Michael Jackson's persona was reminiscent of (or directly lifted from?) kabuki theater, which is a centuries-old, stylized form of traditional Japanese theater.
Think about it: kubuki theater is...
* performed by men elaborately costumed in kimino garb,
* wearing heavy layers of white-pallored, make-up,
* adorned by smooth, festooned black wigs,
* vocalizing in unnaturally high-pitched voices.
Kubuki stagings are strangely charismatic, yet incomprehensible on a linear level.
Credible media reports... if there are any at this point... paint the portrait of Michael Jackson, sans wigs, costumes and make-up, as a balding, long drug-addicted, near-skeletal old man with ailing eyesight, significant lung disfunction, and a startlingly scarred face.
What we saw was Michael Jackson as kubuki theater, buried in personal eccentricities. We barely saw his desperate drive to hide his heart or mind or soul. Despite his sins, he seemed, at core, to be a sweet, odd, naive guy just looking for love, like the rest of us.
The problem was... Michael Jackson's kubuki theater was so damned interesting and creative. And endlessly lucrative to assorted leeches.