Kim Sledge Of Sister Sledge Says Michael Jackson Is One Of The Most “Dynamic Entertainers” That Ever Lived

Sources: Sunday World | Elke Hassell | All Things Michael


The ‘We Are Family’ singer and her siblings – Debbie Sledge, Joni Sledge and past member Kathy Sledge – toured and performed with the late King of Pop on numerous occasions during his final years in The Jacksons in the 1970s.


Kim got to know Michael and as well as being one of the “nicest people” in the music business she thinks his talent as a musician is only rivalled by a few artists.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said: “My memory of Michael was he was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he is one of the most dynamic entertainments I have ever seen in my life. I put him in the category with James Brown, who is one of my all time favourites. There are some people who are born in the small glory on that stage. I think entertainers, the ones that last, have passion. It’s like it’s what they were created to do, for some reason it is in you, it is just a part of what you do, you have to work at it, it may come natural to you, but you are willing to work it because it’s your passion, and that passion shows in someone like Michael’s performances. He was quite a performer.”

Kim can recall Michael and his brothers – Jackie,

Tito, Jermaine and Marlon – used to go to great lengths to try and disguise themselves so they wouldn’t be noticed by their fans.

However, their attempts at subterfuge would backfire as their antics brought more attention to them.

She added: “I can remember when we were touring with The Jacksons. When we were travelling we would get out and stop at regular truck stops and motels. We would just pull up in those truck stops and just jump out of our cubbyholes on the bus, and go into the diner to get something to eat. But The Jacksons would come out fully hooded down, faces covered by hoodies. I mean, they were trying to eat incognito, but they just drew so much attention to themselves.”

Meanwhile, Sister Sledge are getting into the festive spirit and are giving away a song for free this Christmas to their fans on their newly launched blog from December 15.

The trio are giving away the track ‘Mary Did You Know’ from the album ‘The Sacred Story’. The song is essentially a Christmas carol in a neo-urban presentation that retains the values of love and togetherness.

Sister Sledge have launched their Nothing Is Greater Than Love blog with the aim to empower people through the values of love, peace and compassion and is inspired by their music and Christian faith.


Read more here

Musician Dana Williams Talks About Touring With Her Father David Williams And Michael Jackson

Sources:  All Things Michael | Interview – By Emily McDermott


Twenty-four-year old, singer/songwriter Dana Williams grew up splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York, where she attended middle school, high school, and college. At times, she would also go on tour with her father David Williams, who was one of Michael Jackson‘s guitarists. David was paired to work with Michael on his Off The Wall and Thriller albums by Quincy Jones.

Although probably nobody outside the music industry knew his name, practically everybody on the planet heard his work thanks to his in-the-pocket playing on Michael Jackson’s smash hit Billie Jean. Williams contributed the clean, funky strummed solo that was integral to the sound of the song.


David’s tour credits include Michael Jackson, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations among countless others. David died in March 2009.

His daughter Dana is following in his footsteps to pursue her dreams in music field. She maintains a large following on YouTube for her covers of timeless tracks and was previously a contestant on ABC’s Rising Star.

Last year she released her debut EP The Lonely One, appeared on the soundtrack of Whiplash, and became the star of Apple’s Christmas commercial with “The Song.” Today marks the one year anniversary of her EP’s release.


My dad was a musician and songwriter. When I was little I would go to the studio with him and he would make a little pop track. He would say, “Write two verses, a chorus, and a bridge.” Then I’d go home and write a little love song, dreaming about having a boyfriend one day. I did it for fun with my dad. I didn’t really start writing my own music until I was a teen. I finally was proficient enough on guitar to play in a band and write my own music on guitar, so it was probably 14 or 15 when I started writing my own music.


I did get to meet him, but when you’re around something so much when you’re younger, you’re not really aware of the gravity of the situation or that you’re being a part of something so legendary. We did go on tour with my dad. You know, when they do “Earth Song,” they need a kid, or kids, on stage, walking around the earth, so I was even able to perform with Michael Jackson when I was really little. You’re five years old, standing in front of thousands and thousands of people. It’s a really crazy experience. But he was a really nice guy, and he and my dad had a great relationship. Honestly, that’s what inspired me a great deal to become a musician: to see how music can effect and touch people. Going to a concert to see my dad and people are crying, fainting, dancing, smiling, and laughing—it’s magical… I remember asking, “Why is she crying,” or “Why,” in general, but it was so normalized to me. It was just my dad’s work. Friends’ dads went to the office and he went to rehearsal or to play a show.

Read the full story at Interview

For more on Dana Williams, visit her WEBSITE.

Photo credit of Ms. Williams by Bellus Magazine

‘Michael And Me’ By Morris ‘Mo’ Pleasure

Sources: Camden Review – By Roisin Gadelrab | All Things Michael


On Friday we saw Mo give a This Is It masterclass at Wardour Street’s Yamaha Music, with full band. Switching between instruments, talking about Jackson – “a prankster”, he confides – and introducing vocalists, including one he discovered at a workshop, Mo demonstrated the music pulsing through his veins. While working on a million projects, he spends considerable time helping budding musicians and those from difficult backgrounds. It was his work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation that led him to Chalk Farm Road’s Camden Guitars, leading to a friendship with owner Deicola Neves.

rock and popMorris  Mo Pleasure IMG_4693 (1)

Musicians wishing to benefit from this maestro’s knowledge – Mo has worked with everyone from Earth Wind and Fire to Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera to Janet Jackson – should follow this page. He will soon be holding masterclasses at Camden Guitars, helping musicians as the shop’s in-house producer in its new music studio and to find jobs and gigs. His album Mo – Elements of Pleasure and Michael JacksonTribute album are out next year.

“Since Michael died I dedicated myself to recreating his songs in different styles,” said Mo. “Just Another Part Of Me was a major funky tune. I’ve got it as a straight jazz version, like Miles Davis’ So What.” He feels the depth of Jackson’s music production and vocal percussion techniques were not given the recognition they deserved.

“He knew everything about everything – the lighting cues, the CGI, the magic, he was part of every bit of it,” Mo said. “From what I understand, he did the show for his children. They knew he was a superstar but they’d never seen him in concert. It is horribly sad.”

Mo thanks his wife for leading him to Jackson after she learned of his tour from friends. “Us musicians, our wives talk to each other,” he said. Michael’s music director happened to contact Mo and mentioned he was working with Jackson but said they already had a keyboard player.

“Stay tuned,” he added. The keyboard player was locked into an American Idol contract so Mo was brought in three weeks behind in rehearsals.

“I started in March, Michael died on 25th June,” said Mo. “We were days away from coming to the O2. We would have started in August.”

Unsurprisingly, Jackson was very much the perfectionist and required flexibility from his musicians.

“He was adamant about sounding like the record,” said Mo. “We had to learn all songs in three or four keys. When you’re singing, the voice changes and sometimes you can’t sing as high. Michael wanted to be able to choose, so at any given day he could change the key.”


Read the full story here

Judith Hill Reveals What Michael Jackson Was Really Like – EXCLUSIVE

Source: Yahoo Celebrity – By Stephanie Soteriou | All Things Michael


Judith Hill probably isn’t a name that many of you know, but you probably should considering she has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, and John Legend and featured in Oscar-winning documentary, ‘20 Feet From Stardom’, before the release of her debut solo album, ‘Back In Time’.

We mean, that is definitely no small feat.

The amazing singer also participated in the US TV series of ‘The Voice’, sparking complaints and backlash against the show when she was eliminated from the competition, which must have made her departure a little easier for her to swallow.

With such an amazing back-catalogue of musical legends listed as her collaborators, when we caught up with Judith we just had to get all the goss on what it is like working with literal superstars – oh, as well as find out first-hand what the iconic Michael Jackson was really like as a person.

The 31-year-old was selected as MJ’s duet partner for his ‘This Is It’ concert tour, practicing closely with him in the months leading up to his sudden death on June 25th 2009, and Judith attracted global attention when she performed at the star’s memorial at the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles on July 7th of the same year, leading on his song ‘Heal The World’, and impressing fans across the globe.


Discussing what it was like working with Michael, Judith admitted that he was a little intimidating but mostly just pretty bloomin’ inspiring, telling us: “He’s an incredible icon. You just pinch yourself when you’re on stage and have the opportunity to really see greatness and experience greatness.

“Michael is everything in that way and I think for me at the time, coming out of seniot college, I was very green – I hadn’t really done a huge tour. Working with Michael Jackson was an experience, it blew my mind because everything about him really caught on.


“His spirit made me jam in what he believed in, it really inspired me and showed me that there’s so much that can be done as an artists, not just as a great singer; how much power you have, and seeing it first-hand from Michael, was life-changing.”

We can only imagine.

And with Judith being the one to work with Michael the most in the months before he passed away she knew him incredibly well on a personal level, adding: “He’s very sweet, a very, very kind person. Just very gracious and warm-hearted.

“He was very much a perfectionist, he was an expert and he inspired us to be experts. It was very much a great challenge of how to become greater and he’s very intimidating in that way because you’re sharing a stage with Michael Jackson, but he really encouraged me.

“He directed me in a lot of things and I was very excited to see him as a singer.”

Read the full article here

“Michael Is The One Person In My Life Who Really Steered Where I Was Going,” Says Thriller Live Cleo Higgins

Sources: Hull Daily Mail | All Things Michael


Michael Joseph Jackson sold 750 million records worldwide, was awarded 13 Grammy awards, 26 American Music Awards and his albums collectively spent 4,458 weeks in the Billboard charts – all before his death in 2009.

Jackson earned $125m in 1989 alone from endorsements and album sales, the Bad World Tour sold 4.4 million tickets, Thriller spent 211 weeks in the US charts and $60m of sales from We Are The World was donated to Africa’s famine relief.

Within one year of his untimely death, 35 million albums were sold, and Jackson even released a posthumous record.

Strong work. Shamone.

But, whether you be a fan of old, who allowed his music to be at the forefront as the soundtrack to your younger days, or a newcomer to the Jackson world, there is still chance to see his masterpieces, through the power of theatre.

Created for the West End in January 2009, Thriller promises to fill two and a half hours of your life with hits that pay homage to Jackson’s unprecedented 45-year career, and has been hailed as well worth the watch.

But you can put your Megabus tickets away, as the show is coming to us.

Straight from its seventh year at the top of the charts, Thriller will be descending upon the city from Monday, for a six-date run, and won’t stop until you get enough.

One cast member is particularly enamoured with singing her hero’s hits.

“Michael is the one person in my life who really steered where I was going,” says Cleo Higgins, who found fame as one-third of Nineties girl group Cleopatra.

“I must have cried every day for a year when he died. I felt so attached to him through his music.”

Cast as one of four lead singers in the production, performing live should come naturally to Cleo.

Her original namesake band consisted of her and her two sisters, achieving a top five hit with Comin’ Atcha, and, after disbanding, Cleo made it through to the semi-finals of The Voice in 2013, with the help from super producer and Cheryl’s bestie Will.I.Am.

“This is my first ever theatre performing experience,” admits Cleo. “But the minute I knew auditions were being held, I was straight on the motorway. I had to get the part. Michael is such an important part of my life.”

For those whose interests have been peaked, do not expect a story of Jackson’s life with a disclaimer suggesting changes for dramatic effect, or a plotted story at all.

“It’s not a play,” Cleo says. “There are four singers and a Michael dance impersonator, who does an amazing moonwalk.

“But we aren’t impersonating Michael with our voices, it’s still us, we’re just reliving the music for the audience.

“It’s a celebration of his musical work and its the closest thing to seeing what he would have been like live. It’s so good, it’s given me the bug to carry on in theatre – despite the long hours!

“It’s so hard being away from your family, especially my kids, but the music really does pull you through.

“I love singing Blame It On The Boogie, because everyone gets up dancing, but during The Way You Make Me Feel, I have to wear a rather tight catsuit. So that took some nerve getting into.

“But the night is about Michael, who was brilliant at being himself. There is so much passion in this show, which reflects how much passion Michael had to change the world.

“People leave the theatre feeling amazing, but there isn’t a dry eye in the house after Man In The Mirror. It’s a real tearjerker.”

Thriller Live:

When & where: Monday to Saturday, October 31. 7.30pm. Saturday, 4pm and 8pm. Hull New Theatre, Kingston Square, Hull

Tickets: From £22.50

Call: 01482 300300 or visit


Read more here

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Discuss Working On Scream With Janet And Michael

Sources: Rolling Stone – By Steve Appleford | All Things Michael


Jam: Michael had asked Janet to do a song with him. Janet came to Minneapolis just to give us some inspiration for some tracks. The song that ended up becoming “Scream.” We went to his apartment in Trump Tower, put the track on and basically wrote the song lyrically in an hour. He definitely had things to get off his chest and that’s what it was about. Recording the song was probably one of the most mind-blowing experiences ever. He walked into the studio, very nice and very kind: “OK, I’m going to try my part now. . . .” So Michael goes in and the moment the music starts, he turns into the Tasmanian Devil. He’s a whole different person, stomping, clapping, he’s got jewelry jingling — all the stuff you’re not supposed to do in the studio. Me and Terry are sitting there going “Oh my God!”

Janet_Jackson_Michael_Jackson_Scream_Video(2) copie

Lewis: Screaming like fans.

Jam: He totally nails the song start to finish. Janet leans in and goes, “I’ll do my vocal in Minneapolis.” She wanted no part of following that. I don’t blame her. So we do Janet’s vocal, we send it to him. “Oh, Janet sounds really good. Where did you record her?” Minneapolis. “Oh, I want to come to Minneapolis and do my vocal.” What you got was this sibling rivalry between brother and sister who are also competitive. Yeah, we love each other, but I’m going to sing my a** off.

Read more here

Thriller Drummer Ndugu Chancler To Perform At Troy University

Sources:  Troy University – Facebook | All Things Michael


“Thriller” drummer Ndugu Chancler will take the stage with TROY students when Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music hosts “Groovin’ with the Stars,” a musical showcase featuring student group POPulus and the TROY Jazz Ensemble.

The showcase will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the Claudia Crosby Theater. POPulus will use the date to release its newest digital production, “Who You Are.”

Chancler is a drummer, percussionist, producer, composer, clinician and educator, and will speak on aspects of the music industry to students, faculty and guests at 10 a.m. Oct. 13 in the Long Hall Band Room. His drumming can be heard on popular recordings such as the song Billie Jean on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and many Santana hits. A native of Shreveport, La., Chancler is an adjunct assistant professor of music in the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

POPulus’ “Who You Are” EP consists of six original songs and was recorded at TROY and Starke Lake Studios in Orlando, Fla. It’s the group’s third EP, said Robert W. Smith, professor of music and coordinator of the school’s Music Industry Program.

“The title track of the EP is a representation of being who you truly are and never losing sight of what makes you special,” he said.

The performance and lecture is free and open to the public.

Read more here

Bass And Saxophone Musician Wilton Felder Dies

Sources: LA Times | All Things Michael

Screen Captures

Bass and saxophone player Wilton Felder, who was an original member of the Crusaders and performed on hundreds of recordings with artists such as Joni Mitchell and Michael Jackson, has died at his home in Whittier. He was 75.

The cause of his death Sunday was complications from cancer, said his son, Wilton Felder Jr.

Felder was in high demand for recording sessions; it’s him on bass for the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” album and numerous tracks by Mitchell.

“She’s a phenomenal composer and person,” Felder said of Mitchell in a 2006 interview with the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. “Her music is just fun to play.”

Felder also recorded with B.B. King, Randy Newman, Nancy Wilson, Steely Dan, Barry White, Cat Stevens and many others, on saxophone as well as electric bass.

Mike’s Daily Jukebox called Felder:

“One of the greatest saxophone players and bassists of the 70’s and 80’s. He left his mark on music history with some of the biggest hits of the decade. Remember that incredible bass line in “I Want You Back”? It looked like Jermaine Jackson was playing, but it was studio musician, Wilton Felder. How about that nasty funk on Marvin’s “Let’s Get It On” and “I Want You”? All done by Wilton Felder.”

Recently Updated

Sources: LA Times | Mike’s Daily Jukebox| All Things Michael