Pop Songs With Social Messages

Sources: Popcrush – By Erica Russell | All Things Michael


Pop music has long been stigmatized for being, well, empty.

Some unfairly view pop merely as fluff music, something light and irreverent and fun to dance to. And while there’s plenty of pop music that’s been perfectly primed for the dance floor (which, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with!), countless pop artists have concerned themselves with creating music with a message.

As widely listened to as it is, pop music can be used as vessel for change, a tool for discourse on social issues. There are numerous pop songs — including more than a handful of well-known singles — that tackle social, political, and cultural issues as diverse as racism, feminism, police brutality, LGBT representation, and much more.

In 1987, the reigning King of Pop, Michael Jackson, released his classic record, Bad. One of the singles from the hit album included “Man In The Mirror,” an uplifting and critically acclaimed pop ballad about society’s tendency to turn away from difficult social issues. The song, and its politically-charged video, acted as a literal call for change, touting the message that change begins from within.

Almost 25 years later, Lady Gaga released the lead single and titular track off her highly anticipated sophomore album, Born This Way, in 2011. With its thumping bass, infectious hook, and slamming club beats, “Born This Way” sounded like any sexy dance-pop song should, but its progressive lyrics transformed the contagious track into the powerful anti-prejudice, pro-LGBT, pro-self-acceptance anthem Gaga intended it to be.

But these two aren’t the only pop songs that tackle issues more pressing than getting lit in the club. From Gwen Stefani advocating for interracial relationships alongside André 3000, to Madonna taking down the patriarchy with trip-hop, check out ten pop songs packed with powerful social messages in our gallery above.

Oh, and if you wanna make a change, don’t forget to start with the man in the mirror.


Michael’s social message songs 

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Original Songs Written For Horror Movies

Sources: Dread Central | All Things Michael

Music has proven itself to be an integral part of our favorite horror films, to the point that iconic scores like Halloween and Psycho are as important to the enduring popularity of those classics as the stories and characters themselves. But it’s not exactly scores we’re here to talk about today.

It’s not something that often happens nowadays, but back in the 80s and 90s, it wasn’t all that uncommon for studios to task musicians with writing and performing original songs for their horror movies – which would typically play over the opening or ending credits of the film.

To show you what we mean, here are 10 of our favorite horror movie songs, all of which would’ve been given awards at the Oscars if we were in charge!

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This first one actually WAS nominated for Best Original Song at the 1973 Academy Awards. Believe it or not, it was 1972’s Ben, a sequel to Willard, that this song was written for, and Michael Jackson’s beautiful rendition of the loving ode made it a bona fide chart-topping hit. The song, which was originally written for Donny Osmond, was performed by Jackson over the ending credits of the film. Yep. A young Michael Jackson singing a love song about a rat. Gotta love it!

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Zombies Needed For Thriller Dance Performance On Halloween In New Milford

Sources: NewsTimes – By Linda Tuccio-Koonz | All Things Michael


Zombies ages 13 and up are needed for a “flash mob” performance on Halloween on the New Milford Green. Those who are game will learn a modified version of the dance done by the late Michael Jackson in his “Thriller” video.

All are welcome to learn the moves and you don’t have to be a dancer to be part of this annual event. Kids ages 6 to 12 are invited to learn a shortened version that they will present at the end of the older zombies’ performance. Children must be accompanied by an adult and act appropriately.

The zombies will do their thing on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 6:30 p.m. during New Milford’s “Trunk or Treat.” There’s no fee to participate and the entire dance can be learned in one rehearsal session, thanks to the efforts of dance instructor Christine Oberc. A video link will be shared for those who want to practice at home. The more rehearsals you attend, the better. Christine Oberc

You don’t have to be a New Milford resident to participate, but a bag of candy for “Trunk or Treat” is suggested as a donation. The event will be filmed and shared on YouTube.

Rehearsals are Sunday Oct. 18 at 11 a.m., Saturday Oct. 24 at 2 p.m., Sunday Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. and Friday Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. They are held at New Milford Parks and Recreation, 47 Bridge St. in New Milford.

To sign up, visit signupgenius.com/go/60b084aa4a623ab9-2015

For further details, see facebook.com/ThrillerFlashMobNewMilfordCT


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Deputies Surprise Boy With Terminal Illness With Zombies And Thriller Dance

Sources: Fox 13 – Haley Hinds | All Things Michael


– A group of Pasco County deputies went above and beyond the call of duty, battling zombies and giving a little boy with a terminal illness a day he’ll never forget.

Spencer Holt, 7, has spent far too many days in hospital rooms, battling a form of Mitochondrial disease and seizures.

“There’s no cure for it, no timeline for how long of what his future holds,” his mother Cher said. “We just live day by day.”

When Sheriff Chris Nocco invited him to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, complete with a motorcade, Spencer’s family knew it would be a special day, but they had no idea what was in store.

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Spencer loves law enforcement. He also loves zombies. Deputies found a way to combine the two.

“You like going after the bad guys?” Nocco asked Holt.

Nocco barely got a few words in when trouble struck.

“Zombies, they’ve overrun the jail, we can’t hold them back!” yelled a SWAT member. “We need help!”

“How many are there?” Nocco asked.

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Balmain Rocks Fashion And Michael Jackson At Paris Fashion Week

Sources: The Gloss – Sara Steinfield | All Things Michael


Is it too soon to say that every other designer showing at Paris Fashion Week over the next couple of days should just pack up and g home? Probably, but you know what, I’m going to say it anyway: Pack up and go home, other designers, because Balmain is the official PFW champion.

Earlier this morning (or, well, this afternoon I guess, since Paris is six hours of ahead of all of us here in New York), Olivier Rousteing sent out his Spring 2016 collection in Paris’s Hotel Continental (the usual venue for the designer) to a surprisingly pleasant Michael Jackson soundtrack. As you might have expected, the show’s model roster was completely stacked, including such names as Alessandra Ambrosio, Joan Smalls, Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner, Lily Aldridge, and Caroline Ribeiro. The collection is one of the tightest I’ve seen so far—every look adhered to strict color scheme and was finished with either a thick belt or collar. Basically, it was the perfection we’ve come to expect from Balmain, and what we’re hoping to see when his collaboration with H&M finally launches in early November.

Video: http://video.vogue.com/watch/balmain-spring-2016-ready-to-wear-runway-backstage


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TJ Jackson Wants To Repay His Uncle Michael

Sources: Contact News | All Things Michael


TJ Jackson, 37, was placed in charge of Prince, Paris and Blanket in July, 2012, a few years after Michael’s death in 2009, but he (Michael) did not hesitate to take the kids in after his mum was killed in 1994.

Delores ‘Dee Dee’ Martes, who was married to Michael’s brother Tito, was found dead at her Los Angeles home, and as a result, Michael helped raise TJ and his two brothers shortly after.

“Being guardian to my uncle Michael’s kids takes a lot of time, and it’s something that I put a lot of effort into and take a lot of pride in,” TJ tells Entertainment Tonight. “For me, I just want to do well for my uncle, and he was such an important person for me when I lost my mother as a 16 year old that I’m just trying to repay him.”


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Bass And Saxophone Musician Wilton Felder Dies

Sources: LA Times | All Things Michael

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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.”

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

Secrets of Elizabeth Taylor’s Amazing Home: Diamonds, Photos Of Michael Jackson And More

Sources: People – BY ALYNDA WHEAT | All Things Michael


With her Oscars and her activism, her great loves and even greater roles, Elizabeth Taylor will always be a Hollywood icon. But in a new book, 700 Nimes Road, photographer Catherine Opie shines a light on the private world of the legend. Opie spent months shooting Taylor’s Bel Air, California, home, just before and after the star’s death in 2011.

“I never met her,” says Opie, who shares exclusive photos from her book (out on Oct. 6 from DelMonico Books•Prestel) and memories of her time at Taylor’s house in the new issue of PEOPLE. “But I got a sense of what an incredible human being she was by everything that was precious to her.” Some of the more surprising objects in Taylor’s possession include a collection of Buddha statuettes, many books about angels, and a shelf full of horses sculpted by her daughter Liza – oh, and the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond, gifted to her by then-husband Richard Burton in 1968. (Not even Liz’s biggest – that would be the 68-carat Taylor-Burton diamond the couple splurged on the following year.)

Colin Farrell wrote a message in lipstick on her vanity mirror. CATHERINE OPIE / COURTESY REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES AND LEHMANN MAUPIN, NEW YORK & HONG KONG

Colin Farrell wrote a message in lipstick on her vanity mirror.

For the book, Opie was given access to some of Taylor’s most private spaces, including her dressing room, with its sunken tub and lavender carpets to match Taylor’s famous eyes. “That was a beautiful room,” recalls Opie. “The light in that room was just gorgeous,” showing off the stars pretty perfume bottles and fresh-picked orchids. “She had this beautiful little greenhouse that was just for orchids in her backyard,” adds the photographer.


Taylor’s home was also filled with reminders of her friends and family, mementoes of a life lived to its fullest. “There were lots of family photos,” says Opie, who captured a shot of Taylor’s bedside table with pictures of her longtime friend Michael Jackson among family photos. Pictures of Burton, whom Taylor married twice, were all around the house. “Richard Burton was in every room,” says Opie. “Yeah, pretty much. He was in every room.”


Taylor kept her own childhood shoes.

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