July 22nd, 2009
06:16 PM ET

Michael Jackson’s last days: The comeback that never was

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Program Note: For the latest on the fallout from the death of the King of Pop, including today's raid of Jackson's former doctor Conrad Murray's offices, tune in to AC360° tonight at 11p ET.
Rolling Stone

In the days just before his death, Michael Jackson was working harder than he ever had in hopes of staging “the greatest show on Earth” according to our latest cover story.

Claire Hoffman retraced the pop icon’s final moments for “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, and found that Jackson was well aware of how the public came to perceive him in recent years and that he had fully dedicated himself to a comeback tour that he hoped would erase that perception.

“He wanted people to see his work and not just talk about his lifestyle,” AEG CEO Randy Phillips tells Hoffman in her cover story.


Watch video of Hoffman describing her writing process and feelings about Jackson

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Fredi Sturrup

    Michael Jackson worked very deligently for forty-five years. He deserved to retire alive to watch his children grow up and bloom in their own careers.
    I've watched Michael and his siblings grow up over the years. Since they first appeared on t.v has been an inspiration for me and I'm sure most African Americans.
    I feel that his death wasn't an accident. An undercurrent is brewing. When will all of the truths be brought out? Money, Religion, Politics?
    I believe all of these topics played a part in Michael's death.
    May the gods bless this special person 3menRaMichaelJackson.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  2. Fredi Sturrup

    Michael worked very deligently for forty-five years of his life. He deserved a peaceful retirement to watch his children grow up and bloom in their careers. I've watched Michael and his brothers since they were kids too. To see the family love proved to me that Michael's death wasn't accidental. I feel a lot of undercurrent stuff brewing. Will all of the truths come out?

    July 23, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  3. juliet santinlo

    we luv MJ so much,and may he rest in peace and alwaz be remember.

    Good night my prince.....Good nite.....Fly away with the angels.....
    Good nite our sweet prince.............

    July 23, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  4. Jerry

    Unfortunately, he internalized all the criticisms and scandals in his quest for perfection. Coupled with that was his inability to love his inner child and outward appearance. These two became carcinogens to this phenomenally talented MAN. Our loss.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:52 am |
  5. Jerry

    Unfortunately, he internalized all the criticisms and scandals in his quest for perfection. Coupled with that was his inability to love his inner child and outward appearance. These two became carcinogens to this talented, phenomenally talented MAN.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:50 am |
  6. Alyssa

    Michael Jackson loved life more than anyone could. He had been through more in his life than any single person can imagine and for people to feel as though they have a right to judge him is wrong. You don't know what he was going through so how can you judge him for taking medications to go to sleep. He also has a lot of serious sources of pain and was diagnosed with lupus which is an autoimmune disease which can lead to death. Michael Jackson would never take or do anything that would put his life in jeopardy. He loved his children and everyone around the world too much to do that. It is the doctor's fault for dispensing such a serious medication outside a hospital without an AED machine to revive Michael if anything were to happen. I love Michael and respect him and think that no one has the right to judge him or speak ill of him in any way.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:41 am |
  7. Linda

    Joe Jackson used Michael during his life to sustain his own lifestyle and now he wil continue to do the same thing in his death. Such a shame that he is not accepting any of the blame for the direction Michael went in his life and was so damaged by his father's treatment of him as a child that the eventual results was this horrible death.

    It just boggles the mind that Joe Jackson is continuing to talk in public. I sure hope and pray Katherine Jackson will keep this man away from Michael's children!

    July 23, 2009 at 5:33 am |
  8. dottie

    yeah, also say kudo to the houston ,law enforcement.
    for the raids, this mean they're getting to the core of
    these drugs dealers. so call , quack doctors.
    bravo, bravo.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:29 am |
  9. dottie

    Mr. Cooper This my opinion:
    l saw, jermaine jackson on a france T.V show saying,somthing to
    this effect, leave his brother alone, l agree with jermaine,but he must realize that michael are jewel,he is just as big dead as he were alived.
    the reason they're constantly talking about M.J, there rating
    are going through the roof.
    jermaine ,not only do the public want to know about michael
    your brother, they want to know about you entired family.
    you all are celebrity, the public and and these cable networths
    are really curious about your family.
    .but, jermaine it's all good , they're not saying bad
    things anymore,it's all about ,the jacksons enterprise.
    if they are saying something you doesn't like
    appear on larry king show,with your attorney and speak
    out on the subject. always have a public relation person
    with you or your attorney.
    ,but you entired family will be the talk for the next
    20 or 30 years from now.because your family are special
    to the public we love you and the world. do also.
    you are getting more love than hated,think about it.
    people talk about jesus and they crucified him.
    take the bitter with the sweet ,what l'm saying is,take lemons and make lemons aid and also ,smile at satan race.don't let them
    get to you. just say you people are a joke.
    l really hope you and others family members,get together
    on burying michael on his ranch and make a big enterprise
    with new developing on the estates.it's a lot of acres ,the acres
    can be divided into units and have a main headquarters,
    this will allow people from all over the world,to tour the estates
    every year.
    l say to the family,smile and the world will smile
    with you, that's what michael will want
    you all to do. and remember the good time.
    the bible also say one must ,watch, fight and pray.
    as well as being shrewd,(wise) as a serpent,but humble as dove.
    what l'm say is dont sweat the small stuff.
    you all take care now.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:18 am |
  10. Brenda Lambert

    Anderson youre great at what you do Thanks, I fell bad for michaels three childern, Michael would hate the idea that the world now knows what the childern look like and well the public bet ever so kind to these innocent little ones ? lets hope.May Michael R.I.P. he was the King of Rock and Ive always felt bad for him ,he was a child in a mans body and every one seemed to take advantage.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:57 am |
  11. Murielle

    I love Michael a lot but he's the one who killed himself I don't think anybody have to blame for that.I feel sorry for the family specialy the kids.May God bless them.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:43 am |
  12. Roxanne

    MJ had a talent not only for dance and song but for love and respect of life. His changes over the yrs to his face personified how he wanted to change in the public eye. He wanted to look perfect and he was looking pretty good in June! One thing he never lost was his sweet smile. His music matured and became unequivocal to any other artist of any time. No one can ever reach that level ever again. I believe by watching him over the years that he was a kind person who wanted to do good for the world. He loved the world. His lyrics told of his complicated lonely journey through life. If only people had listened more closely. Its unfortunate that we as a society are allowing tabloids to rip people's souls apart. Despite all the bad publicity by journalists, those of us who were his true fans never faltered from his side and were waiting patiently for another brilliant performance and album. We feel that our King has been stolen from us. Also, we have watched MJ grow up from a child to the King of Pop and he has been a part of many of our own life's journeys, and that is why we grieve so much because we have lost a part of our own personal history. I pray he is at peace now.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:00 am |
  13. Dan Flores

    I hope that with time people will start to realize that it is not about race in our country because we all have issues in community. Some of the issues are worse in some communities but the thought that racism still exists is insane. Money is the real issue, when you have alot of it then anything is reachable.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  14. Lisa

    I am a Michael Jackson fan its so sad that he's gone,he will be missed R.I.P. Michael Jackson!

    July 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  15. Cindy H - Ontario Canada

    Anderson...do you think they will EVER bury Michael or are they planning on propping him up somewhere so they can charge admission?

    I think it's about time the Jackson family got over their selfish, self-serving behavior and laid the poor guy to rest.

    July 22, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  16. RoseParvin

    Michael Jackson was a perfectionist in every sense of the word! He expected far more from himself than his fans ever would! He had not accepted himself fully and wanted to be so wonderful to as they say erase who he was from the minds of the people! But people have always been far more loving and forgiving of Michale than he himself ever was to himself! Once we embrace the self with the scars, then we let go of perfectionism that is a cover for the scars and we begin to live whole in a Power Balanced Way of Self healing of Mind-Body-Spirit and Self Excellence! Then the man in the mirror would be just as comfortable with himself as the man on stage! I hope all musicians and artists who experience perfectionism to let go and embrace themselves with all the scars for that is the only way t hey can change!We can never change what we deny its existance!

    July 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  17. charmichael


    As I watched the images of today’s raid, I couldn’t help but notice that superstar Michael Jackson hired a doctor with a shabby office in a not-so-nice part of Houston instead of one with a marble-walled clinic in Beverly Hills. It fits.


    July 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  18. charmichael

    As I watched the images of today's raid, I couldn't help but notice that superstar Michael Jackson hire a doctor with a shabby office in a not-so-nice part of Houston instead of one with a marble-walled clinic in Beverly Hills. It fits.


    July 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm |