In death the king of pop soars in records, ratings and statistics. Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday and according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s vice president of education, Dr. Jason Hanley, his legacy is secure. Jackson died in 2009 after decades of game-changing music.

According to Hanley in an Interview with ABC news, Jackson was unique because he thought of music as “a real craft. He always tried to get better: as a songwriter, as a performer, as a producer, he was somebody who was thinking about his image…and how his image and his music tied together.”