Channel24 pays tribute to the King of Pop

2009-06-26 14:07
Michael Jackson, “King of Pop”, “Wacko Jacko”, “king of scandal and controversy”, hell, he was even the dude who held his baby out of a window, but despite all these names, he will always be regarded as one of the best entertainers of all time. He made up a peculiar dance, called the moonwalk (yes, you laugh now but you know you practiced it many times only to show it off at parties), and he made skinny ankle hugging jeans and white socks, fashionable.

But it’s his songs (and dance moves) that will forever be remembered. His songs played at your first dance, when you had your first kiss and even played a part in making your most embarrassing moment to this day.

We here at Channel24 hate feeling left out and decided to share our memorable Michael Jackson songs with you, when and where they played and what it means to us.

Jean Barker - "Billy Jean" (1982, Thriller)

I know this is silly, but I really like "Billy Jean" because my name’s in it, even though I have no idea what it's about. And even worse, I really love "Bad" - which is actually an incredibly disturbing song. I remember the way Michael Jackson turned, from a sexy pop icon into the tabloid fodder freak he became. You wanted to shout "Stop! What are you doing, Michael?" He was one of the first real celebrities in the 21st Century sense of the word. He was always on the back page of the Sunday Times, at a time when the gossip there was still fresh because you hadn't read it all on the web the week before. 

Miles Keylock -“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (1979, Off The Wall)

Everyone remembers their first dance. I had such a crush on this cute-as-a-button blonde called Jane. But she didn’t even know I existed. Until the funk in Michael’s hit disco rocker gave me the chutzpah to drag both of our asses onto the dancefloor and shake it at the Valentine’s Day primary school disco. Did I get lucky? Hell, no. But I learned something that’s stuck with me: when all else fails just follow the funk!

Niel Bekker – “Blood on the dance floor” (1991, Dangerous and Blood on the Dance Floor: History in the Mix.)

I was in standard seven, and was completely averse to embarrassing myself on any dance floor UNTIL I heard this little number. Needless to say, I didn’t leave much blood on the dance floor, but I did leave my tattered dignity in a nice big heap.

Sam Brighton – “Black or White”(1991, Dangerous)

The video used to play over and over on Pick a Tune, my favourite Friday night show way back then, and I used to dream of blasting my parents’ eardrums with massive speakers, just like Macaulay Culkin! That never happened though…
Shaheema Barodien

My earliest memories of Michael Jackson have almost nothing to do with his music. By the time I’d become conscious of who he was, his fame had far eclipsed his talent and he was depicted as this god-like figure whenever I caught glimpses of him in the press. The faceless voices on TV would tell me in awed tones of his record-breaking album sales, of the gajillions of dollars he raked in with every release, every tour. To me he wasn’t a singer – he was a star whose ever-changing face, cult of screaming fans and ubiquity throughout my childhood jaded me before I ever got the chance to truly appreciate his music. That came later. Perhaps too late, but hearing songs like Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Thriller and Smooth Criminal today still sends chills up my spine.

Soraya Abdulatief – “Thriller” (1982, Thriller)

My song of choice would be Thriller the title song off the album of the same name. I was in high school then. Everyone was group dancing to this song and it was crazy fun. It really was like the "Thriller" dance scene in the movie 13 going on 30. When I saw that scene recently on SABC I wanted to get up and dance along…

Ulpha Edries – “Rock with you” (1979, Off the Wall) and “The Way you Make me Feel” (1987, Bad)

Two songs come to mind. “Rock with you” because it was the first Michael Jackson song that I really actually took note of and I also heard it for the first time while rehearsing for my first fashion show. Also the lyrics are hot, I mean imagine a dude tells you “Girl, Close Your Eyes/Let That Rhythm Get Into You/Don't Try To Fight It/There Ain't Nothin' That You Can Do/Relax Your Mind/Lay Back And Groove With Mine/You Got To Feel That Heat/And We Can Ride The Boogie/Share That Beat Of Love”… that’s hot…  and “The Way you Make me Feel” makes me think of the final dance scene in Centre Stage.

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