*In the early 70’s I had the privilege of taking the Jackson Five to Africa, where we spent a week in Senegal. Michael Jackson was 12 or 13. I paid a lot of attention to him and what I saw was not just a prodigy but a one of a kind human being. I don’t say that lightly. He was blessed with an overabundance of charisma. Michael always stood out from everyone else…even then…even when just doing ordinary things. There was something special and compelling about him, and, somehow, I think he knew it.
He was like other children in the sense that he liked to play and have fun. But even as a child, he had a serious side. I noticed that Michael took everything in. He took in everything his tutors gave him, but he also observed and absorbed everything that would be useful to him like a sponge. His talent couldn’t be contained. It just exploded out of him.
While in Senegal, I witnessed this man-child embrace a different culture and become a part of it, if only temporarily. Together we ate delicious Senegalese food, family style around a big table. The brothers did a concert that was opened to the public with thousands in attendance. They also did a command performance for the President and his inner circle. It was an excellent trip, and I’m glad I was able to introduce Michael and his brothers to the Motherland.
Michael gave every bit of himself to us as he ultimately became the world’s greatest entertainer. He said the stage was the only place he felt truly comfortable. The stage was his medicine, his home, his second nature…his destiny.
Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks and Ascent Publishing salutes artists like Michael Jackson and other past, present and future superstars of the music industry. Westbrooks has compiled his expertise and that of 30 other music professionals in The Anatomy of the Music Industry, available now to help indie artists of today understand what it really takes to make it in the music business.
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