The presence of Michael Jackson significantly marks popular culture. Known as the “King of Pop,” Jackson’s influence on music and dance is undeniable. However, since his death on June 25, 2009, several conspiracy theories have emerged suggesting that he might still be alive. Despite their persistence, these claims have been thoroughly debunked and are considered false.
A Resurgence of Interest
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in Jackson’s life and career. This is mainly due to the upcoming biographical musical drama film about his life, “Michael.” Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jaafar Jackson, a nephew of Michael Jackson, the film is scheduled for release on April 18, 2025. While these biographical works aim to capture the essence of Jackson’s life and legacy, they do not suggest that he is still alive. They are tributes to his enduring impact on the world of music and his millions of fans worldwide.
The Conspiracy Theories
Despite the official records, several conspiracy theories continue to circulate about Jackson’s death. Here are some of the most bizarre ones:
Paris Jackson’s Allegations: A Closer Look
In 2017, Paris Jackson, Michael’s daughter, gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine. She alleged unnamed, nefarious people had murdered her father. She didn’t specify who was behind the act but indicated it was a calculated move. Some online conspiracy theorists questioned whether she was pointing to a group like the Illuminati.
- Worked to Death by Business Associates: LaToya Jackson, Michael’s sister, believes that Dr. Tohme Tohme, Jackson’s final business adviser, and his colleagues shut out all of Jackson’s former business relations and worked the already frail singer until he dropped dead.
- Will Not Signed by Him: Some of Jackson’s siblings claimed that he was not in Los Angeles when his will was dated July 7, 2002, and therefore could not have signed it.
- Death Certificate Not Signed: There were claims about a tricky death certificate that no one signed.
- Faked His Death: One theory suggests that Jackson is still alive and had faked his death because he was heavily in debt.
- Impersonator at the O2 Arena: Some argue that Jackson’s appearance at the O2 Arena was a little bizarre, even by his standards. They believe an impersonator replaced him.
The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy theories, including those about Michael Jackson, persist due to a combination of psychological and social factors. Here are some key reasons:
1. Cognitive Biases and Conspiracy Theories: An Intricate Connection
Conspiracy theories often thrive on cognitive biases. These mental shortcuts help us make sense of the world. For instance, the “proportionality bias” leads people to believe that significant events must have substantial causes. This can fuel belief in conspiracy theories that propose grand, elaborate explanations for essential events.
2. Confirmation Bias
People tend to seek out and focus on information confirming their beliefs. They ignore or dismiss contradicting evidence. Once someone starts believing in a conspiracy theory, they’re likely to interpret new information in a way that reinforces this belief.
3. Psychological and Sociopolitical Disempowerment
People who feel psychologically and sociopolitically disempowered are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Believing in a conspiracy can give them a sense of control and help them make sense of complex world events.
Conspiracy theories about Michael Jackson’s death continue to circulate. However, the official cause of his death was a drug overdose. It resulted from the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives. As we remember Jackson’s legacy, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction and appreciate his contributions to music and culture.