"All things happen in threes." This phrase seems all too true this week. It has been a sad week due to the sudden passing of three American pop culture sensations: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

At the height of their careers, all three of these incredible individuals represented the best of what Americana has to offer: creativity, inspiration, excitement and just plain old fun.

"The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson," which ran for 30 plus years, was a daily fixture for millions of Americans who made it a tradition to tune in to see Johnny Carson and co-host Ed McMahon. Few could forget Johnny and Ed's antics, and, of course, one of the most famous lines in television history, "Here's Johnny!"

Farrah Fawcett will always be remembered for her role on the hit television show "Charlie’s Angels". She and her co-stars truly represented, and to some extent created, the style and sensation of the 1970s. Today's generation of girls (and let's be honest... sometimes grown women, too) are just as likely to dress up as Charlie's Angels as they were decades ago, when the show originally ran.

Since his early years in the Jackson 5 to his reign as the "King of Pop," Michael Jackson has entertained and inspired Americans with his truly unique style of music and dance. While some will remember the controversy which surrounded much of his adult life, we are sure that Michael Jackson's musical talent will be remembered and appreciated for generations to come.

At the ABA, we consider our brands to be American icons, as well. Our member companies are American-owned businesses whose products are enjoyed by millions and are easily recognizable both at home and abroad. Like Ed, Farrah and Michael, few things represent Americana better than a cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, and an ice cold soda pop. Or, for that matter, a soda and a hotdog at a baseball game.

So today, on behalf of an iconic industry, ABA would like to make a toast to three of our most beloved pop culture figures. Ed, Farrah and Michael have inspired generations of Americans, and they will be sorely missed.