Michael Jackson’s estate issued a statement Monday, paying homage 10 years after the King of Pop died, all while avoiding to acknowledge the reputation hit Jackson has taken in the last year.
“Ten years ago today, the world lost a gifted artist and extraordinary humanitarian,” the statement obtained by Billboard magazine began. “The entire global community joined in grieving during a powerful and emotional memorial service witnessed by more people than had ever viewed a live event before.”
“A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, his influence embedded in dance, fashion, art and music of the moment,” the statement read. “He is more important than ever.”
Jackson died at his home in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009, from acute Propofol intoxication, according to the medical examiner. He was 50. At the time of his death, the singer had been working on his comeback tour, This Is It.
Despite his tragic ending, Jackson is mostly remembered for his rise from musical prodigy to the most influential figure in 20th-century pop culture. His impact is still felt today.
But much of Jackson’s legacy has been besmirched by the recent resurfaced accusations of child molestation and child sexual abuse. James Safechuck and Wade Robson each told their alleged stories in excruciating detail in HBO’s Leaving Neverland, which debuted earlier this year, despite a $100 million lawsuit filed against HBO by Jackson’s estate.
In the immediate aftermath of the doc, radio stations in New Zealand and Canada chose to drop Jackson from their playlists, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in Indiana removed three items of Michael Jackson memorabilia from their exhibits.
His younger sister, Janet Jackson, however, remains an optimist about her brother’s legacy, telling The Sunday Times that she isn’t worried.
“It will continue. I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music,” she recently told the U.K. newspaper. “It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world.”
The estate is taking the same stance, choosing to remember Jackson for his successes and how he gave back rather than his controversies.
“But we best remember Michael by paying tribute to his legacy of philanthropic work and ask music fans everywhere to make a difference in their community—whether it’s planting a tree, volunteering at a shelter, cleaning up a public space or helping someone who is lost find their way. ‘I believe each person can make a difference in the life of someone in need,’ he said. This is how we honor Michael,” the statement ended.