There are three figures who will stand as defining icons of popular music in the second half of the 20th century: Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Michael Jackson. And just like the deaths of Elvis and Lennon, so Jackson's passing can be seen as a consequence of the extraordinary demands and vicissitudes of fame, particularly the extraordinary fame that Jackson came to — can we really use the word? — enjoy throughout his life.
If Elvis’s death can be seen as the most extreme consequence of excess, and Lennon’s as the most horrific outcome of the malevolent attention of strangers, Jackson’s can surely be attributed to the imperative that was driven into him from childhood — to perform, to dazzle and to pay the bills.
Mick Brown in today's Daily Telegraph