Today, the king of pop Michael Jackson would have been 56 years old. It's no secret that I'm a huge Michael fan and he has been the biggest inspiration in my life. Rather than dwelling on sadness I'm going to do what I usually do-put on a Michael t-shirt and remember everything I loved about him. My thoughts are with his children.
In celebration of his life, here are 10 surprising facts you may not know about MJ!
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Click to see the list!
Michael Jackson is the biggest superstar our world has ever seen and continues to be a record breaking artist posthumously. No one in entertainment history has managed to achieve the things that he did in music, performance and music video's, and is not likely to ever again. The epitome of the American dream, Michael Jackson came from humble beginnings and went on to leave a legacy that can never be matched both as an artist, and a humanitarian. Although he is the most famous popstar on the planet with a very well documented life and career, there are still some facts that might surprise you about this much loved icon. Here is a list of 10 things you may not know about Michael Jackson.
1. 'Thriller' was originally called 'Starlight'.
The smash hit single from the 1984 album of the same name which has exceeded sales of 110 million, was written by Rod Temperton who had already collaborated with Michael before. Rod Temperton later revealed that the original hook was “Starlight! Starlight Sun...” and had a completely different theme to what it eventually turned into. And thank goodness he changed it-if the title and theme had been different there would be no Thriller short film which went on to break lots of records and is considered the most famous music video of all time!
2. MTV didn't always think the Thriller video was great.
1984 was the year of the first ever MTV Video Music Awards. Considering the legendary status the Thriller short film has received, you might assume that Michael cleaned up at the awards. Not the case. Out of six nominations, Michael Jackson won three awards including the 'viewers choice', but the coveted 'Video of the Year' award went to The Cars' “You Might Think”. MTV later went on to rank 'Thriller' “The Greatest Music Video Ever Made, and most people have long forgotten, or never heard of, “You Might Think”.
3. “Blame it on the Boogie” is written by Michael Jackson, but not THAT Michael Jackson.
Michael (Mick) George Jackson is an English songwriter who wrote and recorded 'Blame it on the Boogie'. This has caused confusion over the years due to the coincidence of the writer being the namesake of the artist. The story goes that Mick Jackson's publisher offered the song to The Jacksons' manager at the music industry event Midem without Micks knowledge. It resulted in both parties releasing their versions of the same track in the same month in 1978. The media enjoyed the chart battle that ensued, and some news outlets wrongly reported that the song was written by Michael Jackson of The Jacksons. Mick has since acknowledged that the name confusion and chart battle was great publicity.
4. The “In The Closet” female voice is a Princess.
“In The Closet” was the provocative third single from Michael Jacksons Dangerous album. The title was a controversial choice, but the songs lyrics revealed a very definite heterosexual standpoint, not least because of the sensual female voice that appeared at various moments in the song. The voice was credited as 'Mystery Girl' on the album, but was later revealed to be Princess Stephanie of Monaco who had a very short lived singing career.
5. Michael Jackson did appear in an episode of the Simpsons-but that's not him singing.
In the Simpson’s episode 'Stark Raving Dad', Michael Jackson voiced the character of Leon Kompowsy, an overweight caucasian man Homer Simpson meets in a mental institution. There has been much confusion about Michaels involvement in the episode as he is not credited and eagle eared fans might spot that the singing parts don't sound exactly like the Michael Jackson they know and love. Michael Jackson did in fact voice the character of Leon Kompowsy but was credited as John Jay Smith due to contractual issues with his record label. He also specified that a sound-alike should perform his singing parts (Kipp Lenon). The song 'Happy Birthday Lisa' was written by Michael Jackson especially for the episode, but performed by Kipp Lenon. Michael did record a version of the song himself and it surfaced on the internet some years later.
6. Michael Jackson was a ghost writer on “Do The Bartman”
Michael Jackson was a fan of The Simpsons and offered to write Bart a number 1 single. Due to the same contractual issues that prevented him from being credited on 'Start Raving Dad' he was not credited on the song “Do The Bartman” that he co-wrote with Bryan Loren. The song was released in 1991, and it wasn't until 1998 that Matt Groening revealed that it was indeed Michael Jackson who co-wrote the song.
7.Michael Jackson could have been the Goblin King in Labyrinth.
The 1986 fantasy film 'Labyrinth' has become a cult classic, and it's leading lady, a 14 year old Jennifer Connelly went on to enjoy an A list Hollywood career. David Bowie, cast as the Goblin King Jareth was already a huge star at the time, and wrote the soundtrack to the film. The legacy could have been a completely different one if the makers of the film had gone with their other consideration for playing Jareth The Goblin King-Michael Jackson. George Lucas produced Labyrinth and worked with Michael that very same year on the fantasy short film “Captain EO” which was created specially to be screened in Disney Theme parks.
8. Michael Jackson liked KFC.
Although he was believed to be a vegetarian for much of his life, various sources revealed that he did in fact eat meat, and one of his favourite things to eat was KFC. Most recently, Magic Johnson spoke of it during Michaels 2009 memorial.
Quincy Jones revealed in an interview that the 1987 hit single “Bad” written by Michael Jackson was originally conceived as a duet with prince. Quincy arranged a meeting between the two superstars and upon hearing the song, Prince conceded it would be a hit regardless, and that his involvement wasn't necessary. In an interview with comedian Chris Rock, Prince joked that he had an issue with singing the lyrics “your butt is mine” to Michael.
10. Michael Jackson is the Guinness World Record holder for “The Largest Poster”.
In December 2010, a poster of the artwork for the posthumous album 'Michael' was erected near Heathrow Airport. Made of PVC and weighing in at a massive 1 tonne, it measured 29,070 ft squared by 110 ft squared making it the largest poster in the world and securing Michael Jackson his 32nd Guinness World Record.