY: Overeating and pill dependence; one doctor was found to have prescribed more than 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics in Elvis’ name in the first eight months of 1977 alone.
MICHAEL INFAMY: Child molestation charges, despite being acquitted.
ELIVS RESURGENCE: All but deified as soon as he died.
MICHAEL RESURGENCE: All but deified as soon as he died.