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Michael Jackson's death: Where were you?

Alison Luther is writer, marketer and owner of Luther Creative which helps companies develop their brand and marketing strategies to strengthen their presence among online consumers. Previously, Alison served as Director of Public Rel...

Where were you?

I remember when I first heard Michael Jackson's music. Summer was the perfect time to rollerblade in my family's driveway and show off my 8-year-old wannabe figure-skater skills. I choreographed my best moves to my parents'cassette tape Top Gun soundtrack, along with the sounds of none other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Many of the scars that now decorate my knees are thanks to Beat It and Don't Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.

Last week, when the news of his death spread like wildfire in the media, I had a flashback to those days. What good memories. And like most of you, I'll always remember where I was on June 25, 2009 when I heard the sad news that Michael Jackson had died.

I had just walked into a conference when I started receiving text after text after text... "Something's going on with Michael Jackson," "MJ is gone," "Michael Jackson just died!" and "OMG did you hear about Michael Jackson?!?"

It was one text right after the other, and it took me a moment to process what was happening. Our SheKnows Entertainment Editor, Joel Amos, was already on the phone getting confirmation with writers and reporters as the SheKnows team scrambled to be among the first media outlets to break the story.

Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died?

Here's what other SheKnows readers were doing when they learned of MJ's death:

I was in the car w/ my kids, driving home from a playdate at my parent's house. Before I actually heard the news, I was on the phone w/ a friend, and Billie Jean was playing on the radio. I was thinking to myself that I wanted to hear the song, so I ended the call. The song ended, I switched stations and all I heard the dj say was "Jackson" and "CNN" and "Fox" and a list of other news outlets. I'm like "What? Stop naming news outlets and tell me the news!" Then he did.
-- Kimberly Cecere,

I found out from my Blackberry! I was on my parents' porch watching my son ride his bike and got three texts in a row from girlfriends saying "OMG Michael Jackson is dead!" I didn't believe it at first, so I immediately called a few other friends to confirm. Then went back to the crackberry and sent the word out to others. 

-- JoBeth Cox-Zimmerman,

I was at the same exact hospital that he was, at the same exact time, lying on a hospital bed getting a NST test.
- MamaTam, SheKnows Message Boards

I had just logged onto TMZ to read about Farrah Fawsett's death, and it was the first thing I saw. It took the news a couple of hours to confirm it, so I wasn't sure if it was true.
-- Trish,

I was at work and my sister sent me a text. I thought she was kidding!
-- Gina,

I was at my desk and heard it first through Twitter.
-- Samantha Steinwinder,

I was married for 26 years to a most wonderful man and lost him to cancer in 2005. I really feel lost. He was my life. We had two children and they are great. Music makes me feel so much better, and my family grew up watching and listening to Michael Jackson. He is so great and I still listen to him every day. Thanks, Michael! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
-- Debbie Younger,

I was texted by KTAR talk radio. I was sitting in my office (a Boeing 737) on the tarmac at Midway Airport.
-- Bill Bernal,

I was sitting at Subway eating dinner with the family. My friend called me twice. The first time, I ignored her call since we were eating. The second time, I answered, afraid something was wrong. I said, "Hello," and she said, "Michael Jackson is dead!"

When we got in the car, we heard a little about it on the radio but were heading out to do errands so couldn't really watch TV much or look on the Internet til later. DH and I were both in disbelief. In the car, they played PYT and DS said, "He sings on the radio." It is sad that the kids will never really know Michael Jackson.
-- Christine Navratil,

I heard about it on Twitter! Ha! That really tells ya something about how things are these days...
-- Liz Fenton,

I was always humored when my mom would tell stories of remembering where she was when history was made and here I am telling one ;-)

I was in my car driving on the 51 to Tempe when I heard on the radio that a report had come across that Michael Jackson was dead. I called a friend who was hanging out at my house with her daughter for a playdate and told her to turn on the news. She called back and told me that they just showed his dad and he stated that his "son wasn't doing well."
-- harkitsjen,

I was sitting at my computer at work when I got a phone call from my husband telling me that Michael Jackson died of a heart attack. I was in disbelief. I immediately told my co-workers, and in a matter of minutes, we were on all the major news Internet sites to see if it was true. Minutes later, the Internet read "Michael Jackson is dead at age of 50"!
-- Tamara,

The news of Michael was a shock to me then and still is. It's so hard to comprehend that he is gone. I have always loved his music and him as a person. I will forever miss him and will keep him alive through his music. To his family, you're all in my thoughts and prayers, God bless, and rest in peace, Michael.
-- Karen,

I was in the car when I got abut 5 or 6 simultaneous texts from friends. Some texts said he was in a coma, others said he had a heart attack and was in the hospital, while one said that he had died. I was shocked. I was near a friend's house and stopped by to watch the news, where his death was confirmed. It was all very shocking and sad to me. I grew up listening to MJ and even saw him live in concert. I ended up watching the news channels all night long.
-- B M-K,

It was a few hours after I arrived in NYC for a summer vacation. As we were freshening up for dinner in our hotel, we saw he had been rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest, and by the time we walked across Times Square to a friend's hotel, we saw breaking news that he had died. And for the next four days, there was no getting away from Michael Jackson music in any public location we went to, not to mention cars driving down the street blasting his jams. The 2-hour ferry tour around Hudson Bay with no possible escape from the same songs we'd been hearing nonstop for the past three days was the worst.

Funnily enough, my oldest son (age 8) was just sort of starting to get into his music -- asking me to put MJ songs on his mp3 player, asking questions about his music, etc. I really enjoy most of his older stuff but anything from like 1995 on, I could do without.
-- Umberlee, SheKnows Message Boards

I was at the Apple store getting my Iphone replaced. I was sure I had heard the guy at the Genius Bar wrong. But I quickly logged on to CNN and found out he had died.

So sad... watched his videos over the weekend on Youtube. Thriller, Beat It... Even pulled up his infamous Grammy appearance when he performed Billy Jean! Amazing.
-- Lisa Steinke,

I was on vacation. We'd been camping for a week up by Santa Barbara and I was pretty out of the loop on celebrity news. However, that Thursday afternoon, we were doing some sightseeing in LA before heading home to Arizona the next day.

I was waiting on my husband to withdraw money from an ATM at the Farmer's Market in LA. He was having problems with the machine and I was bored, so I checked email on my iPhone. There were a bunch of messages about his (then-rumored) death, as well as news about Farrah's passing.
-- Betsy Bailey,

Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died?

Tell us below!

More on MJ's death:

RealMomsGuide moms recall their MJ memories
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Katherine Jackson denied executorship over Jackson's estate
Michael Jackson album sales soarSee more Michael Jackson death coverage here
Michael Jackson's will details

Michael Jackson's family takes control of his estate
Michael Jackson dead: What we know so far
Remembering Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's 5 greatest entertainment moments
10 Michael Jackson performance videos
Photo gallery tribute to Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's most famous albums: A photo gallery

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