Did michael jackson teach usher how to dance

Did Usher dance with Michael Jackson? (Celebrity Interview)

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He was invited to sing and dance alongside Michael during his “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration” concert at Madison Square Garden in 2001 and also sang “Gone Too Soon,” through tears, at Jackson’s funeral in 2009.

Also, Who did Usher have a baby with?

The singer, 42, is expecting his fourth child — his second with girlfriend Jenn Goicoechea — PEOPLE can confirm. Usher is also dad to sons Naviyd Ely, 12, and Usher V, 13, from a previous relationship. He and Goicoechea welcomed their first baby together, daughter Sovereign Bo, in September.

in the same way, How did Michael Jackson influence Usher?

He also shared how Michael has inspired him. “One thing that really inspired me,” Usher reflected, “was to be reminded that I am moving in the right direction, is, ‘What you do is not easy, to perform and sing, to dance and actually sing, it’s a talent, it’s a gift, don’t take it for granted.

likewise,  Who teaches Chris Brown to dance? It was actually through watching Michael Jackson on television that he learned how to dance in the first place. He has said he has ants in his pants and dances all the time. 2.

Who was Usher inspired by?

Usher had been influenced by the idea of the “showman,” the notion that an artist had to be as dynamic as possible in as many realms as possible. Ben Vereen and Bob Fosse, as well as Sammy Davis, Jr. were talented dancers, singers, and personalities.

Did Usher recently have a baby?

Usher welcomes newborn daughter, Sovereign Bo Raymond

He also performed a medley of his greatest hits at the show. … The couple did not announce the sex of their baby-to-be or when Goicoechea is due. Usher and Goicoechea already share daughter Sovereign Bo, whom they welcomed in September 2020.

What did Usher say about Michael Jackson?

I wouldn’t be who I am today without Michael Jackson,” Usher said. “They say if you ever want to be great, you’ve got to study who the greats studied, so, of course, I studied his moves — studied them down to a T. But there was much more to him than that.

Were Usher and Michael Jackson friends?

The death of Michael Jackson, an inspirational figure to Usher both in his early career and later when the two became friends, affected him. But talking about it to CNN, he looks back only on the positives from their relationship and the good advice he was given.

Is Usher and Justin Bieber related?

Usher was very instrumental in Bieber’s early career and a large part of Bieber’s success is due to him. Scooter Braun, who was then an alumnus of So So Def, found Bieber’s YouTube videos. Bieber, 13 at the time, went to Atlanta with Braun to record some demos and soon met Usher.

Why is Chris Brown such a good dancer?

Chris Brown is not only a great R&B singer, he is also an iconic dancer. He uses a unique style of dance that combines different hip hop styles, such as krumping and breakdancing. … You can then improve your moves so you are confident and impressive when you dance like Chris Brown.

Who is Chris Brown’s choreographer?

Chris Brown’s choreographer, Flii Stylz, and his crew Kento Mori, Hef Leka Tuita, Timor Steffens and Gui DaSilva performed the choreography for Chris Brown’s…

Who is the girl that danced on Chris Brown?

In summer of 2019, Serayah released her first solo album, “4 Pages,” which includes the up-tempo dance single “Love It.” She also recently appeared as a dancer and performer in the music video for Chris Brown’s “Undecided.”

Is Usher single?

LOS ANGELES: Singer Usher and his girlfriend, record executive Jenn Goicoechea, are expecting their first child together. According to Us Weekly, the couple is “thrilled and very excited” about this new addition in their lives. Usher has two sons, Usher and Navid, with his ex-wife Tameka Raymond.

Who usher dating now?

LOS ANGELES: Singer Usher and his girlfriend, record executive Jenn Goicoechea, are expecting their first child together. According to Us Weekly, the couple is “thrilled and very excited” about this new addition in their lives.

Is usher a trained dancer?

Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Usher Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, businessman, and dancer. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, until moving to Atlanta, Georgia.

Are Justin and Selena still friends?

On March 1, 2018, Selena Gomez posted her very last Instagram of Justin Bieber, making their renewed relationship as Instagram official as it got before it faded out later in the month. Their break became a breakup as winter became spring, and in June, Bieber started his whirlwind romance with Hailey Baldwin.

How did usher get so rich?

Usher has been able to earn money through music, acting, dancing, and business. With a net worth of $180 million, it makes him one of the wealthiest professional artists in the United States. Apart from his successful music career, Usher has made appearances in Broadway shows.

Is Justin Bieber a billionaire?

Justin Bieber has received a lot of hate throughout his career; however, he is now one of the richest singers in the world. That’s incredibly impressive, no matter what anybody may say. As of 2021, Justin Bieber’s net worth is estimated to be $285 million.

Is Jason Derulo a better dancer than Chris Brown?

Jason Derulo is a Great Dancer

Some people claim that they like Chris Brown because he is a great dancer and there aren’t a lot of singers out there who are also great dancers. Well, look no further — Jason Derulo not only makes severe bops, but he also is an awesome dancer!

Who is the best dancer?
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov is a Russian American dancer and choreographer.
  • Madhuri Dixit is a beautiful Bollywood actress and a well trained classical dancer. …
  • Rudolf Nureyev is one of the best dancers in the world. …
  • Joaquín Cortés is a well-trained flamenco and ballet dancer.

Does Chris Brown choreograph his own dances?

For some, it’s a hobby and for many, it’s a great workout. For Joshua Smith, dance is life. It’s not only his outlet but as Chris Brown’s choreographer, it’s his career.

Who is the best dancing in the world?
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov is a Russian American dancer and choreographer. …
  • Madhuri Dixit is a beautiful Bollywood actress and a well trained classical dancer. …
  • Rudolf Nureyev is one of the best dancers in the world. …
  • Joaquín Cortés is a well-trained flamenco and ballet dancer.

Who is Anze Skrube?

Anze Skrube is an industry leading Creative Director and Choreographer based in Los Angeles, California. He is the founder/CEO of Maestro Creatives – a creative and production house that provides customized services for live events, music videos, television performances and artist development.

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Authors: 3 – Contributors: 19 – Latest update:5 days ago.

Usher on Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and the struggle to stay a superstar | Usher

From his fur trapper’s hat to his black Margiela hi-top trainers, Usher looks like the consummate modern pop star. Sitting in a posh hotel meeting room in New York’s Upper East Side, two days after playing a triumphant, sold-out show at Madison Square Garden, he should be basking in his success, though one thing suggests that he is nervous: when I tell him how much I enjoyed it, he immediately inquires: “What was your favourite part?”

In fact, though the 36-year-old’s demeanour is calm and genial, with a molten southern accent that’s sheer aural nectar (he has a surprising habit of pointing for emphasis), Usher is navigating a predicament that comes to most megastars, however impregnable they might appear. In May, his comeback single, Good Kisser, only got to No 65 in the States (No 10 in the UK), and the followup, She Came To Give It To You, despite borrowing the melody of the SOS Band’s Just Be Good to Me and a rap by Nicki Minaj, did even worse, reaching No 89 (No 16 in the UK). The day after we meet, Billboard announces that Usher’s next song, Clueless, will be made available exclusively via boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios sold at Walmart; you’ll find a download code at the bottom of the packet. It doesn’t exactly scream confidence.

Usher had his first career wobble back in October 2000. Pop Ya Collar, which was intended to be the first single from his new album, underperformed in America, partly because of a leak on Napster, an early indication of the mayhem that the web would wreak on the music business. So Usher overhauled his entire album, finally putting out the 8m-selling 8701 the following July. Plenty has changed since then, but once again Usher is delaying his next album release. Not that anyone’s saying the poor performance of those first two singles is the reason: “I thought there would be nothing greater than to come off the high of being on tour than to go back into the studio,” he says.

Originally scheduled for around now, the album, titled UR, will now come out in the first half of next year. That means Usher is currently touring the States with no product to shift, few new songs to play, and an elaborate production with pyrotechnics, hydraulic platforms, nine musicians, eight dancers and three backing singers.

Yet, as he says, it provides a good opportunity to explore the breadth of his music since his commercial breakthrough in August 1997, when the sparse, insidious funk of You Make Me Wanna … got to No 1 in the UK and No 2 in the US. “I wanted to encapsulate what the past 20 years have been for me,” he says. “I wanted the audience to reminisce.”

As someone who was working on pop magazines in 1997, the gig did indeed inspire a little reminiscing. Back then, record companies used to invite the media to showcases, basically a lavish midweek booze-up incorporating a short performance from whichever new act they were plugging. Usher’s took place at the Café de Paris in London’s Piccadilly Circus; the 19-year-old dropped his trousers at the end, to the raucous appreciation of the well-oiled radio pluggers, TV bookers and hacks.

“That was crazy,” says Usher. “It’s a bit of a different show now. I’m more mature, I don’t drop my trousers any more. Unfortuntely they do fall down from time to time – I’m losing weight. A wardrobe malfunction.” That’s hardly the only change; 17 years on, record sales have collapsed, with Usher’s career telling the story almost in microcosm. His 2004 album Confessions was the biggest seller of the past decade in the US, selling 10m copies there and 20m in all; but the 2008 followup Here I Stand sold a quarter of that number.

Today, record company budgets have shrunk, the free music-business booze has mostly run dry, and few of Usher’s R&B peers remain in the exalted positions they occupied in the late 90s; just Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake (who took five years off to make films) and Pharrell Williams, who’s had his own ups and downs.

Yet despite it all, Usher is still here, the huge spread of hits he performs at the Garden demonstrating not only his own formidable talents – his singing is exquisite, his dancing impeccable – but how much he’s been willing to adapt his sound. Back when Usher was starting out, producers including Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and the long-forgotten Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs were redefining R&B; then in 2004 Yeah, the single that kicked off Confessions, propelled crunk and Lil Jon to the top of the charts worldwide. Since then, alongside the smouldering slow jams that have always delighted his hardcore fans (Burn reduces the New York audience to blancmange), Usher has experimented with europop, house and lairy EDM on hits such as OMG (a US and UK No 1), and R&B of a more futuristic bent, as on the sublime 2012 hit Climax, produced by Diplo.

Ask Usher who he’s working with on his next album, and you get a list of collaborators including Skrillex, Ed Sheeran, uber-pop producer Max Martin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Disclosure (their last session done via Skype), though Usher says that his guiding lights are still 90s R&B geniuses Babyface and LA Reid. The challenge, of course, is avoiding the sonic equivalent of mutton dressed as lamb, or a record that adapts sounds from so many places that Usher’s personality – often rather nebulous on record – evaporates completely. Watching his live show, you wonder where his heart really lies; in the soul revue-style tranche of songs with a brass section, or with the pounding EDM of Numb, produced by Swedish House Mafia.

Usher skirts the question, but indicates that EDM has become all-pervasive, particularly in America: “They need that tempo on the radio and they need that drive.” Its introduction into soul music was, he says, “not a bad thing; some really great records and new artists were introduced, but for the old artists, who were keeping to the authenticity of R&B, they kind of fell by the wayside.”

He seems much more excited by British artists such as Adele and Sam Smith who, he says, offer “a different experience of soul music. In a way, European artists have been able to preserve all the greatest parts of R&B without giving you too much of the raw essence of it so that it feels too sexual or too specific. Right? And then it’s well produced. Sonically it sounds on the same level as something that would be played by the Dave Matthews Band.” That is, if nothing else, a surprising benchmark for aural splendour.

His interest in younger artists is undoubtedly genuine. He loves FKA twigs (“It’s a little more artsy, but it’s real”), Hawaiian strummer Mike Love and Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna, and has mentored several fledgling stars, notably Justin Bieber. “Any artist has ebbs and flows in their life and career,” he says of Bieber’s well-publicised recent vicissitudes. “I think the story is just begun, you’ve not seen the best of his talent. In life, you have to go through something to get to something. From that the inspiration comes having something of substance to talk about; otherwise you’re just considered to be fluff.”

Rightly, Usher sees himself in the grand tradition of soul men: “It’s part of what makes me great, being able to follow Michael Jackson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, great artists who were also incredible songwriters. ” Brown anointed Usher as his successor – “He always told me: ‘If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready’” – while Jackson told him: “If you want to continue to be great, you’ve got to work hard.”

Usher, with his breakfast cereal of choice. Photograph: PR

And work hard is exactly what Usher does. Like many people today, he’s grafting twice as much for the same, or fewer rewards. He accepts that these days, live shows rather than records are where he makes his money, but spares a thought for the producers who have machine-tooled and polished his records with such dedication – and at such expense.

“Music is now being used as a free good that lures people in; it’s sad, because the producers are like: ‘Damn, this is my living.’ They get paid an advance on the record they’re going to do, which is not much to some, especially if you’re balancing a lifestyle and you’re buying jewellery and clothes and all that stuff.” OK, it’s not quite the breadline, but his point stands: “Music is not free to make. Studios are going under because people now work at laptops. Quantity over quality is what begins to happen; the idea of what quality is has changed.”

The physical punishment of singing and dancing for two hours every night must take its toll on a 36-year-old father of two; if Usher were a footballer, he’d be approaching retirement by now, while no male rock star would be expected to remain in peak physical condition.

“I’m a go-hard type,” he says obstinately. “It’s in my DNA. I physically prepare my body as if I’m a trained athlete. After the shows, I sit in an ice tub and do a hot dip, cold dip, and sometimes I sit in a hyperbaric chamber to rejuvenate my energy. I have a workout regimen that I do, just to keep my body going. If you get lazy when you’re onstage, it shows.” Having dispensed with the services of his personal vegan chef, Usher no longer adheres to that diet, and he likes a drink: “Milk stout is a problem for me, man. But if I do decide to have a pint, as you would say, I have to work a little bit harder; I have to get out and run.

Usher also took up boxing to play Sugar Ray Leonard in Hands of Stone, a film released next year, which also stars Robert De Niro. It’s a reminder of Usher’s remarkable portfolio career, which at the very least should provide a bulwark against those falling record sales. “As I recognise my talents I work on them and I look for outlets,” he says. “As an actor I’ve tried a lot of different things – I’ve tried TV, I’ve tried reality TV doing The Voice, I’ve done Broadway [starring in the musical Chicago], I’ve acted in films, I entertain, I dance, I sing, I write, I produce, I mentor – whatever the order for the day is, I take it up. And I’m a dad. I’m just being the best that I can.”

Avuncular and engaged, as Usher relates his advice, you can see why his insights are prized by younger musicians, and he’s pleased that artists such as Drake have acknowledged him as an influence: “It’s the greatest form of flattering when someone recognises what you’ve done and put it in your music,” he says. He’s adamant that in another 20 years’ time he will still be an entertainer, or motivating younger artists behind the scenes. The era in which he sold 65m records may have passed, but Usher still has lots to give – and it doesn’t need free Cheerios to make it more enticing.

The UR Experience tour comes to the UK next year

Michael Jackson choreographer Stacey Walker

– Stacey, the idea of ​​doing a Michael Jackson show without Michael Jackson is pretty risky. Are you afraid of criticism?

- I'm not afraid. Because I know what my intentions are. And I am responsible for everything that happens in the show, I have to make sure that everything is correct, authentic, with respect to Michael. Deciding to show this to the general public was not easy. But the family, agents - all pushed me to a positive decision. And I am very grateful to all these people for their help. Work has become a kind of therapy for me. Helped me through a very sad time.

– In addition to dancing, what will be in the concert? Music - a phonogram?

- No, there will be a combination of everything: recordings and live performance. We have a live band and vocalists.

- Have you seen the movie "That's it"?

- Of course. I starred in it (laughs). I watched it twice - in September, before the premiere. The painting was still in the editing process. I was surprised how they even managed to make a film from rehearsal recordings. Because we recorded the rehearsals not to show them to someone later, but for our work. For "debriefing", self-criticism. In general, it was amazing and pleasant to look at it. The second time I liked it no less, but it was, of course, sad, because no one will ever see this performance again. We didn’t have time to play ...

– Were you in Moscow with Jackson in 1996?

– No, I have never been to Russia at all. I worked with Michael on the History world tour. So I really want to get to your country!

- What are your memories of the History tour?

– It was great! I danced on stage with Michael, I felt his energy. He's electric! And I was also struck by the huge number of screaming fans everywhere. I'm sure Jackson has the best fans in the world (laughs).

- I saw them too - the crowd outside the National Hotel. Impressive.

- That's why I'm so excited about our King of Pop: Michael's fans know all his work, they understand it perfectly. They cannot be deceived. But they will appreciate authentic moments from Michael's past.

- Stacey, you've choreographed so many pop artists that I don't even know which one to ask you about. Just tell me, what is the craziest tour of your career?

– Everyone is crazy! (Laughs) Seriously, I've been fortunate to work with many very different artists, celebrities. And I have learned something from everyone. But working with Michael Jackson is something very special. I have learned a lot. Gained great experience. Even the choreography.

- How would you describe Michael Jackson as a dancer?

- Incredible, the only one, like no one else - well, these are all obvious epithets, you understand. He created his own style - this was his main genius. He, roughly speaking, connected the unconnected. He was very fond of watching old films - with Fred Astaire, Jim Kelly, Bob Foss - they inspired him a lot. And he somehow managed to combine that old choreography with modern trends, breakdance, for example. How he came up with this idea - I don’t know, but this is how a unique style developed. Which, by the way, has influenced many of today's artists, such as Usher and Justin Timberlake, for example.

- What was so special about Michael Jackson's body and muscles, why he could jump, dance at a breakneck pace, "slide" across the floor?

– God, I don't know. Mystery! One thing I can say: he was not afraid of work. One movement could rehearse for weeks. He did not go on stage until everything was perfect in the show: himself, dancers, musicians, vocalists ... Everything, in general.

– Perfectionist?

Exactly. He demanded the same from the team, he hired only the best. It was, frankly, very comfortable to work in such conditions. He always knew exactly what he wanted, what was needed for this and how best to do it. I liked that I was given clear tasks. In general, he is a professional, what can I say.

- A lot has been written about the personality of Michael Jackson, and polar ones at that: egoist, altruist, unsociable, withdrawn, infantile, too smart, and the like. What is real?

- Well, I can't talk about the personality of Michael Jackson. I can only talk about what I myself felt while working with him. He seemed very kind to me. He greatly appreciated the talent in people. Dancers and vocalists felt great with him, he inspired them. By the way, we had a huge team, but after each rehearsal, Michael thanked everyone personally.

- Maybe a strange question for you, but still: why is dance so much attention in modern pop music? Back in the 1970s, it was impossible to imagine an artist surrounded on stage by a dancing crowd. It started in the 1980s...

- The question is not strange. You are absolutely right: it all started in the 1980s, and again, the “fault” is Michael Jackson. By and large, we American dancers owe our careers to him. Not literally, of course: he couldn't hire us all. But it was from him that the fashion for large dance groups went.

– So the dance trend started by Jackson created new jobs?

- Yes. Jackson put dancing on a commercial footing. Before him, where could a dancer work? In musical theatre. On Broadway, if you're lucky. There was nowhere else in particular. And in the 1980s, clips, concerts, movies, TV programs, tours around the world appeared ... I don’t know what I would be doing now if it weren’t for Michael Jackson. My co-workers think the same.

– What influenced you as a dancer?

– I was into all styles. Over time, this turned into a super task: to be able to dance well for everyone. I especially love contemporary dance, jazz, hip-hop, and couple dances: tango, swing…

– Do you know Russian ballet and folk dance?

- I love Russian ballet! This is a unique beauty and elegance. We have one dancer in the team named Misha. His mother is a ballerina, she came to practice ballet with us twice a week. Fantastic woman: Michael even asked her to give lessons to his children, but it seems that they did not have time to study ... Unfortunately, I hardly know folklore. But here we have one in the troupe - I'm sure he knows how to dance something Russian or Ukrainian, because he makes such breathtaking jumps, with legs in different directions (laughs).

Michael Jackson is the best dancer of our lives - Unsportsmanlike Behavior - Blogs

Performed at the Super Bowl and came to Fulham.

In the spring of 1999, the third English division football match between Fulham and Wigan was visited by Michael Jackson. For a figure of this status, the event was not at all obvious, and when, after the game, the owner of Fulham, Mohammed Al-Fayed, invited Jackson to the locker room, the players decided that this was an imitator. Just in case, they asked him to show the moonwalk.

It is unknown if the most successful artist in the history of mankind slipped into the dressing room of a modest English stadium to confirm that he was not an impostor.

But how cool would it be if it was.


Michael Jackson spent 45 of his 50 years in show business. He recorded the highest-grossing album in the history of music (and in total, according to various estimates, sold from 200 to 750 million copies of his work), won hundreds of awards, turned MTV and Super Bowl concerts into a global phenomenon, and also anticipated more or less all pop music. music at the turn of the century and was once seriously crowned an African king. In his peak years, he collected Wembley 15 times, and when in 2009-m announced a return tour, a million tickets were swept away in two hours. At various times, Jackson has been a cartoon character, a doll and an advertising face for Pepsi, and now for almost a decade he remains the highest paid deceased celebrity. In the entire world culture of the 20th century, units are comparable to Jackson in terms of scale, recognition and influence: Chaplin, Disney, Elvis, Lennon.

In his autobiography (correctly titled "Moonwalk"), Jackson told how he worked with Diana Ross, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, and on national television joked personally for Hollywood Golden Age legend Katharine Hepburn, who motherly reprimanded him for eternal dark glasses. But in a surprising way, in the most touching moment of his (rather on-duty) memoirs, there is no namedropping, and it’s not even about music, but about dancing:

“I wanted to do a really long spin and stop on my toes for a moment,” Jackson wrote of his iconic 1983 Motown record label performance. - But I could not freeze as much as I wanted, and lowered my heel. [Later backstage] I was still upset about it, but then a little boy came up to me - about ten years old and in a tuxedo. He looked up at me with eyes full of admiration and said: “Where did you learn to dance like that?”.


“I've always been good at dancing,” said Jackson, the only musician in America's Dance Hall of Fame. The choreography is already present in Jackson's earliest performances as part of his family group the Jackson 5, the sensation of the era of bubblegum pop.

Jackson joined the Jackson 5 when he was only five, and spent his entire childhood in rehearsals and performances: first in talent shows, and then with his own concerts. He recalled being alone backstage as a child “watching all the headliners to learn as much as possible from them. I looked at their feet, at what they were doing with their hands, how they were holding the microphone, trying to understand why. I did not miss a single step, not a single movement, turn, turn, twist, emotion, half-movement. That was my education and my recreation."

Having already become a star, Jackson in many ways remained a child, full of unique androgynous innocence. In particular, he retained this awe of great artists, as if refusing to see that he himself became one of them: “I grew up on real showmen: James Brown, Sammy Davis, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly. A great artist does not leave anyone indifferent - this is an indicator of greatness. It's like Michelangelo - whoever you are, it can't help but touch."

At the same time, the professional drive and ambitions of Jackson himself have always been very powerful. The song Dancing Machine came out at 1974, when 17-year-old Michael had already grown to the role of the frontman of the Jackson 5, and he was "determined to find a dance element that would enhance the song and make the performance more interesting for both the band and the audience." Thus, by a conscious effort of the creative will of a teenager, nothing less than a robot dance was born. The movement, seen on the street, catapulted the Dancing Machine to the top of the charts, and showed Jackson the power of television. “In just a few days, it seemed like every American kid was dancing the robot. I have never seen anything like it,” he recalled at 1988th. 30 years later, the world has survived macarena, gangnam and (sort of) floss, and the robot is still the highlight of school discos, street sessions and Sex and the City.


Four years after the robot, Jackson played the Scarecrow in Visa, Sidney Lumet's fantasy based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Jackson, who always dreamed of cinema, worked on the film with its most complex choreography:

“Since childhood, it was enough for me to see a dance movement once - and I immediately knew how to perform it. Someone had to explain step by step, beat the rhythm, show where to put your foot and move your hip, and where - with your neck. But if I saw it, then I could repeat it.

But, as it should be in the film industry, this became a problem. One day during filming, Diana Ross, who played Dorothy, took Jackson (with whom she had a great relationship) aside and explained that he puts her in a bad light because he learns dance chords too quickly. Until the end of filming, 20-year-old Jackson generously pretended to be a worse dancer than he was, and the film eventually received four Oscar nominations:


-star" and became at first just a star, and then the main star of the planet: for the first time, four tracks from one disc hit the Billboard top 10 at once, more than 20 million copies of the album were sold worldwide, Jackson won his first (out of 13) Grammy and received the highest percentage of sales in the industry from its label Epic - 37 (almost $ 2 from each record sold in the US).

He himself, however, felt that Off The Wall deserved more, so he began recording the next album with a thirst for revenge. Thus was born Thriller (1982), the most successful release of all time, making Michael Jackson a legend. Of the nine songs on the album, seven were released as singles, all of them in the national top 10, and a year after the release, Thriller was still selling over a million copies a week.

In 1984, Time declared the 25-year-old Jackson "the sole savior of the music industry: a decade-defining songwriter, a dancer with the craziest legs, and a singer who transcends tastes, styles, and colors. "

By then, Jackson had already performed at the 25th anniversary of his former label Motown with the "thriller" track Billie Jean (which was almost named Not My Lover to avoid being associated with tennis player Billie Jean King). And if the Thriller album turned from a hit into a blockbuster thanks to the Beat It single, then it was Billie Jean and the performance at Motown 25 that turned Michael Jackson from a classy dancer into a visionary. scene. Back at 1972, while touring with the Jackson 5, he wanted to run backstage to get the hat he wore for the cover of the album before performing the hit Got to Be There. “They didn’t let me do it then, because I was small, and the adults thought the idea was stupid. But soon Donny Osmond was performing all over the country wearing a very similar hat, and people were ecstatic. Even then I trusted my instincts. I believed that I knew how to do it."

More than a decade later, preparing for Motown 25, the first thing Jackson ordered was a hat: "a cool spy-type fedora, like a secret agent. " Until the last evening before the performance, however, a hat and a black jacket he accidentally found were his only plan.

“Then I went down to the kitchen and turned on Billie Jean. Loudly. I was there alone, the night before the show, just standing there and waiting for the song to tell me what to do. I let the dance create itself, let it talk to me. When I heard the first bar, I put on that spy hat, struck a pose, and followed Billie Jean's rhythm, letting him dictate the moves. And this moment, when I faded into the background, skipping ahead of the dance, was amazing, ”said Jackson at the end of the decade.

On that day in Pasadena, Michael Jackson's moonwalk saw the light of day for the first time - perhaps the single artist's signature move in the history of popular culture. “I didn’t invent the moonwalk,” Jackson never hid, “but I perfected it. It was a dance piece from the ghetto and was taught to me by three black guys. They showed me the basics, and then I practiced alone for a long time and combined it with other steps. All I knew for sure was that in losing to Billie Jean, I would go forward and backward at the same time, as if I were on the moon.

There is another version of the origin of the moonwalk. Choreographer Jeffrey Daniel, who worked with Jackson on later videos for Bad and Smooth Criminal, said that she appeared after Jackson and "little Janet" saw him dancing at Disneyland in the early 80s.

“They watched me dance from backstage. And then he called me and said he wanted to meet and work on the movements.” According to Daniel, Jackson didn't even manage to do the moonwalk right away ("It's like the Matrix - everyone fails the first attempt"), but "then seeing him do it on stage and launch it into the stratosphere was something."


It is important to understand that in the early 80s Jackson's creative authority was already so high that he invited choreographers to cooperate so that they would broadcast his ideas, and not supply them with their own. “MJ gave them instructions on what type of movement they would like, so the choreographer would already put it into concrete form. Then he came in, looked at the material and adapted it for himself, ”says Steve Knopper, editor of Rolling Stone and author of The Genius of Michael Jackson.

The cult videos Thriller (the world's premier music video: a 14-minute, half-million-dollar horror movie that hit theaters and inspired the annual pre-Halloween dance festival) and Beat It (a gangland story that references West Side Story compositionally) were directed by Michael Jackson Peters. He said that the secret of Jackson's bombastic choreography is his brilliant knowledge of both the history of dance and its present. This allowed Michael to combine elements of break dancing with borrowings from Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

By the way, with Astaire, the maestro of musical comedy of the first half of the 20th century and the first person in the IMDb database, Jackson has an episode that allowed him to truly feel like a dancer for the first time.

“Fred Astaire called me the day after Motown 25. He said, verbatim, “You move like the devil, boy. You put them all in a puddle yesterday.” I wrote it down yesterday and rewatched it this morning. You're just the devil." [When Gene Kelly said the same thing to me] I felt like I was introduced into an informal fraternity of dancers, and it was a huge honor, because these are the people I admire most in the world.


In addition to rope feet, spins, toe-stands and monster dancing, until the late 80's Jackson's big dance inventions were the groin grabs and the anti-grav tilt from the Smooth Criminal video. About the first in 1993, Oprah Winfrey asked him bluntly in a long interview: “Why are you always grabbing your groin? Do you have some problem?" Jackson, with a childish laugh, explained that he just listens to the music and does what it says: “It happens unconsciously. Dancers, they just interpret music and accompaniment. If there are basses, you yourself become a bass. If the strings - you become a string and the emotion that it expresses. So if I'm dancing and I'm like, bam, grab myself, I'm doing it because the music says so. I don’t think: so, but is it necessary to do this, otherwise the place is not the most successful. This happens by itself. Sometimes I look back at the records and think: did I really do this?

The week before the interview with Oprah, Jackson did a half-time show at the Super Bowl: now the dream of any artist in the world, but then the halftime of the most important sporting event in the United States, to which viewers left and did not always return. It so happened that at that moment not only Michael was needed by the Super Bowl, but also vice versa: Jackson remained a megastar and collected stadiums with the Dangerous tour, but the very music that he played: light, danceable, naive - already sounded a little outdated and receded under pressure grunge, alternative and hip-hop.

And Jackson delivered. In his autobiography, he wrote that he always gave the best work under pressure, and this was just such a case. For 12 minutes at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, he showed a mashup of hits, and then, with the participation of the stands and 3,500 children who filled the field, he sang the humanitarian anthem Heal the World. As a result, TV ratings for the match rose during the break and remained high until the end, the Super Bowl break became one of the top shows on Earth, and Jackson regained the title of King of Pop and, in a sense, even anticipated YouTube.

Smooth Criminal is not so romantic. The 45-degree slope from there looks as luxurious as it is implausible - even for Michael Jackson.

The clip used threads and wires for support, and for live performances, Jackson patented a special shoe with ankle support, which was attached to the stage surface by a mechanism in the heel and allowed the dancer to shift the center of gravity from the feet, but remain on them. Sometimes, however, it failed - as, for example, in Moscow at 1996th (Jackson's second and last visit to Russia with a campaign for antiques and a meeting with Yuri Luzhkov).

The 90s were not the most glorious period in Jackson's life. He married, got divorced, defended himself against accusations of pedophilia (he was not convicted, but the residue remained), waved a child from the balcony and turned suspiciously white (an autopsy confirmed that he really had vitiligo, not racism). So over the years, he went from an eccentric celebrity living at home with a boa constrictor, a llama and a chimpanzee, into a grotesque celebrity who walks in a mask, avoids any contact with the media, and is experiencing financial difficulties. Plus, he built a ranch that evoked the sinister Xanadu castle from Citizen Kane, even though it was for kids.

Jackson's star power from all the PR failures, however, did not suffer much, and when he went on a farewell tour in 2009, due to frenzied demand, the number of gigs on the London O2 was increased five times: from ten to an unimaginable 50. From this megalomaniac project, only one documentary about the rehearsals of This Is It came out, but its effect is even stronger because nothing came true.

The film begins with the selection of dancers for a concert troupe, and almost every member is crying when trying to explain what it means to him to dance next to Michael Jackson.

“Life is hard, isn't it? says a boy in a leather jacket over his naked body in a trembling voice. “And I kept looking for something that would give me meaning and hope and faith in something. I found Michael."


It is generally accepted that great work is behind great success - this is prestigious, pedagogical and almost always true. But behind the biggest is always something else (luck? cunning? magic?).

Perhaps that is why when you meet a person who has found his business, then you remember him for a long time.

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