Viral “Dirty Dancing” Kid Got His Start From Watching Michael Jackson Short Films

Sources: Digital Spy – By Liam Martin | Edited By – All Things Michael

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A young Dirty Dancing fan has racked up millions of views on Facebook.

Lainie Kristina has posted a video of her son Charlie imitating Patrick Swayze during the film’s final dance routine.

The video has already got close to 4 million views in the week since it was posted.

Lainie told Buzzfeed that she took her 8-year-old son to see the film in Knoxville, and he has watched it 10-12 times at home since.

“He loves to dance and cannot sit when he is watching a music video or anything with dancing in it,” the boy’s mother continued.

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“He immediately gets up and starts copying all of the moves.

“It started when he was 3 and Michael Jackson died and he started watching his videos.”

Charlie can also be seen recreating Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ in video above available on YouTube.

It looks like he’s having the time of his life…

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The Super Talent 2014: 13-Year-Old Dancer Luciano Hiwat Aspires To Be Like Michael Jackson

Sources: Das Super Talent | Edited By – All Things Michael


The 13-year-old Luciano Hiwat wows in the 2014 “The Super Talent” with a hip-hop dance score. The jury and audience are thrilled by his presence. For juror Lena Gercke, the candidate is already the new Michael Jackson: “You’re a Star!”

Luciano Hiwat is from the Netherlands.  He hopes to one day be as famous as his idol Michael Jackson.


As a professional, he shows extraordinary and spectacular dance moves. The jury is excited and the audience does standing ovations and thunderous applause for the teen.


Darnell Bruce praises after Luciano’s appearance: “Every move was straight to the point.” The style icon in the “Super Talent” jury has nothing to criticize. “It can not be better.”

Jury colleague Guido Maria Kretschmer says, “The Dutch are lucky to have you.”

Luciano Hiwat has gotten “The Super Talent” off to a fantastic start. For juror Lena Gercke, the 13-year-old has a high target set, if he wants to be as famous as his idol Michael Jackson. “You’re a star, you got it somehow in the blood. You have us all spellbound in the room.”


Also, the pop titan Dieter Bohlen says, “It was a strong performance.”

Luciano gets four “yes” votes from the jury and makes it to the next round of “Das Supertalent” 2014.

Watch this amazing video here


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This Toddler’s Performance Of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ Is Equal Parts Cute And Impressive

Sources: Huffington Post UK| All Things Michael


“My little dude of a brother is obsessed with Michael Jackson,” writes YouTuberstaylooser, adding: “He doesn’t know he is dead yet either!”

Oh dear. We don’t want to be around when he finds out.

In the meantime, enjoy the little guy’s performance of ‘Billie Jean’ – and watch out for the big finish!

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Autistic Teen Gets Down To ‘Thriller’ At Michael Jackson Tribute Show

Sources: Times Free Press – By Shawn Ryan | All Things Michael


Jesse Hullender, center, poses with Meleeke McCants, left, and Danny Ware after the Black Jacket Symphony performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at the Tivoli Theatre. Ten-year-old Meleeke sang songs from Jackson’s days with the Jackson 5, while Ware was the vocalist for the rest of the show. Photo: Shawn Ryan

He appears in the aisle of the Tivoli Theatre, right down front, as the Black Jacket Symphony bounces through Michael Jackson’s funky, bubbly “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

Eyes are drawn to him — black hat, just like Michael’s; red jacket, just like Michael’s’ mirrored shades, just like Michael’s and, of course, the single silver-sequined glove, just like Michael’s.

And then he starts dancing, throwing down some of Michael’s moves.

“I saw him! He was in the middle of the floor, and man, he was jammin’!” Black Jacket vocalist Danny Ware, who sounds as much like Michael as Michael, says effusively after the show last Saturday, standing in the Tivoli lobby.

Yes, 16-year-old Jesse Hullender loves Michael Jackson, has since he was about 11 years old. He’s listened to the albums, knows them by heart. He has danced as Michael in talent shows at Bradley County’s Ocoee Middle School and Walker Valley High School, where he’s now a sophomore.

“I like his music,” Jesse says, slowly and quietly, after the Black Jacket Symphony show. “It’s my favorite dance style.”

Jesse, you see, has autism, a case so severe, when he was diagnosed at 4 years old, doctors said he’d probably end up in a mental hospital. For life.

“He was so bad … we were told he’d probably have to be institutionalized, that he’d never speak, that he didn’t have any imagination,” recalls Monte Wilson, his grandfather. “It about broke our hearts; I almost tear up thinking about it now.”

“All I knew about autism was the movie ‘Rain Man,'” says his mother, 34-year-old Lindsey Johnson. “I remember praying every night for God to keep me alive at least long enough for Jesse to know who I was and how much I loved him.”

But Jesse has taken those predictions and moonwalked over them. He speaks just fine, although carefully and cautiously in short sentences; he shakes hands and makes eye contact, unlike many with autism, and doesn’t seem ill at ease in a crowd; he is doing well in school and wants to be a chef when he graduates.

“His favorite shows are ‘Hell’s Kitchen and ‘MasterChef.’ He loves Gordon Ramsey,” his mother says.

Knowing how much Jesse loves Michael Jackson, Wilson decided to surprise him when the Black Jacket Symphony came to town with its note-for-note, song-by-song performance of “Thriller” plus a selection of Jackson’s greatest hits. To get it right, they even hired Ware, a Michael Jackson impersonator from Orlando, Fla., to handle lead vocals.

Wilson bought tickets to the show but didn’t tell Jesse; instead, he told him there was a talent show that night downtown and maybe Jesse could get dressed up and do his Michael Jackson impersonation in it. Jesse didn’t know he was going to the concert until they walked up to the Tivoli.

“I was in shock from the very first moment,” Jesse says.

But he got over it quickly, spending a lot of the concert dancing in the aisle, unable to stay seated.

And that thing that doctors said about no imagination? His grandfather just laughs and, in the Tivoli lobby, points to Jesse’s outfit and hip-shaking joy at the show.

“No imagination?” Wilson asks, hugging Jesse shoulder-to-shoulder. “Just look at him.”

“Jesse is my miracle,” his mother says. “He inspires me to be a better person, and I admire his perseverance and his determination.”


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An Autistic Teen’s Guide To Impersonating Michael Jackson (A Must Read)

Sources: | All Things Michael

Impersonating Michael Jackson made it easier for Lorenzo Manuel to deal with the social pressures of middle school.

Impersonating Michael Jackson made it easier for Lorenzo Manuel to deal with the social pressures of middle school.

It was homecoming dance at Roosevelt High School, and the Roosevelt football team had just been crushed. As it started getting late, the energy sunk even lower. People were mostly slow dancing; it was all Taylor Swift at that point.

Just then, a familiar tune started to play. The thinning crowd began to roar. A spotlight came on. As the first lyrics of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” shook the room, a skinny kid with short brown hair and a sparkly glove began to dance.

“When I impersonated, I just kind of would think… like, what would Michael do?”

That skinny kid was Lorenzo Manuel, now a senior at Roosevelt. But he just goes by his first name, Lorenzo. His story started when he was 13 years old. It was the night Michael Jackson died, and for Lorenzo it was a near-cosmic shift.

“The night he died,” Lorenzo said, “I had this dream where I was in a field and he was at an ice cream cone stand, and he gave me an ice cream cone.”

This mystifying dream had an unexpected effect. Lorenzo felt called to impersonate Michael Jackson.

He had just been diagnosed with autism, though he had known his whole life that he didn’t quite fit in with the other kids. He couldn’t handle the social pressures of middle school.

The cover to 18-year-old Lorenzo's self-produced first album includes a tribute to his idol. Can you spot the Michael Jackson face hidden in the image?

The cover to 18-year-old Lorenzo’s self-produced first album includes a tribute to his idol. Can you spot the Michael Jackson face hidden in the image?

“People were bullying me because I was a little bit more feminine, because I was more artistic, and people would call me gay,” Lorenzo said. “And even though I am gay, back then it was just hard, and I didn’t know it then.”

His mom, Christine, remembers him coming home from school every day depressed and confused about the teasing. She even considered transferring him to a different school.

But impersonating Michael Jackson changed all that. With Lorenzo’s newfound passion, he started having easier interactions with his peers. He would even pretend to be Michael Jackson when he felt uncomfortable in social situations. He felt a connection to Michael. They were both shy people with an almost obsessive interest in music. When he couldn’t rely on his own skills, he called on Michael’s.

The response Lorenzo got for impersonating Michael Jackson surprised him. People at school became more accepting of him, not less. Most surprising, even Lorenzo’s dad seemed to accept him more. “He’s usually very critical,” said Lorenzo. “And the fact that he was pretty accepting of it … that was one of the reasons I wanted to keep pursuing it.”

Lorenzo’s idol is ever present in his life. He pointed out a prized possession in what he called the Michael Jackson area of his bedroom: “He actually signed this paper. See? That’s his writing.”

Lorenzo’s bedroom also includes a Michael Jackson cut-out from the “Bad” era, an old turntable with records, and some collectible dolls. One is still in its box from 1995, the year Lorenzo was born.

But being Michael wasn’t enough. Now, through years of studying how to be someone else, Lorenzo has found a way to be himself. Through Michael, he has found acceptance for his own creativity and ingenuity.

“I definitely knew I was an artist,” mused Lorenzo, “because of all the different phases I’ve gone through with drawing, and painting, and acting, and singing, and dancing, and music, and photography. I just knew I was meant to do something in the arts.”

Now, his days of impersonation are behind him. He’s started writing, recording, and performing his own music. “I really enjoy that,” said Lorenzo. “And performing as myself now … I feel a lot more free.”

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12-Year-Old Minneapolis Singer Impresses Michael Jackson’s Mom

Sources: My Fox Twin Cities | All Things Michael


MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) – She just 12-years-old, but a Minneapolis singer has a talent that has already caught the attention of the mother who raised the King of Pop — and she’s now traveling to perform in a 3-day tribute to the legend.

“I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan,” Kalayah Jones told Fox 9 News.

Jones has been dancing since she was a baby, but she also sings and raps. For the past two years, she’s made a number of local appearances — including performing at St. Paul’s Rondo Days. Now, she’ll be taking her show on the road to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life at an event hosted by the star’s mother.

“In 1969, introduced to the industry, dropping all types of singles that came up instantly — like ‘A-B-C,'” she performed.

Her youthful talent caught Katherine Jackson’s eye as she practiced dedicating her moves and voice to the pop icon. After spotting her on YouTube, the music mogul’s mom invited Jones to come to his hometown and bring some Twin Cities love to the 5th annual tribute.

“I represent the Twin Cities!” Jones exclaimed. “Minnesota, baby!”

Jones’ mother is a strong sideline supporter. She’s takes her daughter to perform at talent shows, events and award shows all year round.

“It’s refreshing to see her do music that the kids like, that’s still age-appropriate, that they can groove to at the same time,” Kimberly Hollifield reflected.

Most recently, Jones passed along her song about Minnesota Lynx MVP Maya Moore called ‘I’m an All-Star’ to the baller herself.

“My song is the theme, or the anthem, for the games when she comes out,” Jones explained.

From her mentor to back up dancers and a song-writer DJ, Jones has a team of support — and she hopes you’ll join up by seeing her perform once she returns from Indiana.

“I want to sing, rap, dance,” she said. “It’s just really fun. I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

Jones leaves for Indiana on Wednesday, but she’s also working on an album that is set to drop in the fall.

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Pay It Forward: Special Program Uses Music Eduction to Empower DC Students

Sources: ABC7 – By Monica McNutt | All Things Michael

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – Jeffery Tribble Jr. and Diane Granger were both members of the Howard University Marching Band. After they graduated they wanted to use music education as a gateway to help young people be successful. So, the two sought guidance and The Musicianship launched in 2009.

This year, “Diane’s Recital” entertained a full house in the auditorium at Wilson High School.

“I feel the beat, hey, get out of your seat,” the band and dancers chanted, to the rhythm provided by the drumline.

Family and friends happily obliged as the band broke out into a compilation of hits like Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You,” as well as a little hometown flavor with some go-go beats.

When the final number ended, The Musicianship received a standing ovation.

“I’m from the south side of Chicago, so a lot of what these students deal with day to day, I encountered, and my friends encountered, growing up,” Executive Director Jeffery Tribble Jr., a fulltime government contractor, said.  “To be able to provide this opportunity for kids who are similarly situated I think is what drives me to do it.”

The Musicianship targets student musicians from underprivileged areas in the city like Wards 7 and 8. Many of the participants are placed in the program through the District’s Summer Youth and Employment program.

“I’ve learned how to be proud of who I am and my music and to be willing to accept change,” 17 year-old Yasmeen Webb said. “The Musicianship is about growing who you are as a person, and working with other people.”

Webb will be a senior at Bell Multicultural in the fall.

The discipline and focus it takes to successfully perform in a band are the same tools that these students will need to be successful in other aspects of life, Tribble Jr. says.

Fourteen-year-old Elijah Singeltary will be a freshman at Ballou High School when the school year begins.

“It’s taught me more patience – how to control my energy until that one moment when we really need it,” he said. “It teaches you a life lesson because you get to meet different people and you learn how to cooperate to make one good quality sound, rather than different sounds.”

The young musicians don’t just use making music to learn lessons; they also participate in college readiness and career panels.

The summer program lasts six weeks. In the fall, The Musicianship will partner with select area schools to offer after-school programming.

Their work will continue not only through the collective efforts of the program, but through those that have already passed through.

“I just want to make a difference,” 17-year-old band member Erica Moore said.

Her focus prior to participating in The Musicianship was solely graduating high school and getting to college.

“It showed me that thinking of other people is better than thinking of myself,” she added. “Inspiring a bunch of little kids and doing what I love to do, it changed my whole entire life, really.”

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The Stars Of Tomorrow: Talented Kids Found On YouTube

Sources: – By Rahsheeda Ali | All Things Michael


Justin Bieber got started as a Canadian kid showcasing his talent through YouTube videos. However, he wasn’t the only youngster using the video site to cover popular songs and display some serious music skills.

Maria Aragon‘s rendition of “Born This Way” eventually led to a duet with Lady Gaga, while a teen channeled Michael Jackson during his school’s talent show. Who are the other musically gifted kids who’ve wowed us via YouTube?

Though the performance wasn’t directly made for YouTube, Brett Nichols gained fame through the site after his talent show performance went viral. The teen emulated Michael Jackson’s dance moves from the “Billie Jean” video and won tons of fans in the process. Check the clip around the 1:10 mark.

Frozen’s “Let It Go” is clearly one of the year’s biggest songs. While other kids may have taken to YouTube and used the song to show off their vocals, Andrew Foy went a different route. Watch as he hits us with an acoustic version of the track.

There are few music teachers who’d let their students cover Tool’s “Forty Six & 2.” However, Aaron O’Keefe made a splash last year after posting his pupils rocking out to the song.

Kids aren’t just setting up cameras in their homes to get noticed. There are also children starring in slick productions made especially for digital audiences. Watch this amazing rendition of Adele’s “Skyfall” by Mariangeli Collado, a star of the series HitStreak.

This kid covered Lorde’s “Royals” while simply being recorded on a smartphone. Needless to say, he totally gave the New Zealand star a run for her money!

Maria Aragon won over Lady Gaga, along with countless others, when she covered the star’s hit, “Born This Way.” Just like her idol, Aragon had both the vocal and instrumental chops to take us by storm. She even ended up performing live with Gaga during the singer’s tour!

Chloe and Halle Bailey used their powerful harmonies for an amazing cover of Beyoncé’s “Best Thing I Never Had.” There’s no doubt these sisters are poised for stardom.

Eleven-year-old YouTube star MattyB has crafted a niche for himself, offering a pint-sized swagger to his popular covers. Watch as he takes on Justin Bieber’s early hit, “Boyfriend.”

Twelve-year-old Samantha Potter took on John Legend’s “All Of Me,” adding a slightly different style to the R&B crooner’s hit. We would love it if he tapped the young up-and-comer for a duet!

What’s the easiest way to make Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” even more of a feel-good song? How about having an elementary school choir cover it? Kids at the Detroit Academy Of Arts And Sciences hit some crazy harmonies when singing the song during a school performance.

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