Fans reflect on Jackson's musical legacy

June 26, 2009 (CHICAGO) Jackson changed the music industry and influenced thousands of artists who followed him.

When, years ago, Michael Jackson declared himself the 'king of pop,' many thought his ego had run amuck.

Over the years though, even critics began to see that self-proclamation as an understatement.

DePaul professor Deena Weinstein says Jackson's impact was most significant in transforming pop music for an aural medium into a primarily visual one and many who went shopping for his music today would agree.

There were no more Michael Jackson CDs at one South Side music store on Friday.

"I got a lot of albums. I have to look and see what I got," said Arthur Montgomery, Michael Jackson fan.

Arthur Montgomery bought two Jackson CDs to update his collection. And Errol O'Neil got the last four in the store, including Thriller.

"I don't think that at the end of today anybody's going to have any," said Dedre Jones, The Music Experience.

In fact, sold out all of its Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 CDs within minutes of the confirmation of the pop icon's death on Thursday. By Friday morning, eight of the top 10 albums downloaded from I-Tunes were Jackson's.

"When he came along, he was such a genius and his movements and dance and show effects - he set the example. He raised the bar," said O'Neil.

Indeed, younger entertainers understand that it's fine if you can sing, but you've got to be able to dance too. Not many could top Jackson.

"Michael was like a package because he started the whole video revolution with Thriller. that started video," said O'Neil.

Sure there were videos out before but not with his level of theater. Transforming, as he did, pop music into a visual medium brought Michael Jackson generations of fans.

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