Tag Archive: Michael Jackson


Welcome to the eighth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

What motivates you to vote for a political candidate?

Is his/her marriage really important to you?

Is marriage a prerequisite to serve at the highest level?

NO, if you ask me.

John Edwards and his familyHowever, it appears that politicians have to be married to even start a campaign. While divorces are on an all time high, it would seem we have forced politicians in a life that they don’t personally desire and that makes everything a lie.

Most times in political commentaries we focus on family life; to say political marriages makes the candidate more normal and thus has the capacity to vote on legislations that matters to you as a citizen. Married politicians are projected to be more caring and family oriented in campaigns. Although that may be true; when it isn’t going well our ‘expectations’ force them to live a lie to remain where we have forced them to be. Being married doesn’t say you have higher moral standing than those who aren’t.  What is says is that you have decided to walk life’s journey with this special person.

What say you?

Business

ModelIn a bid to stimulate the economy, the Jamaica Observer organized Fashion Night Out where fashion/retail outlets slashed their prices by large percentages up to 70% to generate high sales. Weeks ago, I had a haircut in the capital city, Kingston and at around 6pm after leaving the barber salon it was like a ghost town outside. I wondered to myself why the city was so quiet. I blamed the current economy and the recession. I should have considered that we have cultured our habits this way and this was the result. More recently, I had an acquaintance who moved to Jamaica from New York (the city that never sleeps) and after a week here he returned because the city was dead by sunset. It struck me then that we have a major problem. I appreciate the efforts what Fashion Night Out promoted and anticipate more FNOs. Over in Barbados, our neighbouring Caribbean island they have introduced legislation to have retailers open 24-7. Talk about competition and new ways of doing things. Retailers claimed the night a success which can only be good at the end of the ‘night.’

Entertainment

This is it – Review

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Michael Jackson

I watched the Michael Jackson documentary and thought it was stunning. The producers of the 50 minute documentary were able to capture the king of pop in his rehearsals before he passed away. I was impressed with the footage because it told the story we heard of Michael Jackson. Now we were able to relive the intimate moments of him without the screaming fans and blaring lights. We saw the perfectionist in action, directing the minute details of his to be last tour. There is a message within the documentary for every aspiring entertainer which must not be missed. Giving your best each time is of paramount importance and ensuring your delivery – the passion will be remembered by those who see it. That is what made MJ, what he was and so many artistes today. I sat and only imagined This is it with all the lights, screaming fans and Michael Jackson delivering his final set of shows stamping This is it into history; he never got the time.

Quote

2072865350015798315S500x500Q85“Readiness is all.” – William Shakespear

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Celebrities and Drugs

The life of a celebrity is by far no means easy. Apart from being talented, entertaining, attempting to balance their own lives and being role models to those who look up to them there are other sides to the life that makes people wonder why they crave that lifestyle. There are hardly any celebs today that appear to be leading balanced lives and if they are they become unpopular and are not recognized as such. Mind you, there are some exceptions because they have not built a career based on being frivolous.

Recently, celebs have been making rounds in the news in the worst ways possible – end results drugged deaths. Michael Jackson, DJ AM, Keith Ledger just to name a few, all celebrities who have ended up dead because they abused drugs in their lives. We must be cognisant of the fact that they are humans and they do make mistakes. That out the way, why drugs? Celebrities today are forced by the media, paparazzi and fans to constantly make the headlines. The more ridiculous or entertaining their actions the more they are talked about and the longer they live in the media. When you make your career making entertainment headlines you better top the last act to remain alive – like releasing a nude picture or leak a sex video.

The monies these celebs are demanding and controlling are vast. Not only are they commanding this wealth, they set up their own world around them – hospital, school, mall (homes) etc. In their world shut off from normalcy they command doctors, have access to illegal/banned substances and perform crazy acts to remain on a high.

MJ

MJ

If being a celebrity will cause you to end your life using drugs then it is not worth the journey. For many of the fans who laud these people finding out their favourite person in the world was taking propofol to sleep is not comforting. I think M Jackson was an idiot, his doctor must be charged but he also should carry some of the blame. He was acted stupidly to say the least. Taking drugs not only places one on a high for the moment it does what these celebs fail to understand it kills. For many of the young today who find prescription drugs hip they are treading a path to destruction – which can be led privately.

We all have a right to privacy and we all must respect one’s right. The popular saying ‘what is in the dark must come to light’ certainly is true when it comes unto celebrities and the private lives they lead. I am tired of hearing of celebrity deaths caused by drugs. They are adults and they should therefore act as such – mature with responsible behaviours. Fans should really think twice before worshiping some of these celebrities. The standards we hold them to, quite frankly, they don’t make the cut. Maybe looking in the mirror is the best solution.

Brand Management

I enjoy the finer things in life, can I say fabulous. I enjoy these things because I appreciate the concept of marketing. Marketing is integral to every business and any entity, person, thing that can incorporate basic marketing concepts will be successful. I studied marketing in university and this is an area that I am passionate about but it’s an area that is highly underestimated by so many.

Every product you see out there needs management. Most managers who manage them are called Brand Managers. The role of these managers is simply to apply the concepts of marketing, to increase the product’s perceived value to the customer, brand equity and most of all to remain profitable.

This form of management is not only relevant to products it transcends in all areas. More than ever entertainers are using marketing to build an image for their market and to improve on the appeal they have. I am passionate about this area simply because when the concepts are applied it works miraculously.

Beyonce

Beyonce

I appreciate artistes like Beyonce because her management clearly understands that she is a brand and everything her management does is in line with this. I am not a great fan of the music but you cannot ignore the powerhouse that she is. From the clothing, to the performance, to her persona and image on stage everything must be right. Entertainers who grasp this will always be successful knowing that they produce creative, great music. The music industry is a challenging one with so many players in it. The challenge to top performances and create music that people will listen to is understandably remarkable. If you look at Beyonce’s performance each time, everything is done live, with amazing lighting, back-up dancers, singers, clothing. Everything ties in to create the person we know today as Beyonce.

D'Angel

D'Angel

I live in a developing island, Jamaica and this is the birth place of reggae and dancehall music. Some artistes here understand marketing. Sean Paul and Beenie Man are just two that understands what it is to have that full package. If artistes here understand the power of having an image of quality, and ensuring the music has quality and is current, they can be huge stars. They may not be a MJ, U2 but they will have a following that will always plummet them to huge successes in the music industry. You may say funding and having the money is important. This is critical but this is not a limitation because entertainers today more than ever are making it. Therefore, put in the investment and you will see the returns. The world will be at your fingertips.

D’angel image forms part of this blog because I think she is the only current dancehall artistes who shows she is understanding the concept of marketing. She is featured on many shows locally and internally. Kudos to her. Keep up the good work. She will tell you she has not reached where she wants to go but clearly if she keeps focus on her image and production of quality music the sky is the limit.

michael-jackson-neverlandI thought I would never blog about Michael Jackson again but his life is so mind boggling to me that I find this man intriguing. I am flabbergasted writing this blog eve now because the power that his life lived I don’t know if any artist will ever experience what he did.

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 along with his family visited Jamaica in 1975. In this article I have research and dug up all the photos I can source with his images to bring alive the experience of his trip here in Jamaica. Jamaica is known is internationally for reggae, and when Jamaicans or anyone for that matter thinks of reggae Bob Marley comes to mind. Many young Jamaicans like me grew up listening to parents singing Bob Marley’s songs but never had an opportunity to see him live or even experience him alive; but Michael Jackson did. I guess many Jamaicans are jealous of that.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

I cannot imagine the musical legend of Bob Marley meeting Michael Jackson the star of the Jackson 5. In recent interviews politicians who were around when Jackson came to the island stated that they saw the love in Jackson’s eyes for animals then. Below you will see Michael petting a bird which is such an amazing image to look at especially when you reflect seeing Jackson with his monkey ‘Bubbles’.

The Jackson 5 went on to perform here at our National Stadium entertaining the huge crowd that came out to see them. The entire family was clearly here in Jamaica as photos will reveal Katherine and La Toya. The image to me that is most striking is the photo with him on the tree with all the men. Living in Jamaica, a third world country every where you go may not be the first world image you see. However little Michael is able to sit with those who he has never come in contact with and is able to look right at home; he fits right in.

I am touched by Michael Jackson, his music moves me all the time. His memories will forever live on in our hearts.

Reggae Sumfest 2009

This is an annual festival that takes place here in Montego Bay, Jamaica which features only the top Jamaican artistes with a blend of international recording artistes. In the past Dentiny’s Child, Keyshia Cole, T-Pain just to name a few has graced the stage. This year the festival will feature Neyo, Toni Braxton among many local artistes.

However, this year could see a refreshing act. The Jackson family will be here for the festival and they are working with the family to try and get the brothers to perform. There is no word yet on whether the sisters will be here but clearly after hearing the huge buzz and hearing the location; this may change their mind. The media has confirmed Katherine the mother will be here vacationing with the children of MJ.

We cannot wait to have them here! Its 1975 all over again but MJ will be here in the form of his kids.

Bob Marley and Katherine

Bob Marley and Katherine

Michael chillin'

Michael chillin'

Bob Marley with Michael Jackson (try and spot him)

Bob Marley with Michael Jackson (try and spot him)

MJ with a bird in Jamaica

MJ with a bird in Jamaica

He was a Star

He was a Star

On that Tree

On that Tree
Jackson 5

Jackson 5

MJ - look in the centre.

MJ - look in the centre.

MJ and family member

MJ and family member


I have written many Michael Jackson articles, I hope my readers will not get weary. I keep writing about him or referring to him because he did a lot for many people and he touched many lives as well. Most persons only know of the various accusations against him. I wanted to write an article about people giving back and what better man to refer to than the Entertainer of all time, the king of pop – who gave back to so many charities worldwide – Michael Jackson.

The Guinness Book of World Records in the 2000 edition listed Michael Jackson as having the record for supporting the most charities – all of 39. These donations have come in the form of monetary donations through sponsorships or by participating in their silent auctions. Below is a list of all the charities that benefited from Michael Jackson.

  • AIDS Project L.A.
  • American Cancer Society
  • Angel Food
  • Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
  • BMI Foundation, Inc.
  • Brotherhood Crusade
  • Brothman Burn Center
  • Camp Ronald McDonald
  • Childhelp U.S.A.
  • Children’s Institute International
  • Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
  • Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Dakar Foundation
  • Dreamstreet Kids
  • Dreams Come True Charity
  • Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • Love Match
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Minority Aids Project
  • Motown Museum
  • NAACP
  • National Rainbow Coalition
  • Rotary Club of Australia
  • Society of Singers
  • Starlight Foundation
  • The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
  • The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
  • Transafrica
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
  • Volunteers of America
  • Watts Summer Festival
  • Wish Granting
  • YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw
  • This is a man who could have squandered his earnings on women or the many other things that were around him but he found the time and heart to donate part of his earnings to the various charities worldwide. Even on his will part of his earnings will go to the work to keep doing good in our communities. How many people do we know that when they die stipulate in their wills that charities should benefit from their lives? This is what some people refer to as having a ‘good heart’.

    This giving is even emphasized by companies; they dub it ‘Social Responsibility’. The many companies who keep giving back must be congratulated for it. It is so ironic that companies who give back to communities always want a huge media following to report on the little good they do. It is all a stunt. Companies who give to charities in silence are the real heroes of our time. I hate to see when businesses fail to sponsor events, failing to see the benefits they can gain long term.

    Michael Jackson’s song Man in the Mirror is an amazing song that underlines this point of starting with the man in the mirror, me. The song invites listeners to analyze themselves asking ‘Who am I to be blind?’ to today’s problems.

    We are all one people. Oops! Some people see the world differently, some people see races and classes but we are all one. Some persons cannot give cash, or items but if we cannot afford that we can share love to those who need it.

    Companies who make billions and millions of profits annually all celebrate and watch as people beg a little bit more, while the poverty level continues to rise. We have a responsibility to the world and the environment. Michael Jackson who some may only know him to abuse drugs in his death will be remembered as man who gave willingly to the less fortunate. He looked on the man in the mirror and made that change. So as we move on with our lives and join companies and even start our own, remember the lyrics of one of my favourite MJ Hits – Man in the Mirror.

    Below is a video I found on http://www.youtube.com with the co-writer of the song Man in the Mirror Siedah Garrett giving a tribute to Michael Jackson. Take a listen….The song is touching as she reflects on the life of Michael Jackson.

    I had to include this other video, the original, nothing hits home better.

    michael_jackson_died(2)The world said farewell to the world’s greatest entertainer today. As I watched the ceremony I was glued to the television set as the events unfolded from the private ceremony to the ceremony designed for the public.

    The world saw the birth of a legend and bid the final goodbyes to the man dubbed the king of pop Michael Jackson.

    APTOPIX Michael Jackson

    The ceremony was filled with emotive speeches and wonderful singing. The song rendered by Mariah Carey clearly was emotional as it was reported she cried backstage before going on stage. Clearly, this was not her best performance but she did justice to the song. Other celebrities gave tributes with the song ‘Heal the world’ closing the ceremony.

    Personally, I found the ceremony enriching as I was born in the era where Jackson’s music was popular. I grew up hearing his music but only in his death recognized that this was the man who was touching our souls with this music all along. I loved his music as the attention to detail and what made his music Michael Jackson made me love it more. I love chorale music and most of the songs I love from Michael has a chorale touch to it which makes it all the better.

    Below is a video clip of the song Jennifer Hudson did at the ceremony. I loved this song so much and my girl Jennifer Hudson did justice to it. She looks beautiful in her pregnancy glowing in white.

    Michael Jackson had lots of controversies in his lifetime and even in death he will leave this earth with questions surrounding his burial.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    Will we see another performer like him? Who can tell, maybe not in this lifetime but others will rise to the challenge giving great performances and wonderful music to listen to.