Meet 8-Year-Old Mini Michael Jackson Dancer Willie Osborn

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Because of his legendary style and pop music, Michael Jackson has been one of the most popular public figures to impersonate. His legend lives on, thanks to his numerous adult and children impersonators.

In this clip from a recent episode of Ellen, an 8-year-old self-taught dance impersonator, Willie Osborn, chats with host Ellen DeGeneres before impressively mimicking Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” dance moves.

Osborn has channeled Michael Jackson during an elementary school talent show. He has also performed at Michael Jackson’s annual’s birthday celebration in Gary, Indiana.

Watch his full performance below.

 

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Teen MJ Fan With Asperger Syndrome Gives Back

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RENO, NV – Falynne Lewing has loved Michael Jackson ever since she was a little girl, which eventually led to her trying to mimic the King of Pop’s moves. For most of her life, Lewing has also faced many challenges dealing with Asperger Syndrome. Yet, that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her dreams. She puts on an annual Michael Jackson tribute show to raise money for the Autism Coalition of Nevada, so that other kids like her can get the help they need.

“I know a lot of people with autism and things related to that. So, it’s really close to my heart. I really want to give back to those wonderful people,” she says.

This year, Lewing is working hard to make the show bigger and better.

“Definitely more dancers, we’ve got some b-boys now, some aerialists. A lot more new songs, but definitely expect Smooth Criminal and all the hits to be in there still,” she says.

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Lewing says she spends about 3 hours a day practicing, and dedicates even more time to planning out the show.

“(It’s) a lot of work for sure. Been in my garage for months trying to plan this stuff, recording for the dancers, lots of tutorials,” she says.

Lewing will be performing in the Eldorado Showroom, which holds special significance for her.

“A few years ago, back in 2012, we came here to see a Michael show. It was a tribute called “Man in the Mirror”, and that really got me started on what I do now. So, it’s really an honor to be back here and perform on the same stage,” she says.

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Lewing’s show is packed with lots of high-energy dancing, singing, and an entire cast of special guest performers. What’s probably most impressive, is that Lewing is self-taught. The 14 year-old says that having Asperger Syndrome has not discouraged her from doing what she loves, and she encourages other kids with disorders on the autism spectrum to do the same.

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Reach for the stars,” she says.

Lewing’s show is Saturday, January 9th, at 7 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Autism Coalition of Nevada.

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Click banner for ticket info.

Sources: Kolo8 | Falynne Lewing | Bonnie Lamrock| All Things Michael

Falynne is a very talented young lady. Check out some of her artwork below!

Young Actors Honored To Play Michael, Berry And Stevie In Motown The Musical

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On Tap caught up with the musical’s youngest cast members, 12-year-old Leon Outlaw, Jr. and 14-year-old Nathaniel Cullors, about their roles.

Outlaw and Cullors both play a young Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

“It is truly an honor playing the roles of these icons,” Outlaw says. “I’m only 12 years old and I get to play my idol Michael Jackson, and two living legends. Whenever my act is over, I wish there was more for me to do.”

Cullors, who performs the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “Who’s Loving You,” echoes his co-star’s sentiment, though he credits James Brown as his inspiration. The two actors are Motown fans in their own right – Cullors’ favorites are Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” “Mercy Me” and “Inner City Blues.”

“Motown changed the world,” he says. “Motown I feel is [a] format for a lot of music we hear today, which makes it timeless. This type of music brought people together, got people through things and is still doing it today.”

Cullors and Outlaw are both learning some fun facts about Motown stars, which they were eager to share with On Tap.

“What’s unique about Motown is you will be dancing in your seats and you will learn something before you leave – like Marvin Gaye was Berry Gordy’s brother-in-law,” Outlaw says.

Catch Cullors, Outlaw and the rest of Motown The Musical’s talented cast at the National Theatre from December 15 to January 3. And don’t forget to check the website for details on how to purchase best available tickets for all Broadway at the National performances through the $25 ticket lottery.

NATIONAL THEATRE: 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; 202-628-6161; www.thenationaldc.org 

 

Sources: On Tap | All Things Michael

See Doylestown Teens’ Amazing Jackson 5 A Cappella Performance

Sources: Patch | All Things Michael

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The Tamanend Middle School Chorus recently shared this video on YouTube of them singing an A Cappella version of ”I Want You Back” by Jackson 5.

The video has been submitted to the Macy’s A Cappella Challenge 2015.

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Click here to learn more about the contest.

 

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Born To Dance Star Tia Maipi Reveals How He Started Dancing

Sources: All Things Michael | NZ Herald

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Nineteen year old Tiataharoa “Tia” Maipi, star of the upcoming dance flick “Born To Dance,” recently revealed that he started dancing on a whim because of Michael Jackson.

“For me dancing all started off with Michael Jackson’s passing. When he died, all of the family were hard out into Michael, they loved him, so we decided to do a tribute to him and put on a performance. So we re-enacted his music videos, which was a lot of fun. And we got our local friends to come and watch, and we got good feedback about it, and so we decided to take it to the next level, which was actually competing.”

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Maipi, who plays Tu in the movie, has been a member of the gold-medal-winning Royal Family dance crew for the past four years.

World renowned dancer and choreographer Parris Goebel (who has worked with Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson and the Monsters of Hip-Hop) was holding auditions for The Royal Family in 2011, so he auditioned and he has been dancing with her ever since.

Tia has won numerous hip-hop titles including the Hip Hop International world championships in Las Vegas where he danced with his younger sister Taej and their cousin, Te Wharenui Maipi. The dancing trio told the New Zealand Waiikato Times in 2012, that “the ultimate experience would have been to dance alongside the late Michael Jackson. He’s their inspiration.”

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Tiataharoa Maipi, Taej Maipi and Te Wharenui Maipi after winning the gold at the Hip Hop internationals World Championship in Las Vegas.

Goebel is the choreographer for Born to Dance, a key collaborator involved right from the beginning of production, but Maipi still had to audition for the film.

“It was just dancing at first and then callbacks came and a handful of people were chosen to try for the character, so that’s where it all started really. There was a lot of auditioning, feedback, you try to improve, work harder. At first, I was like ‘Acting? I don’t wanna act!’ But then I tried it out, and I don’t know, it just felt good.”

Born To Dance will be in New Zealand cinemas starting Thursday September 24. It’s the country’s first multi-million dollar dance film.

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Young Londoners Trained To Move Like Michael Jackson At Thriller Live Academy

Sources: Evening Standard – Robert Dex | All Things Michael

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These young Londoners are in for an exciting three months after signing up for the MJ Academy which trains school-age performers to take part in the Thriller Live show.

All 17 boys shared the stage with the show’s star, David Jordan, before starting classes in singing and dancing that will prepare them for a possible role in the Michael Jackson musical in the West End.

The show at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, features performances of some of the star’s biggest hits from his solo career and as a child with the Jackson Five.

It is in its seventh year in the West End and is now booking to next June.

The young hopefuls are trained by the creative team behind the show including musical director John Maher. At the end of the three months, they audition for any available roles in the show, which needs six young boys at a time.

Jackson, who died aged 50 in 2009 at his Los Angeles home, would have celebrated his 57th birthday on Saturday.

 

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Australian Teen Remakes Thriller

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Fourteen year old rising YouTube star, Ky Baldwin has created his own remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Ky has covered many popular hits, including several by his idol Michael Jackson.

Baldwin was born in Australia in April 2001. Ky began his career as a dancer and it wasn’t until he reached 10-years-old that he started his first singing lessons. His teacher had him singing Michael Jackson who quickly became his biggest influence.

He released his first EP, “The Beginning”, in 2014 and the music video for his first original single, “You Make Me Wanna Dance can be watched on his You Tube channel, along with several covers and exclusive content.

In 2011, Ky was a semi finalist on Australia’s Got Talent with his tap dancing abilities and he participated on The Voice Kids in 2014.

Ky has performed in several musicals, such as “Love Never Dies”, “Under Milk Wood” and “Mary Poppins”, and has done TV commercials and films.

Ky enjoys singing, dancing, playing guitar, piano, drums and dabbling in the art of songwriting. He spends a lot of his time street performing in Sydney, planning, filming and editing his You Tube videos with the support of family and friends. He calls his guitar his best friend and likes composing music that gives him a buzz.

With his success, Ky has had his struggles as well:

“I am physically very small with a high voice so get a bit of negativity about that and sometimes it is hard to be taken very seriously but it doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s kind of silly that people judge a person on that and I actually quite like it.

I have had girls as young as 8 tell me they hate me when of course they don’t know me. I have been told I’m gay because my voice hasn’t dropped yet. It’s water off a ducks back to me, it actually just highlights their character, but I can’t help but think that this bullying online is becoming so common place that it has to leak out into the real world. I have girls all the time contact me that they are bullied and it’s so sad. I’d love us all to stop and think – is that really the person you want to be.”

Ky offers the following advice to young people who have big dreams:

“My first advice is what my mum instills in myself and my sister often. Character first – talent second. The second is no good to the world if the first is not achieved. The second thing is work hard and be confident and enjoy the journey. The third thing which is equally as important is to get the right people to teach you and to be around you and never stop learning.”

You can find out more about Ky on his official website.

Behind the Scenes Michael Jackson’s Thriller cover

Thriller By Ky Baldwin

Sources: All Things Michael| Ky Baldwin | Touchlight Talent

Motown The Musical’s Nathaniel Cullors Talks About Being Michael

Sources: Theater Jones – By Cathy O’Neal | All Things Michael

Age: 14

Born: In Okinawa Japan, lives in San Antonio, TX

First Film: Red Cape. Directed and funded by college student, still not finished.

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How did you get the part in Motown the Musical?

My aunt told my mom about the show because she had gone to see it, so my mom looked it up and saw they were having an open audition. She sent them the video of me singing “Who’s Loving You” in my sixth-grade talent show, which is one of the songs in the show. I originally booked one week in New York with the show, then one of the boys in the show left, and they put me in, so I did the Broadway show. Then, I got called to do the tour. We’ve been on the tour for a couple of weeks, but I have been with the show for nine months.

How did you prepare to play someone as well known as Michael Jackson?

I like to call it “YouTube University.” Because we live in this day and age, all you have to do is type “Michael Jackson” into the computer, and you can see everything about him — his family, his performances, his influences. Michael Jackson didn’t so much make up moves, he imitated ones he saw on TV and in concerts, so that’s what I did. I looked up James Brown [one of Jackson’s major influences] and watched his moves and then I watched how Michael Jackson did James Brown’s moves. The crowds expect to see Michael Jackson in the show, not Nathaniel Cullors, but Michael Jackson.

What age is Michael Jackson in the show?

It’s when he auditioned for Motown when he was 11 with his brothers, the entire Jackson Five.

What songs do you sing in the show?

I sing four of the Jackson Five’s major hits: “Who’s Loving You,” “ABC,” “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There,” but only portions of the last three. Like a medley.

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Who worked with you to prepare you?

In New York, I had a voice teacher who helped me. How I sing in the show, that’s not at all how I sing in real life. She really helped me push my voice to the next level to be louder and better. The moves are pretty open. They give you a set of moves that you have to do, but then, they tell you to add your own moves. That’s what makes Motown different. They don’t give you all the exact moves, they want you to add your own things to it. I basically do the same moves every night, but I might add an extra spin to it on some nights. I’ve figured out how I want to do it. Some nights I do more than other nights.

Is there anything in the show or about being Michael Jackson that you, Nathaniel, relate to?

When I met Berry Gordy, he said that I reminded him of Michael. Now that I’m 14, I relate to when a news reporter asked Michael Jackson what he would do about his voice changing, and he said, “It happens.” That’s really how I try to approach everything. It just happens. I just live it day by day.

Do you have a favorite Michael Jackson song?

His Motown audition song, “Who’s Loving You.” That’s when I feel closest to Michael. It was his audition song, and it was my audition song.

In addition to playing Michael Jackson, Cullors plays the young Berry Gordy and the young Stevie Wonder. He shares the roles with another young performer, Leon Outlaw Jr. They each perform four times a week. Motown the Musical runs at the Winspear through Aug. 16.

 

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