The Battle Over Michael Jackson's Legacy

The icon's death has sparked a war over his legacy. Inside his final days

Kevin Mazur / AEG / Getty

Pop star Michael Jackson rehearses at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 23, 2009.

At Wednesday night's rehearsals, the middle-aged man of 50 was showing the kids how it's done. "He'd take the stage with this group of dancers, all in their 20s, but you couldn't take your eyes off him," says Dorian Holley, vocal director for Michael Jackson's This Is It series of concerts, planned to begin this month in London. During Jackson's run-through at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, "he was giving a clinic to those dancers," recalls Bashiri Johnson, the percussionist on the tour. "Whenever he would do a move, he'd raise the bar." If somebody screwed up, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!