You Left Us In Summer…8 Years Without Michael Jackson

Every once in a while, you’ll see a star that shines exceptionally brighter than all the others. Its twinkling beauty makes you wish you could touch it, but you know that is well beyond your reach.

Michael, from the first time I saw you, you captivated me with the natural rhythm of your dance and the soulful, beauty harmony of your sweet voice. You oozed charisma and sweet endearing charm. You were a kid like me, so I connected with you right from the start.

As you grew to be a man, your artistry knew no bounds. It was like a seeing a great work of art coming to life on stage…..the pure embodiment of grace and expertise, painting colorful brush strokes with music on the canvas of our hearts.

You told us a story in a ways we hadn’t seen or heard with your phenomenal talent. From God’s lips to your ear, a spiritual connection took place and manifested itself right before our very eyes, bringing people all over the world together in the spirit of great humility, love and peace.

A treasury of beautiful memories are left for those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up and witness the rise of your preeminence as the world’s greatest entertainer. There is a lot of laughter, love and exhilarating moments to replay for a lifetime in the corridors of our minds. But even those memories can never replace having you here with us and your loved ones.

Your musical legacy is firmly etched in history for those who are yet to discover the magic and extraordinary talent of such an incredible visionary.  You have taught, inspired and paved the way of success for many following in your wake with your vast artist contributions and examples as a philanthropist, humanitarian, leader, teacher and role model.

Though you were hurt too many times to name,  you maintained your dignity and held your head high. I admire your humility and gentleness. No matter how successful you became, you never tried to boast, but gave all the glory to God. You helped those that society had long forgotten, becoming the world’s herald, crying against poverty, violence, and ignorance.

Michael, I can not say thank you enough for the many times that you have given me faith and inspired me to endure during my darkest hours. You were there for me when I couldn’t share my heart with anyone. Your songs have blessed me with so much comfort, peace and joy during my life and especially so over the past several months. I owe much thanks to God and to you for keeping me encouraged. I am so thankful that you were created and I feel so privileged to even be born in the same dispensation of time as you. You are truly my greatest inspiration and I love you from the bottom of my heart.

Though many may try, those Florsheim loafers are just too big to fill. There will never be another shining star like you. Like all beautiful stars, you burned out far too soon, but the light that you shined in this dark world will never be dimmed or forgotten.

You Left Us In Summer – By All Things Michael

You left us in summer

Too quickly to even say goodbye

Reeling from shock

All we could ask is why?

After all these years

We still remember where we were

When we first heard the news

Now summertime has forever changed

Because it will repeat the day that we lost you

 

Missing you today and always,

Valerie

MICHAEL JACKSON’S SON PENS A HEARTFELT POEM FOR HIS DAD’S BIRTHDAY

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We lost the King of Pop on June 25, 2009, just two months before his 51st birthday on August 29. To celebrate what would’ve been his 58th, his oldest son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. — a.k.a. Prince Jackson — has penned a poem for his dearly departed father.

In a brief post he shared on Twitter and Instagram, Prince, who was only 12 when his father died, remembers him as “the Myth, the Legend and the Man” in a 14-line sonnet.

He stresses how dear Michael’s family was to him, specifically drawing attention to how much Jackson cared for his kids and his mom.

Prince, his younger brother Bigi and several members of the Jackson family recently visited Gary for the annual birthday tribute to his late father.

 

Read more here at MTV.

Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour Outfits To Be Displayed At The Smithsonian’s New African American History Museum

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Even in an era where new pop music is as ubiquitous as coffee shops and music royalty like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Kanye West make headlines nearly every day, Michael Jackson still reigns king as the best-selling artist of all time.

According to the Recording Industry of America, last year Jackson’s Thriller was the first album to be certified platinum 30 times, and has sold 32 million copies to date. For comparison purposes, behind Thriller are the Eagles’ and Billy Joel’s greatest hits albums at 29 million and 23 million albums respectively.

In a gushing Rolling Stone review from 1983, Chris Connelly noted that Thriller’s producer, the acclaimed Quincy Jones, was “working with what might be pop music’s most spectacular instrument: Michael Jackson’s voice. Where lesser artists need a string section or a lusty blast from a synthesizer, Jackson need only sing to convey deep, heartfelt emotion.”

In 1988, following a show at Madison Square Garden, the New York Times asked, “Can anyone, then, dance like Michael Jackson? Only if you can rise up on your toes without toe shoes, stay there, and keep up what is basically a nonstop two-hour solo.”

But it wasn’t just the angelic voice and mind-boggling dance moves that solidified Jackson’s throne in pop royalty history, it was also his unapologetically fabulous style underscoring each toe stand, heel pivot and crotch grab.

In his autobiography Moonwalk, Jackson wrote, “my attitude is if fashion says it’s forbidden, I’m going to do it.” Now some of Jackson’s rebellious pieces—a black sequined silk jacket, an equally-sequined red, white and blue shirt, and his signature fedora—are part of the collections at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and will be on view in the museum’s inaugural exhibition “Musical Crossroads.” The show is chockablock with iconic treasures tracing musical traditions and genres from gospel to rock ‘n’ roll to hip-hop.

“I think of Michael Jackson as kind of a sophisticated yet glamorous and otherworldly persona when he put on these clothes,” says Dwandalyn Reece, a curator of music at the museum who organized the exhibition. “That’s the Michael Jackson of that period. Obviously he morphed into different images since the Thriller heyday. But his clothes were really about him projecting who he was and who he likes to see himself as.”

Jackson wore these sparkly costume pieces on stage in 1984 during the six-month Victory tour, a series of concerts he performed alongside his brothers. Though the tour, named after the Jacksons’ 1983 album, featured all six Jackson brothers, it was clear that the crowds were there for Michael— Thriller hit the top charts almost two years earlier.

Jackson’s domination of the music world at that time is evident in the media coverage from the era. In an end-of-year review of popular music in 1984, Robert Palmer, the late New York Times music critic wrote about the tour:

An exceptionally broad cross-section of pop music consumers—black families and their kids, white families and theirs, young professionals of all sorts—flocked to 1984’s longest-running pop roadshow, the Jacksons’ ”Victory” tour. After their last shows, which took place in Los Angeles December 7-9, the Jacksons announced total attendance figures of 2,331,500 and a gross of some $70 million. The real victor was Michael Jackson. He was the one the crowds came to see, and his lead vocals and lithe dancing dominated every show. The proof is in the albums sales figures; the public bought more than 2 million copies of the Jacksons’ ”Victory” album, but that was peanuts compared to the still-skyrocketing sales of Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller.”

His undeniable electric stage presence, which sent fans into screaming fits, was only amplified by his sharp and shining stage style. The sequined jacket is the design of Bill Whitten, the designer also responsible for Michael Jackson’s famous white glove. The two sparkly shirts and the fedora will be on display in the “Beyond Category” section of the exhibition, sharing the limelight with artifacts from Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and Nina Simone and other groundbreaking artists.

Jackson was certainly beyond category. His exquisite voice, seamless dance moves, and eccentric fashion were unparalleled by other artists of the time and continue to influence artists today. At Super Bowl 50, today’s queen of pop Beyoncé recalled Michael Jackson’s image, sporting a military-style black and gold jacket similar to the one Jackson wore during his own Super Bowl performance in 1993.

Many other celebrities have stepped out in Jackson-inspired outfits, and Lady Gaga even purchased some of his most famous pieces at auction. And designers have looked to Jackson for style vision such as French brand Balmain did with its spring 2009 collection featuring what Vogue dubbed “Drummer-boy Michael Jackson jackets.”

“He’s not the only pioneer but he certainly paved the way for all the entrepreneurs and artists that we have today who are doing a variety of things not only in the studio but in the industry,” Reece says. “I think we have Michael to thank for a lot of that.”

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.

 

In Honor Of Michael Jackson’s 58th Birthday

On August 29, 1958, a genius prodigy was born in a little town in Indiana called Gary.  

At the time, Nobody could have guessed that the sweet little angel bundled in his mother’s loving arms was destined to be known all around the world.

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As he grew in knowledge and favor among his peers and family, people began to take notice of the precocious, little youngster, who first became a Dancing Machine to the rickety sound of the family’s old washer.

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Words could not describe the Pride and Joy his mother felt the first time she fully realized the gift that he had when she heard his endearing voice singing in front of an audience at the tender age of five.

As he became the lead singer of the Jackson 5, the sweet Melodie of his voice and his natural charms quickly won the hearts of people. They marveled at his talent and ability to convey such depth of emotion in song. He was an old soul beyond his time and had just as much command of the stage as his idols James Brown and Jackie Wilson.

The Jackson’s immediately shot to fame quicker than anyone could have imagined. Some would even say it was Much Too Soon for a child so young to be a veteran of the stage by the time he was 10.

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Then one day, Destiny started to call his name and he felt the pull to answer the call.

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He loved his family dearly, but his heart was leading him in another path. As his faith grew, so did his motivation. He set a written plan in motion and followed it to the letter.

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MJ’s 1979 Manifesto

He began Workin’ Day and Night to create a new image and new music like the world had never seen.

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Though many thought his career was over after the Jackson’s, he proved them wrong. His albums and short films were one Thriller after another. He could do it all and better than those who came before him. He became a producer, songwriter, actor, director, inventor, artist, businessman, humanitarian, philanthropist, innovator and trendsetter. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold.

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The excitement and the flurry that his dancing, singing and bigger than life presence shot his fame out of orbit to a level of celebrity popularity like we have never seen. He drove all his fans to a frenzy: young and old, male and female.

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Many times, the Price of Fame would prove to be many times painful. Though he could not always find a place to Xscape, he never let his personal pain stop him from using his hard earned success to help others and to raise our consciousness about the social issues that troubled him. His heart was even bigger than his fame and whatever he set out to do, he did it with much passion and conviction. He taught us to look at the Man in the Mirror and be the change that we want to see in the world.

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Though Michael is no longer with us in the present, his spirit lives through his monumental artistic achievements and humanitarian efforts.

Those of us who were blessed to witness his rise and incarnation as the King of Pop, will always Remember the Time when a Michael Jackson song has been associated to a special memory or event in our lives.  The relevance and joy of his musical body of work will never be forgotten, nor can we ever forget the extraordinary man that he was and the principles he stood for.

Michael, we thank you for all that you have done for your fans and for all mankind.

We will always love and miss you.

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WITH LOVE,

 FROM ALL THINGS MICHAEL

 

MJ Statue/Tribute At Charlie Chaplin Museum

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By jeanbaptisteseckler

In April 2016, the dream of turning Charlie Chaplin’s estate in Switzerland into a museum was finalized. Located in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Manoir de Ban is where Chaplin and his wife Oona lived with their eight children after he was banned from the US on allegations of Communism.

The beautiful estate, with its manicured lawns is filled with touches of art, entertainment, history, politics, film-making and personal touches.

After viewing a brief documentary on Chaplin the theater, visitors walk behind the lifting movie screen into a replica of the street, through a 360 degree circus-like hall, along a corridor with statues of comedians Laurel and Hardy, pop star Michael Jackson, pictures, posters of his films and videos, then down a steep staircase to a mock Hollywood studio with scenes from different movies.

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By jeanbaptisteseckler

A plaque says Jackson idolized Chaplin: “[He] was everything that I wanted to be – songwriter, dancer, director, producer.”

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Jackson dressed as the Tramp for a photo shoot on one of the London streets where Chaplin had lived, visited Oona and later the families of Michael and Eugene Chaplin in Corsier.

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In 1995, Jackson recorded his favorite Chaplin song, “Smile” for the HIStory album.

Many say that Chaplin’s nonsense song at the end of Modern Times was one of the inspirations for Jackson’s moonwalk.

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Click here for more information on Chaplin’s World Museum.

Read more at Huffington Post

Teacher’s Welcome Back Rap Video Gets Compared To Michael Jackson’s Will You Be There

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New teacher Dwayne Reed wanted to put his fourth grade students at ease for the first day of school at Stenson Elementary School in Skokie, so he decided to create a music video.

“I didn’t want it to be boring and super old school,” said Reed, 25. “I wanted to get them jazzed about coming to fourth grade.”

The video is called Welcome To the 4th Grade. The creative young teacher raps about himself and what his students will be learning.

Before filming the video, Reed asked the school principal for permission. He posted the video to YouTube and Facebook last weekend and sent links to the parents to show students. The video had nearly 190,000 views on YouTube Wednesday afternoon. The response has been both positive and controversial.

“We loved the idea, so we encouraged him,” said Sue O’Neil, who has been principal at Stenson for 22 years. “Of course, we had no idea it would take off like this. When we saw it, it was uplifting and creative, and it’s a great way to connect with the kids and get them excited about school,” she said.

O’Neil said she liked the creative approach Reed took to capture the attention of his students. The staff watched the video Tuesday and applauded, she said.

On Wednesday he got to meet his students and their parents for the first time at a meet-and-greet. “They’re the sweetest things,” Reed said of his students. “This is like what I’ve been made to do in life and now I’m finally getting a shot at it.”

Outside of the classroom, Reed records music for fun with his friends. This video — his first — wasn’t without controversy. Reed said the song has a melody he sang often but didn’t know how it originated. After seeing the video, his friend said it sounded familiar. Reed said he later realized the tune sounded similar to Michael Jackson’s song “Will You Be There.” “It was no attempt to copy, steal and riff or anything,” he said.

He’s not selling the “Welcome to the 4th Grade” song and instead is making it available to download for free.

So how would he grade himself on this project?

A solid B, he said. Next time, he wants to include school staff, students and their families.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune | All Things Michael

Exclusive: 45 Child Artists To Pay A Musical Tribute To Michael Jackson For His Birthday (Updated)

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45 child artists from different parts of the world have collaborated online for Maati Baani’s Heal the World cover to be released on Michael Jackson’s birth anniversary.

In March this year, home-grown band Maati Baani launched six songs that featured 50 musicians from 20 countries. What made it unusual was that the collaboration took place entirely through the internet. Now, the duo, Kartik Shah (36) and Nirali Kartik (32), is back with a new online collaboration — this time featuring 45 children from across the globe.

The world music band will release the song — a cover of Michael Jackson’s iconic Heal the World — on Jackson’s birth anniversary, August 29. Launched in 1991, Heal the World urged people to make the world a better place and care for children affected by war. Kartik says, “We chose the song because, all through this year, there’s been violence, war and unrest either in our country or somewhere else. And it is the kids who suffer the most. It’s also the 25th anniversary of the song, so there’s no better time to release it.”

“We came across clips of young prodigies on social media who would play really complex pieces of music. We wanted to do a song with them,” Nirali says. Among others, the song features a South African choir (Mamelodi Gospel Choir from Pretoria) and 13-year-old, US-based, Sparsh Shah, who became a social media sensation earlier this year with his cover of Eminem’s rap song, Not Afraid. “We also have seven-year-old twin tap dancers from California, and Jonathan Carollo, a percussionist from Washington who plays a rather bizarre instrument — a washing machine,” Nirali adds.

Although Maati Baani has ample experience in working with musicians online, Kartik says putting together this cover was more challenging than the rest of their songs. “We had to speak to parents who would, in turn, communicate with the child artist. Also, we spent months finding some of the prodigies. But the wait was worth it.”

Stay tuned

Subscribe to Maati Baani’s YouTube channel, to listen to Heal the World’s cover.

UPDATE: See official video below.

 

Read more at Hindustantimes | All Things Michael

Questlove’s Remember The Time Michael Jackson Tribute In LA

This Saturday, August 27th, DJ Questlove joins Kiss-n-Grind to celebrate the life and musical legacy of Michael Jackson at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Get your tickets today!

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Reserved Seating is only available with Bottle Service. For bottle service pricing please e-mail us e-mail us at BottleService@kissngrind.com.  You must be 21 and over to attend.

WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM (PDT)
WHERE: Rivera 31 at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills – 8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 – View Map

Sources: Eventbrite | Kiss and Grind| All Things Michael