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The conviction earlier this week of Michael Jackson’s physician on a charge of involuntary manslaughter brings to an end one of the most spectacular-yet-bizarre careers ever witnessed in the glitzy world of show business. Jackson was an immensely talented individual whose life became increasingly eccentric as time went on, with well-publicized incidents which highlighted his abnormal behavior as an entertainer and in his private life.

His “Thriller” album remains the top-selling one in music history, and Jackson unquestionably was one of the highest earners in the history of the music business. But he spent lavishly on outrageous projects such as his “Neverland” ranch, and at the time of his death he was preparing for a comeback concert which could have pulled him out of an untenable financial position. It’s easy to see that Jackson led an outlandish  life; one only has to look at the changes in his appearance over many years, apparently including multiple surgeries and the use of skin-bleaching agents.

In the end, he was apparently unable to sleep and paid vast amounts of money to Dr. Conrad Murray, who administered the type of anesthesia to him that is normally used in surgical procedures. A jury found Murray acted illegally and irresponsibly and he now faces a number of years in prison. Jackson’s legions of fans are left to wonder what might have been had his talents been channeled in another direction. Indeed, show business might seem glamorous, but in comparison, the oftentimes placid and relatively relaxed pace of life in Kershaw County doesn’t seem so bad at all.