There are many headlines about Michael Jackson on Earth Day 2017 because of his song and video called “Earth Song.” Also celebrating Earth Day 2017, Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, continues to stress that there is more music out there than events like Coachella.
While Paris Jackson was posting videos from a John Mayer concert on April 21 for Earth Day Weekend, things have been heating up for Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” because it is commonly used as part of Earth Day 2017 celebrations worldwide.
Although Paris Jackson did not celebrate Earth Day with her own event, she did recently say in an interview with Rolling Stone that she shares Michael Jackson’s deep commitment to the environment and stated the following.
“I’m really scared for the Great Barrier Reef… It’s, like, dying. This whole planet is. Poor Earth… man.”
Naturally, it is not a surprise Paris Jackson said this considering Michael Jackson’s top-selling song in the U.K. is “Earth Song.” While some Michael Jackson music trivia buffs might think it is “Thriller,” “Bad,” or “Billie Jean,” MJ’s top hit was “Earth Song” at the time of his death on June 25, 2009.
According to the Guardian, around the time it was released before Christmas 1995, Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” sold 1 million copies in the U.K. and spent six weeks at the top of their music charts.
Part of the allure of the song for Brits was the subject of environmentalism, but the video that Michael Jackson made for “Earth Song” was also noteworthy because it was one of the most expensive ever made.
About writing “Earth Song,” Michael Jackson once wrote the following.
“…I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth…. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is ‘Earth Song.’ And that’s what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria.”
Days after his death, one Michael Jackson fan wrote specifically about “Earth Song” and stated it “summons a force that heals the world.” They also noted that one of the points of the video for “Earth Song” was to get fans to donate to his still-active charity, The Heal the World Foundation.
In January of 2010, the Grammys ceremony focused on the recent death of Michael Jackson and the theme was his commitment to the environment.
According to MTV News, before playing Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” at the Grammy tribute, they played a recording of MJ stating the following.
“[Pollution, destruction of the Earth] really bothers me… That’s why I write these kinda songs, to give some kind of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I love the planet. I love trees. When the colors are changing in the leaves, I love it.”
Supporting this, MJ biographer Joe Vogel wrote a Huffington Post article about the importance of “Earth Song” and called it Michael Jackson’s “magnum opus.”
On his personal website about his book on Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song,” Joe Vogel wrote his thoughts about the impact that MJ’s song had.
For example, Vogel stated, “It defied the cynicism and apathy of Generation X… It demanded conscience in an era of corporate greed, genocide and environmental indifference.”
Today, Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” is remembered because he himself found the environment to be important, but also because, to quote Joe Vogel, the song is unique because it fuses “blues, opera, rock and gospel.”
For this reason, when Michael Jackson fans play “Earth Song” for Earth Day celebrations, it might not be in the expected musical format.
For example, according to the Royston Crow, children in the U.K. chose Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” for their classical music orchestra recital. The performance was a combined choir, and the audience was invited to participate by making “oohs and ahs” on cue.
According to NST, an Earth Day celebration in Malaysia also included a classical music version of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” as well as “Man in the Mirror.”
The Borneo Post supported the idea that Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” is still having an impact on today’s young people and quoted engineer Cecelia Munai talking about her son and Earth Hour. About MJ’s “Earth Song” video and its influence on her family, Munai stated the following.
“‘Earth Song,’ really had an impact on my son’s thinking about our environment and Earth. He was so moved by it that once he even cried watching it, saying that he wanted to ‘change the world.'”
Although Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” is common for Earth Day celebrations, it does not mean it is the only pick. For example, for Earth Hour in Oman, Al Bawaba reports that the Millennium Resort Mussanah had an event with various acoustic musicians playing renditions of Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.”
[Feature Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]