Although Michael Jackson passed away this Thursday at the age of 50, he left behind a legacy with far reach. There wasn't any segment of the entertainment world he didn't influence, including sports. Who could forget his magnificent halftime performance for Super Bowl XXVII in 1993?
Man of fashion
Jackson was always a fashion-forward figure. And he made a lasting visual impression on the Super Bowl stage long before his sister Janet followed with her own controversial moment in the spotlight.
Jackson's signature moves were mimicked by many including New Kids on the Block and Justin Timberlake. He was so idolized that when the singer touched himself as part of a dance move, the audience reacted with admiration instead of outrage.
Having been introduced to show biz at an earlier age, Jackson always retained a soft spot for children. He was surrounded by them at his Super Bowl performance as he sang "Heal the World," spreading a social message that was close to his own heart.
One of a kind
Jackson was a larger-than-life figure who stood out in any crowd, even among a swarm of other performers. He was an original through and through, and a master of self-expression, making daring choices with his music and with his appearance.
Jackson would go on to have three children of his own, whom he tried his best to shield from the paparazzi after his own very public upbringing. He related himself to Peter Pan, feeling he was a child inside, and one who would never completely belong in the world of adults.
His theatrics were as legendary as his vocal range. And every performance was a spectacle to behold. Super Bowl fans were treated to a stage show for the ages when Jackson took the spotlight at half time, employing costume changes and special effects for maximum entertainment value.
Rock with you
The iconic singer always provided high-energy performances that included dance sequences that would leave others exhausted. Yet his skills were such that he could continue to sing and dance and even scream without missing a breath or a beat.
Black and white
Jackson's black-and-white ensemble was reflective of his belief that all races could and should live together, regardless of color. The singer of "Black and White" saw himself as a proponent of social change, and was especially sensitive to race discrimination.
Time to shine
His stage presence was unrivaled. In a packed stadium of Cowboys and Bills fans in Pasadena, all eyes were on Jackson. The same could be said for football fans in front of televisions all across the world. The super star singer was as big a draw as the event itself.