Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Tribute To Michael Jackson

Idol worship for the King of Pop.

About three and a half months ago, we bid a tearful farewell to (imo) the world's greatest entertainer. Michael Jackson was more than just a singer, he was an artiste, an entertainer and an inspiration to many the world over. His music transcended race, religion and even language.

My eyes were swollen from crying when I heard the news, when I watched the Memorial, or when I saw his music videos. Even now I tear up, thinking about how there won't ever be any more Michael Jackson songs.

But as much as this week is supposed to be a tribute Michael, its also about our Idols. Despite some of them not knowing his repertoire of songs well (Duane admitted sheepishly its not really his era), they are all super excited about performing the King of Pop's songs because they are, ... say it with me... Le-gen-da-ry!

I asked them some questions, one of them being what would you do if you had 1 min, 1 hour and 1 day with MJ. Everyone replied at some point that they wanted him to teach them how to dance.

Isn't it wonderful how many people MJ has touched with his iconic dance moves? Especially the moon walk. That 'stand & stare-at-the-crowd' stunt that so many artistes (Queen Beyonce included) do at concerts now was pioneered and perfected by Michael. You know, where he just stands stock still, sometimes for a good 5 minutes, and lets the adoring crowd just scream and scream and scream, and the adoration wash over him. I like to think of it as him charging his batteries with their adoration for an awesome show ahead. And it always is an awesome show when its MJ.

Back in 199- (can't remember which year now!), MJ came to Singapore to perform. Can you believe he wasn't allowed to perform in Malaysia back then because he had long hair? Incredulous but true. So I participated in a TV3 phone-in (!!!) contest and actually won a ticket to the concert. It was at National Stadium and I was so far away he was barely 2 inches tall, but I had binoculars and I was riveted. And like everyone else around me, screaming like a mad person and so overwhelmed I found myself crying!

Years on, I'm so thankful for that experience, being able to watch him perform live, because he was indeed, the consummate performer. Looking back, I totally understand why as an artiste and an entertainer, he was such an inspiration to many.

Ok, yarning aside, for the benefit of those who may not have known and loved him as much (yet), I youtubed the videos of the songs the Idols will be performing, so you'll have an idea of what to look forward to next week :)
(I'm so excited eeee! I've been up since 3.30am, working on the profiles and youtubing and I haven't stopped smiling (or tearing up once in a while), MJ's music has that effect on me :) - not bad for just 3 hours of sleep right?)

Sylvia will be singing 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. One of my favourites, it was the first time I saw MJ in a shirt without a jacket (his previous vids always had him in a jacket), and at that time I thought, 'he's actually pretty cute!'

Duane will be singing 'The Girl Is Mine'. I had thought of posting the original version, but then figured, this may be more relevant. This is an updated version that MJ did, featuring BEP's for the 25th Anniversary of the Thriller album. Not too bad.

Malaque will be singing 'Rock With You'. Iconic single from the 'Off The Wall' album. But I think many remember his shiny outfit and strobe lights more than the song sometimes! LOL!

Amira will be singing 'You Are Not Alone'. A great song, very beautifully written. But to this day, I still can't stomach the video. I found the scenes with his then-wife, Lisa Marie Presley (yes they were married! King of Pop married King of Rock's daughter - everyone thought it was a publicity gimmick), erm, uncomfortable to watch. Not because they were clad in nothing much, but mostly because THEY looked uncomfortable with each other. You can watch and decide for yourself.

Faizal will be singing Billie Jean. I used to love this video because the floor lights up. I was so fascinated by that. I was also 6 when this video came out. I remember the year so clearly, 1983. It was the year both 'Beat It' and 'Billie Jean' were nominated for Grammys. No one explained the meaning of the song to me back then, so I always wondered why he kept saying his 'chair' was not his 'son'.

Mae will be singing 'I Want You Back', probably my favourite Jackson 5 song ever. It just makes you wanna get up and dance and shimmy - yes people, I said shimmy! Lookit how cute he was. And lookit those threads! LOL!

Sezairi will be singing his own take of 'Thriller'. But before we do it Airi's way, lets watch the original. This is the full length music video for Thriller. MJ was a pioneer in creative music videos, which were often mini movies. Production quality and special effects for his videos were always top-notch, making every video release very highly anticipated. I'm now wondering where the actress that played the girlfriend is - she looks a lot like actress Nia Long.

Tabitha will be singing 'Who's Loving You' which was also a big hit for the Jackson 5. But the version that inspired her is the next video featuring a young Welsh boy names Shaheen Jafargholi and his audition for Britain's Got Talent. Blodee amazing!

If the boy looks familiar, its probably because he was invited to sing the same song at MJ's Memorial service.

Charles will be singing 'Remember The Time'. The graphics in this music video were the pioneer for that 'sand' movement thing in movies like The Mummy. This is my favourite MJ music video. It beats Black & White by just a blink. I like this one just a little bit better because you get to see a cheeky/sexy side to Michael as he flirts with Iman. Plus there's cameos by Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson!

Last but not least, Nurul will be singing 'Ben'. MJ wrote this song himself. Its about a pet rat. His voice is just so pure and sweet, you actually feel for the rat. Definitely my other fave MJ song from the Jackson 5 era (apart from I Want You Back).

The group song for the Results Show will be Black Or White, here's the video that features just the song. Remember how I said MJ's vids were like mini movies, well this one is actually no different - to watch the FULL video (featuring a very young Macaulay Culkin), click here (embedding was disabled, otherwise woulda posted it, sorry!).

Well, thats it, those are the 10 wonderful Michael Jackson songs that will be performed right on the Idol stage by your Top 10 Singapore Idol hopefuls + one group song :).

Will they be able to do the songs justice? My fingers (and toes) are crossed that it all goes well. They're all excited about it, so enthusiasm and energy levels are back to 100% :). Do click on the links to their profiles (right sidebar) to see their MJ Week interviews.

Thank you Michael for sharing your music and your talent with the world. Gone Too Soon indeed...

xoxo, s.

Related posts :

1 comment: