Michael Jackson – Earth Song
Pop music usually isn’t the best place to expect meaningful messages, but the King of Pop did a great job raising awareness about animal cruelty and environmental destruction in his hit Earth Song. And awareness is the first step to action and change, so there you have it
Earth Song was the first of his singles to deal mostly with the environment and animal cruelty. Because of that, Michael Jackson was given the Doris Day Award by the Humane Society of the USA – awarded to important individuals for making outstanding music that raises awareness of animal issues.
The video was filmed in the Amazon Rainforest, the Croatian city of Karlovac (a war zone at the time), Tanzania and New York. The only real actor in the video is the famous Croatian actor Slobodan Dimitrijevic , who also appeared in the cult movie „Walter defends Sarajevo“.
Sadly, the tragedies shown in the video were very real – within a mile of the filming location in Tanzania, an elephant was killed by a poacher and a week after the video was completed, a large part of the Amazon Rainforest was destroyed.
Michael Jackson wrote this song after watching the shiny street lights and impressive buildings of Vienna and feeling disconnected from nature. He later explained: „For me, this is Earth’s Song, because 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.“
The Guinness Book of World Records cited Michael Jackson as the most philanthropic pop star in history. Here’s how the King of Pop explained the reason behind his charitable work and activism: “When you have seen the things I have seen and traveled all over the world, you would not be honest to yourself and the world to look away.”
According to Michael Jackson’s official website, „Earth Song would become the most successful environmental anthem ever recorded, topping the charts in over fifteen countries and selling over five million copies. (…) Its unusual fusion of opera, rock, gospel, and blues sounded like nothing on the radio.“
Earth Song was the last song rehearsed on the night before Michael Jackson’s death, making it the final song ever performed by the King of Pop. Rest in Peace.