Archive for June, 2009

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE KING OF POP

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?

maybe?

(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 http://nikefagbule.blogspot.com and http://showbizplusmore.blogspot.com

50 CELEBRITIES COMMENT ON MICHAEL JACKSON’S DEATH

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?

50 QUICK MJ FACTS

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

 

innocent...

innocent...

50 MICHAEL JACKSON QUOTES

 

  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'

NIGERIA MOURNS MICHAEL JACKSON

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

mj

question: how many people does it take to break the internet?’

‘answer: just one man – MJ’

 

although he never got to visit the country, and not many of this facebook-twitter generation of nigerian youngsters ever got to see him live, pop star jackson’s death has sent millions of young nigerian fans into mourning.

since learning of his death last night (thursday june 25), there has been an overwhelming outpouring of sad comments from bewildered fans. on radio, on tv, on twitter, facebook and myspace, the comments betray the same emotions: anger, sorrow, sadness and dissapointment.

‘adieu MJ’, a young housewife Olakusibe wrote on her facebook status.

several called in to early mornning radio shows, fighting hard to hold tears, and pouringf encomiums on the 50 year-old pop icon who suffered years of negative media, bankrupptcy and legal twists and turns before finally leaving the stage.

and, in a country where many pop stars admit to having being influenced by the magic of the jackson phenomenon, it is not surprising that even the local stars are very vocal about the ‘loss’.

‘i am very sad today’, multiple award-winning nigerian pop star Weird mc said. ‘i learnt a lot from watching his videos. i loved his performances. he was a big influence on my stage craft’ she said.

radio presenter tosyn bucknor confessed she’s ‘shaken’. ‘i so loved him. r.i.p. the true king of pop. hope you find rest now’ she said.

banky w, who recently relocated to nigeria after living in the us for many years wrote: ‘r.i.p. to the greatest entertainer ever’

‘i wept this morning. i have dug out all my michael jackson collections. i’m dedicating the whole day to a true hero’ hip hop world magazine publisher ayo animashaun, who met mj in south africa in 1999 told me today.

a popular syndicated tv show hip tv, is dedicating over three hours of its weekend programming to a news feature titled: mj: ‘the magic and the jeopardy.

‘i’m overwhelmed by the love shown to mj in death” singer djinee was qouted as ying. ‘the kind of love he was denied in the last 10-15 years of his life. they called him a paedophile, cosmetic junie etc’

jackson was undeniably the greatest pop star of all time; dwindling elvis presley’s stature, and leaving an indelible mark on the pages of pop history. he was not just a music phenomenon; he was a culture icon, a fashion connoisseur and art patron.

you talk about elvis presley, mozart, frank sinatra

he influenced a generation of performers accross the world, including nigeria’s psquare, weird mc, d.i.p.p., adewale ayuba, shina peters, 2face idibia and many others.

 

and his success broke down many barriers; opeining new opportunities for black acts on mtv – in the early days when colour was still a major issue. and that he went on to record global commercial and critical success (750 million albums sold worldwide, 13 grammy awards, amongst many others); emerging the best-selling artiste of all time and the most popular figure in pop history, did not come as a surprise to those who knew him in the early days of Jackson five; those who saw him perform with the jacksons; and those who witness him record his early solo singles and albums.

one of those people is quincy jones – the revered producer-entrepreneur responsible for many jackson albums including off the wall and thriller. ‘all my life i wanted to see an entertainer like michael really do his things with no limitations’ he told journalists of his experience working with michael.

even those who disapprove of his personal lifestlye easily admit the late jackson was very ‘talented, passionate, disciplined, driven and hardworking’

but he was also a ‘spendaholic’ who reportedly lived far above his means. he was also a drug addict: living on pain killers since his stage mishap during a pepsi tour; he was also a contradiction and a very very eccentric ‘boy-man’.

it keeps raining on the streets of lagos; even up till now. the streets are wet and the tv signals are poor. there are rumours of a pending fuel scarcity; the nation is reading different meanings to the president’s manesty to select niger delta militants; and everyone’s still talking about the unfolding madness in iran. but there’s one thing that tops it all; one thing that’s topping all discourse and leading at all the gist cafes: the death of wacko jacko.

it’s there: on the cover of all the newspapers. it’s the issue of the day on all the breakfast shows; and the blogs? that’s what they’re all talking about! some, like myself, are even dresed in black, as a mark of respect to the almighty mj.

how about our facebook statuses and profile pics? don’t even go there.

 

life s a stage... michael used his well

life s a stage... michael used his well

THIS IS IT! MICHAEL JACKSON IS GONE

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on June 26, 2009 by ayenithegreat
greatest performer of all time?

greatest performer of all time?

When he told us that ”this is it. when i say this is it, i mean this is it”, little did Michael know that ‘this’ would not be it.

he was talking about his comeback concerts, scheduled to begin at London’s O2 arena in July. But what is really IT right now is that the embattled king of pop has lost a final opportunity to establish himself as a ‘comeback king’.

this is it guys: Michael Joseph Jackson IS DEAD.

the 50 year-old pop giant, who was goona be starting something in London from July passed on on thursday june 25 at about 2pm local time at his home in Los Angeles, after suffering a cardiac arrest.

paramedics from the Los Angeles fire department rushed him to the UCLA Medical centre, where C.P.R. was administered on him, but, different sources have been quoted as saying the best-selling singer ‘never made it’ out of coma.

he was confirmed dead at exactly 2:26pm.

Jackson was a great as a pop star could ever get. he lived his life on the stage, in front of cameras, on tabloid covers, and in millions of homes across the world. And, although he had been performing (with the Jackson Five and The Jacksons), since his pre-teen years, and he had even scored series of number one hits, it was not until his 1982 album Thriller (producer by Quincy Jones) that his career broke the roof- as single-after-single broke all chart records, and grabbed fans’ attentions from London to Japan and Addis Ababa. The album won a record eight Grammies, immediately went multi-platinum, and changed the direction of pop music.

and that was IT!

from a child star, michael was now a bonafide superstar, a pop icon, and global music star. and as his star continued to shine, he showed he was no fluke as he gave unbelievable live performances across the world.

beat it. billie jean. wanna be starting somethin’. thriller.

Gawd!

and if you add that to earlier and later repertoires – all to numerous to start mentioning, you’ll easily see why MJ was such a favourite with music fans.  he was A favourite!

they wept. they screamed. they tore at his clothes. they rolled on the floor. and they fainted. all for Michael. and he gave them what they wanted. he gave them the show of thier lives and risked stunts that no other performer would dare.

on stage, there was none like Michael. and, if you’ve read Quincy Jones’ tributes (he said in a statement yesterday :”To this day, the music we created together on “Off The Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad” is played in every corner of the world…), you’ll see that even in the booth, there was none like him. none. he gave his all – and he had plenty! plenty talent, plenty energy, plenty passion, plenty talent (oh, i said that before…)

 

But he had plenty of i ssues too. image issues. skin issues. drug issues (no, not cocaine. painkillers), family issues. personal issues. and just as there was a lot of attention on his art, many concentrated on his issues too: nose jobs, plastic surgeries, falied romances and marriages, weird acts (like dangling his baby from the window of a hotel room), paedophilia allegations, court cases, bankruptcy…. name it!

and, sadly, these negative events coloured the better part of his post-thriller career. it was no longer just about the music; no longer about the crazy shows; no longer about the magic. madness was now in the mix; a lot of madness.

when you mix magic with madness, what do you get?

goodbye...

goodbye...

20 YEARS AFTER

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on June 5, 2009 by ayenithegreat

sir shina peters

 When it suddenly occurred to me that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Shina Peters’ groundbreaking album ‘Ace’, I started planning to write a special tribute to the bestselling album that changed the direction of Juju music for good. It would be impossible to do that without looking at the effect of the album’s critical and commercial success on Shina Peters’ post Shina Adewale career as well as the blessings and curses a hit album brings upon its author.

 

But I made a big mistake: I shared the idea with one of my closest friends and colleague. ‘‘You want to write about Sir Shina Peters? People won’t read it. You’ll see, there won’t be any comments…’’. She was willing to make a bet. According to her theory, most people who read E-Punch are young music lovers who want to keep up with what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s not. And in her dictionary, anything that’s not pop, R&B, soul, rap or dancehall is a no no. e.g. Shina Peters.

 

How old is she? 24. So you see? She was just four when Shina became more popular than the Head of State. She was still a baby when ‘Ace’ broke the sales charts and carted home every music award.

 

But while I perfectly appreciate her fears and preferences, I am also aware that there are a lot of readers, who – just like me- can sing Shina’s Ace from A to Z; and are still up to this moment, active patrons of music. However, I’m putting pen to paper not for them, but for the younger fans, who are hooked on 2face and D’Banj and Psquare; for the younger acts, who are so used to churning out hits after hits, that it never occurs to them that a day will come when the hits will take a break, fans will follow a new trend, and stardom will start taking its toll.

 

I was preparing for college, in 1989, when CBS released Ace. The musician, a 31 year-old band-leader named Shina Peters had made several failed attempts at kick-starting his solo career, after leaving the Sir Shina Adewale band (led by himself and another remarkable musician Segun Adewale). While his former band obeyed the commandments of conventional Juju music, Peters and his new band, performing regularly at Stadium Hotel, in Lagos, experimented with traditional percussion instruments hitherto alien to juju music. They quickened the tempo, employed free language, and wore a brash demeanour. Of course the young ones, usually in love with deviant ideas, fell in love with the new sound. And it wasn’t long before the labels, pressured by PMAN to work with local talents, went looking for Shina and his band.

 

As Laolu Akins (who produced Ace and four other Shina albums) told me this week, no one was sure how successful the new sound would be. ‘‘That you can attract lots of people to live performances doesn’t exactly mean there’s a hundred percent guarantee you can translate that into commercial recording success’’. But the label took the chance, signing on an act that many had written off.

 

‘Ace’ worked like magic; earning Peters respect and recognition; putting his career back on track; increasing labels’ belief in local talent; and, forever changing the direction of modern juju music.

 

E se o…E se o/ E se o… E se o/ Afro Juju l’e fe gbo o/ E se o… The album opens, hip and fast from the first beat, as the musician lead us astray – away from the ‘conventional’, ‘sensible’ Juju format we were accustomed to. Surprisingly, we liked it. So much that we even allowed him lead us into temptation – temptation to abandon tested veterans like Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey; and sign the dotted lines with Afro juju. And when I say ‘we’, I mean an entire nation. Apart from football and love for the Super Eagles, the only other thing that tore down ethnic and class barriers, in 1989 and 1990, was Shina Peters’ ‘Ace’. Mr Peters enjoyed every minute of the success; hitting stages from Lagos to Lafia, and raking in revenue he could only have seen in his dreams. He would be on the road for days, honouring one engagement after the other; and making sure that the Ace fever became an epidemic.

 

With just one album, Shina’s success dwarfed that of his former partner Segun Adewale (who was also propagating the gospel of a new genre he christened Yo Pop) and caused established juju acts like KSA and Obey to sit up.

 

What worked for Shina then, is what’s working for today’s stars: youth, energy, determination and ability to fill a void.

 

But youth does not last forever. Shina clocked 51 last Saturday. And, although he still frequently performs around the world, and still very much wanted on the party circuit, SSP, as he’s fondly called, has travelled a long journey from ‘Aceland’.

 

I hope that someday, the story will be told, by those who knew him closely in the days of Ace, Shinamania, Dancing Time and Experience. The story of how he rose from shame to fame; of how money-bags scrambled to befriend him; how he infected us all with Shinamania and caused our women to fall head-over-heels in lust with him… The story of, how the popularity started to decline; of the altercation and break-up with his band members; parting ways with Sony music; of the musical decline and ill-managed image that would later crash his ratings and send his career down the ignoble path of disaster.

 

The story of Peters’ shame-fame-shame-fame perambulation; and the unfortunate affliction of his once robust and healthy career with hemiplegia is one that a lot of present-day pop stars can learn from. And perhaps, while tracing the musician’s sojourn, we might also be able to diagnose the diseases plaguing Juju music and understand why Fuji – a hitherto backstreet genre- has suddenly overtaken Juju.

 

I’m listening to the Ace album again, and it’s difficult to believe it’s been all of 20 years. SSP and Laolu Akins might not be making hits anymore, but they made this one. They might not be as relevant today as they were two decades ago, and this facebook-twitter generation might not give a hoot about them, but no one can deny that in their youth, they gave life to beautiful music that’ll stand the test of time and survive many generations.

 

How many of today’s musicians and producers can we say the same of?