If you haven’t heard already, Michael Jackson passed away around 1pm earlier today. He was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center after paramedics, responding to a call, couldn’t revive him. He had already stopped breathing when the paramedics arrived. He had suffered a heart attack.

Within hours, hordes of fans rushed down to the medical center to show their support. All the major pop/rock stations here are playing his songs. Cars are blasting his tunes as they cruise down the road. The media is going crazy. I saw no less than 6 news helicopters in the air.

I went down to UCLA Medical Center (I know I know, I shouldn’t have, it’s a medical center, people need to do their jobs) around 5pm. The crowd wasn’t as “overwhelming” as the media’s been saying, I would say about 200-300 people were spread out. But I think as people are getting off work the crowd will continue to grow.

This video is of the crowd, to give you a sense of what’s happening on the ground.

The group would continue to sing and chant “Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson.” There’s definitely something electric in the air. In memory, there’s a sense of affirmation of Michael’s impact and forgiveness for his tribulations. I dare say this is going to be a media event as big as Princess Di’s passing (sorry, that was the media studies student in me).

The media frenzy on Westwood BlvdUCLA Reagan Medical Center
Crowd at UCLA Raising MJ up Crowd at UCLA Woman holds her private vigil amidst the crowdMedia vans converge at UCLAPolicemen


And me 🙂

Me at UCLA

I can’t say I’m the biggest or most loyal fan, but I grew up with his music. My primary school music teacher would make us sing “Heal the World”  during our monday morning assemblies. I remember jamming to Black or White with my brother when music still came in tapes. I remember my college freshman roomie blasting MJ’s songs, on repeat. MJ will remain an icon of my childhood. His passing will likely represent a close of an era for anyone who grew up in the 80s and early 90s.

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