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, RealMomsGuide.com

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, RealMomsGuide.com

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, RealMomsGuide.com

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

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

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, SheKnows.com

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

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, RealityTVMagazine.com

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

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, RealMomsGuide.com

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, RealMomsGuide.com

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, SheKnows.com

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, RealMomsGuide.com

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, RealMomsGuide.com

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, RealMomsGuide.com

Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died?

Tell us below!

More on MJ's death:

RealMomsGuide moms recall their MJ memories
Michael Jackson memorial tickets distributed
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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Comments on "Michael Jackson's death: Where were you?"

Indya W (mj fan forever) August 29, 2011 | 4:55 AM

I was getting in the car coming back from the loop restaurant. I was with my dad, step mom, step sister, step cousin, and my brother. When we got in and cranked tunes. Each time between songs we heard the depressing news. It wasn't a big deal to me until we got home. My dad was playing a song I wasn't familiar with but I quickly learned it since he played it over and over again. I remember he was in the bed crying that's when I realized this wasn't a Jonas brother or a Hannah Montana. This was a legend that changed lives for kids and adults around the world. This was a gift from god to the world. I also recall I was playing in my brothers room and my dad brought in his phone and told me to listen to the song. I noticed it was he same song he was playing so many times. Man in the Mirror.

Lindy June 25, 2010 | 6:48 PM

I was at my eye doctors waiting for my eyes to dilate and looking at a celebrity magazine in the waiting room and saw a picture of him with his kids. I remember trying to look more closely since my eyes were starting to blur from the medication. I thought to myself "gee I haven't seen any pictures of him let alone his kids, in a long time." I left my doctor's office, got in the car and it came on the radio that he had died. I didn't believe them.......was driving in a daze when my gf called and said "did you hear? Michael Jackson is dead." I still don't believe it. Lindy

James June 13, 2010 | 10:02 PM

I was at an rotc summer camp in New Braunfels TX & we were just going back to our rooms from repelling. At the time we were just relaxing while we waited for dinner time & i was flipping channels until i stopped at a breaking news story, it suprised me so as i was reading it i just repeated "Micheal Jackson dies at age 50" we just frozed & watched. We evened flipped to the news channels & they had the story everywhere like it was non stop. By the time it was time for dinner the whole camp knew already (im surprised it was that quick) RIP Micheal Jackson You will be missed

MJfan June 07, 2010 | 9:20 PM

I had just walked into the house and my dad, who spends hours on the internet looking at news (because we don't have a TV) immediately said, "whoop, Michael Jackson died." I was like, " really?" I didn't believe him at all because he's always spitting out random rumors from around the world. Dad said, "yep." M: "when??" Dad. "around 5pm." It was 7pm then. (we found out late because we don't have a TV, like i said." My sister walked in the door. I ran up and said, "guess what?? Michael jackson just died!" She had the same reaction i did. we both ran back to the computer and looked over dad's shoulder. on the screen was a picture of him under a a sheet in a stretcher, and there was also a picture of Janet crying. We read the article in silence for a few minutes and then me and my sister walked off. We were surprised, but since we grew up in the 2000's we didn't care or know much about him except for his famous plastic surgeries and terrible rumors about him. Just then Mom walked inside. I ran up to her and said, "Mom! You won't believe this. Michael Jackson died!!!" Mom's jaw dropped. "No!" she said in shock and surprise. We all ran back to the computer and looked at more articles about him that Dad kept showing. Later that evening when i went on the internet, all it talked about was Michael Jackson. By next morning, his songs and albums were topping the charts and me and my sister were in awe. The next day we saw our cousins and it literally was all anyone could talk about. "Michael jackson this, Michael jackson that, blah blah blah, do you remember, blah blah, Jackson 5, blah blah, Thriller, blah blah..." I didn't care back then. It wasn't until February, when the talk of him was all but gone, that i sat down with my sister and we watched the Thriller video for the first time with Dad. It was love at first sight. I love you so much now, Michael, and i'm sad your gone. :(

Madds May 17, 2010 | 2:19 PM

i was in the car with my dad, listening to the radio. MJ's Billie Jean was playing and i was jamming out, and my dad made the remark that he had just passed. then i heard it on the radio after the song was over. my dad looked stunned, even though he never really liked him. its just what happens when the world loses an amazing icon like him. i didnt believe it at first, so i sat there, still in shock. it wasnt until later that day that it hit me, and i broke down in tears. now i listen to his music everyday, keeping up on the MJ research! his life is over but his music will live 4ever!

Steph February 23, 2010 | 4:18 AM

I was at home and I got online since there was no school due to the AH1N1 virus and I logged in to messenger and saw other people's stats like Michael Jackson died blah blah and then went to the yahoo homepage and saw that MJ really died then I went to facebook and made it my stat too and people kept on making a comment ad telling .. really? when? how? :(

Iain Ross January 01, 2010 | 5:46 PM

Had just arrived in turkey with a group of 13 friends and saw on the news and got a txt from back home in glasgow (Scotland)!

Brigid December 21, 2009 | 9:58 AM

I was in my friends backyard pool.

Christina November 01, 2009 | 8:05 PM

I was visiting my brother in New York in his living room when his neighbour came over and told us that Michael Jackson had died. I was in complete shock, literally. I didn't believe them, neither did my brother, who is a huge fan, so we turned on the television. It said he was in a coma, so I went and told them he was only in a coma, and they told me he was dead, but I refused to believe them. When I went back inside, the news said he had died...I literally had tears in my eyes, I couldn't comprehend that he was gone, even though I was reading the headline on the television.

Michelle October 20, 2009 | 1:37 PM

It was my birthday and I was home. My sister called me, I thought, to wish me a happy birthday. She said, "Did you hear the news?" and I replied, "Yes, I feel so badly for Farrah, and her family. So sad." My sister then said, "No, I mean that Michael Jackson died." There was silence on the phone line. A dagger pierced my heart. The man who perfomed the music I grew up with, that was so much a part of my life was now gone. A part of myself was gone. I still can't comprehend what happened, I only know that the world of music will never be the same again, and our world was unfairly and untimely robbed of an extremely awesome human being. Each year, on my birthday, I will honor his life by playing his wonderful music. To Michael, now up above. You didn't go alone, you went with all our love!

anthony September 26, 2009 | 11:56 PM

I was down stairs in my bedroom when I heard the news of his passing I was shocked and stunned at the same time I was never a big fan of his but I loved his music it touched me in so many ways thank u micheal for your music we miss u

Blahh September 17, 2009 | 7:13 PM

I was on my sisters labtop downloading music . My mother was screaming for my other sister . I said she was upstairs & i was like why you want her . she said that michael had died . my heart dropped . & i said stop playing thats not funny man . i laughed and said stop playing again . i wanted to cry .

rockdiva September 05, 2009 | 7:51 AM

I was crossing the street in Atlantic City, NJ. I was with my eldest brother, his children, and a friend when I first learned of Michael's death. We had been on the Boardwalk enjoying the day. I thought I heard something or someone say he died on the boardwalk..but it didn't register..It was very vague..I heard it and did not hear it(if that makes sense) I immediately dismissed it as a rumor. I looked at my watch and it was 5:25 pm (est). We had to be out of that particular parking lot at 6:00 pm. When we went to another part of town on our way to the famous White House Sub Shop, as we crossed the street a guy and a lady stopped their car, opened their window and told us Michael had just died. I gasp and covered my mouth and could not say a word.

Mare August 15, 2009 | 11:19 AM

I was at dinner @ a restaurant near my home and when I was leaving, I got in my car and turned on the radio. The station I was listening to plays "today's hit music." So when I heard a MJ song being played, which is ironic b/c like i said the station only plays new music...and the song was an "old school" MJ song. as i was pulling in to the garage, another MJ song was playing. At that point I thought, ok...what's going on...But I really didn't think too much of it. So I got inside my house, got on my computer just to check my E-Mail. I click on the internet icon on my computer screen...and before I even sign-on to read my E-Mails..the website reads "Michael Jackson...Dead at age 50." I was absolutely shocked...like everyone else in the world, I'm sure. I just couldnt even believe it. I watched CNN and msnbc that entire night. I am a HUGE MJ fan...always have been, always will be. I still can't believe he's gone. It's just starting to sink in...but really hasn't completely sunk in.

Taaliba August 05, 2009 | 8:38 AM

I had just walked in the house from work and I always do my usual, turning on the TV to listen to the news and when Fox5 news state the he had just passed, I dropped to my knees.

Lisa August 02, 2009 | 2:08 PM

I was in my bed trying to understand the days happenings. My husband passed away at age 39 of heart disease on his way to work. He was in the American Air Force, Active duty. He had high blood pressure and high cholestrol which we were working on controlling. This day will always be a day of mourning for me but luckily I will have the whole world mourning on the same day. God bless Cliff and Michael!! I love you Cliff XXXX Lisa

COOKIE,FROM BALTIMORE July 28, 2009 | 8:00 PM


Jeanette July 26, 2009 | 6:52 PM

I was at home, I heard the reports on CNN that he was taken to the hospital. It was just like when I heard Princess Diana was in a car accident. I remember asking god please let him be ok. When I heard them announce he was dead I was stunned. I got very light headed. Just like Diana, I am totally devastated! It hurts so bad, I don't know how his sweet children are able to deal with it. The hurt they feel is a million times more than mine! The world will never be the same, I miss him. It was a month yesterday. Be Well Michael!

Bev July 20, 2009 | 9:58 AM

A co-worker told me he died,which surprised me as I did not hear any breaking news on my radio. I called home and was told he was at the hospital, I said good, he will recover. Then I got the call from home saying he died, by this time I was at the gym. Needless to say I rushed home to watch everything on T.V, it was unbelievable.

pam collins July 15, 2009 | 3:07 PM

well i just happend to be watching cnn and it came acrossthe tv i was shockedbut the night before iwaslooking up singers that had died in plane accidents and just died like elvis may it was just the timing but i find that very bizzare

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