Posted in living with atg with tags , , , , on February 19, 2010 by ayenithegreat

When Funmi Iyanda’s new show TWF debuted on February 7, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment.

On the surface, you’d think I had no reason to: I had never met the lady, not to talk of being friends with her.

But I had known her for years – first through Tempo, where she became one of my favourite columnists; and later through her Breakfast TV show New Dawn. Fun mi is my kind of woman: Bold and brave; fierce and fearless; intelligent and independent-minded; restless and roaring; deep and devout. You’ll see it in her eyes; in her movement; her dressing. You’ll see it in the way she asks her questions, the way she agrees and disagrees; the way she fights and loves. This, is one passionate wo-man.

And it’s no make-believe, as you’ll find when you meet her in person.

The first time I ever saw her up close, was on Oxford Street in London. I had just stepped out of MacDonald’s when I spot a young lady I suspect is Ms Iyanda. I walk up close to confirm she’s the one, then spend the next 30 seconds debating if to walk up and introduce myself or not. I’ve been trying to interview this woman for years. Now here she is, in a strange land, alone.

The pedestrian light turns green and she crosses the road. I follow, keeping a small distance. Then she heads straight into Primark, and within seconds, is lost in the shopping crowd. I stand there, for what looked like an hour, scolding myself and imagining what the different editors I’ve worked with would have said, if I told them I saw Fun mi Iyanda alone in London, and let her ‘escape’.

‘‘Ol’ Boy you no serious now. You no know say na cover be that?’’ Azuh Arinze, my editor at Encomium would have said, while insisting I search the whole of Primark and ‘fish’ her out. If I fail to find her or get the interview, Azuh’ll suggest I ‘‘capture’’ what I saw, in ‘‘beautiful prose’’. He liked ‘‘beautiful prose’’.

‘‘Mr Man, o je je k’ori e pe (you better get your act together). You better don’t come back here if you don’t do that interview. K’o ya maa gbe London’’, Encomium publisher Kunle Bakare would have told me over the phone. According to Bakare’s law of celebrity journalism, when you see a target, ask for an interview there and then; not a later appointment – it might never happen! Standing in front of Primark, I remembered how Bakare would never forgive me for failing to interview Kokoro and KWAM 1; and how he scolded me for fixing an interview appointment with Lagbaja, when I could have done the interview right there at his album launch in 2006.

I remembered Gabriella Osamor, my editor at THISDAY, and my heart nearly missed a beat. She wouldn’t even give you a choice. With you faraway in London, she’d tell the team at the Monday meeting: ‘‘Ayeni said he saw Funmi Iyanda in London. Can we use her for cover this Sunday’’? If everyone) especially Shaka Momodu and Nseobong Okon-Ekong) agrees, then you’re in trouble – God help you if the interview doesn’t happen.

As I left Primark and headed for the underground, I warned myself not to ‘mistakenly’ tell anyone I had just let Funmi Iyanda ‘escape’.

I soon forgot the incident; I soon forgot about her. Until I saw the promo materials for the new show Talk With Funmi. First I saw pictures of her trip across Nigeria, and then I saw videos : the eye-opening conversation with the Hunter in Ondo; taking soccer lessons from Fashola in Lagos; riding through the Okada phenomenon with Charly Boy; getting initiated to Galala and Suo, in Ajegunle; amongst many others.

This is the right time to finally interview this woman, I say to myself, as I crawl through Youtube and Google, searching for the TWF trailer and other info. Finally, the real talk show queen is going all the way to put a beautiful, proudly Nigerian show together. Finally, we’ll have the one woman who understands the A to Z of presenting, interviewing and guest-examination take over and save us from pretenders masquerading as the real McCoy.

Finally, I resorted to blackmail to get to talk with Funmi Iyanda.

‘‘Ayeni, Talk With Funmi is debuting on February 7. Please I want to send you a story to help us use’’, the caller said.

So I answer: ‘‘No problem boss. But first, get me that interview I’ve been asking for. It’s almost four years now, remember?’’.

The interview happened on Tuesday.

‘‘So what do you think of Oprah?’’

‘‘I’ve never wanted to be Oprah. Chief Olusola, who should know, gave me one of the best advice of my life when I was starting out. As a 25 year-old, I went to interview him, and he said that what are you r plans? I said I wanted to be the Barbara Walters of Nigeria. And he looked me in the eyes and said you, with your longish self, and your longish name, will never be the Barbara Walters of Africa. He said you’re going to be the Funmi Iyanda of Africa…’’

I was a fan before the interview; a fan for years. When I left after over two hours, I was no longer a fan. I had become an AC.

A split unit, actually – not a window unit.


Posted in living with atg with tags , , on December 20, 2009 by ayenithegreat

Wow! It’s been more than a minute!

Can’t believe i’ve been away from here for sooooooooooooooo long!

The past few months have been work work work work and work.

Question i’ve been asking since is : who invented work sef? Can’t we all just rock and roll and bump and grind and play and play and play and play and play and play…..?


And now the whole year has flown by again. 12 full months!

I’d like to say i’d take sometime off, elope with the Mrs, embark on some naughty adventures, and enter the new year all renewed and rejuvenated. But i know it’s all a wish – a silly wish. Cos i’m gon be working my ass off – writing and editing and proof-reading and strategising and plotting for the coming year.

Yeah, i know you pity me. I pity me too!

But It’s not all hopeless o.

I manage to rock while i work; especially since i’ve discovered my ‘drink of the year’ – Red Muscadel. Talking of Muscadel, since Gbemi introduced me to the sweet, wicked liquid, i’m proud to say i’ve converted everyone of my friends (sad i can’t name names!). Those that are yet to be converted, are those yet to kiss the bottle.  Yes, all it takes to fall in lust with the Muscadel is a kiss!

On a rather serious note, i’m winning new converts elsewhere too! It’s at – the online entertainment news centre founded by my new company BlackHouse Media. is the official website for NIGERIAN ENTERTAINMENT TODAY (NET) – the  journal that’s re-inventing entertainment reporting in Nigeria.

Since we launched on November 23, the comments have been awesome; and i’d like to invite you to please stop by; go through what’s on offer, and leave us your honest comments.

I’m happy i’m keeping my promise – if you check back, i told you earlier this year i was converting this site to a more personal blog; cos we were working on something major. So now, i’ll leave you to check out every day for your daily dose of entertainment news, reviews, gossip, analyses, features, events and pictures. While i embark on a mission to engage you with bits and pieces of happenings in my work and life.

Merry Christmas folks! And a very rewarding 2010 in advance!



Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on July 31, 2009 by ayenithegreat

wunmi Obe  (3)Showbiz couple Tunde and Wunmi Obe will host very close friends and family members to a private dinner and dance party today in Lagos, in celebration of Wunmi’s 40th birthday anniversary.

 Wunmi, a writer, singer, actor and entrepreneur clocks 40 today.

 She was born at the Lagos University Teaching hospital, LUTH on July 31, 1969.

 ‘‘It felt like it was so far away. I remember back then in the eighties, I used to imagine what it’ll look like in year 2009 when I clock 40. But now, it’s all happening so soon’’, the celebrant told Ayenithegreat on phone early this week.

 Born Omowunmi Valerie Adedoyin Aboderin to the late Chief Olu Aboderin and his wife Florence Jadesola, she attended Grange school, Queens College and studied Philosophy at the University of Lagos.

 It was while an undergraduate at UNILAG, that she met Tunde Obe, a co-aspiring singer and co-member at the popular Turning Point band. They got married on June 26, 1998, and are now blessed with three kids: Modesayo (8), Riccardo (7) and Andre (5).

 From club rounds to private gigs and regular slots at Jazville and the old Coliseum, Wunmi proved she’s got talent, and earned industry respect, at a time when many of her contemporaries were still struggling with acceptance. And she took it to an entirely new level, when she debuted on the Charly Boy show as Miss Snowbottom. She acted the part not just well; but excellently. Just as she did the short hilarious drama sketches with Tunde.

 She won more fans doing the Charly Boy show, and reached large audiences across the nation. But she has spent the better part of a brilliant career as a recording artiste (with T.W.O.) and performing artiste (with the band DeJavu).

 ‘‘Apart from a few holiday jobs back then, I think the only job I’ve ever kept outside entertainment, was as a copy writer with LTC advertising. Entertainment is it for me. And it’s the same for my husband Tunde’’, she says, insisting that she has not ‘‘really’’ abandoned TV. ‘‘I’ve done a couple of stuff on TV in recent times; even a soap. But maybe it’s about time I give it the same attention I give music?’’

wunmi Obe  (2)


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on July 10, 2009 by ayenithegreat

weep not, child

weep not, child

For years, her father hid her from all of us. But when she’ll eventually make her ‘debut’, it was before billions of people, spread across different continents.

 Even her father didn’t have that kind of audience when he started out over four decades ago.

 Paris Katherine Michael Jackson: We were hearing her voice for the first time.

 ‘‘I just want to say ever since I was born daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine’’. And that was all, before the 11 year-old broke down in tears.


Yes! She had a right to weep. Michael was her father! And she was not the only one that shed tears at MJ’s funeral at the Staples centre last Tuesday. Jermaine- who has been in tears since Jackson passed – wept too. Same for Usher, Janet (who hid behind dark shades), and millions of fans across the world who watched the event live on TV.

So, how come some section of the media are speculating about the possibility of Paris’ breaking down – one of the most heart breaking moments of the service-being pre-planned?

 And, how come, video footage of Michael Jackson’s ‘ghost’ lurking around Neverland, during a Larry King live broadcast from the ranch, is becoming increasingly widespread on YouTube?

Because it’s difficult for us to associate anything ‘normal’ with MJ. It looks unbelievable that he’d just die like that and be gone forever; that his daughter will break down and cry while trying to give a speech at his memorial service. Normal stuff. Michael Jackson doesn’t do ‘normal’!

Some sceptics swore his corpse was not in the coffin. How about that?

 Others imagined he would just open the coffin, get up, smile, do a moon walk, and tell us all it was all just a joke- Paris and her siblings would have really found that funny.


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on July 10, 2009 by ayenithegreat


Kellz digging it in 9ja

Kellz digging it in 9ja

There’s no denying that the 42 year old R&B star has a huge following across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

Since his 1993 solo debut, the singer-songwriter has been a hit with Nigerian fans. And many, up to this day, continue to cherish his greatest hits; unanimously agreeing that there’s no contesting the fact that he’s the ‘R’ in RnB.


But following repeated allegations of child pornography and minors’ abuse, especially the 2002 leaked video tape allegedly showing Kelly and a 14 year-old engaging in sex, many followers renounced their fan-ship, apparently disgusted by the purported act, and convinced by the weight of the evidence against him. Radio stations in Lagos yanked him off their playlist. Writers condemned him, and many publicly expressed their disappointment.

But for six years, Kelly insisted he was not the man in the video. And not for a minute did he allow the tribulations to diminish his art. He was eventually declared not guilty on June 13, 2008.

But it was until a year later, before one could say for sure, if Nigerian fans still thought him guilty or not.

When he set foot on Lagos for the first time last week, one thing was clear: Mr. Kelly was keen about leaving a good impression. Before, during and after his gigs in Lagos and Abuja, he went ‘out of his way’’ to bond with fans, reporters and crew members. He asked to be snapped with the most unlikely people, exchanging banters with pleasantly surprised fans, and generally carrying on like a ‘’regular guy’’.

Many who came across the singer were easily reminded of Wyclef Jean, the Haitian who will go down in history as the most friendly, most unassuming and most supportive foreign act to ever visit Nigeria.

‘‘He’s so so simple, I can’t believe it!’’ a fan who attended the show told e-Punch.

‘‘He walked up to me and said, when are we taking our picture?’’, Lily, and industry insider who worked on the concerts, told friends excitedly.

He autographed her call card.

Another guest, who saw the star singer use a fan’s handkerchief to wipe his face, could not stop marvelling at ‘his himility’.

For someone who rarely tours or travel far, it’s interesting how well the singer has mastered public relations; how he manages to sweep fans off their feet even when there’s no mic in his hands – especially fans who did not have the best of opinions of him, prior to his visiting.

How did he do it, that fans who – just a few years ago were burning his CDs and calling him names, were suddenly scrambling to cough out alarming figures to see him rock the stage? How did he do it that, after just a few nights in the country, they’re now the ones spreading his gospel like they’re paid to do so?

Kelly... swept Nigerian fans of thier feet!

Kelly... swept Nigerian fans of thier feet!

He gave a good account of himself in Lagos and Abuja, drawing from a rich repertoire of fresh and old materials. But visiting acts are usually known to give a good account of themselves. What they fail to do most times, is leave a proper impression of their personae; what they fail to do is pull ‘PR stunts’, that can cause a whole nation to pronounce a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

Didn’t Kelly just do that?


Posted in living with atg on July 3, 2009 by ayenithegreat


MJ pic

The slideshow of the life and times of pop star Michael Jackson is still playing, even as friends, fans and family members continue to pay glowing tributes to the man who provided the redefinition of modern pop music.


It is expected that the late singer’s body will go on public view in a matter of days ahead of a funeral reportedly slated for next week.


Jackson, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on Thursday June 25, was the most iconic pop star since Elvis Presley, and his rare talent and career achievements – in spite of myriad personal troubles and an eccentric public-private life- have stamped his name in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.


Just like James Brown, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and Fela Kuti, Jackson had remarkable personal failings, amazing contradictions and a huge potential to self-destruct.  With a blessing of the gift, and the burden of a curse, it was inevitable that he’ll live a life dominated by magic on one hand; and absolute madness on the other.


So, he broke chart records, sold millions of albums, got ladies weak in the knees, recruited fans all over planet earth, dined with presidents, married Elvis Presley’s daughter, and won awards like they were going out of fashion. But, for every fine move, there were-unfortunately- a bundle of mishaps, waiting to rear their ugly heads.


The mishaps of many ramifications, and a media desperate to feed the public with endless jackson-mania –expectedly- connived to steal attention from Jackson’s art; making sure that when we pictured Michael, the man we saw was not a successful singer-songwriter-performer. What we saw, instead, was a weirdo, a freak, a paedophile, a liar. What we saw, was the image of an addict, a spendaholic, and a man-trying-to-be-a-boy.


If the media conspired against Michael, it could be said that he himself was part of the conspiracy. He fed lies to the press, pulled poorly-thought-out PR stunts that eventually backfired, and lived a very very bizzarre private life; one whose content is staple food for the tabloids. He got a nose job. Talked of buying the bones of ‘Elephant Man’. Cooked up the story of the oxygen chamber, saying he was going to ‘‘live forever’’, like ‘Peter pan’. He even got sperm donors and surrogate mothers when he wanted to have kids…


With increasing damaging coverage and post-surgery repercussions, Michael became a sad story and a sorry sight. And many wished he would just die, before his demystification reached full cycle.


And death- that’s what it took to remind us all; including the media, of how much we still adored the boy-man. It took Michael dying for us to celebrate him again. He may have failed to make the much anticipated comeback, he may have been on the bottom calibration on the barometer of media opinion, and he may have stopped being the ‘king of pop’ long before even he realised it.


But, when Michael’s heart stopped pumping blood last Thursday, no one could have predicted the outpour of love and emotion that followed – even from the media!


Did we really love Michael that much?




Michael’s death, last week, has brought up a plethora of interesting debates. Among them: who was greater in life and in death? Michael Joseph Jackson? Or the equally legendary Elvis Aaron Presley who died at 42 in 1977?

 I’d like to know what you think!


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on June 26, 2009 by ayenithegreat
peace and love... from peter pan

peace and love... from peter pan


the story is still unfolding: ongoing autopsy; cops interrogating his resident doctor; allegations that his death was caused by an overdose of prescription drugs; uncertainty over who takes custody of his three kids; panic in the camp of AEG- the organisers of the 50-date ‘this is it’ mj concerts….


the world continues to watch; with absolute attention, as global media unravel the biggest story of this era…

and, as a mark of respect for mr. jackson, we’ve taken time off our work on project ‘bhm’, to bring you some interesting stuff on the life, journey, times and death of the greatest entertainer that ever lived.

it’s personally touching for me; because i so looked forward to attending the O2 concerts. and it’s sad that, in spite of how much i prepared, i’ll never see the ‘king’ perform live. maybe it’ll happen in another world?

i plead guilty: i’d always joked to close friends about how important it is to me; for mj to die while i’m still on the beat. i’ve been gathering materials on him for years and i’ve so studied him, i could write a mini bio from the top of my head.

but – when i first heard the news, the feeling that swept through me told me -even i wasn’t so prepared for his passing after all.

and it has taken the past hours for me to realise the kind of grip he had on me; the kind of attraction he held for me; and the enormity of his influence on an entire generation.

i still haven’t been able to put myself together. i can even believe i can’t string my words properly. and in spite of how much i’ve followed his career; i still can’t sit down to put together a proper tribute; the kind of tribute i would adjudge a ‘masterpiece’

i dont know when i’ll be able to do a proper mj article. and i don’t know when i’ll stop hoping it’s all another stunt – or a joke-gone-too-far..

maybe he’s get up and smile and moon walk out of the morgue?


(in the mean time, pls enjoy what myself and my colleagues ‘nike fabule and ‘biodun ogundairo have tried to put together…)

you can also check out and


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on June 26, 2009 by ayenithegreat

 mj trib

map of the late pop star's home area in LA

map of the late pop star's home area in LA

.1. RIP Michael Jackson, moon walk into God’s arms by HIS Grace… You will be solely missed- Kemi Adetiba


2. I think MJ is the only idol I’ve ever had. I never got the chance to tell him how much he and his music mean to me- Keri Hilson


3. RIP to the greatest artiste/ Entertainer ever Michael Jackson- Banky W


4. Today is so sad- Alicia keys


5. I am shaken though, because one night he was, and now he isn’t. And I so loved him. R.I.P to the true King of Pop. Hope you find rest now- Tosyn Bucknor


6. I’m very  sad today …Michael Jackson is one of the greatest Artistes I looked up to I learnt a lot from watching his videos….his performances…I’m absolutely stunned may his gentle soul rest in peace….”GONE TOO SOON” this is also a lesson to us all life is too short no one is promised tomorrow. Let’s live life to the fullest and put God first- Weird MC


7. When I was 6 I saw this good looking afro wearing boy singing on TV with his brothers, I wanted to be like him. When I first danced in front of a crowd in Igbobi College, it was to ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’, I wore the white glove, I did the moonwalk, I performed Thriller as a Zombie at the National Theatre, I had tears in my eyes the only time I saw him live at Wembley Stadium… My Michael, Our Michael. – Ayo Shonaiya



8. I’m still in shock. It is so hard to believe that Michael Jackson is gone, I cried for hours as I watched the breaking news on CNN and Sky News at midnight. He’s been an icon to me despite all he’d been through, the best performer the world has ever seen. May His Soul rest in peace. – Nikki Laoye


9. I’m overwhelmed by the love shown to MJ in DEATH one, he was denied in the last 10-15years of his life. They called him a pedophile, cosmetic junkie etc. reminds me of Jesus Christ and here on earth Princess Diana- Djinee.


10. “I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on ‘The Wiz’ and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the ’80s. To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”- Quincy Jones


11. “This is hard, my brother, the legendary King of Pop, passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 2:26 PM… It is believed he passed away of cardiac arrest.

12. I can’t stop crying over the sad news; I have always admired Michael Jackson. The World has lost one of the greats, but his music will live forever- Madonna

13. I am so sad and confused with every emotion possible, I am heart broken for his children who I know were everything to him and for his family- Lisa Marie Presley

14. We lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only pop music, but of all music. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him on stage and all of the things I learned about music from him- Justin Timberlake.

15. The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artiste in the history of music. He was magic. For anyone who has ever seen, felt or heard his Art, we are honoured to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson- Beyonce Knowles

16. There were serious questions about Jackson’s personal life, myself and my wife joined all Californians in expressing our shock and sadness over his death.

17. Michael showed me you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!!! He made me believe in magic- Diddy

18. RIP MJ. I think we’ll mourn his loss as well as the loss of ourselves as children listening to Thriller on the record player…I truly hope he is memorialized as the ’83 moon walking, MTV owning, mesmerizing, unstoppable, invincible Michael Jackson- John Mayer:

19. MJ is moon walking in the sky. RIP- Lauren Bosworth

20. I am greatly saddened for the loss of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Especially for their children!- Demi Moore:

21. Rip MJ! Dream as if you’ll live 4ever, live as if you’ll die 2day. U only live once, but if u do it right that all you need! U did it Big MJ!!- Reverend Run:

22.: God rest his soul he will live on forever- Heidi Montag

23. Michael Jackson was my inspiration, love and blessings- Miley Cyrus:

24.: Rest In Peace Mike. People can say what they want but you were 100% original. WE will always love, miss & remember your GREATNESS- Ice T

25. If it were not for Michael Jackson I would not be where or who I am today. His Music and Legacy will live on forever. Prayers to the family R.I.P- Ludacris:

26. I have no words. I loved Michael Jackson.. RIP…I will be mourning my friend, brother, mentor and inspiration. He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been me without him- MC Hammer

27. I have never felt this before in my life. I could measure my childhood 2 now on an MJ growth chart. If this is true, RIP. The last legend- Pete Wentz

28. We are out of our joy. He is out of his pain. He was constantly challenged in the press and all he really wanted to be was the greatest entertainer and he was that.”- Jesse Jackson

29. Some lost Elvis Presley and we lost Michael Jackson- Wyclef Jean.

30. I am heartbroken. My prayers go out to the Jackson family, and my heart goes out to his children. Let us remember him for his unparalleled contribution to the world of music, his generosity of spirit in his quest to heal the world & the joy he brought to his millions of devoted fans throughout the world. I feel blessed to have performed with him several times and to call him my friend. No artist will ever take his place. His star will shine forever. – Mariah Carey

31. Michael Jackson, like James Brown and Prince, are nearly uncoverable. The tunes were about his innate talent and can’t really be replicated- John Mayer

32. Rest in peace to the greatest to ever do it. His legacy will live on forever- Nick Cannon

33. Either by learning his dance moves, making music like him, listening to his music, dancing to it, falling in love with it, he will be missed- Colbie Caillat:

34. To a man who made a huge impact on my life. Thank you for blessing the world with your talent and heart. May you rest in peace and be w/the angels MJ- Mya:

35. I have never felt this before in my life. I could measure my childhood 2 now on an mj growth chart. RIP. The last legend- Pete Wentz:

36. It can happy to anyone, that’s why I live everyday like it’s my last- Soulja boy

37. Music will never be the same- Kim Kardashian

38. Someone pinch me! RIP Michael. My thoughts and wishes go out to his family. We’ll always love you Michael- Kelly Clarkson

39. He broke barriers, he changed radio formats. With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world. His legacy is unparalleled.” – Usher

40. My fifth birthday party was M.J. themed, I insisted and my mother found a look alike to come sing happy birthday but  I knew he wasn’t MY Michael- Solange Knowles:

41. I plea to the public to refuse to consume media that does not respect the anonymity of Michaels children- Ashton Kutcher:

42. Sending my love and my prayer out to Michael and his family- Lindsay Lohan.

43.: His music is just as relevant now as it was the day they pressed record, I’m sure it will remain so for generations to come. R.I.P. Mr. Jackson- Samantha Ronson

44. “This was the most exciting collaboration of my life with a man who has inspired me like no other. … This was the world’s greatest performer and the world will miss him.”- Kenny Ortega (Director of all Michael Jackson Concerts for 25 years)

45. Michael Jackson’s accomplished so much that there’s not even words to explain what he’s done for urban and pop music. Every artist that I personally know has been influenced by him. The world has lost one of the greatest entertainers who shaped many generations and will continue to for years to come.” – Akon.

46. From the beginning of my career, he was my idol in show business. … I had his poster on my wall.” -Celine Dion

47. When we worked together on ‘Bad,’ I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion.” – Film director Martin Scorcese.

48. Michael Jackson might be dead, but he lives on- Kel

49. This is a sad day- Joel Madden

50. There are no words; I am sending all of my love and prayers out to the Jackson family- Cassie Ventura.

remember the jackson five?

remember the jackson five?


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on June 26, 2009 by ayenithegreat
a dancer's dancer...

a dancer's dancer...

1. Jackson’s Billie Jean was the first video by a black artist to air on MTV.

2. Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State Anthem South Carolina on My Mind, recorded by Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge.

3. Jackson’s waxwork features in five Madame Tussauds museums across the world. Only Elvis Presley and Madonna have more Tussaud figures – they have six each.

4. Jackson’s total lifetime earnings from royalties, solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million (#271 million).

5. Jackson has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for radio play, located at 1541 Vine Street, and one for recording at 6927 Hollywood Boulevard.

6. Jackson received a Presidential Humanitarian Award from Ronald Reagan in 1984 for his support of charities helping people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.

7. Michael Jackson is the seventh of nine children.

8. Jackson fought fellow 50 year old Madonna on MTV’s Celebrity Death match – he lost.

9. Three of Jackson’s albums – Bad, Dangerous and Thriller – are among the bestsellers of all time.

10. Thriller remains the biggest-selling album since records began.

11. Jackson has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

12. Jackson wears his trademark black armband to remind fans of the suffering of children around the world.

13. Jackson’s favorite superhero is Morph from the X-Men.

14.Jackson picked up his iconic moonwalk moves, which he debuted at the Motown 25th Anniversary show in 1983, from street dancers he spotted performing outside a hotel.

15. MC Hammer once challenged Jackson to a dance-off. He was told to Beat It. Jackson reportedly responded, “I’ve seen your videos and every single dance move you use, you got off of me.”

16. Little Richard wanted Jackson to play him in a biopic.

17. Bubbles the chimp and Ben the rat are two of Jackson’s most famous pets, but he also befriended a ram called Mr. Tibbs, a python called Crusher and Louie the llama.

18. An obsessed French Jackson super fan committed suicide in 1984 after his mother refused to allow him to undergo surgery to look like the star.

19. In 1984, a U.S. library accused Jackson of owing it over $1 million in overdue book fines. Officials said they would scrap the fines if he returned the books autographed.

20. Jackson dedicated his 1997 Blood on the Dance floor album to Sir Elton John.

21. Jackson is a vegetarian.

22. Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson 5 on May 6, 1997. He was inducted as a solo artist on March 19, 2001.

23. Jackson once dated Brooke Shields and Tatum O’Neal.

24. Jackson has several media nicknames. They include The Gloved One, Wacko Jacko, Jacko, The King of Pop, and MJ. Close friends call him Smelly!

25. Jackson’s music video for Thriller was voted the greatest music video of all time in a recent Channel 4 (UK) poll.

26. Jackson won an MTV Movie Award for Best Movie Song in 1994 for his song Will You Be There from the movie Free Willy.

27. The Scream music video Jackson made with sister Janet is the most expensive promo ever made, costing more than $7 million (#3.8 million).

28. Jackson’s double album HIStory is the biggest selling double album ever released in the U.S.

29. Jackson’s Blood on the Dance Floor is the biggest selling re-mix album of all time.

30. Jackson really is a King in West Africa – he was given a royal title by villagers in Gabon, Ivory Coast in 1992.

31. Jackson’s pre-concert ritual includes drinking Ricola candy dissolved in hot water. He claims the beverage helps to keep his throat and his singing voice clear.

32. Jackson owns the patent for a stage shoe device that allows performers to lean forward and appear to defy gravity.

33. Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana in 1958. The town is planning a tribute museum to the pop superstar.

34. Movie star Macauley Culkin is godfather to Jackson’s two eldest children, Paris and Prince Michael.

35. Culkin helped Jackson design the amusement park at his Neverland Valley Ranch home in California.

36. Lisa Marie Presley’s former brother-in-law and his wife were the witnesses at her Dominican Republic wedding to Jackson in 1994.

37. Jackson shares the record for the most Grammy Awards won in one year with Carlos Santana and Norah Jones – they each won eight.

38. Jackson co-wrote charity anthem We Are the World with Lionel Richie.

39. Jackson is godfather to Nicole Richie, Bee Gees star Barry Gibb’s son Michael, and Oliver star Mark Lester’s kids.

40. Jackson and Brother Tito were best men at Liza Minnelli and David Gest’s wedding.

41. Jackson’s performance during the 1993 Super Bowl half-time show drew the largest TV audience in American history.

42. The directors of Jackson’s videos have included Martin Scorsese, John Singleton and John Landis.

43. In 1999 Jackson paid $1.5 (#810,000) for the 1939 Best Picture Oscar, which was presented to producer David O. Selznick for Gone with the Wind.

44. Jackson appeared on a postage stamp in the Virgin Islands in the mid-1980s after locals voted him the superstar they’d most like to honour.

45. An extensive 1997 survey declared Jackson was the Most Famous Person in the World.

46. Jackson helped plan neighbor Gregory Peck’s funeral.

47. Jackson once described close friend Elizabeth Taylor as “a warm cuddly blanket that I love to snuggle up to and cover myself with.”

48. Jackson provided a voiceover on the Simpsons – but it remained a secret for 12 years. He voiced a character in a mental institution in the Stark Raving Dad episode, which aired in 1991, but, because of a contractual problem, Jackson had to be credited as John Jay Smith. His contribution to the classic cartoon series remained a rumor among fans until The Simpson’s creator Matt Groening confirmed it really was Jackson when the episode was released on DVD in 2003.

49. Jackson shares the same birthday as U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who turns 73 this year. Other celebrities who share Jackson’s birthday include moviemakers Sir Richard Attenborough and William Friedkin, and actresses Rebecca DeMornay and Carla Gugino.

50. He died on Thursday June 25, 2009 at exactly 2.26pm

m invincible

MICHAEL: The Magic, The Mystery, The Madness

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on June 26, 2009 by ayenithegreat






  1. The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.
  2. In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”
  3. ‘Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. The truth will win this marathon in court.’
  4. If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
  5.  I’m a black American, I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am. I have a lot of pride and dignity.”
  6. “I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of my skin, it’s something that I cannot help, OK?”
  7. “I have five, no six, cameras. When you’re performing – and I don’t care what kind of performance you are giving – if you don’t capture it properly the people will never see it. It’s the most selfish medium in the world.”
  8. “They did it to try and belittle me, to try and to take away my pride. But I went through the whole system with them. And at the end, I – I wanted the public to know that I was okay, even though I was hurting.”
  9. “I’m a visionary and a creative person. God blessed me with certain talents. I hate to use an analogy, but Walt Disney was creative but not good with business.”
  10. “It’s a beautiful thing [sharing a bed with a boy]. It’s very right, it’s very loving. Because what’s wrong with sharing a love?”
  11. “When I see children, I see the face of God. That’s why I love them so much. That’s what I see.”
  12. “They did it to try and belittle me, to try and to take away my pride. But I went through the whole system with them. And at the end, I – I wanted the public to know that I was okay, even though I was hurting.”
  13. “No, I’ve never taken hormones to maintain my high voice! No, I’ve never had my cheekbones altered in any way!”
  14. “You try be as original as you can be without thinking about statistics, just you go form the soul and from the heart.”
  15. Wacko Jacko… Where’d that come from? Some English tabloid. I have a heart, and I have feelings. I feel that when you do that to me; don’t do it. I’m not a wacko. It is not nice’
  16. “Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, “I’m an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight”, people would say, “Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He’s cracked up. You can’t believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth”.
  17. “I’m Peter Pan, I will never grow old”
  18. I wake up from dreams and go “Wow, put this down on paper.” The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face
  19. And my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance
  20. I was a veteran, before I was a teenager
  21. Why can’t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone. It’s very charming. It’s very sweet. It’s what the whole world should do.”
  22. “I’m just like anyone. I cut and I bleed and I embarrass easily
  23. Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone. This simple goodness shines straight from their hearts and only asks to be lived.”
  24. Me and Janet really are two different people
  25. I changed. People change.”
  26. I am bewildered at the length to which people will go to portray me so negatively
  27. I will say again that I have never, and would never, harm a child. It sickens me that people have written untrue things about me
  28. People who grew up as child stars have the same thing in common. You’re cute, they love you; you go through the awkward stage, they don’t accept you any more. Very few make the transition to adult star,”
  29. I believe in my heart that the music community will come together as one and rally to the aid of thousands of innocent victims, … There is a tremendous need for relief dollars right now and through this effort each one of us can play an immediate role in helping comfort so many people.”
  30. I have always maintained my innocence, and vehemently denied that these events ever took place. I reluctantly chose to settle the false claims only to end the terrible publicity and to continue with my life and career
  31. All of Hollywood has plastic surgery. I don’t know why they point me out. The press exaggerated it. It’s just my nose, you know. They want it to be everything. Just the nose isn’t enough
  32. “I trusted Martin Bashir to come into my life and that of my family because I wanted the truth to be told,”
  33. Everyone who knows me will know the truth, which is that my children come first in my life and that I would never harm any child
  34. Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation
  35. I just wish I could understand my father
  36. I rememeber one time we were getting ready to go to South America and everything was packed up and in the car ready to go and I hid and I was crying because I really did not want to go, I wanted to play. I did not want to go.
  37. I’m never pleased with anything, I’m a perfectionist, it’s part of who I am.
  38. I’ve helped many, many, many children, thousands of children, cancer kids, leukemia kids.
  39. Just because it’s in print doesn’t mean it’s the gospel
  40. People write negatives things, because they feel that’s what sells. Good news to them, doesn’t sell
  41. My mother’s wonderful. To me she’s perfection.
  42. The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.
  43. There were times when I had great times with my brothers, pillow fights and things, but I was, used to always cry from loneliness
  44. Well, you don’t get to do things that other children get to do, having friends and slumber parties and buddies. There were none of that for me. I didn’t have friends when I was little. My brothers were my friends
  45. I had pimples so badly it used to make me so shy. I used not to look at myself. I’d hide my face in the dark, I wouldn’t want to look in the mirror and my father teased me and I just hated it and I cried everyday.
  46. And I remember going to the record studio and there was a park across the street and I’d see all the children playing and I would cry because it would make me sad that I would have to work instead
  47. I was coming out of the shower and I fell and all my body weight – I’m pretty fragile – all my body weight fell against my rib cage. And I bruised my lung very badly
  48. I am always writing a potpourri of music. I want to give the world escapism through the wonder of great music and to reach the masses
  49. I think that it’s demeaning and disrespectful but I also want to make it clear it’s not just about me but a pattern of disrespect that he has shown to our community. He needs to stop it and he needs to stop it now.” – On Eminem`s video for “Just Lose It
  50. You ain`t seen nothing yet, and the best is yet to come.
tribute galore for the 'king of pop'

tribute galore for the 'king of pop'