Michael Jackson on Godliness

My singing… I’ll just say it simple as possible: it’s just godly.

- As told to John Pidgeon in Los Angeles, January 1980. The story…

Animated Transcript

Michael Jackson: I hate labels because it should be just music. I don’t see anything wrong with disco. You can’t dance to [imitates guitar thrashing sound] or… Call it disco. Call it anything. It’s music. Would you call “She’s Out of My Life” disco? “Off The Wall”, “Rock With You”… I don’t know. It’s music to me. It’s like you hear a bird chirping. You don’t say: “That’s a bluejay. This one is a crow.” It’s a beautiful sound. That’s all that counts. Listen to it. You watch them soar in the skies. It’s just beautiful.

[Music: Michael Jackson “Rock With You”]

John Pidgeon: Does he work very hard on his dancing?

Janet Jackson: He just… oh the question. Do you work very hard on your dancing? [laughs]

Michael Jackson: I should but I don’t. [laughs] I just… whatever you see me do is spontaneous reactions on stage. It’s nothing planned. It’s nothing that I got in the room and tried to think of hard. It just happens through feeling.

John Pidgeon: Does he actually find it hard to keep from dancing when he’s in the studio?

Janet Jackson: [laughs] Yeah, I think so.

Michael Jackson: [laughs] Yeah that isn’t my problem. I’m just dancing around…

Janet Jackson: Can’t keep still…

Michael Jackson: Yeah, hard to keep still. Moving around from the mic. [laughs]

[Music: The Jackson Five “The Love You Save”]

Michael Jackson: My singing it’s just.. I’ll just say it simple as possible: it’s just godly. Really it’s just… When I was small I didn’t really know what i was doing. I just sang and it came out sounding pretty good. I just do it and it happens. It’s… I can’t explain it or… It’s no real personal experience or anything that makes it come across. Just a feeling and God, I’ll say. Mainly God.

Michael Jackson: You hear us talk about the peacock a lot because the peacock is the only bird of all the bird family that integrates every color into one. That’s our main goal in music. When you go to our concerts and you see every race out there and they’re all waving hands and they’re holding hands and they’re smiling and dancing. All colors. That’s what great. That’s what keeps me going. [laughs]

Michael Jackson: I do believe deeply in perfection. I’m never satisfied. I’ll cut a track or something and I come home and I say: “no, that’s not right. We gotta to do it over it’s not right.” And then go back and back and back. Then when it’s finally out, you say: “darn it. I should have done this.” It’s number one on the charts you’re still screaming about what you should have done. If you’re satisfied with everything you’re just going to stay at one level and the world will move ahead. [laughs] That’s not good either.
John Pidgeon: When Michael’s in the studio, is it important for him to go for a vocal straight away or does he kind of build up to doing the one?

Janet Jackson: When you’re in the studio does it… Do you, ah… do you have to go for a vocal straight away or do you have to build up to it?

Michael Jackson: No I do vocals pretty quick. But for instance “Ben” I did in one take. I went right in and cut it. I said: “want to do another one?” The guy said: “no, no, it was great.” I said “was it?” That was at Motown. I’ll never forget that little apple box I stood on because I couldn’t reach the microphone. My name was written on it and it’s sitting at Diana Ross’s house now. She has all my little doodling papers I would draw and write.


Michael Jackson: A lot of people have been overexposed. It’s true. Where people are fed up. I pray that that never happens with me. I just don’t like being on a lot of different things or being everywhere because I get kind of embarrassed. But I think secretly and privately there is… I mean really deep within there is a destiny for me and just for me to stay on that track and follow it. I really believe and feel I am here for a reason and that’s my job, you know, to perform for the people and if they accept it that I am rewarded. If they want to put me up on that pedestal I feel even better.

[Music: Michael Jackson “Off The Wall”]

John Pidgeon: Was it through the Wiz that Michael Jackson got to work with Quincy Jones?

Janet Jackson: Was it to do with The Wiz that you got to work with Quincy?

Michael Jackson: Yes. That was… I met Quincy before at Sammy Davis’s house a long time ago. But the real meeting with Quincy, the real marriage, was the Wiz project. We really got to know one another. We worked beautifully together. Ah, so well. And, ah, I called Quincy up one day and said: “Quincy, I’m ready to do an album, a solo album. But I want a real good producer to work with me.” I said: “can you recommend somebody?” I wasn’t trying to hint around at all. I wasn’t. I didn’t think about him. He said: “Smelly.” He calls me “Smelly.” He said: “Smelly: why don’t you let me do it?” I said: “ahhhh… that’s a great idea.” I started giggling and he said: “why don’t we start.” Next week we got together. We started planning and that’s how “Off The Wall” came about.

Demi Lovato Covers Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’

Demi Lovato resurrected a quintessential piece of ’80s pop culture Friday night in Baltimore, Md., where she covered Michael Jackson‘s famous 1983 hit ‘Thriller’ to a crowd of screaming fans.

The 22-year-old ‘Really Don’t Care’ singer kicked off the Demi World Tour on Sept. 6 at the Baltimore Arena and paid homage to the King of Pop by singing one of his most popular songs.

Wearing a leather outfit with silver tassels on her sleeves, Lovato is seen working the stage while singing the lyrics to her band’s faithful rendition of the original.

But as the song comes toward the end, Lovato stops the music and her dancers by saying, “Wait, wait, wait. Let’s do this s— my way.” She then gathers her dancers as they do the familiar ‘Thriller’ dance, mixed in with some body-swinging moves on her own.

Click on the fan video above to check out Demi’s performance of ‘Thriller.’ The Demi World Tour will continue throughout North America until Oct. 27.


Adam Levine impersonates Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra on ‘The Tonight Show’

Adam Levine sings ‘The Sesame Street Song’ as Michael Jackson

The Maroon 5 frontman stopped by “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Tuesday and played a new game with the host entitled “Wheel of Musical Impressions.”

“The generator will land on a random singer and a random song title,” Fallon explained to the audience.

“Whoever’s turn it is you have to do an impression of that musician doing that song.”

Levine took the plunge first and landed on Frank Sinatra with the song title: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

While the 34-year-old newlywed did a swoonworthy rendition of the tune as the iconic crooner, that wasn’t even his shining moment during the entertaining bit.

Flashback: Bart Simpson Does ‘The Bartman’ With Help From Michael Jackson

As you gear up to watch all 522 “Simpsons” in a row, check out the video for “Do The Bartman”

By the fall of 1990 Simpsons mania had swept the country, even though the show had been on the air for less than a year. Bart was the breakout star and merchandise featuring the slingshot-wielding delinquent flooded stores, though schools across the country banned his “Underachiever and Proud of It” shirt. Needless to say, that did little but elevate Bart to near God-like status among schoolchildren. This was such a cool cartoon character that you literally couldn’t walk into school with him on your shirt.

Bravely forging ahead with no apparent fear of overexposure, the people behind The Simpsons decided it was time for the cartoon family to starting churning out pop hits. This may sound a little crazy these days, but this was just after Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract,” featuring a duet with MC Skat Kat, exploded onto MTV. If an animated cat could have a hit, why not Bart Simpson?

The Simpsons Sing The Blues was rushed into production at the end of the first season of the show. It hit shelves just in time for Christmas, and almost immediately, “Do The Bartman” began receiving airplay. Rumors swirled that the track was ghost-written by Michael Jackson, a huge Simpsons fan, but the show’s producers denied it. It wasn’t until many years later that Matt Groening fessed up that Jackson did indeed co-write the song. He just had to keep his mouth shut because he was contractually forbidden from writing for an outside label.

The video features Bart hijacking a school recital with a New Jack Swing song about his own hijinks. The kid was such a rebel he put mothballs into his mother’s beef stew. The song was followed up with “Deep, Deep Trouble.” It was another Bart-centered tune, though this time it focused on the consequences for his behavior. The album was a huge smash, peaking at number 3 on the Hot 100. It was in a lot of Christmas stockings that year.

Somehow, the show survived this early onslaught of merchandise, and it quickly moved its focus from Bart to Homer. FXX is airing all 522 episodes in a row over the next 12 days. They probably won’t show the “Do The Bartman” video, so check it out right here.