The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Contest: The Jackson 6 (Six-Word Obits for MJ)

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

By Larry Smith

It’s been said by many, including the editors of SMITH, that a six-word memoir can be a lot like an epitaph, the ultimate summation of one’s life. We’ve always been fascinated by obits of the famous and obscure alike. Now, by popular demand, we’re starting a new reader challenge category: Six-Word Obits. There’s only way way to kick this reader challenge off, and that’s by respectively asking you for your Jackson 6: a six-word obituary for the King of Pop. Leave your entry in the comments section below. Since we set this one loose on Twitter—with six-word maven Mary Elizabeth Williams immediately replying wit “From ABC to PYT to RIP.”—yesterday, we’ve had some great responses.

“King silenced by insulation and prescriptions.”
- Eva

“Force did stop. He got enough.”
- Erin Fitzpatrick

“Survived by family, friends, widespread ambivalence.”
- Christiann

Keep ‘em coming. Our three favorite entries win the six-word memoir book of their choice. The contest ends on Monday, June 29 at 5pm EST. Update! Contest extended to June 30, 5pm EST.

Creative Commons image from Flickr user bernissimo.

Tags: , , , , ,

349 responses

  1. deborah J says:

    black to white. Guilty or innocent?

  2. Elisa Shevitz says:

    the thriller will never be gone

  3. Yvonne says:

    Born artist and hierarch of stage.

  4. Robin Slick says:

    Say Hi to Elvis for me!

  5. Adam C says:

    Unique music, moves, lifestyle and face.

  6. Robin Slick says:

    He’s moon walking for real now.

  7. Bethe says:

    No one can mimic MJ’s moonwalk.

  8. Bethe says:

    Imagine heaven with Elvis, now Michael.

  9. Bethe says:

    Michael gone too soon. Remembered forever.

  10. Bethe says:

    Michael, hope you realized the love.

  11. Bethe says:

    Michael Jackson was our generation’s Elvis.

  12. Bethe says:

    Loved Michael’s gloved hand, white socks.

  13. Bethe says:

    Michael’s dance moves impressed Fred Astaire.

  14. Bethe says:

    Grown but child-like. Beaten down. Sadly.

  15. Bethe says:

    Michael, keep singing, dancing. We’ll remember.

  16. Steve Silberman says:

    Ebony to ivory, strutting in zero-g.

  17. Stephen Seidel says:

    Performer. Artist. Hero. Legend. Icon. King!

  18. Stephen Seidel says:

    Moonwalking Heaven Free. Forever Fixed. NeverLand!

  19. bethe says:

    Michael, whole world is shocked, grieving.

  20. bethe says:

    You definitely thrilled us, Michael Jackson!

  21. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    Dazzled many but never grew up.

  22. Shari_Berkowitz says:

    My first schoolgirl crush…is gone.

  23. Scott Webb says:

    Never can say goodbye to Michael.

  24. Mona C says:

    No more Man in the Mirror.

  25. Mona C says:

    A music legend gone too soon.

  26. Mona C says:

    He’s teaching angels how to moonwalk.

  27. Coco says:

    Got enough. We can rock forever.

  28. Bethe says:

    We are the world. Shocked, grieving.

  29. Bethe says:

    Michael, you beat it too soon.

  30. Bethe says:

    Our greatest stars always die young.

  31. Bethe says:

    Hope Michael’s kids inherited his talent.

  32. Jude says:

    King of Pop. Died too young.

  33. Jude says:

    Today Michael Jackson was forever silenced

  34. Jude says:

    Lost childhood, meteoric stardom, tragic end

  35. Jude says:

    Talented, shy, misunderstood. Michael Jackson RIP

  36. Jude says:

    Greatest contribution: We Are The World

  37. Jude says:

    Forever changed the “look” of music

  38. Jude says:

    Pop music never the same again.

  39. Jude says:

    6/25/09 the day pop music died

  40. Jude says:

    His contribution to music, simply unheralded.

  41. Jude says:

    “Thriller” introduced the entertaining music video.

  42. Jude says:

    From Ed Sullivan to world stage

  43. Jude says:

    Thriller, epilets, sequined glove, moon walk.

  44. Jude says:

    A comeback we won’t ever know

  45. Jude says:

    so much left undone, terrible loss.

  46. Jude says:

    Appreciate Michael Jackson - composer, singer, entertainer.

  47. Jude says:

    Appreciating the genius behind the music.

  48. Jude says:

    Mourning Jackson travels around the globe.

  49. Jude says:

    Mourning Jackson’s death, celebrating his career.

  50. Jude says:

    King of Pop touched my life

  51. Jude says:

    “The Love You Save” couldn’t be

  52. Jude says:

    The Man in the Mirror silenced.

  53. Jude says:

    Never had a chance at normalcy.

  54. Jude says:

    Jackson leaves legacy of incredible music

  55. Dude says:

    From lovely child to child lover

  56. lisa Kay says:

    musical genius. cultivated. overexposed. freaky. dead.

  57. Mary Elizabeth Williams says:

    Was born a poor black child.

  58. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    What really happened behind the scenes?

  59. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    His last song and dance routine.

  60. Bill from Las Vegas says:

    Pedophile who got away with it

  61. Pamela says:

    Another king has has left the building.

  62. Pamela says:

    *Another king has left the building.

  63. Dominick says:

    More music than we ever imagined

  64. Lori S NY says:

    Amazingly talented artist…sadly troubled person.

  65. Ashley says:

    The Man. The Myth. Finally Untouchable.

  66. Rifa says:

    Groove’s dead/gone, legacy lives on!!

  67. DR says:

    He never accepted restrictions. Why should we?

  68. Chris R says:

    In Memoriam: Thrilling, tragic, dancing machine.

  69. Kegger says:

    Black man. White man. Dead now.

  70. shane says:

    Ding Dong, the freak is dead.

  71. jav says:

    amazing singer dancer fragile man boy.

  72. E.B. Berman says:

    He came, he saw, he moonwalked.

  73. Samuel says:

    Peter Pan Walking on the moon.

  74. CTI says:

    Musical genius. Personal life - giant asterisk.

  75. Mammasan says:

    Loved for years and remembered forever

  76. Jeffrey Bryan says:

    Touched us all in different ways.

  77. kay says:

    his life was never his own

  78. skybar says:

    Poor kid never had a chance.

  79. PNK says:


  80. Skenner says:

    He wrote ditties and touched kiddies

  81. Mohammad says:

    Touched My Soul,Who Is It?

  82. Kellie says:

    As a child, I respected him.

  83. Kellie says:

    He made dancing zombies super cool.

  84. Kellie says:

    My first concert, MJ “Bad” tour.

  85. Kellie says:

    Who doesn’t like the “Thriller” album?

  86. Kellie says:

    Wish he would’ve stayed a King…

  87. Kellie says:

    Looks like Prince won this battle.

  88. Kellie says:

    He died as a smooth criminal.

  89. Ramon says:

    An unstoppable Thriller and an enigma

  90. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    He is now in his neverland.

  91. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    When he’s on stage, he’s bad!

  92. Sherry says:

    Relatively short and really fucked up.

  93. Missy says:

    My youth died along with Michael.

  94. Kirsten says:

    Peter Pan or King of Pop?

  95. David says:

    Made great music. Slept with boys.

  96. Gary T says:

    Great artist with family issues, dead.

  97. Rachel says:

    Moonwalked His Way Into My Heart.

  98. Melissa says:

    Catchy dance pop. Sad pathetic life.

  99. Stephen says:

    He lived how he died. Infamously..

  100. rob says:


  101. Mary says:

    The loneliest man we ever loved.

  102. D.I.G. says:

    Michael: Thriller!
    Bad? Invincible? Dangerous?

  103. jenny says:

    so sad was this child king.

  104. Surfingnoreen says:

    Dancing supernova explodes into the void.

  105. lynn says:

    cute black boy strange white man

  106. dana in the 904 says:

    My Story: a ‘Bad’ ‘PYT’ ‘Heartbreaker’

  107. Bethe says:

    R.I.P., Michael. Sing, dance in heaven.

  108. Bethe says:

    Amazing performer. Tormented life. Musical legend.

  109. Bethe says:

    Michael’s gone. Just rememer the good.

  110. Bethe says:

    Must replace my MJ cassettes–CD’s.

  111. Bethe says:

    Worldwide phenomenon. Musical genius. Died young.

  112. Bethe says:

    Michael beat it much too soon.

  113. Bethe says:

    Black, white. Man in mirror thrilled.

  114. Bethe says:

    Never can say goodbye. Michael, R.I.P.

  115. Bethe says:

    Never can say goodbye, Michael. R.I.P.

  116. Bethe says:

    Michael owned the stage. Unbelievably talented.

  117. Bethe says:

    Middle-aged white woman devastated about Michael.

  118. Bethe says:

    Would Michael still be alive if?

  119. kimbly says:

    What if he’d had a childhood?

  120. kimbly says:

    What doomed Elvis, claimed Michael too.

  121. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    This tour would have surpassed all.

  122. kimbly says:

    We somehow forgot the genius there.

  123. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    No one can duplicate his work.

  124. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    It was never about his appearance.

  125. dreamer211 says:

    Young, talented, controversial, exploited, now dead.

  126. Jules says:

    bizarre music icon and loving dad.

  127. DEBAZ2CA says:

    Now MJ can live his childhood.

  128. Bethe says:

    Hope you play in heaven, Michael.

  129. Bethe says:

    World was your stage. Tragic life.

  130. Bethe says:

    If childhood were different, just imagine.

  131. Bethe says:

    Preferred Michael’s cute 80’s black face.

  132. eil says:

    genius man naive child in one

  133. Jeff A says:

    Embattled individual. Majestic Performer. Legend forever.

  134. JandPDS says:

    So who actualy fathered his children?

  135. KVL says:

    Thrilled, healed, and rocked our world.

  136. AP says:

    He lived an awfully big adventure.

  137. janel says:

    Heal The World. Honour The Man.

  138. Jinxy says:

    Young black old white three kids.

  139. Jinxy says:

    Afro, Jheri Curl, Pepsi Fire, Wig

  140. tomtom says:

    Black superstar turned white. Tragic life.

  141. tomtom says:

    Lost childhood doomed superstar’s life forever.

  142. bfree says:

    Michael: Currently teaching Elvis to Moonwalk

  143. bfree says:

    Tip of Hat. Sparkle of Glove.

  144. bfree says:

    Seemed to float above the stage.

  145. kvs says:

    The Thriller has left the building.

  146. The LAMP says:

    He finally did say goodbye, girl.

  147. The LAMP says:

    Gonna be startin somethin in Heaven

  148. Curt says:

    Wore white glove. Had some moves.

  149. The Aldin says:

    Father. Performer. Spotlight. Pain. Legend.

  150. The Aldin says:

    Moon walking on the clouds now.

  151. Carlos says:

    Tragic death leads to musical rebirth.

  152. Andrew Shaffer says:

    “Thought he would die young. Did.”

  153. Don Willmott says:

    Up, up, Culkin, down, down, down.

  154. Eliza Lear says:

    Cash-cow baby never grew up.

  155. Cas Marino says:

    Died too soon. Dyed too white.

  156. Kayla Smith says:

    Micheal Jackson was not a martyr.

  157. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    He commanded all moves and steps.

  158. KatNat says:

    King of Pop arose, never landed.

  159. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    Michael, danced,dreamed, delivered, and died.

  160. KatNat says:

    The man in the mirror, reflected.

  161. KatNat says:

    Michael moved the earth and moon.

  162. Vu says:

    Loved, hated, cherished, abhorred: Unique!

  163. Carmelo Valone says:

    Now dancing in real never-never lands.

  164. Benjamin says:

    king of pop. wore one glove?

  165. Ian says:

    Our generation got it’s Elvis finally.

  166. Ian says:

    The Five, The King, Now Popped.

  167. Helen says:

    Precocious child turned juvenile adult, lost.

  168. Abs says:

    He sang, he moonwalked, he conquered.

  169. Yolanda says:

    Michael: Son, brother, father, friend, artist.

  170. MeganC says:

    Gloved King ushered future of music.

  171. MeganC says:

    Music industry and world forever changed.

  172. MeganC says:

    World changed in just one glove.

  173. MeganC says:

    One-gloved wonder awakened every generation.

  174. DONALD0607 says:

    Talented, confused, conflicted. But never convicted,

  175. MeganC says:

    Loneliest man loved by whole world.

  176. Andy says:

    It got hard for little boy.

  177. bfree says:

    Broke the internet when he died.

  178. MeganC says:

    Influenced. Impacted. Insulted. Invincible. Iconic. Immortal.

  179. Eileen says:

    Moonwalk straight to hell, child molester.

  180. Merrianne says:

    MJ’s tragedy started many years ago.

  181. tams says:

    kmart special: boys pants half off

  182. chana says:

    to little to late now gone

  183. chana says:

    not my hero alive or dead

  184. Allen says:

    Mama sighed. Mama sued. Mama Kusah.

  185. Robin Slick says:

    John Lennon’s gonna kick your ass

  186. kejia says:

    millions of moms sigh with relief

  187. stephen b says:

    The sound of one glove clapping.

    This moonwalk requires
    Gallons of Jesus juice.

  188. Anna says:

    Heart stopped when it got enough.

  189. Margo says:

    Genius lost. To megolamania, dysmorphia? Heartbreaking.

  190. Q says:

    T’was ever thus, each of us.

  191. Margo says:

    Music: genius. Life: screwball. Death: adored.

  192. Q says:

    It was ever thus, Mr. Jackson.

  193. Q says:

    This is The Peace you needed.

  194. ndolomar says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call 50 “too young.”

  195. Q says:

    So nice to finally retire, eh?

  196. Q says:

    Honestly? I’m so happy for you.

  197. John Davis says:

    Michael: the soundtrack of my childhood.

  198. muguette says:


  199. jqpublic says:

    Boys are now safer from molestation.

  200. jqpublic says:

    Without Quincy Jones MJ is Britney.

  201. Lylanne says:

    Man in the Mirror: ghostly echo.

  202. Bethe says:

    King of Pop led tormented life.

  203. Debbie says:

    Pop thrill now moonwalking in heaven

  204. Ben C says:

    Prodigiousness robbed youth; quintessential American tragedy.

  205. A better word says:

    Virtuosity robbed youth; quintessential American tragedy.

  206. Debbie says:

    Pop thriller now moonwalking in heaven

  207. Debbie says:

    Lost boy finally finds his Neverland

  208. Eddie G. says:

    King of Pop; Moonwalks into Eternity

  209. Kimberley A. Sidaway says:

    There’s one more angel in heaven.

  210. Trish Jacobson says:

    He is now alone, without children.

  211. Trish Jacobson says:

    He was stopped, they had enough.

  212. Dyan Titchnell says:

    Gloved one moon walked to thrill.

  213. Trish Jacobson says:

    Peter Pan dreams, creepy plastic nightmares.

  214. Trish Jacobson says:

    Born Black man, Died White woman.

  215. Trish Jacobson says:

    His ill beats, will beat on.

  216. Trish Jacobson says:

    He danced better than the best!

  217. Lisa R. says:

    When the glove no longer fits.

  218. Trish Jacobson says:

    Didn’t matter, Black or White, he’s gone.

  219. Trish Jacobson says:

    Cardic arrest: Wrong arrest record.

  220. Trish Jacobson says:

    Shiny, glittery one hand covered, Child.

  221. Trish Jacobson says:

    Child that remained in man’s body.

  222. Lisa R. says:

    Bleach job complete: Fade to black.

  223. Trish Jacobson says:

    Saw him climb, watched him crumble.

  224. Trish Jacobson says:

    The Glove goes on other hand.

  225. Trish Jacobson says:

    Most shocking music day ever seen.

  226. Trish Jacobson says:

    As a zombie he can dance!

  227. Trish Jacobson says:

    Thriller: There is life after death!

  228. Trish Jacobson says:

    Neverland, never the same, never visited.

  229. jahfurry says:

    Sorry Michael, but I don’t care.

  230. jahfurry says:

    I rollerskated to Pretty Young Thing

  231. ken krimstein says:

    Holy crap! He was my age.

  232. AMRILUSAGUY says:

    pretty good dancer pretty freaky parent

  233. fern chasida says:

    michael jackson - thrill is long gone

  234. fern chasida says:

    who will parent his children now?

  235. Shawn Lane says:

    Pedophile dead. Rat’s ass not given.

  236. stephanie s says:

    MJ truly lived off the wall.

  237. Pounddog says:

    Too soon sequinned gloves wave bye

  238. DJ says:

    Brilliant child degenerates into tortured man.

  239. DJ says:

    So much love yet so alone.

  240. Vanessa :) says:

    Earned the title: King of Pop

  241. Lora says:

    Needed love but never loved himself.

  242. Lora says:

    A torchured face, a torchured soul.

  243. Lora says:

    Did St. Peter recognize Michael’s face?

  244. MSantiago says:

    Lost boy, genius thrilled, man unknown.

  245. Lora says:

    Imagine King of Pop at eighty!

  246. Lora says:

    Was I only one not surprised?

  247. Lora says:

    My favorite song. Gone too soon.

  248. Lora says:

    Michael entering Heaven. Black or white?

  249. Lora says:

    Debts gone. Wealthier dead than alive.

  250. Lora says:

    Accidental death? Insurance wipes out debts.

  251. Lora says:

    Now the conspiracy rumors run wild.

  252. Gibby says:

    Sad news. Let the circus begin!

  253. Gibby says:

    Hi! Billy Mays here for Oxiclean!

  254. Lora says:

    A tortured face, a tortured soul.

  255. Lora says:

    Daddy Jackson emasculated little Michael.

  256. Lora says:

    Those white kids are NOT his!!!

  257. Lora says:

    Which one molested? Prince One? Two?

  258. bklerner says:

    some folks sad, some kids glad

  259. bklerner says:

    power, fame and money can corrupt

  260. Larry Smith: Contest: Michael Jackson’s Six-Word Obit – 4th Edition » Episode Fans says:

    [...] What’s your six-word obituary for Michael Jackson? Leave your six words for MJ either at SMITH, or, if that’s too much work, as a comment here. Our three favorite entries win the six-word [...]

  261. Clarissa says:

    The jokes started way too soon.

  262. Sansego says:

    Smooth criminal is gone too soon.

  263. Katie K. says:

    mama say mama so mamacu sad.

  264. TrueDragon says:

    Changing faces, daring moves. Silence now.

  265. Sara C says:

    Memories while listening to his songs.

  266. virginette says:

    the way you make me feel..

  267. virginette says:

    loved the world, never just himself

  268. virginette says:

    peter pan is gone to neverland

  269. virginette says:

    a child in a man’s body

  270. virginette says:

    the Glove that shook the world

  271. virginette says:

    defying color, defying gravity- not mortality

  272. virginette says:

    healed and rocked my world- thanks

  273. virginette says:

    the tragic artist, the starved soul

  274. virginette says:

    Michael, heaven doesn’t care about looks

  275. virginette says:

    knocked me off of my feet

  276. virginette says:

    Michael, i’ll always remember the time..

  277. Softsagi says:

    “When will I get my refund?”

  278. Softsagi says:

    “Who said that, King of POP”

  279. Softsagi says:

    “Pop, Poppers, Pauper, la-la land”

  280. virginette says:

    moonwalked in and out of reality

  281. Kitten22 says:

    Music will never be the same.

  282. Kitten22 says:

    His lonely days are now gone.

  283. Kitten22 says:

    We weren’t ready to say goodbye.

  284. Shaunyata says:

    Pop Genius or Wacko Jacko? Both.

  285. Kitten22 says:

    Michael you are not alone anymore.

  286. Michelle says:

    King of Pop…lives on FOREVER.

  287. Kitten22 says:

    Talented Musician and a Legendary Icon.

  288. B.Sloane says:

    “Livin crazy that’s the only way”

  289. B.Sloane says:

    He Lived it Off the Wall

  290. The Douchebag says:

    72 heavenly virgin boys deflowered today

  291. B.Sloane says:

    He Lived LIFE Off the Wall

  292. Kiese Laymon says:

    You worked for us! Thank you.

  293. Jinxy says:

    Born Julius Hibbert. Died Monty Burns.

  294. Taru says:

    Moonwalked off the wall; tragic fall.

  295. Taru says:

    Negro spirituals now Caucasianized cheshire grin

  296. Taru says:

    Negro spirituals now Caucasianized cheshire grimace

  297. Sean G. Means says:

    MOONWALK: dance steps. Steps to heaven.

  298. Mike Nobel, Maine songwriter says:


  299. Lindsay Champion says:

    Boy prodigy starts young, dies younger.

  300. virginette says:

    at peace - can be a child

  301. NWW says:

    One glove; keeps evidence off children.

  302. Q says:

    Let the dead bury the dead.

  303. virginette says:

    death by press, immortality by love

  304. virginette says:

    famous in life, immortal in death

  305. shaunyata says:

    From pop genius to Wacko Jacko.

  306. Georgia Hubley says:

    Rock star; falling star; bright star

  307. Georgia Hubley says:

    Boy angel; broken wings; gone; forgiven

  308. molly says:

    1.Shook his body into the ground.

    Just say

  309. molly says:

    Recycled plastic: Just say “no”.

  310. virginette says:

    a Dangerous Thriller, an Invincible HIStory

  311. LynnM says:

    you gave us butterflies - fly free!

  312. Trish Jacobson says:

    He cried but no one listened.

  313. Trish Jacobson says:

    Celebrity life taken for granted, sad.

  314. Trish Jacobson says:

    Infamously famous for very impure behavior.

  315. Trish Jacobson says:

    Neverland in ruins, Children in hiding.

  316. Trish Jacobson says:

    Babies asked to say goodbye, awkward.

  317. Tina says:

    Farewell fragile ferocious talent. Manchild.

  318. Marcus Eder says:

    enablers killed the king of pop

  319. Marcus Eder says:

    remember how he lived, not died

  320. Marcus Eder says:

    the real mj died years ago

  321. Marcus Eder says:

    man as child, child as man

  322. Yvonne says:

    Survived by a generation of commentary.

  323. Slothrop says:

    Self-mutilating Drug Addicted Pederast Artist

  324. uff da says:

    Loved, gloved; unique freak; cool ghoul.

  325. ReverendJohn says:

    King of Pop - His heart stopped.

  326. DeirdreH says:

    I sang. I danced. I lived.

  327. Marcella says:

    Sang, danced, dazzled.

  328. chana says:

    his handlers should be held responsible

  329. chana says:

    Who killed Michael, the conspiracies begin…

  330. Virginette says:

    mis-taken, mis-colored, misunderstood- just plain missed

  331. Robin Slick says:

    He became a Twitter Trending Topic

  332. Anonymous says:

    Accusations are not, by definition, facts.

  333. Q says:

    Little man to man-child. Blame fame.

  334. Q says:

    Little man to man-child. Blamed fame.

  335. Q says:

    Bouquet of broken parts and genius.

  336. joy316 says:

    Brought joy and trills to millions!

  337. joy316 says:

    We all need Jesus, John 3:16

  338. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    He said “he never–wanted to die.”

  339. Patricia says:

    Michael. Not ordinary, even in death.

  340. Q says:

    The Curious Case of Michael Jackson

  341. VeeMichal says:

    Where were you when Michael died?

  342. lmattozz says:

    Survived by children, abused and not.

  343. And the Winners of the Michael Jackson Six-Word Obit Contest Are… | Not Quite What I Was Blogging says:

    [...] more than 450 submissions via email, Facebook, over at The Huffington Post, and above all in the comments section of my original post. We couldn’t pick just three, so we’ve decided upon these five across five themes which [...]

  344. Joyce Mason says:

    Never wanted to grow old; didn’t.

  345. Holy says:

    Thriller or Chiller? Audiophiler or Pedofiler?

  346. David L Tamarin says:

    The circle of vultures claims another.

  347. Kathy B. says:

    The King of Pop has exploded.

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