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


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

Children’s Ballet Theatre Of Michigan To Present CBT LIVE! With Thriller Finale

Sources: Broadway World | All Things Michael


Lansing, MI — The Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan is busy rehearsing an upbeat repertoire show titled CBT LIVE! Creative Director Gregory M. George will transform Holt High School Theatre into an urban street scene complete with a live DJ and laser light show on Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd at 7:00 p.m. and again Sunday, May 3rd at 2:00 p.m. Audience members should plan to purchase tickets early at www.cbtdance.org.

‘We are so excited to present superbly trained, charismatic young dancers in a high voltage evening of spectacular dance,” said Board Chair Michelle Renfrew. “Contemporary Ballet has come of age and it’s more exciting than ever!”

The adventure includes modern songs by Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift as well as music by classic artists. The highlight of the show is a special zombie finale to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

‘This explosive show will be a fast-paced romp of nostalgia. Children’s Ballet Theatre has excelled in blending traditional ballet, hip hop, contemporary and acrobatics into an unbelievable evening of entertainment,” said graduating senior Shannon Gebaur. “LIVE! will showcase our company in an array of energetic, athletic ballets that are sure to inspire dancing in the audience.”

CBT is a premiere audition based company comprised of over 60 dancers ages 8-18 who reside throughout Michigan. The LIVE! cast will once again partner with Children’s Miracle Network to feature Jordan Goward, Caroline Thomas, McKenzie Robins, Olivia Franklin, Sonya Webster, and Caitlyn Wells.

This is an exciting time to be a part of CBT. The November Nutcracker performance will celebrate the 35 anniversary of the company. Company Auditions for aspiring new dancers will take place May 9th at the studio. Children must be 8 years old to participate. Visit www.cbtdance.org for an audition schedule.


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Watch the “Youngest String Quartet Ever” Perform Vivaldi, Michael Jackson And Katy Perry

Sources: Open Culture | All Things Michael


They’re billed as “the youngest string quartet ever.” The kids began playing in The Joyous String Quartet when they were four years old. Now, fast forward four more years, and they find themselves performing 20 concerts a year around the globe — in places like South Korea and China, and on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Above you can watch them perform Summer “Presto” by Vivaldi.

Below, they give you a classical version of Katy Perry’s “Firework:

And finally Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.”

In case you’re wondering, the students come out of The Joyous Music School in Hicksville, NY.

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Young Dancer And Her Team Wins Gold Medal For MJ Routine At The World Tap Dance Championships

Sources: The Hinckley Times – By Rachel Parris| All Things Michael


Teenage tap sensation Olivia Huckvale has danced her way to an international gold medal for the second year running.

The 15-year-old John Cleveland College student from Earl Shilton, who is a member of the England tap team, was in the winning junior formation team that competed at the World Tap Dance Championships held in Riesa in Germany earlier this month.

She was among a group of about 20 young dancers tapping a routine to a medley of Michael Jackson music.

Last year Olivia, a student of Eloquent Dance Academy in Hinckley, competed as part of a trio that scooped gold in its category title in the international dance-off.

The English team also won the senior formation category, making a double first for any country in the competition, and meaning that every dancer came back with a gold medal.


Olivia, who hopes to go on to study A-levels alongside dance at a specialist college in Birmingham, said: “I’d like to thank all my friends and family for their support and especially the shoppers at Asda where I did a bag pack to raise funds to help the team get there.”

Her dad, Dave Huckvale, said: “We are all very proud of her for what she has achieved this year.”


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6-Year-Old Dances To Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal And Brings The House Down

Sources: Huffington Post – By Avery Stone | All Things Michael


This boy is smooth.

Six-year-old Willie Osborn decided to channel Michael Jackson during an elementary school talent show. Dancing to Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” his performance — and his outfit — were spot-on.

The video was uploaded to YouTube Wednesday, but it isn’t the first time Willie’s wowed crowds with his dancing. He previously made headlines with “Smooth Criminal” when he performed the routine — complete with backup dancers — at a talent show in Indiana.


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6-Year-Old ‘Mini Michael Jackson’ Dances On Great Wall

Sources: GB Times | All Things Michael


A six-year-old Michael Jackson fan has become the latest internet sensation by showing dance moves worthy of the King of Pop on the Great Wall of China.

Little Yu Tian Yang is making waves with a video where he mixes the styles of Jackson and American dance sensation Marquese Scott.

(see full clip here)

Tian Yang who has been dancing ever since he turned two years old has already performed on countless TV shows and won several dance competitions.

The boy who’s been dubbed China’s miniature Michael Jackson loves mimicking the singer’s famous moves.

Tian Yang’s impressive skills even won him a chance to perform at the Michael Jackson 56th birthday anniversary held in Beijing on August 29. Watch the video below to see his tribute to the star.

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Kids From The Actors Studio Academy Stage A ‘Musical Mad-ley’

Sources: The Star – By Terence Toh| Showbiz | Edited By – All Things Michael

A bunch of talented kids sing showtunes from WickedMoulin Rouge, and other popular theatre musicals. 


Take a group of talented children. Teach them to sing a bunch of toe-tapping, finger-snapping, head-bobbing, mind-blowing, musical showtunes. And add in a wacky story and some crazy choreography.

What do you get? A Musical Mad-Ley, a musical extravaganza performed by The Actors Studio Academy Speech and Drama 2014 students.

Featuring classic tunes from musicals such as The Sound Of Music, Wicked, Matilda and Chicago, with a little bit of Michael Jackson thrown in, the production is out to show that big talent can often be found in small packages.

“Every year, The Actors Studio does a year-end production,” says Mark Beau de Silva, The Actors Studio Academy facilitator. “But this time, we decided to be a bit more ambitious and challenge ourselves and do a musical. It’s the in thing with kids nowadays, so we wanted to impart those sort of skills to them.”

Musical Mad-Ley is written by de Silva, with choreography by Lex Lakshman, and is directed by The Actors Studio Academy facilitators, some of whom also act in the show.

The musical takes place in an average Malaysian school, whose students are excited and ready for the end of year production. Nut calamity breaks out after the principal Puan Lakshmana (played by Lex Lakshman) goes missing, and a replacement from the RTD (Replacement Teachers Department) is called in.

Appalled by the “loose” discipline and the cheery excitement of the students, the substitute Cik Binasa Raksa (de Silva) wants a change, and change she does! From excitable young performers, the students are turned into uniform wearing zombies that sing to The Sound Of Music.

Can a rebellious band of senior students, aided by the awkward Cik Omarama (Omar Ali) manage to save the school, and shine like the stars they were meant to be?

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Musical Mad-Ley will feature 11 songs, performed by over 100 child performers aged from 7–18, both past and present Academy students. According to de Silva, the Academy had brought in the services of the Young Choral Academy to help them with vocal training.

Highlights of the show, he adds, include a rendition of Sparkling Diamonds from the movie Moulin Rouge, performed by students in cheerleader uniforms, as well as a Michael Jackson performance by the 10–12 age group.

“The highlight will be Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Beat It,” says Khayma Balakrishnan, the academy’s assistant teacher, who explains that the songs will be adaptations and the older musical tunes will be spiced up with additional dance breaks.

“The Wicked routine is also very nice, as it features students who have been with us for three years already. So their choreography is a bit more advanced,” says de Silva, who had to modify some of the more mature musical songs to ensure they were child-friendly.

Facilitator Omar Ali adds, one of the delights of Musical Mad-ley is watching the children enjoying themselves with the performing arts. “Working with kids is fascinating, and these kids are great. They’re really into it, and enjoying themselves, and it’s wonderful to see. You can see how much personality they have at such a young age, they’re full of character, even at a young age, and they bring it to the stage.”

Playing one of the teachers is Camillea Roxanne Benjamin, 15, who described her character Teacher Camillea as having a “very unpopular, nerdy, and awkward kind of personality”. The young student says she had greatly enjoyed being part of the Musical Mad-Ley experience.

“I enjoyed every single moment of it. Just to be able to see the show progress so much is just a blessing. The people and the teachers here are really enjoyable so this whole experience is just amazing. I love it here,” says Benjamin. “I love the teachers here as they have been so patient with us. I don’t know how they do it because we are so noisy and we annoy the teachers a lot. It’s great!”

> Musical Mad-Ley! runs Nov 15 (3pm) and Nov 16 (11am) at KLPac Pentas 2 in Sentul  Park, Jalan Strachan (off Jalan Ipoh), KL. Tickets are RM33. For details, visit klpac.org or call 03-40479000.


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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