When I went to bed last night here in London, I had just caught the news that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital.
When I awakened this morning, the news reported that he had passed away.
Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 farewell concerts here in London starting in early July, a sort of "comeback" tour for the King of Pop.
Michael Jackson always seemed to stir up a lot of mixed emotions in people, but for my generation, who grew up with Michael's visage constantly on MTV, he was an icon.
When the Thriller album came out in 1982, and the subsequent groundbreaking music video...well, everybody was talking about it and emulating it. Remember the robot and the moonwalk??
It was the kind of phenomenon we see today with Twitter.
So it was probably apt and in accordance with Jackson's fame that Twitter servers (and the Web in general) redlined overnight.
The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that the volume of Jackson-related messages was up to 5,000 per minute at peak, with Twitter seeing an "instant doubling of Tweets per second the moment the story broke."
The story goes on to say other social hubs, including AOL Instant Messenger, blog hosting site LiveJournal, and Facebook all saw some major performance slowdowns with the emerging news of Jackson's death.
AOL even released a statement that read: "Today was a seminal moment in Internet history. We've never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth."
That may be, but let's not forget the real story: The premature passing of a musical icon who, in spite of a troubled upbringing and early fame that stole a childhood, brought joy to millions around the world and helped shape a generation.
May Michael Jackson finally rest in peace.