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By Irfan Nugroho
The
world was shocked to hear the death of Michael Jackson. A month later,
Indonesians was shocked to hear another sad news about the death of Urip
Achmad Riyanto (Mbah Surip).

The two figures possessed some
similarities. Both were singers and at their 50s too. However, both were
totally different from each other. Things related to their death are
perhaps the lessons to us.

Almost all people in the world know
Michael Jackson very well. Since Michael Jackson’s solo appearance in
1971, his name rocketed high until the title King of Pop was honoured
upon him.

Not only did Michael Jackson finally crown the title,
but he was also one of the most commercially successful entertainers of
all the time – an award making his name written in Guinness World
Records.

During his career as singer, Michael Jackson had also
successfully grabbed 13 Grammy Awards and hit sales of over 750 millions
records world-wide. Since then, he immersed into luxurious life, and
found himself surrounded by many controversies.

For about three
decades Michael Jackson ran a luxurious life. He lived in an elegant
house with all the things were available next to him if he wanted. But
Michael’s life was never far from controversies, especially those
related to changes on his physical appearances.

Unfortunately,
Michael Jackson passed away when his popularity in fragile. He was not
as famous as twenty years ago. Many people around the world forgot him
at the time of his death.

To many entertainers in the world,
having such Michael Jackson’s success is a dream. But it is not for an
Indonesian singer named Urip Achmad Riyanto, or better known Mbah Surip
(Grandpa Surip).

“I love you full….!” that’s the words he used to say. That means “sincere.”

Most
of Indonesian people know this guy; even Indonesia President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono delivered his deep condolences to Mbah Surip and
family when this eccentric singer passed away.

Mbah Surip was born in Mojokerto, East Java on May 6th, 1957. His surname was Urip Achmad Riyanto.

Mbah
Surip’s career as singer and artist began in 1985, when he biked from
Mojokerto to Jakarta. Since he arrived in Jakarta, Mbah Surip lived in
the street, and met with some outstanding Indonesian artists.

Mbah
Surip sang from bus to bus, at one street to another. He found a bright
hope of success when he went to studio for recording his first studio
album entitled “Ijo Royo-royo” in 1997. In 1998, he recorded two other
studio albums “Indonesia I” and “Reformasi.” Five years later (2003),
Mbah Surip went to studio again for “Tak Gendong.” A year later, he
released another album entitled “Barang Baru.”

Five albums Mbah
Surip has composed during his life. Unfortunately, none of his album hit
high number of sales. Only in the last three months, his re-mastered
single “Tak Gendong” gets booming massively in Indonesia since March
2009.

Almost all Indonesians can sing this song. Millions of
Indonesians downloaded this song for mobile ringtone. And from the
selling of “Tak Gendong” ringtone, Mbah Surip earned more than 10
billions rupiahs.

Mbah Surip, with such a very big earning, can
be said as success and rich in Indonesia. No matter how, Mbah Surip was
still as usual. He spent his life in the street, grappling with other
Indonesian street artists in a simple life.

Amidst the high
demand from Indonesian people to hear something more from him, Mbah
Surip passed away when he was sleep. Mbah Surip left his fans too soon
as he died in his peak career as a singer.

Well, Mbah Surip and
Michael Jackson possessed similarities. Mbah Surip was a singer as well
as Michael Jackson. Mbah Surip was an artist so was Michael Jackson.
Both were also at their 50s when died.

However,
Mbah Surip lived in the street, while Michael Jackson in a luxurious
house. Mbah Surip ran his heyday only in three months while Michael
Jackson in three decades. Mbah Surip passed away in his peak career,
while Michael Jackson in his decline.