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Saudi Arabia: Michael Jackson v. Elvis Presley

When Saudi blogger and journalist Yasser Al Ghaslan heard about Michael Jackson's death, he immediately remembered the day he heard that Elvis Presley had died.

He writes:

عندما مات ألفس بريسلي و هو الملقب بملك الروك إند رول في عام ١٩٧٧ كنت حينها لم أتجاوز سن السادسة، في تلك الليلة الصيفية من شهر أغسطس كنت أجلس بين والداي في بيت جدي في إيطاليا حيث كنا نقضي الإجازة الصيفية و قد كنا نتفرج على التلفاز و هم ينقلون للمشاهدين خبر وفاته مع مشاهد للمعجبين ينتحبون لفراق ذلك الفنان الذي شغل العالم بفنه الموسيقي و رقصاته اللولبية و كريزماه الشخصية التي جعلت منه معشوق الفتيات و ملهم الفتيان.
When Elvis Presley, known as the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, died in 1977 I was no more than six. On that summer night in August I was sitting between my parents in my grandfather’s house in Italy where we were spending the summer holiday. We were watching television; it was delivering to viewers the news of his death, with scenes of fans wailing at the departure of the artist, who had engaged the world with his music and gyrating dancing, and personal charisma that made him adored by girls and an inspiration for boys.
يوم الخميس الماضي تلقيت في حدود الساعة الثانية عشر ليلا إتصال من أحد الأحبة يبلغني فيه بأن ملك البوب مايكل جاكسون قد مات و هو على بعد أيام من الإحتفال بعيد ميلاده الواحد و الخمسين، فقد نقل أحد المواقع الإلكترونية و أكد الخبر في حين لم توكده بعد السي إن إن، و بعد مرور ربع ساعة تقريبا تأكد الخبر في الوقت الذي كنت أتلقى فيه تهاني الأصدقاء و الأحبة على دخول اليوم الجديد و الذي أكملت فيه سن الثامنة و الثلاثين.
Last Thursday, at around midnight I received a call from one of my friends telling me that the King of Pop Michael Jackson had died, and one website confirmed the news even before CNN had. After approximately a quarter of an hour the news was confirmed at the same time that I was receiving congratulations from friends and loved ones at the start of a new day, on which I reached the age of thirty-eight.
بين موت ألفس بريسلي و موت مايكل جاكسون ٣٢ سنة تقريبا ولدت و ترعرعت بينهما أجيال و أجيال و تغيرت عوالم و تبدلت أذواق و تحللت و تحلحلت أخلاق لأمم و شعوب من هنا و من هناك … فبالرغم من أني كنت كما كان الكثيرون من أبناء جيلي معجب بأغاني مايكل جاكسون و بالنمط الذي أدخله على ثقافتنا المتمردة إلا أن موته بالنسبة لي كان كمن ينظر لمشهد من ذاكرة الزمان، فألفس و مايكل … كانا ملوكا لمدارس فنيه لها أتباعها و كلاهما ماتا و هما في ريعان الشباب و كلاهما لاحقته لعنات المعجبين و المنتهزين و كلاهما ماتا و لا زال هناك من يقول بأن الموت لم يلحقهم فهم أحياء بيننا بفنهم و عظمتهم، و لكني أقول أنهما ماتا كمن يموت أي إنسان و لم يبقي خلفه إلا عمله و ذكريات من عاصروه بمن فيهم ذكرى ذلك الطفل الذي جلس بين والديه و ذلك الرجل الذي كان ينتظر تهاني عيد ميلاده الثامن و الثلاثين.
Between the death of Elvis Presley and that of Michael Jackson were about 32 years. I was born and grew up between them. There were generations and generations, the world changed, tastes altered, the morals of nations and peoples from here and there dissolved and disappeared. … Despite the fact that I, like many of my generation, was a fan of Michael Jackson’s songs and of the example he introduced of a rebellious culture, for me his death was nevertheless like witnessing a scene from a long gone memory. Elvis and Michael…were kings of their respective schools of music, each with their followers, and both died in their prime, and both were followed by the curse of fans and opportunists. Both of them died, and there have still been those who say that death has not touched them and that they still live amongst us with their music and greatness. However, I say that they died just as anyone dies, and left nothing behind except their work and the memories of their contemporaries, including the memory belonging to that child sitting between his parents and that man waiting for the wishes for his thirty-eighth birthday.
المفارقة التي ربما لها و ربما ليس لها معنى أن مايكل جاكسون تزوج إبنت ألفس بريسلي في عمل إعتبره الكثيرون أنه من أجل العلاقات العامة و من أجل خلق صوت مدوي في الإعلام الفني الغربي، فسبحان الله كيف تلتقي الأقدار على أكثر من خط.
Perhaps ironically – and there is no meaning to it – Michael Jackson married Elvis Presley’s daughter. Many considered it to be for public relations and to create a loud noise in the Western music media. It’s amazing that their fates met in more than one way.


  • Ron Stone

    I will be 66 years old this year and have witnessed many happenings in this world that we live. The media has blown the Michael Jackson death way out of proportion. When Elvis died 32 years ago the media on television was not 24/7. The media did not realize the role entertainers play in this life. Today, World War III could hit us and CNN would still have Michael Jackson as the top story! To me, this is pathetic. There will never be another Elvis. He had the personality, voice, (he could sing any kind of music with ease), He had great looks without having a “plastic face”. He changed our way of life. He opened the doors to all entertainers. Being from the south, he would often visit “black nightclubs” and considered the blacks to be his friends. Every movie he made was a success and made good money.
    Simply put, without Elvis there wouldn’t have been the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, or any other music as we know today. More entertainers were influenced by Elvis than any other person.

    Strictly Elvis,

    Ron Stone
    Lakeport, CA

    • The media hasnt blown anything out of proportion. This is my day. Im in my Thirties and I dont want to hear anything about Elvis. How could he pave the way for a black man. No Obama has paved the way for other blacks as Michael has for other black artists. Get it straight. Why do you make a mockery of history. Elvis stole from black nightclubs and to make it worse he looked down on black people. You dont know Elvis personally so you dont know what he felft in his heart about black people. Why are you saying he considered them friends. Thats sounds so ignorant. Michael Jacksons personal appearance has nothing to do with him as an artist. Michael Jackson could sing any type of music and did. He was an arranger, composer, producer, and superb in the studio. He had to be better than Elvis because the times demanded it. All artists were great as so many came out in the 80s but stood out and sold more albums than anyone. Long Live the King who was loved regardless of his race and succeeded in a world that is still full of great Racism!!!!!

  • Before Elvis,there was nothing-John Lennon. There have been protenders-there have been contenders-but there is only one “King”-he(Elvis)wrote the book. It all begins and ends with him-Bruce Springstein

    • Henry

      Before Elvis there was little Richard…who is often forgotten, but he influenced most of Elvis’s music….Michael Jackson was truly unique with his dancing and music style, hence all artists are mimicking him today such as JT…..Elvis became more famous once he was dead.

  • To start off with, Elvis Presley was always authentic as a professional. Maybe he wore a mask to hide from his fans the man behind it. He used his powerful voice not to critisize negatively anyone. His voice was used to makes happy and praise God. By the way, he didn’t use his voice to praise demons. He treated old people with great respect. Even in the 50s, elderly people came to see him on stage. His shows were full of magic because of his presence on stage and not because of dancers, special effects or high-tech devices which help singers of today sell millions of records. He kissed the girls on their lips and shook the guys hands as an act of brotherhood and friendship and love. Very different from those who wear protective masks or bodyguards to keep their fans away. Everybody knows Elvis was not the creator of Rock, but all of us know that without him the world of music would be naked. Black singers wouldn’t have a chance without him. And he was the protector of black music composers and singers with his own life. He paid a high price for this.
    I hope one day soon, to see Elvis again in Paradise, when God – Jehovah – make him rise again and be truly happy as he wished.
    In Jesus’ name. God bless you all.

  • Romeo

    Michael Jackson owns Elvis in every aspect! End of story!

  • SamHuss

    God Bless Michael.

  • Clara

    There won’t be any other King other than Michael Jackson! He, the only one among all the others, is, was and shall forever be the King of Pop! God bless him for all his hard work through which he’s made enormous changes to the world of music! LONG LIVE THE KING!

    I’ve NEVER actually believed in all those stupid molestation charges! These charges had the intention of doing nothing but tarnish his marvellous music career!


  • 9/2/2009 To families and friends; I wish the family of Michael Jackson my deepest sympathy. Michael had seen the world in life and in death
    It is now time to let go and bury what left of the corps.
    His spirit will always be with us as with the lord, Let him rest in peace if that’s possible. We all will have a chance to
    see him at the return of Christ. Again my Condorleancesthe to you.

    Ms. Margareth Rigaud Bs/CT
    of Rockaway Park, N.Y.

  • jim allen

    Who was the King?

    As an Elvis fan I feel both were, one can’t say an apple is better than an orange, or can you ?

    To those who say there wouldn’t have been a MJ without EP, well there were probably greater artists that existed before and around the same time as Elvis that had a greater influence, but were never truly recognised as such, take Buddy Holly, Bill Hailey, Chuck Berry, BB King, The Beatles, or Little Richard…

    Of all the artists we have seen, its fair to say Michael Jackson has had a greater global impact on a greater number of generations than any other artist, ever…so for that reason alone…

    Michael Jackson.

  • Dan

    The only king, the real king, is Michael Jackson.
    He changed the world.
    We love you Michael and we will miss you forever.
    Because of Michael Jackson, we still have love in this world.
    Just listen to his music, his words…
    He is a true angel.
    All those who hurt him will burn in hell.
    Evan chandler committed suicide after he couldn’t live with the guilt over the 1993 accusations, and Martin Bashir had brain cancer.
    I’ll wait to see how Diane Dimond, Tom sneddon, Diane Sawyer, The arviso Family will get punished (not by us) but by the power of Allah.
    RIP Michael.
    We will always be there.
    For those who don’t know Michael, The real MJ, please listen to those songs:
    I’ll be there
    Human Nature
    One day in your life
    we are the world
    Somebody is watching me
    Lady in my life
    Speed Demon
    Another part of me
    In the closet
    Give in to me
    Just good freinds
    Say Say Say
    Black or White
    Billie Jean
    they dont care about us
    Earth song
    You are not alone
    Whatever Happens
    You rock my world
    one more chance
    On the line
    Someone put your hand out
    this is it

    and many others
    Every song he made was a hit
    Don’t forget to watch the Dabgerous Tour: Live in Bukharest
    Great Human being…He was a King
    Long live the king

    • Dan

      The Dangerous Tour: Live In bukharest
      Watch it on DVD
      its like 20 $ but worth Millions!!!
      By the way MJ donated all the Dangerous Tour Proceedings to charity.

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