Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

MJ, Legacies And Loss

Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my being in business, and I did both a video and a blog post on my business blog.

ph-10441

Today is unofficially known as Leon Day in some circles of the country, Eli Wallach passed away at age 98 (great actor; you young folks need to look him up), and it’s also the 5th anniversary of the passing of Michael Jackson.

I have spent most of the day listening to Michael Jackson songs and watching some Michael Jackson and Jackson Five videos. You know, when you listen to the songs it’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since he’s been gone because every song sounds fresh and new. Truth be told, this is probably what every generation feels when they listen to the music they love, thinking they’re actually younger than they are because they can remember where they were or what they were doing when they first heard the songs that made them feel wonderful, which happens for most of us when we’re younger.

Want to know a truth? For probably the first couple of years, after the first few days of shock, I couldn’t listen to any of his music. It just freaked me out, knowing that a new MJ song (that he approved) was never going to be released again. Also, I felt like my own mortality was in question because he was only a year older than me; if he had all that he had and left the world like that, what did it say for my chances?

All of us go through stages like this when family members pass, and probably when someone famous, that we never knew but admired for one reason or another, goes away. I have to admit that sometimes it extends further for me. For instance, there have been a couple of bloggers who have passed away that I miss here and there, and at the time I lamented their loss.

Most of the time we probably won’t know that someone we read all the time has suffered a life ending demise. We might think that they’ve just gone away, decided not to blog anymore or participate on social media anymore, and we get on with our lives. There’s really nothing else for us to do because, when all is said and done, probably 99.95% of all relationships we make online will end without much of a resolution. Think about it this way; how many people who used to visit you blog when you started not only don’t stop by anymore, but aren’t even blogging anymore? Do you know what happened to them?

Scary to think about isn’t it? Want to add to the fear? It’ll probably be you one day, and if you have a significant other, he or she probably has no idea how to tell anyone you won’t be back, let alone will even think about it. My wife has no presence on social media; if I go, the overwhelming majority of you will never know it. I’m betting it’s that way for you also.

I think that’s why we grieve a bit when famous people we know and like pass away. For everything they had they couldn’t stop it, and we also think that if they weren’t famous then they’d be just like us, with a few family members sad that we’re no longer around but us not making even the smallest dent in life. What’s our legacy right?

What’s our legacy? Well, for me it’ll be my blogs, my videos, and other articles I have on the internet. I think that’s another reason I keep creating so much stuff and putting out so much stuff. I think someone will care at some point, and maybe one thing I write will help someone or help change their mindset or make them feel pretty good, even if it’s just for a short period of time. One can only hope, right?

See, even in death Michael Jackson’s got me thinking about stuff. Let’s see if my sharing the song below, my favorite song of all time, gets you thinking about you legacy also:
 


http://youtu.be/CT586E9OUfg

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I Get Motivation From Things Like This

Ten days ago I wrote a Sunday Question post asking people how they motivate themselves. Almost everyone stated that they motivate themselves in a way that doesn’t involve anything on the outside.


by multimedia student

You know, I have to say that, in general, I’m not believing most of that. Yes, I’m taking a controversial stance, but I’ll explain why.

I’m known as the observer of people. I like humanity, even though I don’t like everything people do. But I see a lot of people go through their day as if they’re just following a script. They get up, go to work, come home, watch TV and go to bed. There might be some deviation, but in general that’s pretty much it. And they’re not often happy about it.

I’m an independent consultant. I do most of my work from home. When I’m on the road, I partially do what everyone else does, except I have to go out for my meals or have something delivered. The one thing I rarely do on the road, and don’t necessarily do all that often at home either, is watch TV. I find that I like deciding way in advance what I want to record for the week and then will watch when I’m ready.

So, I sit at my desk, at my computer, and I work a lot. Oh sure, I take breaks to do things like write my blogs and participate on Twitter and Facebook, but a lot of what I do is business oriented. This means that I don’t really take a lot of time to just relax and get things off my mind. I am at the computer until it’s time to go to bed, and it’s the first place I come after the bathroom when I awake. I’m always here.

But sometimes I just can’t get in the mood to do much of anything, even if I’m sitting here. I could easily say I’m driven to succeed, and that would be true to a degree. There are times when I just don’t want to do anything; who reading this can say that doesn’t happen to them every once in awhile? And when I don’t want to do anything, I don’t care about success, I don’t care about family, I don’t care about eating… I don’t care about anything!

Well, that seems kind of depressing, doesn’t it? But it’s not. The reason is that I only allow myself to be in that mode for short periods of time. Hey, if I don’t work, I don’t earn any money. I can’t fall back on vacation time because I don’t have it. I can’t just fall back on my reserves because that just takes money away from me and I then have to figure out how to replace it.

In those times, I look for motivation in other places. I’ve talked about motivational movies like The Secreticon. I’ve shared motivational videos on this blog, things that have made me feel better. I’ve mentioned the name Zig Ziglar here before, but haven’t talked about what he does as a motivational speaker all that often. He loves telling the tale about a guy who comes up to him and says “Motivational speaking must not work all that well because it seems people are always needing to be motivated.” Zig says “People also need to eat and bathe, but I don’t hear you saying people don’t need food or soap.”

His belief is that we all need to find ways to motivate ourselves at least a few times a day because no one is a machine. Thoughts of others won’t always get it done. Dreams of eventual success won’t always get it done. But finding other things that offer at least a moment of uplift… man, that’s priceless. So, I figure that if someone like me, who has stated many times on this blog that I want to be successful and a big deal, needs outside motivation from time to time, actually probably a little bit at some point every day, that everyone else almost has to as well. No one is happy or upbeat 24/7; not even Zig.

With that in mind, I want to share this video with you, although it’s not a great video. But it is a great song. Michael Jackson has done lots of motivational songs. This one is called Keep The Faith. He didn’t do a video of it, and it’s too bad. I thought about just posting the lyrics to this song, but I didn’t for two reasons. One, it’s super long; this is one of those songs where the chorus is repeated many times, but it’s a short chorus, so there’s a lot of new lyrics through to the end of the song. And two, I didn’t want to risk copyright by posting everything here, although truthfully that’s secondary to how long the post would end up being.

So, I post this video that has the music and the lyrics. I hope you listen if you don’t know the song, and I really hope you follow the lyrics. This is powerful stuff, and I doubt that anyone who listens to this entire song can’t say that the words aren’t motivating and uplifting. And if you really think that, don’t write it here. Enjoy:

 

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We Are The World, Revisited

A couple of days ago I was walking on the track at the gym when a song came on the MP3 player that gave me chills. Even though the anniversary was in January, 25 years ago the song We Are The World came out, with the intention of helping to feed and take care of people in Africa who were going through one of the worst famines in history. Unfortunately, many of them are still going through it, but that doesn’t mean this effort was wasted.

As I listened to this song my mind went back to remembering the day that song was released, along with the video, and all the star power that got together to create that bad boy. There was something that was almost like it before, the Do They Know It’s Christmas song in the UK, but when it came to true music power, the second song couldn’t be touched. And Bob Geldof, who had started the UK movement, was there as well.

Of course it had to be written by my boy Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones. I remember watching the “making of” video also, where the proclamation “leave your egos at the door” was posted. And it would have been easy for many people in that room to assume they were the stars of the event, even Michael Jackson, but I’ve always believed that no one but Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones could have gotten all those people together after the American Music Awards, which I watched, not knowing these people were getting together later that evening and, for many hours, were putting this thing together.

Okay, here’s some stats for you to prove my point on just how special this gathering was:

Michael Jackson – Please!

Lionel Richie – ASCAP award, 4 Grammys, an Oscar, Image Award, Gershwin Prize, 13 American Music Awards (AMA), Golden Globe, 4 People’s Choice Awards

Stevie Wonder – 3 ASCAP awards, an Oscar, BAFTA award, Golden Globe, TV Land award, 25 Grammys, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Rock Hall of Fame, Billboard Century Award, Gershwin Prize

Paul Simon – 12 Grammys, 2 AMA’s, inducted twice into the Hall of Fame, Kennedy Honor, 39 BMI Awards

Kenny Rogers – 3 Grammys, 10 Country Music Association awards, 13 American Music Awards

Tina Turner – 8 Grammys, Hall of Fame

Billy Joel – 6 honorary doctorates, 5 Grammys, 1 Tony, 1 AMA, Hall of Fame

Diana Ross – 6 AMAs, 2 Grammys, 1 Golden Globe, 1 Tony, 1 NAACP award, Billboard female entertainer of century (twice!), Kennedy Center award, Hall of Fame

Dionne Warwick – 5 Grammys, 3 Grammy Hall of Fame awards (induction of songs performed by the artist), 1st People’s Choice Award for best female singer, NAACP Image Award, 1 AMA, 1 Billboard, ASCAP Lifetime Achievement and Heroes Award, Songwriters Hall of Fame

Willie Nelson – 12 Grammys, 7 Country Music Awards, 7 AMAs, 5 Academy of Country Music awards, TNN Music City News Minnie Pearl Award & Living Legend Award, Country Music Hall of Fame

Al Jarreau – 7 Grammys, 2 NAACP awards

Bruce Springsteen – 20 Grammys, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmys, 1 Oscar, Hall of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Kennedy Honors

Kenny Loggins – 1 Grammy

Daryl Hall & John Oates – 3 AMA’s, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame

Huey Lewis – 5 AMAs, 2 Grammys

Cyndi Lauper – 2 AMA, 1 Grammy, 1 MTV Video Award

Kim Carnes – 2 Grammys, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame

Bob Dylan – 11 Grammys, 6 Grammys, 2 Grammy Hall of Fame awards, Rock Hall of Fame, 1 Oscar, 1 Golden Globe, 2 honorary doctorates, Songwriter’s, Kennedy Honors, Pulitzer

Ray Charles – 17 Grammys, 6 Grammy Hall of Fame awards, NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Kennedy Award, Grammy Lifetime Achievement, R&B Foundation Hall of Fame, National Medal of Arts, Jazz Hall of Fame, Polar Music Prize

Harry Belafonte – 4 Grammy’s, Emmy, Kennedy Award, Hollywood Film Award, Tony, National Medal or Arts, Grammy Lifetime Achievement, BET Humanitarian Award, Impact Award

Bob GeldofKnighthood, Freeman of the Borough of Swale, Beacon Fellowship Prize, Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, North-South Prize, Free Your Mind Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Man of Peace Award, Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award by Holocaust Museum in Houston, Cinema for Peace Pioneer Award, nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal from Vanderbilt University for his humanitarian efforts, Lifetime Achievement Award from ROTA.

Waylon Jennings – 4 CMAs, 2 Grammy’s, 1 ACM, Country Hall of Fame, ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award

Bette Midler – 4 Grammys, 3 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, 9 American Comedy Awards, 2 People’s Choice, Ruby Award, Tony, Crystal Awards

Smokey Robinson – 3 Grammys, Soul Train Heritage Award for Career Achievement, Hall of Fame, Kennedy Award, National Medal of Arts

Man, it just doesn’t get any better than that, and I left people out who have won other awards. We Are The World was the top selling single in history with more than 20 million copies sold and it raised $63 million for famine relief, and it’s presently the 5th best selling single. It won 3 Grammys, an American Music Award and a People’s Choice award. The video for the song won a Grammy as well.

And now, We Are The World:


https://youtu.be/9AjkUyX0rVw

 

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Michael Jackson One Year Removed

Around this time last year, I started seeing some odd email alerts coming through saying Michael Jackson had been taken to a hospital, then was in a coma. Then suddenly that message came through that took my breath; Michael Jackson was no longer with us.

After that, we went through the strangest of spectacles, which makes a lot of sense because you just couldn’t take a personality that big, one that had been in our lives for so long, and expect it to go away quietly. We learned a lot of things, some very good, a couple shocking in a way but making sense once we thought about it. But what we really learned was just how much of an impact he was in this world.

And how big an impact was that? In the week after he was gone 8 of his albums were on the top charts, and two of them were in the top 5; one was the third best selling album for 2009, and four of them made the top 20 for the year. He was the biggest selling album artist of the year in the United States with more than 8 million albums sold; who knows how that translated around the world. His estate made over $1 billion in the last year; no one else comes close, including Elvis & the Beatles.

Oddly enough, for me it’s still hard to believe he’s not here because of the legacy of music he left behind. When I’m walking at the health club, I listen to a lot of upbeat music, and many of the songs are Michael Jackson songs. As I listen to each song, I remember where I was the first time I heard the song; how classic is that? Of course, all the songs from the Thriller album were heard around the same time, as I had the album before the video for Billie Jean came out; that’s just how it was back then.

Anyway, I decided I wanted to pop a video on here to commemorate the day, and of course I wanted something I hadn’t already posted before. This song and video is my wife’s favorite Michael Jackson non-live performance, so I felt it was appropriate. And the message is apropos as well, because I do, indeed, Remember The Time:

Michael Jackson Ultimate Collection (w/ Bonus DVD)

Price – $40.92








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My 13 Favorite Singers

I figured it was time to lighten things up again, and what better way than one of my “favorites” posts, right? This time around, I’ve selected my favorite 13 singers. This is different than the post I did on the top 100 singers because that was just my commentary on the top 10 singers, which were actually performers, of someone else’s. As far as music is concerned, I also did classical music, and a couple of the folks who I used to help highlight some of those pieces are featured here as well.

The problem with doing a list like this is that you’re really limited by who you know and whom you’ve heard of. At least I’ve mixed genres, but there’s a lot of people I left off this list because, well, these types of posts are kind of time consuming to put together. It’s also hard to find something good for all of them, because I wanted them in the video. Some of the most popular folks have most of their videos with the embed turned off, so I had to search around to find what I’m able to show here. A couple of times I just couldn’t use the song I wanted to use to highlight the person either; so be it. Still, I’d listen to any one of these folks sing names from a phone book, I love their voices so much.

Remember, if you want to purchase something for one of these singers, just click on their name. Love to hear your comments on this list, and of course list your favorite singers, and I highlight singers, not performers. That’s for another time, I figure. And here we go:

13. Paul Robeson – This guy never got the credit he deserved for all the talent he possessed, including his singing. Back in the day, he was labeled a Communist, and that was pretty much that as far as a real career goes. But there was no one else who ever had this deep and powerful a voice.

12. Christina Aguilera – Say what you will with some of her personas, when she wants to sing, this girl can “saaang”, as we like to say. As tiny as she is, you just don’t expect this kind of voice coming out of her, with such power and authority, and she’s had this voice since she was 10.

11. Celine Dion – People love to make a parody out of Celine Dion, but no one can take away her voice from her. One of the most popular songs in history is from the movie Titanic; this here is one of my favorites instead.

10. Barbra Streisand – Younger people might not know just how big a deal Barbra Streisand was at one time. She commanded movies, the stage, and records all at once. There wasn’t any style of music this lady couldn’t sing, and to me it’s a tribute to her that she’s behind the people I have on this list because she easily could have been in my top 5.

9. Luciano Pavarotti – Come on, there was no way I could leave Luciano off this list after having him sing one of my favorite classical music pieces. Talk about a powerful voice, and when he was in better shape than his later years, it looked effortless, like in this video from I Pagliacci.

8. Sarah Brightman – The original Cristine from Phantom of the Opera, some people thought she only got the part because she was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber at the time. That is, until they heard her sing. What a sweet voice, and she can do so many things with it.

7. Josh Groban – Some people can’t believe I like this guy because his music is, well, not all that strong. Who cares when he can sing like he can. I think his voice and his music are just perfect together, and he sings so many uplifting songs like this one.

6. Paul Carrack – This one will be a total surprise to many people, who might not know who he is. There are 3 great songs by groups that had him come in and sing the song. Those songs are How Long by Ace, Tempted by Squeeze, and Living Years by Mike & the Mechanics. What a classic voice; he had to be on this list.

5. Kathleen Battle – If you remember the classical music post, you’ll remember how I said I wanted to marry this one when I was younger. Just an amazing voice, and not bad to look at, and she can hit high notes like very others.

4. Kiri Te Kanawa – Kiri goes the other way. She’s got a powerful also voice that grabs your soul and makes you want to follow her around. She was actually my real introduction into opera singers, as I just wasn’t paying attention to Beverly Sills voice when she was on the Muppet Show; hey, I was in college!

3. Sam Cooke – Man, we lost him way too early. What a voice, and unfortunately, what a terrible video to use to highlight it. But, as I said, I wanted you to see him live. His voice was just so smooth and soulful, even if he was singing a fast song. No, this one’s not fast; but I love it.

2. Mariah Carey – Of course my top two are easy for anyone who knows me. I once told my wife that Mariah is the only woman I’d leave her for, and even then she’d have to sing two songs for me first. This is one of them; I’m not telling you what the other one is. lol

1. Michael Jackson – This one was easy for you to guess, coming from me. Man, I miss him so much, and I hate that anything new that comes out won’t be followed with a new video. I loved lots of songs that he did; this one was probably his most powerful overall.

Michael Jackson Thriller Clock

Michael Jackson Thriller Clock

Price – $43.46


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