Richmond reacts to Michael Jackson's death

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It is rare that one person's death can have such an impact on such a broad base of people. Thursday night in Richmond it seemed even people who weren't necessarily fans of the pop icon, still had a connection to his career.

Even though Michael Jackson's life came to a tragic end 3000 miles away, the news impacted people right here in Richmond in a big way. It was the last piece of news anyone expected as community members gathered to discuss the future of south Richmond.

Michael Jackson's death sent a ripple through central Virginia. A ripple that could be heard all the way to a jam band concert at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

Shamise Jones doesn't consider herself a lifelong fan of the king of pop but she said his music is a part of everyone's life.

"He's definitely a legend, so it is kind of like the end of a legacy, so it is kind of sad," said Jones.

During breaks of the concert, Jackson's unmistakable music was played. At first it seemed out of place for Andrew Town, until he had learned what happened.

"I think he became kind of a tragic figure. And I think that when he was at his peak and when he was full of energy. I hope people remember him like that," said Andrew.

Andrew said his four kids listen to the Jackson Five on their I-Pods. But even though Jackson's music life has ended, Lee Murphy believes his impact on American culture will never be forgotten.

"I mean even the moonwalk, and just those types of things at parties, we still do that. I mean he is an icon," Murphy said.

An icon, whose legacy resonates even in a city with no special attachment to his life. The band performing Thursday night at Groovin in the Garden was a jam band called, Umphrey's McGee with the transmitters, not exactly Michael Jackson style music. But the reaction from the people in attendance is an example of how the pop star transcended music labels.

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