My weekly music column for newspaper The Next 48hOURS, as it appeared on 29 August 2013.
August 29th this year, marks what would have been the King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s 55th birthday.
Born Michael Joseph Jackson in 1958, MJ had such a profound affect on the music industry that in line with his birthday, I thought I would write a little tribute to him, looking at some of the great achievements of his lifetime, as well as how he still lives on from beyond the grave.
The world first fell in love with MJ, when at the age of five he joined his brothers to form The Jackson Five in 1964. He then went solo in 1971 and released four studio albums under Motown Records. It wasn’t until Jackson teamed up with Quincy Jones in 1979 under the label Epic, that the whole planet went completely and utterly crazy over him.
In ’79, MJ released his album, Off the Wall, which sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide and included the award-winning hit singles ‘Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough’ and ‘Rock with You’.
1982 saw Jackson release Thriller, an album that would be the greatest of his career, and the music industry’s best-selling album of all time, selling an estimated 65 million copies around the globe. The album was also one of the first in the world to use music videos, and these made MJ even more of a god because of his incredible choreography and moves like the moonwalk.
After Thriller, MJ released three more successful albums: Bad (’87), Dangerous (’91), and HIStory (’95).
In his lifetime, Jackson racked-up many achievements, including selling over 400 million solo albums; being inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame twice; winning 15 Grammy Awards and more American Music Awards than any other artist (26); and is the most awarded pop music artist in history.
Four years after his demise, MJ is still making music. Last week we got a brief look at his next track, featuring who many call the 21st Century’s answer to MJ, Justin Bieber. The song is called ‘Slave 2 the Rhythm’. – I was lucky enough to listen to the leaked track before the Jackson family had it removed off the net, but I can confidently say it will be a smash hit!
In the words of EDM group, Cash Cash, in their recent tribute song to him, “Even though the King is gone, the beat goes on and on!”
While we’re on the topic of beats, you can check-out Kiwi DJ-producer drum and bass duo, The Upbeats, on Thursday, 29 August at Fiction on Long Street at 9pm.
On Friday, 30 August, also at 9pm, The Plastics, Holiday Murray and Beatenberg take to the stage at The Manila Bar on Longmarket Street.
Lastly, the Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville plays host to the Quarry Blues Bash on Saturday, 31 August from 3-11pm. The event features four blues bands, as well as a variety of guest artists and speakers.
- Jonathan Duguid (@theDramaKing on Twitter)