As with any national tragedy, most people remember where they were, what they were doing and who they were with on June 25, 2009 — the day Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died.
University of California at Los Angeles hospital officials pronounced Jackson dead at 2:26 p.m. local time. Jackson had been rushed to the hospital when he went into what appeared to be cardiac arrest at his home in Holmby Hills.
The immense grief the public felt after losing the beloved music icon was soon mixed with confusion, doubt and anger as the circumstances surrounding Jackson's death began to arouse suspicion: Just a couple months later, an LA coroner ruled his cause of death was "acute propofol intoxication"; the coroner deemed it a homicide.
Most of these misgivings were directed toward Jackson's personal doctor, cardiologist Conrad Murray, who ultimately served two years of a four-year sentence for negligence that contributed to his death, according to CNN.
When the case went to trial in 2011, Conrad was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for delivering what proved to be a lethal dose of an anesthetic Jackson had requested as a sleep aid.
On the seventh anniversary of his death, it's an understatement to say fans continue to feel the impact of the loss and remember the indelible touch Jackson left on music.
Jackson entered the public eye in 1964 at age 6, when he joined what would become the Jackson 5 (but was at the time called the Jackson Brothers). In the '70s and '80s, Jackson saw unparalleled success in his solo career, securing his legacy with hits like "Thriller," "Billie Jean," "Black or White," "Dirty Diana" and "The Way You Make Me Feel."
These tracks showcased Jackson's talent as a singer, performer and tastemaker. Jackson popularized the moonwalk, among other dance moves, which spread through the dance world as well as the music world. And the "Thriller" line dance remains a DJ favorite for rousing guests to get on the dance floor at sweet 16s and weddings.
See Jackson through the years:
Michael Jackson (Through the Years)
Michael Jackson (Through the Years)
FILE - In this Aug. 29, 1993 file photo, pop singer Michael Jackson performs during his "Dangerous" concert in National Stadium, Singapore. (AP Photo/C.F. Tham, file)
CIRCA 1969: R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' pose for a portrait in circa 1969. Clockwise from bottom left: Michael Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
The Jackson 5 perform during the "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 15, 1972. The brothers, from left to right, are, Tito; Marlon; lead singer Michael, the youngest; Jackie; and Jermaine. (AP Photo)
American singer Michael Jackson poses at a hotel while on tour with Jackson 5, London, England, November 1972. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
American pop singer Michael Jackson attends the opening of the stage musical 'Dream Girls,' In Los Angeles, 1983. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson is flanked by brothers Tito, left, and Marlon, right, as the Victory tour of the Jacksonâs opens at Rich Stadium near Buffalo, New York Saturday, August 25, 1984. (AP Photo/Rob McElroy)
Pop artist Michael Jackson, center, is shown onstage at opening night of his Victory Tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif., December 1, 1984. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Undated picture of US pop singer Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read /AFP/GettyImages)
(FILES) US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson (R) and actress Brooke Shields arrive at the shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles where Jackson is expected to run away with a major part of the Grammy awards on Febuary 28, 1984. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Alan ZANGER (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 7, 1984 file photo, Michael Jackson wears a white glove during his performance kicking off the "Victory Tour" at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Jackson, 50, died in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa, file)
FILE - In a Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1986 file photo, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie receive a Grammy for best song of the year for their song "We Are the World" at the 28th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Richie, a longtime friend to Michael Jackson, says the country is in need of some healing after the pop star's recent death and the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans is going to provide the perfect remedy. Essence, which begins Friday, July 3, 2009 and runs through Sunday, will feature performances by Richie, Beyonce, John Legend, Ne-Yo, Anita Baker and a host of other artists. Organizers are now also planning a special tribute to Jackson. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File)
From left to right: singer Lionel Richie, Sheila E., actress Elizabeth Taylor, singer Michael Jackson and Diana Ross sing "We are the World" at the close of the American Music Awards on Monday, Jan. 28, 1986 in Los Angeles, United States. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
American singer Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) performing on stage, circa 1987. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
American singer Michael Jackson performing, 1987. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson leans, points and sings, dances and struts during the opening performance of his 13-city U.S. tour, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 1988, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa)
FILE - In this Nov. 13, 1988 file photo, pop singer Michael Jackson performs before a sold out crowd for his Bad tour at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Jackson, 50, died in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Alan Greth, file)
Michael Jackson opens the first of a threee-night concert stay promoting his album "Bad", in Rosemont, Illinois, Tuesday night, April 19, 1988. Jackson will be touring the U.S. and Europe for the next three months. (AP Photo/Mark Elias)
LANDOVER, UNITED STATES: American pop music star Michael Jackson sings 13 October 1988 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland. AFP PHOTO/Luke FRAZZA (Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson performs during the opening concert of the Asian leg of his 'Dangerous' world tour in National Stadium in Bangkok on August 24, 1993. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Pongsak CHAIYANUWONG (Photo credit should read PONGSAK CHAIYANUWONG/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 1993 file photo, Pop singer Michael Jackson, right, holds his award while posing with actress Elizabeth Taylor at the 20th American Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark Terrill, file)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Singer Michael Jackson (R) and guitarist Slash of 'Guns and Roses' perform the opening number at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards 07 September held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. Jackson and sister Janet Jackson have been nominted for 11 awards for their video 'Scream.' AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson performs during a concert at Vincennes hypodrome on September 13, 1992. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Bertrand GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) US pop star Michael Jackson waves to photographers during a press conference in Paris on March 19, 1996. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO / VINCENT AMALVY (Photo credit should read VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Michael Jackson (C) performs at Madison Square Garden in New York 07 September, 2001. It was the first of two performances in New York as part of his '30th Anniversary Celebration, the Solo Years.' AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read BETH A. KEISER/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: (FILES) This 06 July, 2002, file photo shows pop singer Michael Jackson (L) waving from his limo to fans in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The child molestation trial against Jackson is scheduled to start 31 January, 2005, in Santa Maria, California. The star has denied 10 charges, including child molestation, plying a child with alcohol to seduce him and of conspiring to kidnap and falsely imprison a child and his family at his Neverland Ranch. He is free on a three million USD bail. AFP PHOTO/Doug KANTER/FILES (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US pop singer Michael Jackson salutes the audience after recieving the Artist of the Century Award during the 29th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles 09 January 2002. AFP PHOTO/Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: US singer Michael Jackson and guitarist Dave Navaro perform during the Democratic National Committee (DNC) benefit concert, 'A Night at the Apollo', at the world-famous Apollo Theater 24 April 2002 in New York. The concert was to kick off a nationwide voter registration drive. AFP PHOTO/TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
404248 10: Musician Michael Jackson performs at the taping of 'American Bandstands 50th...A Celebration' television special honoring the music show April 20, 2002 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
BERLIN - NOVEMBER 19: Singer Michael Jackson holds his son eight-month-old son Prince Michael II over the balcony of the Adlon Hotel November 19, 2002 in Berlin, Germany. Jackson is in Berlin with his three children to accept a lifetime achievement award. (Photo by Olaf Selchow/Getty Images)
BERLIN - NOVEMBER 19: Singer Michael Jackson appears at the balcony of the Adlon Hotel with an unidentified child November 19, 2002 in Berlin, Germany. Jackson is in Berlin with his three children to accept a lifetime achievement award. (Photo by Olaf Selchow/Getty Images)
SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 18: US musician Michael Jackson holds a child 18 July in Soweto, South Africa, where he laid a wreath at the memorial for students who died in an uprising on 16 June. Jackson sang a happy birthday song to South African President Nelson Mandela at a surprise meeting with the president shortly after he arrived in the country. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, UNITED STATES: (FILES) This 13 November, 2002, file photo shows pop singer Michael Jackson arriving inside the Santa Maria Superior Court for a trial in which he is accused of canceling concert appearances and costing the promoter several million dollars. The child molestation trial against Jackson is scheduled to start 31 January, 2005, in Santa Maria, California. The star has denied 10 charges, including child molestation, plying a child with alcohol to seduce him and of conspiring to kidnap and falsely imprison a child and his family at his Neverland Ranch. He is free on a three million USD bail. POOL/SPENCER WEINER/FILES (Photo credit should read SPENCER WEINER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Musician Michael Jackson signs autographs for fans as he arrives at his civil trial in Santa Maria Superior Court November 14, 2002 in Santa Maria, California. The artist is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter for backing out of two concerts. (Photo by Bryan Chan-Pool/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Pop star Michael Jackson testifies during his civil trial in Santa Maria Superior Court on November 15, 2002 in Santa Maria, California. The pop star is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter for backing out of two concerts. (Photo by Ed Souza-Pool/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - DECEMBER 4: Singer Michael Jackson testifies during the morning session of his civil trial in Santa Maria Superior Court on December 4, 2002 in Santa Maria, California. The artist is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter for backing out of two concerts. (Photo by Jim Ruyman-Pool/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson performs at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Apollo Theatre in New York, Wednesday, April 24, 2002. The fundraiser is a kickoff for the party's nationwide voter registration drive. Behind Jackson, actors playing the parts of an Arab and Jew embrace. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
FILE - In this Tuesday, June 24, 2003 file picture, Michael Jackson, left, performs with James Brown during the BET Awards in Los Angeles. Jackson later presented Brown with a lifetime achievement award. Jackson has died in Los Angeles at age 50 on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 27: (TABLOIDS OUT) Singer Beyonce' Knowles and singer Michael Jackson, winner of the 2003 Humanitarian Award, hug onstage at The 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Casino Resort October 27, 2003 in Las Vegas, Neveda. For more information on Jackson's humanitarian efforts, go to musicforgiving.org. (Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - APRIL 30: Singer Michael Jackson gestures while departing the courthouse after his arraignment on April 30, 2004 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson plead not guilty to the grand jury indictment of numerous child molestation charges. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Pop star Michael Jackson leaves Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif., Thursday April 7, 2005, after another day of testimony in his child molestation trial. A former security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch told a lurid story Thursday about seeing the singer kiss, fondle and perform oral sex on a boy who later received a financial settlement from the pop star. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Michael Jackson performs at the World Music Awards at Earls Court Arena in London, Wednesday Nov. 15, 2006. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Michael Jackson waves in Tokyo in this Sunday, May 28, 2006 file photo. Jackson is "reviewing and evaluating" proposals for his future including several offers to perform in Las Vegas, his spokeswoman said Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, but he doesn't feel any pressure to make a quick decision. Raymone K. Bain confirmed that, after a period of globe-trotting, Jackson is currently living in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, file)
US singer Michael Jackson announces that he is set to play ten live concerts at the London O2 Arena in July, at the venue itself in south London, Thursday, March 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
FILE - In this March 30, 2005 file photo, Michael Jackson exits a courtroom in Santa Maria, Calif. The estate of Michael Jackson has landed the late King of Pop the biggest recording deal in history: a $200 million guaranteed contract with Sony Music Entertainment for 10 projects over seven years, according to a person familiar with the deal. (AP Photos/Hector Mata, pool, File)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Jackson's artistry and influence, though, was most palpable in his quieter moments, with songs like 1988's "Man in the Mirror," a gospel-like track that echoes Gandhi's vast call to "be the change you wish to see in the world." Even much later in his career, his talent still resonated on tracks like 2004's "We Are the World," in which Jackson sang of his hopes for the world to "stand together as one."
In these moments, Jackson paved the way for a slew of artists who mimic him, are influenced by him or came to love music because of him. But in some ways, Jackson's death marked the end of something irrecoverable.
On June 26, 2009, the day after the singer's death, writer Hua Hsu summed up Jackson simply-but-eloquently in the Atlantic: "Jackson was one of the last figures of our time who could, in his very presence, describe the possibilities of pop."
"Jackson was one of the last figures of our time who could, in his very presence, describe the possibilities of pop."
Memories of Jackson, however, will always be tinged with a certain darkness.
Jackson was acquitted in 2005 on charges of child molestation and giving intoxicants to a minor. Among the allegations were claims that he had shared a bed with a preteen boy over 460 days during a two-year period, that he had pleaded with actress June Chandler to let him sleep with her son and that he had child pornography in his Neverland Ranch.
Speculation over whether Jackson had committed these offenses circulated anew this week when authorities released evidence that had been used in the trial: footage from a 2003 raid the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office and Sheriff's Department had conducted at the ranch.
The video reveals rooms filled with children's toys and games, photos of child actors like Macaulay Culkin and child pornography.
Shocked fans, who perhaps had wanted to leave the dubious parts of Jackson's history untouched, expressed their mixed feelings on social media, with some pointing to the futility of rehashing the controversy and others staunchly maintaining his innocence, including his family and the executors of his estate.
"Michael remains just as innocent of these smears in death as he was in life even though he isn't here to defend himself," a statement released by Jackson's estate Tuesday reads. "Enough is enough."
It's likely the American public will always have to live in this space of discomfort, some perhaps acknowledging Jackson's guilt, others choosing to ignore his wrongdoings in favor of dogged idolatry and most accepting Jackson as a problematic but adored figure.
As Hsu wrote in his tribute to the late singer, the story we tell of the King of Pop continues to be one that says more about us than it does about Jackson himself.
"His distance made him an enigma: he was post-racial before anyone knew it; he was a vain, tragic hero; he suffered for our adoration," wrote Hsu. "Or so we like to tell ourselves."