Remembering Michael Jackson Through Music and Influence

This Post was  Originally Title As “Happy Birthday Michael! Remembering Michael Through His Music & Influence” on August 29, 2012. 

“She’s says I am the one / but the kid is not my son…” – Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” from Thriller (1982)

The King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), influenced numerous musicians, many of which try to evoke his sensibilities as a performer and as a singer/songwriter.  Below, are a couple of self-assembled lists to commemorate MJ.

5 Artists Highly Influenced by MJ

1. Ne-Yo (Shaffer Smith), has a voice that has been highly compared to the King of Pop. No he doesn’t possess all of the signature nuances, but the timbre, particularly his upper register has its parallels.  His album Libra Scale was the ultimate comparison peak for the singer/songwriter.  Unfortunately, the album was highly overlooked compared to his previous three releases, despite spawning “Champagne Love,” “One In A Million,” and the most popular single, the Euro-pop influenced “Beautiful Monster.”

2. Chris Brown has become R&B/pop’s hated bad-boy ever since the Rihanna-Grammy fiasco. He’s not the same likeable 16 year old who was “Run(ning) It!” back in 2005.  However vocally, Brown’s soulful voice, particularly in its upper register instantly evoked the sensibilities of Jackson.  Throw in the moves, and Jackson’s influence is easily apparent. Perhaps there isn’t that definitive performance that makes Brown comparable, but the comparisons are justified.


3. Usher performed at MJ’s funeral and managed to shed tears during his performance.  Often possessing that sensual, loverman sensibility that soul had within his own music as well as electrifying dance moves, Usher’s influence from MJ has always been apparent.  Even most recently, his falsetto (although auto tune laden) on “Lemme See” showcases Mr. Raymond has been studying MJ.

4. Justin Timberlake again possesses the swag established by the sing. Maybe a prime example given his killer falsetto, 2002’s “Cry Me A River” from Justified sealed the deal for comparisons while his swagger on “My Love” from 06’s Futuresex/Lovesoundaffirmed the influence.

5. Justin Bieber is not Michael Jackson, let’s get that out of the way first. However, he is highly influenced by both his career, his moves, and his vocal style. Maybe he doesn’t ‘hiccup’ like his idol, but song “Maria” from Believe (Deluxe Edition)was definitely a breakout, “MJ influenced” moment.  If that wasn’t enough, the Jackson 5 sampling “Die In Your Arms” just adds to the sensibility.

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DJ Khaled, Kiss The Ring – Extended Analysis

Introduction… DJ Khaled has always been a hard person to pinpoint. Is he merely a DJ or is he also a producer and occasional rapper? Even with 2012’s Kiss The Ring (released August 21, 2012), those questions still loom heavily. Regardless of his status or placement within hip hop circles, what is definitive is “he’s kind of a big deal.” According to, Khaled was a member of … Continue reading DJ Khaled, Kiss The Ring – Extended Analysis

Why Am I Addicted to “Birthday Song”?

2Chainz’s “Birthday Song,” which features Kanye West, is getting the ‘repeat’ treatment from myself.  The question that I ask myself is WHY? W-H-Y? “Birthday Song” is just another song in a ‘birthday’ series that has struck my fancy.  First it was “Birthday Sex” by R&B artists Jeremih, then it was the addictive, naughty “Birthday Cake,” performed by Rihanna and later a remix featuring Chris Brown furthered the naughty fun.  Now yet another saga, “Birthday Song” has … Continue reading Why Am I Addicted to “Birthday Song”?

The Verdict On ‘Sparkle’ – Better Than Expected

OK, I finally went to see Sparkle after much deliberation. It was a Thursday afternoon and I didn’t have a thing to do.  I knew, based on the numbers last week, Sparkle’s tenure in theaters would probably be short. So for $5 and a theater all to myself at 1:40 (I’m not lyin’), I saw a private showing of yet another Diana Ross and the … Continue reading The Verdict On ‘Sparkle’ – Better Than Expected

My Girl Is Back and ‘On Fire’… At Least We Hope

So after the news that One Direction were returning with their sophomore album (as if I cared to know who else’s mom Harry Styles was trying to sleep with), I was made happy by the fact my boo Alicia Keys was returning with her first album in three years (yeah, I know she’s married with a child).  The name of Mrs. Beatz’s new effort is entitled Girl On Fire and is set for … Continue reading My Girl Is Back and ‘On Fire’… At Least We Hope

Chart Moves: 2 Chainz is King, Taylor is Queen, and Trigga On Deck

2 Chainz debuts at No. 1 On the Billboard 200 Albums Chart In the most recent chart news, veteran rapper 2 Chainz takes the top spot on the Billboard 200 Album Charts with a generous 147,000 bow, more than expected (he was projected around 130,000).  His major label debut (he has released independently as well as with Playaz Circle as Tity Boi) Based on a T.R.U. Story, has spawned singles “No Lie,” … Continue reading Chart Moves: 2 Chainz is King, Taylor is Queen, and Trigga On Deck

The Boys Are Back…One Direction That Is… When Did They Leave?

One Direction are returning folks. My question is, when did they ever leave the spotlight? Their debut effort Up All Night remains a top ten staple meaning that that particular album’s shelf life has yet to be exhausted.  Most musicians wouldn’t bother to capitalize so soon considering the Up All Night juggernaut has yet to fade.  I’m sure Simon Cowell wishes to capitalize while the “getting is good.” “What Makes You Beautiful” was … Continue reading The Boys Are Back…One Direction That Is… When Did They Leave?

Case Study: Walmart Music Censorship – Inconsistent? Effective?

So to begin things off patriotically, I believe highly in the first amendment rights supported by the U.S. Constitution. I have the freedom of speech to write or say whatever I want and whatever the repercussions of that may be, I must face and own up to.  Walmart, who is the ‘case study’ of this particular post, has the right to do whatever they want … Continue reading Case Study: Walmart Music Censorship – Inconsistent? Effective?

Mrs. Avril Lavigne Kroeger?

So Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback are getting hitched? You mean there is the possibility for offspring from the union of these two? I mean when I saw it, I just sort of brushed it off as the biggest joke of the year. Seriously? Wonder what Lavigne’s ex Deryck Whibley (of Sum 41) is thinking? I think “Complicated” is appropriate at this time.  See the link below… Continue reading Mrs. Avril Lavigne Kroeger?

Song of the Day (Well Night), August 21, 2012: Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”

One of my new favorite songs is by alt-folk band Mumford & Sons entitled “I Will Wait.” Mumford & Sons, led by Marcus Mumford have greatly elevated their profile following Sigh No More and more specifically “Little Lion Man” (“But I was not your fault this time/and it was your heart on the line/I really f*cked it up this time/didn’t I my dear?”). But anyways, “I Will Wait” is simple, … Continue reading Song of the Day (Well Night), August 21, 2012: Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”