My early memories of Michael Jackson's songs were probably Beat It and Billie Jean, from Thriller. Whenever his songs appeared on the music videos over the new TV channel at that time (TV3), I'd shout out for my late brother and we'd be glued to the box, mesmerised by his well-choreographed steps.
I also vividly recollect my first real Listening lesson, introduced by my Form 1 English teacher, Miss Koh. In our language lab, she brought Michael Jackson to us. She distributed us the lyrics of We are the World with words omitted for us to listen for. Being teenagers, we welcomed the lesson excitedly - being allowed to sing in the classroom was most definitely not an opportunity you get everyday!
In years that came after, I followed my teachers' footsteps and then brought Michael Jackson into my own classrooms. Heal the World and Earth Song were aptly introduced, with messages of peace, harmony and tolerance to one another emphasised.
Today, as I sat infront of the television watching the memorial service organised for the King of the Pop, tears escaped my eyes to hear the words of praises uttered by his friends and family. He was indeed a man with a big heart, even though his disturbed mind invited many controversial issues. When one manages to touch so many hearts, you know that he must have done something right, if not everything.