shocking passing of megastar Michael Jackson has brought his music back
to the minds of millions. Although his style of both dance and song
may've been superseded by a whole new genre, there were few singers or
dancers who didn't borrow something from the artist known as the 'king
many of today's prominent artists are bits and pieces of Michael, just
as he borrowed from the irrepressible James Brown. In Usher, Omarion,
NeYo, Ciara, Genuwine (just to name a few), are glimpses of Michael
Jackson's frenetic, almost robotic dancing style.
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commercial artist, he had no peer. His 1983 "Thriller" not only earned
a Grammy award, but spawned a dozen hits. The album would go on to
sell more than any single artist's: 27 million copies.
ago, I told my wife I didn't care for the artist; she told me to ignore
all the criticism, the press -- all of it, and look at him as an
entertainer, say, like Sinatra.
I did. She was right.
was a master entertainer, who moved millions not only with his
distinctive vocals, but his dancing changed the art like Muhammad Ali
changed the sport of boxing.
I never failed to marvel at his sheer brilliance and artistry.
the prison station showed a video of Jackson's concert in Bucharest,
Romania. An outdoor concert, with more people than any of us would care
to count, Jackson was in rare form, transfixing the immense throng with
a show that was unlike anything they'd ever seen.
those who feel his music was mere bubblegum pop, and thus devoid of
serious social commentary, check out one of his post 'Thriller' songs;
"They Don't Care About Us." Filmed in what appears to be a Brazilian
favela, surrounded by thousands of dark skinned boys and girls, many
drumming to the beat, the song is an anthem of how the rich world
treats the poor of the world.
Hans Bennett is a multi-media journalist mostly focusing on the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners. An archive of his work is available at insubordination.blogspot.com and he is also co-founder of "Journalists for Mumia," (more...)