I've been a Michael Jackson fan for years. I remember when the Thriller music video came out: it was like nothing I'd ever seen before. I remember seeing MJ perform Billie Jean at the Motown 25 show, and do his famous moonwalk. Again: like nothing I'd ever seen. Watching him perform was so exciting. The way he moved.
As the years went by, I still liked his music, but he became stranger and stranger. His features slowly morphed from someone African American to someone white to someone almost ghoulish. His behavior in life was strange: creating Neverland, a child's playground for himself; marrying Lisa Marie Presley for a short time, then divorcing; marrying someone else and having children, white children; his crotch-grabbing dance moves, strange for a seemingly sexless man.
These are my thoughts: I think he never really grew up mentally or emotionally. Being a child star, he never had the chance to do the normal child-like things, and he was never able to get past that. I also think that he possibly was gay or maybe even asexual. Even though his songs were about girls and women and love, it never seemed real, somehow. It was like a child singing about adult topics. I think he felt badly about himself as an African American, and he slowly erased all evidence of his race through surgeries and other procedures. He even chose to have white, blond, blue-eyed children, and he named each of them, as a part of their name, Michael. I don't think he liked himself. Only when he was performing, perhaps, was he at peace.
In a way, it's not so surprising that he died so young. Given that he never really grew up, it makes sense in a way that he would never grow old, either. Perhaps it's best to just remember him as a child singing with the Jackson 5, or as a teen or someone in his early 20's, when he did some of his best music (such as the album Off the Wall, one of my personal favorites). In any event, I hope he has found some peace now, and that his three children are also able to find privacy, normalcy, and peace.