On Friday (December 18), MTV News named Michael Jackson the Man of the Year, and not just because his death was the biggest story of 2009. In passing, he reminded us all of his formidable legacy — as a musician, a showman and a cultural icon. He revolutionized the world of music videos, wowed fans around the world and, somewhere along the way, helped a fledgling cable channel called MTV to establish a foothold in the world.
And for all those reasons — not to mention a few more — Jackson's surviving brothers think MTV News made the right call.
"I think it's great, because Mike was a pioneer," Jermaine Jackson said. "I really feel he put MTV on the map because of his contributions to music. You made the right choice, definitely."
Marlon Jackson agreed, though he added that Michael should also be remembered for something else — his charitable work, most of which he did not participate in because he knew it would earn him headlines, but because it was simply the right thing to do.
"There are so many other things too. Michael and the brothers, when we were the Jackson 5, used to go to children's hospitals, and that hasn't stopped," Marlon said. "And a lot of people didn't know about all the different charities he paid for — a lot of celebrities, when they had passed and could not afford to bury themselves, he would pay for it. The Lord puts you in the position to help others, and that's part of helping others."