Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon (2011) Movie Script

Michael Jackson's LA Residence
June 25, 2009
I arrived at the hospital.
Frank Dileo
JACKSON'S MANAGER 1984-89, 2009
and the lady came out
maybe 20 minutes later, a nurse.
I stood up. She said, Who are you?
"I'm Frank Dileo, I manage Michael.
"Is he okay?"
She hesitated, and I knew.
She looked me in the eye and said,
"No, he didn't make it."
I had them put him in a special room
and clean him up.
And that was the one nice thing,
is I got to be alone with him.
And I got to kiss him on the forehead
and, you know, tell him what I felt.
When I started seeing the news clips.
David G-est
the day he died,
my heart sank.
Michael was the most exciting performer
I had ever seen in my life.
He was the ultimate pop superstar.
He wanted, more than anything,
for his legacy to be
he is the greatest performer of all time.
And that's what he became.
I grew up in East Chicago, Indiana.
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
My mother and father divorced when
I was at a young age, about six years old.
My mother was Baptist.
And my sister and I sang
in the Baptist choir.
It made us have a love for music.
My father used to listen
to the country music all the time,
and out of Chicago came a show,
on the radio, called Suppertime Frolic.
And then on Saturdays,
he would listen to the Grand Ole Opry
that came out of Nashville.
Some of the people were Ernest Tubb,
that's ancient.
Let me... Let the people know how old I am.
We had a club called the Sub-Debs.
We used to give teenage parties
for all the kids around there,
and that's where I met Joe.
I think I was around 17 years old.
He would always ask me for a dance
when the music was slow. (LAUGHS)
He seemed very kind, very sweet.
Joseph was in a group.
Besides me leaving singing with my sister,
I started singing with him.
And we would sing
and harmonise together a lot.
Then the children came along,
and I kept singing.
2300 Jackson St, in that little house.
I was the only one born in that house.
We had two bedrooms in our home.
And I and my sisters, Janet and La Toya,
slept in the living room.
Living Room Gary, Indiana 2010.
We had a couch that let out into a bed.
My brothers slept in one room.
Boy's Bedroom Gary, Indiana 2010.
And that room had triple bunk beds.
And they slept on the bunk beds.
And then my parents slept in the other room.
Parents' Bedroom GARY, INDIANA 2010.
KATHERINE: I don 't know how I squeezed
all of us in that little house.
Jackson Family Kitchen
Gary, Indiana 1960's.
Having all my children when I was young
and having them so close together;
Every time I would get pregnant,
I was afraid to tell Joe. (CHUCKLES)
We didn't believe in abortion,
so that's why we got so many children.
The children around our neighbourhood,
especially the boys,
they were kind of bad, some of them.
They would break in people's cars
and do things.
And our children were never allowed
to go out at night or play with those kids.
J. Randy Taraborrelli
They weren't really social
with the rest of the neighbourhood.
They clung to each other,
and that's how the Jacksons were raised.
Poor? I mean, that was a way of life.
We had plenty of food to eat.
We were like all the other kids in the area.
DAVID GEST: Michael never thought
he was poor when he was young,
because he did not know what poor was.
David G-est
He thought
everyone lived the way his family did.
a rickety washing machine.
We weren't able to buy a new one.
Whenever it washed, it would creek.
You Know, make noises...
Something like that.
And Michael, I guess,
was about 11 or 12 months old.
He was just dancing
to the rhythm of the washing machine.
And I knew then that he had a lot of rhythm.
Michael would always do funny things,
anything for a laugh.
Anything for a laugh.
La Toya was always very persnickety
about the way she kept her room.
And she had this beautiful...
I think it was a white satin bedspread
that she had just gotten.
Michael took some invisible ink
and he spread it all over the bedspread,
squirted it all over.
And then he had her come in
and look at it. She was livid.
Michael used to love telling me stories
about Gary, Indiana,
especially how he would have a candy store,
and he would sell candy
to all the neighbours,
and to his brothers.
And he never made any money doing it,
but he showed signs of being
an entrepreneur at a very young age.
As kids, we had a lot of fun.
You know, just playing around
in the neighbourhood.
Playing practical jokes, throwing balloons
out the oar windows at bus stops,
singing and dancing to every song
that came on the radio.
Michael would use
some of the money from his candy store
to go and buy 45s,
because in those days,
that's what kids bought, 45s.
And if you were lucky, you'd buy an LP.
But he started listening strongly
to James Brown
from the time he was about five years old.
He had a great taste for real R&B,
gritty R&B, like Wilson Pickett,
the Dells,
great singers like Levi Stubbs.
We sang country songs
and we sang folk songs.
And then
they started singing the Temptations
when we got a television.
My father had a guitar
that he Kept locked in the closet.
One day, he didn't lock the closet
and I started playing that thing.
I learnt every song on the radio
and made my brothers sing with me.
KATHERINE: Joseph had warned them,
"Don't play my guitar; now. .
And so, Tito took it out and played it,
and a string broke.
There was no way of hiding
that he hadn't had his guitar.
He punished him for it.
Then he said, "Let me hear you play."
And Tito played for him.
Joe just said nothing else to him,
"You can play it if you want to."
Tito had been watching his father
play guitar;
But he would come to my house
and he and I would play.
Reynaud Jones
And I would play a little something
on my guitar, and then show him,
and then give my guitar to him.
And then he'd try to play it.
And so we went back and forth like that.
There was a guy across the street
who had one snare drum,
and his name was Milford Hite.
Milford Hite
Reynaud said,
"Milford, come over with your drum
"and let's see if we can, you know,
start a little group together."
We played for a while
and then Jackie Jackson came oven.
Then after Jackie came in, Jermaine came.
TITO: Michael and Marlon were just little kids.
And we used to tell them to be quiet,
"Get out of here..
We used to kick them out the room.
And they used to beg to be in the group.
And we just said,
"Your little brother wants to be in the..."
You know, you just said, "No, get out of here.
This is big boy stuff."
The school was giving a programme
and all the parents were invited.
And Michael was singing solo,
Climb Every Mountain.
And so Joe's father wanted to go also,
so he could hear him.
And Michael starts singing.
I looked around, Joe's father was crying.
I guess he couldn't imagine
that a 5-year-old kid can keep harmony
and sing that well.
But that's what happened.
TITO: We heard him sing
and we were so taken by that.
We couldn't believe it
so we rushed him home,
immediately took him to the room.
And he was in the group, that fast.
The big thing back then was winning
the Roosevelt High School talent show.
G-EST: In the '50s and the '60s,
talent shows were the key
to getting a career and a record deal.
And that's what they dreamed of.
Initially, Michael was not our lead singer.
It was Jermaine was our lead singer
when we made it to the talent snow.
They came to me and asked me
if I would come over.
Robert Hite
and give them some pointers
on tightening up the group.
I actually decided that we were going
to present the song My Girl,
because it was a song
that I had become very fond of.
Each person would get a chance
to step forward in the song,
and showcase what they could do.
Milford actually sang My Girl along
with them.
Reynaud was singing My Girl.
And all of a sudden we said,
"Michael, sing My Girl."
(CHUCKLING) And he hit it, perfect pitch.
And that was it.
That was our secret weapon, quite honestly.
When Michael came in,
the crowd just stood up.
They actually broke a couple of chairs
and seats in the auditorium.
It was such a surprise.
And that's when everybody recognised
the kind of talent that was there.
MILFORD: We wanted to win and we won.
It was a really happy moment.
It was just... 'Cause that was the thing to win,
Roosevelt's talent show.
We win a Roosevelt's talent show,
it's like signing a contract with Motown.
ROBERT: After the talent show ended,
Joe decided that Reynaud and Milford
weren't going to be rehearsing with them.
And that's what kind of split everything off.
TARABORRELLI: Joseph was, in many ways,
a frustrated musician.
He had a band called the Falcons.
And I think to some extent
he wanted to live vicariously
through the success, the possible success,
of his children as musicians.
But Joseph is a very complicated person,
and it's not easy to paint Joseph
with a wide brushstroke.
Bobby Taylor
Joe was a tyrant to them.
He was mean to them. He was evil to them.
Michael was very afraid of Joe,
and a lot of times,
he would stay over at my house,
just to get away from Joe,
because he felt Joe had punished him
too much when he was younger.
He had taken a strap
and spanked him a lot of times.
And he felt it was too harsh.
He was a very strong, and often,
as they would tell it, violent disciplinarian.
Michael, Janet and Randy,
and a little bit of Marlon,
I think they got easy street,
'cause they were the babies.
The ones who really got the spankings
in my family, if I remember correctly,
and I'm pretty sure I do,
was myself Jermaine and Jackie,
the older guys.
I'm sort of like five years older than Michael.
So he was more of one of the little guys
that didn't get it the way the big guys did.
I think in later life,
he began to respect Joe more,
because he saw
that he wanted his kids to be somebody.
My uncle worked in the steel mill.
He never wanted his kids to do what he did.
He wanted them to be better.
Ronald & Keith Jackson
I seen the steel mill, and I'm gonna tell you...
- It's like working for Satan...
- Do not work there...
because it's 2,000 degrees out there,
and it's very dangerous.
So, his vision, I respect.
He wanted them to have a better opportunity,
and to do something they love doing.
TAYLOR: I think Joe did the right thing
because none of his kids went to prison.
None of his kids were out
on the street using dope.
TITO: I think I was raised right.
I think my father did a brilliant job
to take us from Gary, Indiana,
which is a very poverty-stricken town,
and not too many people get out of there
and make something of themselves,
and he had a dream, and he stuck with it.
And he knew how to get there
and he got us there.
It's okay to have fun sometimes
but you have to prepare yourself,
because your adulthood
is gonna be a lot longer than your childhood.
And if you didn't prepare for it,
you're gonna be on The Late Show.
So I think my father prepared his sons
for the future, to be men.
We were men at a very young age.
TARABORRELLI: I remember asking Michael,
Why do you call him Joseph?.
And it was really clear,
the way Michael explained it,
that they thought of him as Joseph.
They didn't really think of him as their father;
They thought of him as Joseph.
And I thought that was very sad.
That had to hurt even Joseph,
to know that his children
felt that way about him,
but that was the way he designed it.
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
The world now talks
about how mean and evil he is.
He's not that way.
He's just a firm person.
Michael's very close to my mother,
and she was like a comfort to him, I think.
KATHERINE: Michael and I had
a very special bond.
Michael used to always tell me
that he was so much like me.
And then I used to tell him, I said,
"I can see myself in you,
but I don't want you to be like me,"
because I thought I was too easy-going,
trust people too much,
and that's exactly how Michael is.
There was a mystical connection
that made them almost, at times, one.
Michael and Katherine, two peas in a pod.
He was closer to no one else except for her.
TARABORRELLI: Katherine Jackson
was golden where Michael was concerned,
throughout his entire lifetime.
She always cared.
When he went through stages of acne,
she knew how to handle him.
TARABORRELLI: It was almost
as if they were
aligned with each other against the world.
And he could always go to Katherine
for anything.
And she would be there for him, 100%.
They had been working on the music
for a long time,
and they wanted to be signed to a label.
TITO: We would go to school in the morning.
Then after school,
we'd get home about 3:00, 3:30.
And my father'd have all the mics set up
and amps on standby.
And we had enough time
to just drop our books,
and we would practise, like, four hours,
until about 7:00 or 8:00.
And after that,
we would get ready
to go to Chicago or somewhere,
and go do an engagement.
We would play for 45 minutes,
and take 15 minutes off
and do our homework.
By the time we was through with our day,
it was about 2:30 in the morning.
And we'd drive back from Chicago to Gary,
get home about 3:00, 4:00 in the morning,
then go to school the next day.
And that's what life was for us
for many years, a lot of work.
MICHAEL: We would perform all night,
tell you the truth, every day.
Voice of Michael Jackson
Interview courtesy of J. Randy Taraborrelli.
We would be dancing, doing James Brown,
and a lot of people throwing money on stage,
and standing ovations.
And then, soon as we drove home,
we'd get up and go to school.
And we couldn't keep our pants up
'cause we had so much money in 'em.
I mean, change just broke 'em.
And there was this man's house,
who used to sell candy
we used to stop there and just load up,
eat candy for days.
They had a studio at home
and they had these big mirrors and stuff.
And they would say, "Do it again,
do it again, do it again, do it again."
And next thing you know,
seven, eight, nine hours go by,
but they were looking for perfection.
Ronnie Rancifer
They were focused,
that's what I liked about them.
They were serious about doing it,
and it was about perfection.
Johnny Jackson and Ronnie Rancifer
were part of the early Jackson 5.
They were not named members
but they were a part of the group,
and an integral part of the group.
Beck then, we didn't have
the greatest instruments in the world.
Other big name groups,
they would have big PAS and all that.
Jacksons didn't have that,
but what they had was soul.
See... And soul goes a long way.
You can have $10 jillion
worth of equipment, baby,
but if you ain't got no soul,
you might as well stay home. (CHUCKLES)
In 1967 the Jackson 5 signed for local
record label, Steeltown Records.
They released two songs on the label;
'Big Boy'
and 'We Don't Have To Be Over 21
(To Fall In Love).
Neither appeared on any Billboard Chart.
One day, I was setting up a VIP section
for Bobby Taylor,
all of a sudden, I hear the people clapping
and hollering...
Weldon Arthur McDougal III - A & R
And so I come out of the office and I look
and there was the Jackson 5.
Well, they are pretty good.
Joe Jackson said,
"Listen, man, we wanna be on Motown."
And I said,
"Man, I can't get nobody on the label."
And he said, "Well, do you know anybody
you could introduce me to at Motown?"
I was so excited about them,
I told Bobby Taylor that Thursday
about them.
He said, "Okay, I'll look at 'em."
I met them in 1968, at the Regal Theater.
I was headlining the show.
They were the opening act,
and I was introduced to them
by the promoter.
Berry Gordy, President of Motown,
gave him permission
to produce any act that he wanted
and they would listen to it.
He, at that time, had a group
called Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers.
They had records on the radio
that were going really well and stuff.
I liked the way he sang, 'cause he was
a star vocalist in his own right.
He knew how to do it, when to do it,
why to do it, and why not to do it.
I saw this little kid spinning and stuff,
I said, "Dang.
"Send him upstairs when they finish,
I want to talk to this kid."
Never thought
about recording him at that time.
I said, "This little guy,
I wanna see what's happening."
He was a kid that would worry you, bug you,
until you had to do something with him.
Instead of him going back
to Gary, Indiana, from Chicago
every night, he'd go and ask Joseph
if he could stay with me,
and spend a night at the hotel with me.
So he stayed in my face for 10 straight days,
from the time
that we woke up in the morning,
and I 'd take and feed this kid.
It was pure. This kid wanted what he got.
He was a workaholic.
Bobby Taylor worked hard.
I mean, I can't say it enough.
I want people to know.
He worked harder on them
than he did with the Vancouvers.
My motivation was Michael.
I just figured this kid here,
he's an adult in kid's clothing.
That was my only motivation.
Everybody around here knew
that Michael Jackson was "it."
The world just didn't know it.
Bobby was pushing.
When I say he was pushing,
the next time I seen Bobby
or I seen the group,
he had called me and said
he's working at the Apollo.
And come over to the Apollo,
he got a surprise for me.
And when I went to the Apollo,
the Jackson 5 was on the bill.
Apollo Theater Harlem, New York City.
The Apollo was known
as the greatest R&B showroom in the world,
because many albums
had been made from there,
James Brown, Live at the Apollo.
Jackie Wilson played the Apollo.
Gladys Knight and the Pips
played the Apollo.
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
Everybody who played the Apollo was a star.
And everybody
who was underneath them on a bill
was trying to gain that national fame.
And if you make it there,
you're assured of stardom
because people knew
that you've got something very special.
It was a very tough audience.
And if they did not like you,
and you were not a good live act,
even though you may have a hit record,
they'd boo you off the stage.
The Jackson 5 tore that place up.
I mean, I've never seen an act
that nobody never heard of,
didn't have a record,
and, I mean,
the people kept hollering, "Jackson 5!"
On the same show was the 5 Stairsteps,
and they were young kids, too,
or they were about the same age
as the Jackson 5.
And they were complaining,
they wanted to get the Jackson 5
off of the show
because every time they went on,
people just hollered,
"Jackson 5! Jackson 5! Jackson 5!.
And I said,
"Wow! I ain't never seen nothing like this."
My very first time that I saw Michael Jackson
was at the Apollo Theater in New York.
He and his family were a self-contained act,
which was very unusual.
And yet there was a guitarist in the group
and a bassist in the group,
and keyboard and drums.
They'd won a contest.
They'd won
at the Apollo Theater Amateur Night,
and their prize was to open the show
for the great James Brown.
Well, he broke out into this James Brown,
I Got the Feelin',
and doing his little toes and dancing
and looking like James,
if James were a wind-up toy.
And it was amazing.
Rebbie Jackson MICHAEL'S SISTER.
He would perform and do the moves
and routine that everyone else was doing.
He used to do Fred Astaire
and James Cagney.
Then all of a sudden, he would add
a little bit of something in there, different.
And that was him feeling what he was doing.
He excited me. I saw all of this in him.
I saw things that he could do that I couldn't.
He had the makings of a great singer.
Michael had universal appeal
back when he was real young.
I mean, we weren't really into marketing
or anything like that,
but it was already there.
I think the word for it,
the phraseology, would be,
"A diamond in the rough,"
without very many edges to buff off.
With the rest of the brothers, now,
Jermaine stuttered.
And he always thought
that if he stuttered when he talked,
that he would do it when he sang.
So I had to push Jermaine more than I had
to push anyone else.
And that's all I used,
Jermaine, Michael and Jackie.
I did not use Marlon, did not use Tito.
They couldn't sing, right?
And I told them. "Learn. Listen and learn."
The complete group
was not just those five boys.
The complete group
had two other ones with them,
one was Johnny Jackson, the drummer,
one was Ronnie Rancifer; the pianist,
which made the music for the group.
Without them,
there wouldn't have been this Jackson 5.
Every producer
has their own method to the madness,
and Bobby's was pretty cool.
He had the old-school roughness on that,
you know.
You have to have
a certain kind of roughness,
a certain kind of discipline.
He felt Michael had something so special,
and he told that to him.
But he said,
"Do not think
just me telling you makes it happen.
"It does not.
"You've gotta work and continue to work
for what you achieve.
"It will never be easy."
He wasn't always patient.
He wasn't always saying things
that you wanna hear,
or saying it right.
But what he said and what he was doing
was just trying to make them stars.
Our last day at the Regal Theater
is when I went to Joe, I said,
"Say now, why don't you let me
put these kids at Motown?"
And Joe said those words to me,
"Man, I thought you'd never ask."
We were in New York City.
And we had just finished
performing with James Brown.
We were opening up for him.
Bobby Taylor had been begging Berry
to check us out.
Berry Gordy - FOUNDER,
And he wouldn't do it
because he had another kid on his label.
And he was catching a lot of flak
from the state
about working this kid who's underage.
Berry would say, "l never wanna have
anything to do with kids in this business.
"It's too much problems.
"I can't even handle one.
What am I gonna do with five?"
And the one kid was little Stevie Wonder.
I drove Michael, Marlon,
Tommy Chong, who was in my band,
from Cheech and Chong,
from Chicago to Detroit.
I take Michael directly to Motown.
So I said, "Berry, I've got these kids here
"and they're number one coming
out of the block."
I said, "The lead singer's eight.
He can out-dance anybody you ever saw.
"Jackie Wilson, James Brown.
"If you close your eyes and listen to him
after I finish teaching him,
"the best singer you ever heard in your life."
It was not easy to get a children's group
signed to Motown.
And Bobby Taylor knew
that when he called Berry
and said, "I've got something so special,
you gotta see it,"
that Berry would jump once he did.
Because he would not have taken them
to Berry to waste his time.
TAYLOR: The next morning, Berry Gordy
called me from Los Angeles, and he says,
l want you to bring them out here..
That's how they got to Motown.
Going to California,
the happiest day of my life.
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
Joseph had promised me that one day
we would go to California.
I'd tell him, "No,"
I said, "Your promise came true,
"but you didn't bring me there,
the children did." (CHUCKLES)
Berry Gordy was having a party
for Diana Ross.
It was her birthday.
So he asked us to perform
at this party for Diana,
and of course we did.
And at that party was, like, the Temptations,
Smokey the Vandellas,
the Supremes, Four Tops.
And here we are performing
their songs to them.
So we was quite nervous.
Dionne Warwick SINGER
I first met Michael, he was,
I think he was 10 years old.
He was flown out with his brothers
to sing for Berry Gordy, Jr.
Berry had invited a bunch of people
up to his home.
This little bitty thing came in
and he sat down next to me
and he looked at me and he says,
"And who are you?"
I said, I'm Dionne Warwick. Who are you?
I'm Michael Jackson.
I said, "Nice to know you, Michael Jackson.
And what do you do, Michael Jackson?"
He says, "Oh, I sing."
I said, "You sing? Can you sing?"
He said, "Yes, I can sing."
I mean, little feisty, beautiful young boy.
I said, "Well, that's what We're here for.
We're gonna see if you can sing."
Watching them perform was excitement.
Everyone in the group was an individual.
And I feel that every one of them
could have gone on their own.
But Michael was the star.
(CHUCKLES) and they sang a few songs.
They sang a couple songs
by James Brown, you know,
and Michael did the James Brown dances,
and he really did them.
He's 10 years old and he was dancing
like he was about 30.
How in the world could this little boy,
and he was a kid,
be so talented?
That's what everybody went away
talking about.
I think all of us
Motown artists were astonished.
because here's a kid that, you know,
seemed to have no fear.
You know, when the music nit, he was ready,
you know, or ready before the music nit.
He said,
"I want you to Know something, too."
I Said, "What's that?"
"You sang a song about my name, Michael."
I said, "Yeah
You think that song was for you'?"
He said, "Wasn't it?"
He was an adorable child.
It was a wonderful meeting.
They loved it. They enjoyed it.
That was our audition.
So I'm very proud of that moment in our life.
There was another world about to open.
David G-est
and he was ready to delve into it.
Marvin Gaye.
Junior Walker.
When you went to Motown, it was...
Everyone was there.
The Isley Brothers.
Kim Weston.
Edwin Starr.
Jimmy Ruffin.
It was like Disneyland. You saw Smokey,
you saw Mary, you saw Diana Ross.
But everybody was trying
to perfect their artistry.
The feeling at Motown was it was a family,
a musical family.
Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford.
And we all were a part of excellence
and greatness, musical greatness.
And we so were fans of each other's work,
so that when we saw each other;
It was just instant love.
We got, "We knew what you were doing.
I heard what you're working on."
And it just... We kept pushing each other.
When you start working
with the best in the business.
Russell Thompkins, Jr.
that are teaching you how to dance,
how to play this
and teaching you now to sing this,
putting you at the piano,
vocal coaches, dancing coaches,
people who teach you how to talk.
When you work with that from the time
that you're a young man,
you grow up with so much influence.
So it wasn't just the fact
that Michael Jackson
was born with so much great talent.
He always had it around him.
Michael Jackson studied all the artists,
all the great artists.
He studied me, he studied Marvin Gaye,
he studied Stevie Wonder.
He studied everybody.
We were the best in the country at the time.
The first time I saw them perform
was in San Francisco
and I was like, "Wow."
It was like, "There's nobody that good."
Berry Gordy was like,
"Keep your cards close to your chest.
"Don't let people know what you're thinking.
"Don't let the artists Know
how much people like 'em."
He was a shrewd guy.
Berry looked after every aspect
of an artist's career.
Now, some may complain today
that they didn't get paid enough royalties
and they never received
a lot of their publishing.
But I 'll tell you something.
Berry Gordy made these artists.
Everybody, I think,
had different relationships with Berry.
Abdul 'Duke' Fakir
We had a great relationship with Berry
and we still do.
He gave us... He promised us things
that he made come true,
that he couldn't put in the contract.
But he promised them and kept his word.
What he saw in the Jackson 5
was a children's group that could transcend
every age group.
And he nurtured their talents.
He knew he had something special.
I made him sit in while I was doing the music.
Bobby Taylor
that they had to work with.
They were with me 20 hours a day.
Being attentive, if I sew somebody sleeping,
then I would send them back to the house
and tell them,
"l don't wanna see you for a week."
They worked hard, they really worked hard.
Michael now would stay
over at Diana Ross's house and rehearse.
He really liked Diana Ross
and she liked him.
HOLLOWAY: Diana Ross was
showing him off.
She just like...
She was the one that discovered him
and later on I found out that Bobby Taylor
actually discovered him.
TITO: I think we were just kids.
We didn't realise
all the great accomplishments
that we had achieved.
Seeing Hollywood and playing
with Diana Ross. I mean, we were in heaven.
Just those things alone was priceless to us.
Michael told me when he came to LA,
it was like his whole world had changed.
He could buy as much candy as he wanted
because nobody would say no to him.
Michael and I went to see the Four Tops,
it was around 1 971 or '72.
Michael and David just came
to the dressing room
and in the dressing room
was also Stevie Wonder.
GEST: I said to Levi Stubbs,
You're brilliant. I love your voice..
And Michael looked at him and said,
"l learned everything from you."
And he was out off. Stevie said, "What?"
And he grabbed Michael
and flung him up against the wall...
And said,
"You learned everything from who?"
And he goes, "You, Stevie, you."
(LAUGHS) It was so funny. It was so funny.
Levi and I, we never forgot that.
Bobby Taylor and I would take
Michael to the golf course with us.
He had never even picked up
a golf club in his life.
Yet, he was our greatest golf critic.
"Well, Smokey, you know,
you hit your ball over in the woods
"because you didn't have your foot
standing right here..."
"Bobby, see, your club was not, you Know..."
He's gonna tell us why we had a bad shot.
But it was fun. He was a great, fun kid.
RANCIFER: The first time I heard
I Want You Back in the studio,
I noticed a different kind of brightness
to the movement,
Ronnie Rancifer
other than normal Motown brightness.
It was going in a different direction,
which was good
because Motown's sound was diversified.
GEST: When you listened to I Want You Back,
you knew Berry had a knack to get
the best commercial record out of these kids
and make them a worldwide success.
When my sister and my mom first heard
our first hit record, I Want You Back,
my father had sent it over,
they didn't care for it.
I didn't like it at all.
Because the songs that the children sang
was more like the, I should say, soul music.
And to me, I Want You Back
didn't sound that way.
All the songs that was out then
sound so different,
so I guess Berry wanted
to bring out a different style.
Little did they know it was a very big song,
number one.
It was just an unbelievable track.
It just came out of the radio like lightning.
Oh, them Jackson 5, that is a kickin' group.
"Wow, that's them?"
And I had to get used to the song
because even though it was a very big hit,
your brothers singing on a record,
on vinyl, and you hearing it
is something totally different.
MICHAEL: We just don't have songs
that come and go,
Voice of Michael Jackson
Interview courtesy of J. Randy Taraborrelli
we have songs that'll be around all the time.
Like, you'll hear 'em
on the FM classical stations,
by the Philharmonic Orchestra,
things like that.
So it's just not what people call it,
kiddie rock. It's not that.
And a million sellers, a million selling.
J. Randy Taraborrelli
It was difficult to believe
that they were Motown artists,
because they were just kids.
It was as if they had some
kind of stardust rub off on them
because, you know, they were
becoming close to Berry Gordy,
Diana Ross, and to all of my idols.
When I wrote Who's Lovin' You,
I was, you Know, in my early 20s.
But at least, at that point,
I had had a chance to experience
some life and some love.
I was married. I got married when I was 19.
The subject matter
of the song is like a person
who has somebody who really loves them.
And yet they don't appreciate it.
They do the person wrong.
The first time I heard Smokey's
Who's Lovin' You,
my assistant was playing it
and it's one of those,
oh, party, red-light, basement-type,
you know, up on it.
But when Michael got ahold to it,
and Bobby Taylor infused him up
with that funk,
men, Michael put that soul
in that song so deep, it was soulful.
How could he possibly know
what that song meant?
He sang it like he had written it.
I sing Who's Lovin' You, or part of it,
in my live concerts
and many times, young people have
come up to me after the concert and said,
"Oh, I didn't know
you sang Michael Jackson's song."
A kid, 11 years old, singing that song
with that muon emotion? It was incredible.
He seemed as if he was an old soul,
that he could take a song like
Who's Lovin' You
and he could actually interpret those lyrics
in a way that made you believe
that he had those experiences,
when actually he was 10 years old.
If you didn't know he was a kid,
you'd have thought he was an old man.
But he was singing it from his heart.
You know, Michael's life
was kind of paradoxical to me,
because when he was a child, he was a man.
So when he was a man, he got the chance
to be a child and he took it.
He had a way of interpreting a lyric,
even as a very young boy,
that made you believe the song.
He knew how to perform.
This was, I think, something
that Berry Gordy really liked about Michael
because, not only was he a great vocal talent,
but he was a great performer.
Watching him, as a kid,
be so comfortable performing.
Peabo Bryson SINGER
probably helped me
become a better performer, actually.
His voice was nearly
as high as Stevie Wonder's.
I met Stevie when he was eight years old
and I said, "Here's another little youngster
who's far beyond his age, talent-wise,
"but able to sing adult songs
in perfect-pitched voices,
"real high voices that hadn't changed yet."
His voice and his expressions and his...
Weldon Arthur McDougal III.
charisma start taking these songs over.
Like, if Smokey felt like he did his song
and more people like the way Michael
did it than him,
that's because he did that with all
of his songs at that time.
No matter who it was, the O'Jays, the Dells,
the Whispers or the Beatles,
we wanted to be the best.
And that's what we were striving for.
Berry Gordy did not like the stuff
that Bobby Taylor was recording on them.
I wanted to do the boys a certain way,
but he wanted me to do 'em his way.
And I says, "I can't do 'em the way
you want me to do 'em.
"l must have my own head."
So he says,
"Okay we 're going back to Detroit. .
Then he took oven.
RANCIFER: Berry Gordy in turn,
put his crew together.
The Corporation was established
to bring fresh new material
to the Jackson 5.
Youthful material.
I think he probably felt
that Bobby Taylor would
give them more adult material
and forget that they were children.
He saw gazillions, right?
Then he took over.
Bobby Taylor did never get the recognition
he should have gotten
for working with them,
from the group or the public.
Bobby Taylor produced 10 songs on the
album: 'Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5'.
During 1969-70 the Jackson 5
released 4 number one singles in a row.
The Corporation, is
what they called themselves,
they topped themselves
with those early songs by the Jackson 5,
they were absolutely incredible.
Absolutely incredible.
KATHERINE: When my boys had
five gold records in a row,
I was very proud of them because I know
it was something that they wanted
and it was their dream.
And they were happy and I was happy.
The whole family was happy about that.
We did a show once for Jesse Jackson.
Dennis Edwards
You know, Jesse Jackson, he's the activist.
He's got an organisation called PUSH Expo.
He booked the Temptations
and the Jackson 5.
They were just up and coming.
We were superstars at that time
and, oh, man, it was so many people.
MCDOUGAL: When they did that Show,
the Temptations got a great response.
When the Jackson 5 came on,
it was phenomenal.
I mean, almost blew the roof off the place.
EDWARDS: They couldn't get us to our limos.
They had to back up an armoured car,
a Brink's car.
It's like a moment in history.
That's when they finally made it
with the black R&B public.
They were just ripe for stardom.
On the stage, he was a different guy.
He was really as much of an actor
in so many ways as he was a singer.
MICHAEL: A lot of people always come up
to a lot of us and say.
Voice of Michael Jackson
Interview courtesy of J. Randy Taraborrelli
it's like two different people.
On stage and off stage.
When we was talking, he's shy
and, you know, very soft spoken.
But just when he jumped
on that stage, he's like...
Well, l mean, he was a different person
and I've never seen
that in another artist's life.
He was like two guys.
Anything he felt that he wanted to do,
he would do it on stage.
The moment he came off of the stage,
he was back to the little boy he was
before he went on stage.
MICHAEL: When I get on stage, I really,
totally do. That's with a lot of performers.
Voice of Michael Jackson
Interview courtesy of J. Randy Taraborrelli.
I've learned that about comedians, too.
It's like when I worked with Richard Pryor
in The Wiz.
A lot of people think he's the funniest guy
to be around 24 hours.
That's not true. He 's really shy and quiet.
We were all like that, too.
Singing or dancing
in front of like, one person, can't do it.
But, like, it's 30, 000, you feel so free,
so much easier.
It's hard to explain.
What motivates Michael Jackson?
That was an audience.
Think about it.
He's shy, he won't look at you, right?
On stage, what is he?
He owns it.
So if I had people looking at him,
I used to bring five, six girls
every time, right?
And I'd say, "Michael, look at that girl, man.
They think you're cute."
Michael'd say,
"Dang, Bobby, they said that?"
I said, "You better go out there
and sing now, son."
I said, "You go out there
and you mess up now," I said,
"They're gonna tell all the rest of the girls
out there.
"You're gonna be one ugly little boy
everywhere you go."
He used to go out and do one take.
When we were on the road,
Michael would worry you to death.
I hear somebody knocking on my door
and say,
"Hey, man, what's wrong?" "Oh, man,
what you doing? I wanna come in."
So I'd let him in. I'd say, "Man, why don't
you hang out with Jackie and them guys?"
"Hey man, they got somebody in their room. "
I said, "Well, how do you know?"
He said, 'Cause I was listening
to the door for about an hour
He was like a little boy, I mean, he...
I said, "What were they doing?"
He said, "They were talking,
but they won't let me in."
They were like little kids
and they were very, very happy
and very carefree.
TARABORRELLI: Michael loved being
Michael Jackson at that age.
He loved touring,
he loved recording at Motown.
He loved his fans, he loved performing.
MCDOUGAL: They had dirt bikes
and they used to go on Saturday mornings.
They'd go to a place
where they could ride them,
and Michael used to tear that thing up.
Man, he was flying up and down
over the hills.
I thought it was, you know, he was like
any other little boy.
But he was a little boy with a dirt bike.
I mean, they had two or three of 'em.
So, when people say
that he didn't have a childhood,
far as I'd seen he had a childhood.
When he was a kid, things were a lot simpler.
And I think that, as they got older,
the family became more divided
and other stuff happened
in Michael Jackson 's life
to make him wish
that he was 12 years old again.
So, when he says
he missed out on his childhood,
I've always felt that what he really meant was
that he just missed it very much.
The first time I met him was when he was 14,
full of life, full of ambition.
It was at the peak of his powers.
Fire in his belly and just everything
about him was fabulous.
I wrote it about friendship.
The story is about this boy
who's very seriously ill
and nothing's going right for him.
But a little rat comes along one day,
he sees it in his bedroom.
But it was a lovely little mousey kind of rat.
And he befriends him.
And it makes the boy so much better,
it lifts his spirits up.
And that's how I wrote the song,
about friendship.
It can be about a rat.
The two of us need look no more.
You're always running here and there. .
But it could be about a best friend.
When Michael recorded Ben,
I remember going to the studio
and it was just magical. I just loved it.
I always remember Michael
getting very emotional about that song.
His eyes welled up a bit,
particularly at the middle bit.
I'll never forget that image.
The middle bit was,
"I used to say 'I' and 'me, '
"now it's 'us, ' now it's 'we."'.
Michael just loved those lines.
In fact, that's why, I think,
we repeat them in the song.
We do it again. (CHUCKLES)
There was a longing, I think,
for love and acceptance,
going all the way back
to when he was a little kid.
And you were able to hear that longing
in his voice.
Singing is passion.
Bobby Taylor
You have to do it from inside of you.
It has to come from your soul, your heart.
And Michael Jackson had that.
It wasn't done for the posture of "I did this."
Dionne Warwick SINGER.
It was done because his heart said,
"This is what I need to do," and he did it.
Michael sings like an angel.
He has the voice of an angel and he does...
Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.
Every note is right on it and he was doing
that at nine years old.
MICHAEL: I recorded Ben
I don't know how long ego.
I mean, I hear it all the time still,
you know, go on and on and on.
Voice of Michael Jackson
Interview courtesy of J. Randy Taraborrelli.
Yeah, it's selling more now.
So, it's what you leave behind, I think.
BLACK: There are people who come along
once in a lifetime.
Michael Jackson, he only happens once.
When you think about Michael Jackson,
you think about him as a kid.
Freda Payne SINGER.
Like when he did some
of those earlier songs, like Ben.
And then as he grew and evolved
and became a young man,
I saw the metamorphosis
of a beautiful, beautiful flower,
just blooming and unfolding.
Michael enjoyed what he was doing.
Mickey & Jan Rooney JACKSON'S FRIENDS.
That's why, transition from very young
to getting older,
it's just one year after another,
but doing what the good Lord let us do.
GEST: When Michael became e teenager;
His voice changed.
He realised that he would be singing
different types of music,
David G-est
not kiddie pop songs
like he had been most of his career.
EDDIE HOLLAND: The first time we worked
with the Jackson 5 was very exciting.
Because the one thing I noticed
about the group,
Brian & Eddie Holland.
that they were extremely down to earth,
very mannerable,
very, very polite.
Michael recorded several songs
of mine and the Hollands'.
Lamont Dozier
and Forever Came Today
was one of my favourites.
He had such pipes and drama in his voice
to be so young.
He was just one of a kind in that respect.
He really did the songs justice.
I think Michael knew now important lyric
was to the song.
Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford.
And it had to reach, touch something,
I think, for him to really wanna sing it.
And, you know,
he'd dance and sing at the same time
so it had to correspond with his body, too.
So it all had to be one piece for him.
He didn't want fluff.
He wanted something with legs on it,
something that was gonna last through time
and that's actually
what he ended up creating.
The bigger he became as an artist,
the more enamoured he seemed
to be over songwriters.
A lot of people have done those songs
and couldn't get a handle on 'em
like the Levi Stubbs or Diana Ross,
but he just had a knack, a gift.
He already had a cake
but then he put icing all on top of it.
TARABORRELLI: Around 1974,
they started doing product at Motown
that perhaps wasn't the best.
J. Randy Taraborrelli
As a fan, I loved songs
like The Boogie Man is gonna get you,
and Lookin' through the Windows,
and Skywriter,
but these songs weren't hits.
MCDOUGAL: Joe mentioned to me
several times that he felt like
Motown was taking the group over,
taking them away from his direction.
What happened was that.
Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder
and Smokey Robinson
were writing and producing
and doing a lot of things at Motown
that the Jacksons had begun
to want to do for themselves.
And to see how Motown treated other artists
and how the other artists was making it,
it was kind of disillusion.
TARABORRELLI: The company was being
run at that time by Ewart Abner,
Berry Gordy was making movies
with Diana Ross.
And Abner felt pretty strongly
that they should not be writing
and producing their own music,
that they should just
accept the material that came their way
and just do a good job with it in the studio.
GEST: Michael was very disillusioned.
He wanted to not only write his own material
but produce it as well.
He realised
if he was to reach these goals,
he would have to go somewhere else.
Joe Jackson called me and told me
that they were looking for a place to go.
Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.
And of course, Huff and myself,
we tried to get them
for Philly International Records.
But at the same time, CBS
was negotiating with them also.
I wanted to know
if there was a shot, a chance,
Ron Alexenburg
of being able to get involved.
And I was told there was.
The next is, we sat down
and we started to negotiate.
They wanted a million dollars.
And I figured,
"Okay, that's all I could approve up to."
That was my approval level.
I had to go through the ranks
and I said,
We have a chance of signing the Jackson 5
and they said, They're done.
I said, "No, I'm sorry.
"l believe in them,
I believe that there's a big future,
"l believe that Michael Jackson
"could be one of the biggest stars even ."
That took care of that.
I was handed the letter and they said,
"There's your deal memo, go sign 'em."
In order to move on and progress,
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
Joseph said he had to do it
because he wanted the children
to get credit for their writings and all of that,
and they couldn't do that at Motown.
CBS offered them movies,
they offered 'em a TV show,
cartoons and everything.
And of course Gamble and Huff you know,
we couldn't offer them all those things.
So they decided to go with CBS.
Probably the most important signing
of my career.
left Motown Records and went to CBS.
Jermaine stayed behind
because he was married to Hazel
and Hazel was Berry Gordy's daughter.
KATHERINE: When my boys left Jermaine
back at Motown,
it hurt, because Jermaine wouldn't come.
I don't know if it was upset or angry or
whatever or disappointment or whatever,
it just was a sad time, that's all.
That's the word. It was sad.
Jermaine felt
that he owed his allegiance to Berry
'cause Berry was the one
that gave us our start.
And I felt the same way.
maintained the name Jackson 5
and they really thought that maybe
it wasn't fair that Berry got to keep
the name "Jackson 5,"
so they went to CBS as the Jacksons.
ALEXENBURG: I was not prepared
for the rubbish that would come my way.
It was this fear, I guess,
that what the supposed "lily white" company
was gonna do to this black family.
I received phone calls, I received threats.
There was a lot of prejudice in the business.
Black records usually had to cross over
from being R&B to pop stations.
Very rarely did a pop station
just go on a black record.
It's the most ridiculous thing in the world
when you think of it now
because it's not like that any more.
But it sure was in the '60s and '70s.
Music business was segregated
and even though
the Jackson 5 had crossed over,
there was just always
this thing that was going on
that there was a difference
between R&B and pop.
Forget the colour, listen to the music.
Does the music excite your audience?
Yes. Play it.
Ron Alexenburg called us and asked us
if we would produce them.
ALEXENBURG: I wanted to go
to proven winners
and that's why I picked up the phone
and called Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
and it was only at that time that I found out
that they were also
trying to sign the Jacksons and I said,
"Well, pretend that you signed them
but they're gonna be on Epic Records
"and please produce them for me."
GAMBLE: That transition
was a trying time, because
they had a lot of emotional things
going on with them
because this was the first time
that Jermaine was not recording with them.
GEST: When Jermaine left,
Randy came into the group
and Joe had been preparing Randy,
for a long time, to become a member.
And he fit in like a glove.
This here gentleman is Randy Jackson,
The Jacksons
and he happens to be the youngest
and the ugliest member of the Jackson 5.
Now what's the excuse for you, so ugly?
'Cause I take after my big brother; Tito.
As soon as we found a recording date
for an artist,
we would start writing for them
and not only would Gamble and Huff
write for them,
but we had McFadden and Whitehead
who wrote for them.
- All of our writers, all of our staff...
- Dexter, Cynthia Biggs...
They would know
that the Jacksons were coming in.
and Leon Huff instructed me
to write a number one for them
to see if I could come up with any material
that they liked,
meaning the Jacksons,
and that Gamble and Huff could approve.
And so, we would have prepared for them
maybe 20 songs
when they walked in the door.
And then we'd take those 20 songs
and we'd cut 'em down to maybe, like, 12.
The Jacksons themselves were
interested in moving on with their career.
They wanted to write,
they wanted to produce.
So Huff and I, we helped them produce.
Tito was excellent,
'cause he's a great guitar player.
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
was very warm, nice people.
They had a lot of soul,
we had a lot in common with the music.
WANSEL: When I cut their tracks,
I always included Tito
in the rhythm section.
And he told me Motown would not
let him play on their tracks,
but he played on every one of mine.
GAMBLE: Our studio was running
24 hours a day so it was like a machine.
H U F F: Sometimes,
we might wanna work until the wee hours
of the morning.
Depends on how strong
your creative juices is flowing
at that moment.
And the Jacksons were used to curfews.
But that changed in Philly.
GAMBLE: Well, they were olden
they were teenagers then.
But they were still trying
to induce that old system,
and Michael rebelled against it.
Because Michael wanted to hang out
into the wee hours of the morning, so...
And that's what he did.
Michael loved his time with Gamble and Huff.
He really appreciated working
with two geniuses
who wrote so many classic songs.
Can you tell us, what made you want
to sing in the first place?
- I don't know.
- You don't know?
Well, you know how that goes with children.
They just don't know, do they?
Michael, at that time, was always shy
and really reserved.
We would say l wanna go get something
to eat, or Let's do this..
And he would go, "Okay"
And he was very humble.
And I think he was pretty humble
through his life.
- What's your name?
- Christopher Wansel.
I was young when that video was made,
I was, like, one or two years old.
Christopher Wansel JACKSON FRIEND.
The relationship with the Jacksons
started there
and it continued throughout life.
Can you sing?
He can't dance? I wanna see his dance.
- JACKIE: Come on, man!
- You don't have to.
CHRISTOPHER: I remember a lot of just,
I guess, excitement and just joy
with those guys at that point, you Know,
'cause a lot of people that would record
would be serious,
you wouldn't get a smile or anything,
but these guys were constantly joking
left and right.
JACKIE: What do you do, booger?
Well, other than being "the Bishop of Soul"
I'm also "the Monk of Funk"
and "the High Priest of Rock"
and "the Bishop of Soul."
MAN 1: All right!
MAN 2: Who said that?
I met Michael Jackson
when he first came to Philly.
Billy Paul
back in, I think, it was 1974.
He was a very shy young kid, you know.
And he was very excited to meet me,
you know,
'cause he... Mrs Jones...
It was at the height of Mrs Jones.
I welcomed him to the studio and told him
he was gonna enjoy it
and I'd do a good job, you Know,
and he just laughed.
WANSEL: Michael's voice had changed,
from the little boy
that could hit all those high, piercing,
I'll Be There notes
to a rawer sound.
But he was a great singer because
he studied the great singers,
he wanted to sing like them.
He knew what he wanted to do
with his voice,
like over-dubbing his voice
and doubling his voice
and speeding up one voice and this one...
These are things that he was telling me,
you know. We're the producers.
He would say,
"Gamble, can I try this? Can I try that?"
I said, "Yeah, try anything you want."
- We let him express himself.
- H U F F: Yeah.
GAMBLE: You know, he was in there
through the mixes,
he was around me and Huff all the time.
I remember when they were working
with Gamble and Huff in Philadelphia,
and I liked their sound and I liked what they
did and they helped them out a lot.
And that's when
the boys first start writing, too.
GEST: Their first record
produced by Gamble and Huff
even though it went gold,
wasn't a really huge album for them.
It mid-charted in around the 50s
and he wanted something
that was number one.
When they did their second album,
Goin' Places,
the album was really a flop.
He was used to selling
a million or so albums on Motown.
And he really in no disrespect to them,
wanted to produce and write
all his own material.
He wanted to be in charge.
Released in 1978 'Destiny' was the
first album produced by the Jacksons.
When I first heard Destiny,
I liked it very much.
I was very proud of them.
I thought they did a real good job.
The album re-established
The Jacksons as a top selling group.
EDWARDS: He kept reaching
for higher plateaus
and he felt, maybe, that if the group...
Dennis Edwards
Where he wanted to go,
they probably couldn't go with him.
Michael was beginning
to think of himself as a solo artist
and I always wondered
what would happen to the brothers
if Michael left the group.
Without Michael Jackson, that was gonna be
a tough road for the Jacksons.
And I also believed
that that's one of the reasons why
Michael put it off for as long as he could.
Yeah, I figured he'd go solo.
He was too good.
He couldn't carry his brothers forever.
KATHERINE: One of the lawyers called me in
and he told me to tell the boys
to save their money
because Michael is gonna go solo.
I said, He can't do that. .
And he said,
"Well, he don't need his brothers.
I said, "They need one another."
TARABORRELLI: Joseph just felt
that what was really important
wasn't the individual success of the group
but it was the group itself
and it was the family itself.
And that's easy to say
when you're not the lead singer of the group.
ALEXENBURG: I saw Michael leaving
his father as a positive,
no longer persecuting him, abusing him
or saying things to him that were ugly.
He seemed to only be
getting it from one source, his father.
Michael never felt comfortable
with Joe as his manager,
'cause he was afraid of him.
And when you're afraid of somebody,
you don't wanna be around them.
That was his destiny, to be by himself.
His confidence level was really high
and when he made the transition
from us to Quincy,
he was ready.
Michael really admired Quincy Jones.
Quincy had produced Frank Sinatra,
Ella Fitzgerald,
Dinah Washington,
And so many other acts
during his very illustrious career.
When he was about to do Off The Wall,
he went to him,
asking for suggestions
of people that might be interested
in working with him.
And the story goes that Quincy Jones said,
"I'm available," and he said,
l would love to work with you..
TARABORRELLI: I was in the studio
for the Off The Wall sessions,
and so, I was able to actually watch
Michael and Quincy work together.
And Michael really thought of Quincy
as sort of the father that he hoped.
Joseph could have been for him.
One of the things that Michael told me
he loved about working with Quincy
was that Quincy thought
Michael's ideas were good ideas.
And if you listen to some of the demos,
those songs were complete
when Michael brought them to Quincy.
I mean, you could have just put them out.
And Quincy appreciated the fact
that Michael had this amazing ability.
There was a lot of respect there.
BRYSON: Quincy Jones has always been
smart about merging what he has to offer
with what the artist has to offer
and I think that's probably
one of Quincy's greatest gifts.
Peabo Bryson SINGER.
And he certainly did that with Michael
in abundance.
GEST: I will never forget when
he brought Off The Wall over to my house
to play it for me.
It just jumped right out of the record player.
It was the most unbelievable album.
I'd ever heard to that date.
To me, that's one of the greatest albums
I've ever heard in my life.
Russell Thompkins, Jr.
When the musicians that I know,
and we all sit around
and we listen to the arrangements,
and the production that was done on that
album, the things that Quincy Jones did,
was fantastic.
Quincy Jones had horn players
playing such fantastic licks.
and had drummers and percussions
that Michael had to dance to,
and that only made him
even the more exciting.
Quincy was a great arranger,
Michael was a great singer,
and also had a great foresight
and it just was a marriage made in heaven.
EDDIE FLOYD: I had the pleasure
of coming up in the same era
and watching him.
Eddie Floyd
and once he got with Michael... Wow...
History speaks for itself.
TARABORRELLI: There was just no way
that these songs
weren't going to be big hits.
KATHERINE: An album would have
two very good songs on it
that they know is gonna be hits,
and then they throw anything on an album,
to fill if out.
And he said, "Mother, I don't believe in that.
I think every song should be a hit. .
And so, he just put good songs out there
and gave the people
good product.
Actually, it made me start dancing again
when I went out,
'cause I was one of those
"l don't wanna sweat" guys. (LAUGHS)
When Off The Wall was on,
you had to hit the dance floor.
It was just absolutely astounding
and then he just
Kept getting better and better.
Abdul 'Duke' Fakir
Such a God-given talent, so precious.
TARABORRELLI: When he recorded Thriller,
Michael was very excited
and he said that he thought
this was going to sell hundreds
and hundreds of millions of copies.
Quincy kept telling Michael,
You know what? Maybe live million.
"l mean, if we do 10 million,
it's gonna be huge,
"but, you know, don't get your hopes up."
He was never pleased
with what he accomplished.
He always wanted
to accomplish the impossible.
TARABORRELLI: Michael felt that Quincy
should have been on his team
with 100 million.
And he told his attorney,
"Thriller's not coming out.
Quincy doesn't believe in it.
"Cancel. The thing's not coming out," right?
So, Michael had a conversation
with Walter Yetnikoff,
who was running CBS at that time.
And Walter Yetnikoff told Michael,
"Look, who cares what these guys think.
"It's not about what their impression is
of this music,
"it's what you believe to be the case.
"And if you believe this is
going to sell 100 million copies,
"guess what, Michael?"
I'm with you.
"Let this thing come out.
Don't mess with this. Just let it come out. ."
And then Michael did.
But it could have gone either way.
We were averaging a million units a week,
which no other record had done.
Frank Dileo
JACKSON'S MANAGER 1984-89, 2009.
Michael Jackson, that year with Thriller,
saved the record business.
Tower Records was going out of business,
CBS itself had had two black Fridays
where they laid off, like, a thousand people,
other companies were laying off people.
Everybody was losing their job.
But Thriller was so big,
it brought millions of people into the stores
and they not only bought Thriller;
They bought other product.
It was the music that will probably
influence contemporary artists
for a long, long time to come.
It gave us a...
A goal, a bull's-eye or a dream to get to,
something to aspire to.
KATHERINE: After Michael made Off The Wall,
and then Thriller,
I knew then that it was like shooting a rocket
up to the moon.
Were you aware of the sales?
I pretty much did the album
and just sat back and watched.
He saw where he wanted to go.
Freda Payne SINGER
and he went there.
And nobody could stop him.
He went to a level
that only the very great have obtained.
He wanted to be the best
and he was the best.
TAYLOR: God took that little man
and he says,
"Okay now, you take over the music world."
Bobby Taylor
"It now belongs to you."
ALEXENBURG: What made him so special
is that he was held back
for so long
that when he was finally released,
all of it came out.
TITO: He just lit the stage on fire.
He stole the show from everybody,
including the Jackson 5.
RANCIFER: Michael was into his fans.
To make all these people that happy,
it charged him up, it really did.
Ronnie Rancifer
SIMPSON: My fondest memory
is the Motown 25.
SIMPSON: We were on that show,
- and he premiered the moonwalk. Wow.
- That was something.
Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford,
GEST: Michael called me
when he got home from doing Motown 25,
and said, "I've just given
the greatest performance of my life."
David G-est
WARWICK: How excited we all were for him,
it was like, "I guess I've arrived,"
(LAUGHS) you know?
Dionne Warwick SINGER.
With an armful of Grammys.
It was wonderful.
In 1984 Michael won an unprecedented
8 Grammys for 'Thriller'.
'Thriller' became the best selling album
of all time with sales exceeding 11 C) million.
ALL: (CHANTING) Michael!
During the eighties Michael had more
number 1 hits than any other artist.
GEST: Michael Jackson is
one of the greatest artists of all time,
who transcended being labelled
black, white, red, yellow,
it didn't matter,
he appealed to everybody, everywhere.
I think he came here ready
'cause he always wanted to be a superstar.
He was wearing little rings on his fingers
when he was a little man, you know.
TARABORRELLI: He was very conscious
of the iconoclastic nature
of "Michael Jackson,"
J. Randy Taraborrelli
and what it would mean historically.
ALEXENBURG: Michael's image
was very important to him
because Fred Astaire
and the people that he studied,
Jackie Wilson, James Brown...
How are they being revered? Why are they
so terrific and what did they do?
And he was a great student.
Ron Alexenburg
It just didn't come upon him,
he studied his craft, he worked at it.
GEST: He was directing his careen
he was so street smart
and he knew how to make a campaign work,
and more importantly, how to make it last.
He believed that the biggest stars
left the biggest impression
and it was bigger than just their art,
you know.
What you thought of instantly
when you thought of these celebrities
and with Michael,
what you began to think of instantly
was the fedora hat, it was the one glove.
On the show that we did together
at Madison Square Garden,
he came out with a suitcase
and inside was the glove,
and he had the hat,
and he had everything he needed
to show them,
"Nobody does it better than I
and these are my trademarks."
TARABORRELLI: The total package
of Michael Jackson became very important,
especially with the advent of video culture,
which happened at the exact same time
that Billie Jean and Beat It
were becoming hit records.
'Billie Jean' was the 1st video by a black
artist to receive heavy rotation on MTV.
Michael never officially left The Jacksons.
'Victory' (1984) was their last album together.
GEST: It was an immense pressure
to be in the public eye
and he kept wanting
to look better and better.
He was very, very self-conscious.
Michael felt under pressure
where his image was concerned
because of who he is.
He was a black guy he was an inner-city guy.
How could he be the darling
of white society?
He had to change.
I think all that was what led
to the first plastic surgery, in 1978.
I went to interview Michael
at his home in Encino
and he showed up at the door
with bandages on his face
and his eyes were black and blue,
and I thought that he had been
in some kind of a fight.
He explained to me
that he had fallen on stage
and broke his nose.
This was why he had that first surgery.
His next major one was in 1981
and he stayed with me for four weeks.
I took care of him.
I always felt that he looked so good
after that second one,
he never needed to do more.
TARABORRELLI: And then after that,
there were all kinds of other things
that were going on
that it was really hard to determine,
you know, what he was doing
and when he was doing it.
REBBIE: I think he should have stopped
before he did, yes.
Being vulnerable and listening to others,
he just kept going.
Rebbie Jackson MICHAEL'S SISTER.
DILEO: Steve Hoefflin, I believe,
and I said to Michael,
did too many operations
and made Michael not secure, but insecure.
GEST: One of the ways
Steve stayed close to Michael
was constantly telling him what he needed.
Steve would probably disagree with that,
but I felt
you just went a bit too fan.
The disease that Michael had, vitiligo,
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
Michael suffered from it and he...
He didn't wanna be spotted up and he...
He went to a skin doctor
and had him to get his whole face one colour
but below, his legs and things
were still spotted up
but he didn't show that part of his body.
Vitiligo Sufferer
only parts of his body like his hands
and his face and his neck and chest.
That's the part that he had bleached out
so it wouldn't look so bad.
Some people have their own ideas
of what they think it is,
but I know what it is.
TARABORRELLI: If always felt unfair to me
and I think that Michael
always felt victimised by it.
I loved it when Michael said,
"Plastic surgery
was not invented for Michael Jackson.
"People have been having
plastic surgery for years.
"I'm not the first one to do it.
"Why am I always the one being picked
on about it?"
And I thought that was a really good point.
TITO: We were doing a Pepsi commercial,
the year was 1984.
And we were just getting ready
to go out on the Victory Tour.
I went to the set the day they were shooting it
and they had a lot of performances
that were great.
So it was the end of the day,
they called for a wrap,
I said goodbye to him.
And I was walking out the door
when I heard the producer say,
"We have to do one more take."
There was some pyro,
and Michael was coming down the steps
and I think somebody missed their cue.
One of the flames came
and landed on Michael's head,
which he had hairspray, something like that,
and it just...
After the accident, Michael had
to go through a horrific experience
to repair his scalp.
It was a form of tissue expansion
known as ballooning.
This procedure is often used on the scalp.
to treat burns, scarring.
This is done by the surgeon
inserting a plastic balloon
underneath the skin
and, over a period of time,
increasing the volume of the balloon,
and therefore, stretching the skin above.
The surgeons,
almost like drawing a curtain,
bring the normal tissue
over that area of scalp
and fill in the scarred area.
I actually spoke to Dr Steven Hoefflin,
who did the first ballooning procedure
on Michael after the Pepsi incident.
And he explained to me.
Michael continued
to do the ballooning procedure
with different doctors, throughout his career.
It was quite painful, you can imagine.
If a large balloon of saline
is placed beneath the skin,
is blown up to perhaps 1000 cc of fluid,
it causes quite a large amount of discomfort.
KATHERINE: I think after he got burnt,
that was the first time
he was exposed to strong pain medicine,
because he did have a lot of pain in that spot
for a long time.
People don't realise
that his dependency on pills
was due to that one accident
that changed his life forever.
I used to give
a lot of private parties for Michael
because he'd wanna meet somebody.
My neighbour, when I was living in New York,
was Liam Neeson,
and he loved Liam Neeson's work
in Schindler's List.
And I invited Liam over
and some friends of mine.
DOZIER: You gave him a party
and I remember.
Michael McDonald sang,
Gloria Gaynor sang.
Lamont Dozier
You and Michael were clowning,
he had three bottles of wine, I think,
and he was having a food fight.
In the middle of Gloria Gaynor singing,
Michael threw some jellybeans at me,
and then he started throwing them
in the piano.
(CHUCKLES) And I remember Gloria Gaynor
looking up, like, "What's going on?"
I said, "He's just a kid at heart."
BRYSON: We ended up
sitting at a table together
I got up and I went to talk
to some other people away from the table.
Peabo Bryson SINGER.
When I got back, Michael was in my seat,
in my date's ear; in her face.
I tried to wait a while,
maybe he was gonna go away soon.
No, he was so engrossed
in the conversation with my date,
he didn't even notice me coming back.
"Michael, get your own."
The first time Michael ever drank in his life
was at a dinner that I had
with Burt Bacharach
and he drank about a bottle and a half
of a vintage wine
and he loved the taste.
And I remember we went back to my flat,
and when we got out of the car,
he threw up in the parking lot.
He threw up in my house, everywhere.
And I was picking up all this mess,
and he said,
"You know, if I told Joseph,
you would be in real hot water.
"He would be really mad at you."
I said, "Don't tell him."
Not only did we have fun,
I got to set up a number of collaborations
with Michael and other artists.
Where I actually met him
was at a big do for him,
and he had asked for me
to come along and sing.
I sang Downtown, of course, inevitably.
But it seems that he was a great fan.
Bless his heart,
he financed a recording session for me.
He was a very giving person, Michael.
And very funny
and of course deeply, deeply talented.
David called me on one given day
and said that, "I think there's a possibility
"that you and Michael should sit down
and write together."
Michael and Paul were in the Jacuzzi
and came up with This ls It.
Not many people know that I was responsible
for putting them together.
Unfortunately it evolved,
and I don't know if you remember,
but Michael took the tapes out of the studio
in Los Angeles,
because he didn't want to finish the project.
He kept them, illegally.
We had the same lawyer, unfortunately.
I fired the lawyer because he couldn't
find the contract, all of a sudden.
So, what really happened was, after Michael,
under pressure, returned the tapes,
he obviously copied them.
Thus, years later, they went into his home,
and they found a copy,
on a cassette or whatever,
of my multi-tracks, from my studio,
which they thought was new,
they thought it was a new song.
What threw them off was when they heard
"This is it" as the first line,
it correlated with the tour
that he was gonna do.
After gathering all of the evidence, I realised
that there was an honest mistake made
and I don't wanna cause any problems.
So we sat down very quickly,
within a few hours,
and we hammered out a deal,
which I think is fair to all of us.
And that's the story about This Is It.
G-EST: In 1990, I was producing
the American Cinema Awards,
which honoured legendary stars
of the cinema,
as well as great musical entertainers.
And over the years,
we'd honoured many great legends.
There was nobody more qualified
to win the award
for musical Entertainer of the Decade
than Michael Jackson.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to express my gratitude
to those responsible
for the American Cinema Awards.
I thank David Gest. You're just fantastic.
Thank you so much.
And final, I thank little Christina and Michael.
I love you all, goodbye.
In 1993, Michael Jackson
was accused of molestation
by this kid, whose name was Jordy Chandler,
and by Jordy's father,
whose name was Evan Chandler.
These people were people
that Michael allowed into his life,
and he befriended them.
And the next thing we knew, this kid
was claiming that Michael had molested him.
Back in 1993, this was unbelievable
to all of us who knew Michael Jackson.
Because we just really didn't
think of Michael in any kind of sexual way.
He was sort of asexual in our minds
at that time.
If you know Michael, you know his heart.
Billy Davis, Jr.
Michael was probably one of the most gentle
people that one would ever want to meet.
Michael always told me he loved children
because they were innocent.
They never wanted anything from him.
Michael was always so protective of children.
Marilyn McCoo SINGER, '5th DIMENSION'.
The side that I saw of him,
he was such a family-oriented person.
All of us, growing up, you may know about,
I mean, we always had a baby
in our arms, on our laps,
and we always gravitate to kids.
I mean, it's just an innocent thing
and that's as far as it would ever go.
KATHERINE: I was sick to my stomach,
because I knew that Michael
wouldn't do a thing like that.
And I was wondering,
why are they lying on him like that?
And I can imagine how Michael must've felt.
GEST: Michael called me and said,
"You do something nice
and people try to fuck you."
And that's what he said to me.
And he was just so hurt.
And I rarely heard him cuss.
Michael was on tour
and they took great care to wait
until he go on tour to put this stuff out.
It did appear to me,
and to everybody in the circle,
and also to Michael,
that the district attorney, Tom Sneddon,
was really after Michael Jackson.
And he said,
"Why would people believe this?"
And I said, "You know, I'm having a hard time
understanding it, too, Michael,
"but what I think is that for so many years,
people have wondered about your sexuality
"and they've wondered,
'Is this guy gay, is this guy straight?'"
No one really could understand it.
And now that this has happened,
people feel that they have the answer;
and it's something
that they've decided to latch on to. .
And he said, "Yes, but it's not true. .
And I said, "Yeah, I know that,
but this is what's going on.
"You know, this is what you are up against."
And he was devastated by the '93 allegations,
there's no doubt about it.
Freda Payne SINGER
I felt that somebody was trying
to get something out of this
or they were manipulating a situation.
Michael was a target.
Michael had made a lot of money,
and unfortunately, in our world,
we have people out there
who would like to get some of your money.
And they will do almost anything to get it.
Michael is my brother I love him a great deal.
La Toya Jackson
Press conference, Israel 1993.
But I cannot, and I will not
be a silent collaborator of his crimes
against small, innocent children.
It was hard for me to believe
that she believed that this was true.
Just because, if you knew La Toya
and you knew Michael, they were so close
that it just seemed unfathomable that
La Toya would speak out against her brother.
I have seen cheques payable
to the parents of these children,
and I don't know
if these children were apparently bought,
the parents, by Michael, or not,
but I have seen these cheques.
And I've seen these cheques
through my mother.
Jack Gordon was the guy's name
who basically put her out there
to do things
that was well out of her character
I can't really say on television
the words for Jack Gordon.
But he was a man who had no morals
and very little class.
REBBIE: You can come in contact
with the wrong people without knowing it
or people that surround you,
they can have a strong influence on you.
And these kids are gonna be scarred
for the rest of their lives,
and I don't wanna see any more innocent,
smell children being affected this way.
I love Michael very dearly
but I feel even more sorry for these children
because they don't have a life any more.
They don't.
I had spoken to him on the phone
the day after she had said all those things.
And I have never heard him
feel so much hate for a person
than he did for La Toya.
I just know that it was something
that was very ugly and disheartening,
and the family didn't like it at all.
There 's certain things
you're not gonna get me to do
for no price, whatsoever,
when it comes to people I love and care for.
He was hurt. He was really hurt.
La Toya Jackson and her husband,
boyfriend, I guess, at that time, Jack Gordon,
and I went to Spain
to do a TV show together.
And it was a crazy TV show, where she
was going to be rigged to a lie detector
and then I was going to ask her questions.
I can't imagine why she wanted to do this
because I totally thought she was lying.
When Michael gave his speech
from Neverland,
we watched it in the green room backstage
at this TV show.
I ask all of you to wait and hear the truth.
And I remember seeing it with La Toya
thinking, "This is your brother
"and you're getting ready to go on television
"and I'm gonna ask you these questions
"and the lie detector's
gonna be swinging like crazy."
And suddenly La Toya's price
for that interview
had gone up to, like, $100,000 from $10,000.
Jack said, "You know,
this is now the biggest story in the world,
"and La Toya is going
to be paid appropriately."
And the show would not pay her that money,
and so, I ended up
getting a free trip to Madrid.
They served a search warrant on me,
which allowed them to view and photograph
my body including my penis,
my buttocks, my lower torso, thighs
and any other area that they wanted.
Michael did talk to me about the strip search.
Basically, he said it was the most
humiliating experience of his life.
He couldn't believe that it could happen.
He couldn't imagine
that the law provided for such a thing.
Who would stoop as low as trying
to take pictures of a person's genitals,
and just trying to humiliate him like that?
That was terrible.
If that can happen, anything can happen.
This man could end up going to jail.
Because this guy, Tom Sneddon,
he is definitely after Michael Jackson.
And he's got power.
He's got the law behind him.
It was a real wake-up call.
I remember Michael calling me at 2:00 a.m.
in the morning
and we spoke till 5:00 am.
And he told me
he would never, ever settle that case.
He would never give the guy a dime.
I said, "You're right.
"If you pay him off,
people are gonna think you are guilty."
He said he would never do that.
Michael was getting some really horrible
advice at the time from lawyers,
saying, "Let's just get rid of it, you Know.
"Settle it out and people will forget it
and it'll go away."
The time has come for Michael Jackson
to move on to new business,
to get on with his life,
to start the healing process
and to move his career forward
to even greater heights.
When they settled the case by paying off,
right away the next day, I called Michael,
"Why did you do that?"
And Michael said, "Mother, I didn't do that.
I wanted to fight it till the end.
"But they told me,
the lawyers and things told me,
"'Just go on and pay it off and settle it."'.
He just heard a lot of people making a lot
of promises.
Frank Dileo
JACKSON MANAGER 1984-89, 2009
and telling him, "It's no big deal."
Like, "Pay them the money,
it's like a quarter to you."
The reason they did it
was because Michael was out on tour,
they had accused him of this terrible thing,
and they didn't want to stop the tour,
so they just paid it off.
It was too late. He got some of the worst
advice, probably, in the music business.
I interviewed Michael
right after he made the settlement,
and I asked him, "Why did you do it?
"Don't you realise that from this moment on,
people are going to believe you were guilty?"
And Michael said he didn't care.
He said, It's my life, it's my careen
it's my choice.
I discussed it with him many years later
and he did regret the settlement.
It was one thing in the moment,
you know, when you're in pain
and you're making a decision
based on the pain of the moment,
it's another thing when years go by
and you look back on it and you think,
"Why did I do that?"
And it wasn't about the $17 million,
that meant nothing to him.
It was paid out in an instalment plan,
like he was buying a refrigerator.
It really meant nothing to him.
It was just the fact that people believed
he settled because he was guilty
that really pissed him off.
DILEO: A lot of people
are very confused on this.
But I can sit here under oath
or any other way you want it,
and I'm a staunch Catholic,
I 'll swear on the Bible,
Michael was not gay.
Nor has he ever been gay.
He's confided in me that certain women
that he had relationships with,
he wasn't public about any of it,
because you don't want the fans
to think you're tied down,
they don't have that shot of getting to you.
I went to his home, Neverland,
Whitney Houston SINGER
and he pulled out all of the stops.
He picked me up in a helicopter,
and I got to the house,
and he had a coach and buggy
pick me up from the gate, to his home.
We were in the kitchen, and this
is when he had Bubbles, the monkey.
I had taken off my shoes,
and I felt this little nibble at my toe,
and I thought Michael was playing
with my toes.
I was like, "Oh, Michael, aren't you special."
But it was Bubbles sucking on my big toe.
(LAUGHING) I thought to myself.
"You better watch out,
I'll take Bubbles home."
Michael told me about being on the set
of a movie,
and one of the leading ladies
invited him to her room to watch a movie
and I guess the saying would be
she "jumped his bones."
I know some of the stars
that Michael had been with.
I'll take that to my grave.
When he married Lisa Marie Presley,
it came out of nowhere
and everybody thought it was a big joke,
including me.
I went on television and I cracked a joke
that if anybody's interested in buying
Michael and Lisa Marie a wedding present,
they're registered at Toys R Us.
On my way home,
the phone rang and it was Michael,
and he said, Of all the people in my world,
"l would think that you would not
belittle my relationship."
And I said, "Well, you know, I feel
really terrible right now about this, Michael,
"but you have to understand
that this thing with Lisa Marie
"has come out of the clear blue sky.
"Nobody understands what's going on here.
"She's from Graceland,
you're from Neverland.
"What is going on here?"
We did a very long interview,
in which he explained to me
that he really felt very strongly
about Lisa Marie Presley,
that the marriage
was a real marriage for him.
And he said,
"And if you don't believe me, ask Lisa Marie."
And so I did.
I interviewed Lisa Marie several times.
And I can tell you one thing
about Lisa Marie Presley,
she's tough.
She tells the truth.
She is in-your-face honest.
I believed her when she told me
that that was a real marriage.
KATHERINE: It was a surprise to me.
(CHUCKLES) I had heard it on television,
but he never told me.
He called me, and I said,
"I've been hearing about you being married
to Lisa Marie Presley."
He said, "Yes, that's why I called you.
I wanted to tell you about it.
"And she's right here.
You wanna speak to her?"
And I spoke to her.
Being raised in the South,
she had that accent.
She had a very deep voice, also.
And I told Michael, I said,
Michael, that's not hen.
That's a black girl that I spoke to. .
GEST: He was married to his career.
And I don't think any woman
could live with somebody
and find that they place second,
and not first.
TARABORRELLI: Michael and Debbie
were always very different.
Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson
were not in love.
Debbie Rowe was somebody
that would have been a surrogate mother
to Michael's children, had he had his way.
Had he had his way
we would never even know her name.
The problem was that Michael's own mom
was so determined that Michael
not have children out of wedlock,
that she really wanted Michael
to marry Debbie.
And Michael felt pressured also,
by the record industry and by his fans,
to sort of make an honest woman
out of Debbie Rowe.
And she would have done anything
for Michael.
She was a big fan of his. She had posters
of him all over her apartment.
She would have done anything for him.
She never lived at Neverland.
She never moved in to Neverland,
like Lisa Marie did.
Their marriage was a marriage in name only
so that she could have his children
and then they divorced.
Michael told me
the reason he married Debbie Rowe.
was because he wanted to have a child
and that she was just a really nice person
to be around.
It wasn't that he was so physically
in love with her,
it's that he liked that she was a great nurse,
and she understood him.
Michael had two children with Debbie Rowe:
Prince (1997) and Paris (1998).
He had a third child 'Blanket' in 2002
with an unknown mother.
I got up one day and heard on the radio
The Love You Save by the Jackson 5.
It was my all-time favourite record
by the group.
And I called Michael and said,
"We're gonna do a concert,
"and I'm gonna reunite
you and your brothers."
Michael said no.
Straight out, no.
And I called him again
and I said, "We've got to do this.
"You're gonna make a lot of money
"and we'll put together a deal
and you and I will own it."
We'll be partners in this. .
And Michael said, "Okay let's do it. .
We set the wheels in motion
for the Michael Jackson
30th Anniversary Celebration: The Solo Years
in New York City at Madison Square Garden.
It was about six weeks before the show.
Frank Cascio
And all of a sudden, as Michael expected,
Jermaine had all these random requests
and demands.
GEST: Michael was very disappointed
with Jermaine.
He never thought he was very shrewd
or sharp.
He loved his brother dearly.
But there was a competition between them.
Michael said, "Well, if he's a problem,
get him off the show."
TARABORRELLI: I think it was really difficult
for Jermaine to live in the shadow
of somebody who was as huge as Michael.
J. Randy Taraborrelli
And they were very, very competitive
in that family.
Two weeks before the show,
Katherine Jackson called me and said,
"l want all my sons together."
Jermaine has to go back.
I said, l can't deal with him..
And she said, He will be no problem. .
And he came and was a perfect angel.
Michael really wanted Elizabeth Taylor
at the show, as his date.
But Elizabeth wasn't gonna
do anything for nothing.
"Oh, Michael, I don't know.
"I don't know, Michael.
"I'm not feeling so well
and I don't know if it's a good idea."
That day he picked out the most
beautiful necklace for Elizabeth Taylor.
"Oh, Michael, I love it.
"Of course I will come to the show with you.
Of course."
So, Elizabeth Taylor,
for a fee of a $250,000 necklace,
was Michael Jackson's date at the show.
Well, he is one of my closest friends.
Madison Square Garden
And we know more about each other,
probably, than any two people.
And I love him and he loves me.
GEST: He was supposed to be in the audience
from 8:00 to 9:00,
watching all the acts do a tribute to him.
No Michael at 8:00, no Michael at 8:15,
no Michael at 8:30.
The CBS people were saying,
"What's going on?"
I said, "He's on his way."
Frank Cascio went over to the hotel.
So I walk into his room, he's sleeping.
"What do you mean he's asleep?"
I could tell he was out of it
and he wasn't completely there.
"I started shouting at him.
I said, What did you take?"
So, he told me, he took a shot of Demerol.
He said, "Frank, my back was killing me.
I said, "You're just looking for an excuse
to get out of the show.
"Just tell me, isn't that right?"
He wouldn't answer me.
But I knew that was what it was.
I said, "I don't care what you've taken,
you get on there and entertain."
REPORTER: What makes this
a great night for you?
It's a reunion and I'm honoured
that the world appreciates my art.
I'm very honoured.
TARABORRELLI: I remember talking
to Michael at that time,
and he fell asleep on the phone
when I was talking to him.
And I called his lawyer and I said,
"Is it possible that Michael is on drugs?"
Because I couldn't imagine it.
Michael never did anything like that.
Michael never admitted to anybody
that he had a problem with drugs.
He was totally aloof.
Those of us that did know, and tried to help,
he just eliminated.
He's an amazing man, that he could,
on the pills that he took,
put on a performance.
He looked like his eyes were closed
most of the time,
because I've got the tapes.
But no one knew.
It was a brilliant show.
A lot of energy with the brothers
being on stage once more, again.
And the whole thing,
just playing those hit songs once more,
brought back a lot of great memories.
I don't know anybody
who could do all those dances
and get up there. And he got away with it.
The TV broadcast of the concert
went on to become
one of the highest rated
'Music Specials' in American history.
Around 2003, Michael became involved
with a family by the name of Arvizo.
And Martin Bashir was doing a documentary
about Michael.
And it was Michael's idea
to feature this kid in the documentary.
Michael has a deep affection
for helping children in need.
And this child happened to have
a severe case of cancer.
Michael immediately wanted to do something
to help, to give this child hope,
and give him a reason to live.
A lot of the people working for Michael
Jackson didn't want Michael to do this
because they felt that after what happened
with Jordy Chandler,
people shouldn't be reminded of any
association that Michael had with any kids.
But Michael had no consciousness
of guilt, at all.
I saw the original documentary
that Mr Bashir produced.
Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.
I didn't know Michael Jackson at the time.
But something seemed
very very manipulative,
very sinister, about the way
he approached Michael Jackson.
And what was proof of that
was the navet Michael displayed
in continuing to talk to this man,
who clearly, in my opinion,
was bent on destroying his reputation.
FEMALE REPORTER: Tonight, 12-year-old
Gavin reveals he spends nights at Neverland,
sometimes in Jackson 's bed,
the star on the floor.
Next thing you know, children protective
services became involved,
and different lawyers
began asking questions,
Tom Sneddon is back in the picture again.
And the Arvizo family, suddenly, have
decided that Michael had molested Gavin.
Gavin came to Michael, and said, "Michael,
can we sleep in your room tonight?"
Frank Cascio - UNINDICTED
And Michael looked at me and says,
"l don't know.
"You know, I think you better
ask your mother."
"Oh, we already asked our mother.
She says, 'Sure, no problem."'.
I'm like, "No. This is... Something's odd.
This is not right. .
And then, as I was about to go tell Gavin
that he cannot sleep in Michael's room,
Michael says,
"Okay, I have a solution for this.
"You have to sleep in the room with me."
The two children slept on the bed
and Michael and I slept on the floor.
An arrest warrant for Mr Jackson
has been issued
on multiple counts of child molestation.
At this point in time,
Mr Jackson 's been given an opportunity
to surrender himself
to the custody
of the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department
within a specified period of time.
They were claiming that Michael
organised a conspiracy to abduct children,
to falsely imprison a family
and to commit criminal extortion.
And the other counts had to do
with allegations of child molestation.
These were serious allegations,
the most ridiculous allegations.
Anyone who knows Michael,
Michael is not a paedophile.
Mr Jackson has been booked
into the county jail.
He has since been released.
He has posted the bail
and he has been given an arraignment date.
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
It bothered me because I was wondering
how he was feeling
and how he was dealing with it.
Michael used to always tell me, I'd rather
slit my own wrist than to hurt a child.
"And here they are trying to accuse me
"of the thing that I love best,
and that's children,
"accuse me of molesting them."
The more I looked at the facts,
the more I conversed with him,
the more ridiculous these charges appeared.
He just did not seem like the kind of person
that could ever engage
in this kind of behaviour.
Mr Sneddon was obsessed
with taking down Michael Jackson.
My understanding is that in the mid-'90s,
Mr Sneddon personally travelled
to Australia and Canada,
and perhaps other countries I'm not aware of,
to find witnesses against Michael Jackson.
He also arranged to have a website at the
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department
where they were looking for any witnesses
or evidence against Michael.
Finally, in 2004, he got his wish,
a criminal trial
with Michael Jackson as the defendant.
To see this DA,
with this wicked smile and grin,
like, he's gonna become a national hero
for catching Michael Jackson
doing something that he never did
made me wanna just throw up
on the television.
Jackson himself I believe, has said
that this was all done
to try to ruin his new CD that was coming out
or whatever it is he's doing,
like the sheriff and I really
are into that kind of music. But...
There was a real, sort of, leaning
in the press corps
that, "Look, if this is happening again,
then he must be guilty."
We really didn't know what they had.
We just... Because it was all sealed
and nobody knew what it was.
I personally believe this Janet Arvizo
was provoked by someone.
Janet Arvizo is a sick woman.
She has a track history
of shaking people down.
The more I looked at the history
of welfare fraud,
the more I looked at their
hustling celebrities to try and get money,
the more I put this package together;
I have to say, I was quite surprised
that the prosecutors pinned their hopes
on these people.
We've been ready to do this
for some period of time.
I wanna clarify that
so that you understand that.
MESEREAU: Prosecution was like a train
that left the station.
It was not gonna slow down.
Once they decided
to charge Michael Jackson,
it almost appeared as if they were gonna do
whatever it took
to make sure this thing got to trial
and that they got a conviction.
Seventy sheriffs from Santa Barbara County
raided Michael Jackson's home.
Now, I've seen murder cases,
I've seen serial killers have
investigations done in their premises,
with five people, with six people,
with 10 people.
Never have I seen this many sheriffs
descend on anybody's home in any case.
It was all done because of who he was,
and they knew this was gonna be
a worldwide event,
and, frankly, it was very despicable
as far as I'm concerned.
There was a lynch mob mentality
in Santa Maria that extended
not only to the police
and to the district attorney
but, maybe, to the media as well.
And I remember when we were standing
in line to get our press credentials,
one of the reporters, a woman,
who was a very popular reporter in America,
pulled herself out of the line and she said,
"Is there anybody standing in this line,
besides J. Randy Taraborrelli,
"who does not believe
that Michael Jackson is guilty?"
MESEREAU: And there was the issue of race.
When he got in big trouble,
he reached out to black leaders
to try and defend him.
He reached out to Reverend Jesse Jackson,
to Reverend Al Sharpton and others.
I wanted to avoid any racial division.
There was a phone call one night.
It was Michael Jackson and his publicist.
She wanted to bring black celebrities
into the courtroom.
She felt this would be better for his legacy.
And my comment
about this request was that,
you know, if he's convicted,
his legacy is gonna be dying
in California State Prison.
DILEO: And I flew out, at the request
of Katherine, to go to the arraignment.
When we all drove up together, you know,
and went through that.
Frank Dileo
JACKSON MANAGER 1984-89, 2009.
Of course, then he got on the roof.
When he got in the can I said,
"Will you stop that already?
This is serious stuff here."
He went in there, he was strong,
he was not gonna let anything get to him,
he was jumping on the bus,
really proud, you know what,
showing his fans,
We 're gonna get through this,
we 're gonna fight.
"Everything's gonna be fine. ."
When we first started,
Michael came in
and he looked really robust and healthy.
He was sharp and focused,
and determined to prove his innocence.
Case 1133603: The People v Jackson
begins on February 28, 2005.
GEST: Even after the first day,
you knew that these people
were only after money,
and this was the biggest hoax in the world
that they were trying to pull.
They put witnesses on the stand
to testify under oath
to things that never happened,
to things that were completely exaggerated
and untrue.
They were willing to almost throw anything
at the jury,
hoping something would stick.
a diminutive mother of four; Janet Arvizo,
to take centre stage.
Her evidence could end the career
of a pop legend.
What had upset me is they were reporting.
everything that was said about Michael,
but they wasn't reporting
anything in his defence.
It looked like a feeding frenzy to me.
The media were just out
to see the world's greatest known celebrity
fall to destruction.
That's where they thought their ratings
in the future would come from.
And, for me, it was really a disgrace.
During the trial,
Diane Dimond was the worst person
in the world.
Nice to meet you. Your hands are very cold.
I didn't say what you thought I 'd say.
Did you get my message?
I got your message.
I don't understand how these people
can run out and lie.
They don't even get a chance
to find out the truth.
Tom Mesereau would get there and show...
And clean it up,
and show that this is not true,
this is really how it went,
but they wouldn't report that.
And that went on for months.
When we finally got to see
what was being alleged,
it just seemed so ridiculous
and so far-fetched
that I remember one reporter from CNN
came over to me
after the day that the mother testified,
Janet Arvizo,
and he said, "I feel so used."
Mrs Arvizo claimed
that she feared Michael Jackson so much
that she thought he
and his henchmen were gonna
put she and her family on a hot air balloon
and let them sail away to their demise.
That was one of, probably, 500 crazy things
that came out of this trial
that the Arvizo family were alleging.
Sitting in court,
listening to all these people lie,
people he'd been good to and all of that,
he said he couldn't believe
that they were telling all these lies on him.
These people must have been paid off
to do a lot of this stuff.
CASCIO: I warned him about this family.
I warned him about that mother.
That mother, I read from a mile away.
She had an agenda from day one.
There was a so-called
rebuttal video that was played,
the video that the Arvizo family made
after the allegations had surfaced,
in which they claim
that Michael had been a father figure
to this family.
And they were really adamant about it
on this video.
And this video existed.
And you would've thought
that just the fact that this video existed
would've been enough
for the district attorney
to not wanna prosecute this case,
because, eventually,
we would have to see this video.
And all of us would then have to look at this
and think, "What the heck is going on here?"
Which is exactly what happened.
MALE REPORTER: The focus, instead,
was on the defence 's first celebrity witness,
the actor Macaulay Culkin.
The prosecution had suggested
that in the early 1990s,
he was one of a number of young boys
who'd been sexually abused by Jackson.
MESEREAU: I have to say,
Chris Tucker and Macaulay Culkin
will always go down in my book
as loyal, good friends.
They had managers and agents and lawyers
who didn't want them to get involved,
and they both told me that, When Michael
needs us, we're gonna be there. .
There were other witnesses,
people he knew at Neverland,
who came in to tell the truth.
We had a lot of people
that rose to his defence.
GEST: I stood by him
because he was a decent, good man,
with a warm heart, a loving heart.
The family were extremely supportive
of Michael Jackson throughout this trial.
His mother never missed one day.
The trial lasted almost five months.
She never missed a day.
I knew what Michael was going through
and my heart just bled for him all the time.
TARABORRELLI: The family was there
and there was this, sort of
sense that it was gonna be okay.
I remember they showed
the Martin Bashir documentary
and Michael's music
was playing throughout it,
and I remember looking
around the courtroom
and seeing all these heads
bobbing up and down to Michael's music.
And I thought to myself,
"Wow, this is gonna be
some crazy molestation trial,
"because everybody here
is, sort of, rocking out to Billie Jean. ."
It just seemed very surreal to me.
MESEREAU: The prosecution, in my opinion,
didn't know what to do
with the fact that they found
10 years' worth of magazines,
Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler; at Neverland,
which would suggest
that Michael Jackson was heterosexual,
and interested in seeing pictures
of beautiful women who were naked.
They weren't quite sure how to fit that
into their theory that he was a paedophile.
So they came up with the notion that
a paedophile will take magazines like this
to somehow groom the alleged victim.
The district attorney
showed so much pornography
that your head was spinning
by the time this was over.
It was the only day that Katherine
excused herself from the courtroom
for the afternoon.
I thought, they're constantly
flashing this material at the jury,
which was a majority of females, by the way,
I thought just was stupid,
but that's what they did.
They couldn't find any pornography
on his computers.
They had the FBI test
every computer at Neverland,
they couldn't find any kiddie pornography.
So they just tried
to fit everything into their theory
and it just became an absurdity.
You just knew that there was
really something devious going on.
This guy, Tom Sneddon,
was really out to get him.
It had to be totally torture.
I couldn't imagine what was going on
in his mind and in his head.
He's not strong in that way, though.
MESEREAU: The stress and strain
of this five-month trial took a toll on him.
You saw him losing weight,
he was having trouble sleeping.
I would talk to him at 3:00, 4:00, 5:00
in the morning,
and he would be terrified,
particularly about what might happen
to his children.
He did need some things
to help him fall asleep at night,
because there was no way he was sleeping
with all this stuff going on in his head.
I don't know how anyone could sleep.
GEST: The thought that
you might be found guilty
and spend the rest of your life in a jail cell
and all your accomplishments
washed down the drain,
I don't know how he coped.
Most people would've taken
a gun to their head.
His frame of mind was very, very fragile,
and I was concerned for him.
He was very worried
about his children and his mother
and what people would think.
TARABORRELLI: The first day
of Gavin 's testimony,
Michael shows up and he's in pyjamas,
and he looked like
he was in really bad shape.
And they actually, they had to, like,
help him into the courtroom.
From that moment on,
everything started to get really awful.
You started seeing Michael coming
in every day looking like death.
It was as if the testimony
was just destroying him.
To sit there in court
and watch the legal system hurl
absurd and vindictive and nasty,
mean-spirited allegations at him like this,
absolutely traumatized him.
For me, and for other people
who actually knew Michael,
this was a real human being,
whose life was being destroyed,
and every day it just seemed to get worse.
5 months after the trial began the attorneys
presented their closing arguments.
On June 1 3th, 2005 after 9 days
of deliberation the jury reached a verdict.
If found guilty of all 10 charges Michael faced
spending the rest of his life in prison.
One of the sheriffs came to me and said,
"You've got the best seat in the house."
And I said, Why?And he said,
Because you're sitting right behind Michael.
And when we find him guilty,
we 're going to get him out of there so fast
that your head's gonna spin..
These people had already decided
that Michael was guilty.
And they were sure of it,
so sure that they had an exit plan
to get him out of there.
Michael came into the courtroom
and he looked like he was on serious drugs.
He really, truly looked
like a dead man walking.
MESEREAU: It was a tense moment,
you know,
the entire world stopped
to watch what was gonna happen
to the best known celebrity,
a musical genius, Michael Jackson.
That was such an awfully emotional day,
you just didn't know what to expect.
WOMAN: We, the jury
in the above entitled case,
find the defendant not guilty of conspiracy
as charged in count one of the indictment.
The verdict was read and it was, "Not guilty.
Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty."
All the way down the line,
all counts, "Not guilty."
And I remember, very specifically,
Michael seeming to not understand.
And I remember Tom Sneddon looking
at Michael for a reaction
and not really getting one.
And I also remember
Tom Mesereau, his lawyer, leaning in
and mouthing to Michael Jackson,
"You're a free man."
I could read his lips, 'cause I was so close.
And Michael Still didn't get it.
You felt like it was a triumphant moment
but then when you looked at him,
you realised that he wasn't there for it.
There was nothing you could do.
He was so devastated that it had happened
that you couldn't even find a place
to be happy that it ended the way it did
because it was so devastating
that it had occurred at all.
It's sad because I really feel that trial
is what really depressed
my brother out to the point
where he just wasn't happy.
He never went back to Neverland.
For Michael not to go to Neverland,
he must've been pretty sad.
Didn't wanna have nothing
to do with that place ever again.
He would always tell me,
"It's over. I don't trust anyone.
"l don't know why they're doing this to me.
They want me dead."
He said,
"They're gonna Kill me for what I got."
I'm pretty sure there was times
when he felt that, you know,
"l wish I was someone else,"
or, other than an entertainer.
There's a certain point
that you can get to with success.
where you have no life whatsoever.
You lose the ability to be a person.
To be a person that cannot be a part
of the everyday life of this world,
Russell Thompkins, Jr.
it could really be devastating on the mind.
PAYNE: You can't get it all for free.
And that's what happened with Michael,
Freda Payne SINGER
he had to give up so much
that he lost his ability
to just walk amongst everyday people.
This was the first artist
that I'd been associated with,
Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.
and the only artist
that I'd been associated with,
that you could not walk down the street with.
Look at my life. It's somewhat normal.
It's not normal, but it's a little normal.
But judging my life to his,
his was nowhere close.
He just couldn't be anonymous.
Michael Jackson is proclaimed
the King of Pop.
It's kind of hard being a king.
You can get out of sorts.
I think he, kind of, like, isolated himself
from everyone who would say no.
BILLY DAVIS JR.: Everything he wants is,
Yes. Okay Michael..
It's hard to have someone there.
Billy Davis, Jr.
to give you an honest answer,
an honest opinion.
KATHERINE: Joseph would always tell him,
"Michael, watch your people.
"Michael, watch your people. .
He said, "I trust my people.
My people are good people."
But that's not the case.
Katherine Jackson MICHAEL'S MOTHER.
People smile in your face,
pat you on the back
and stab you at the same time.
These people saw money,
Bobby Taylor
and they saw somebody
who they could get to.
It was hard for Michael to say no,
as a kid and as an adult.
Because he generated so much wealth
and so much profit,
Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.
he became the repeated target
of unsavoury characters,
many of them mediocre,
who tried to get near him,
promise him the moon
and then profit themselves
by being around him.
And I think he received some tremendously
bad advice throughout his career
when it came to finances.
Michael was an easy touch,
and anybody could take advantage of him
just because he trusted everybody's word.
Michael would bring random people
into his life for business deals.
They would offer him the world
and Michael would believe them.
Michael told me he only committed
to 10 shows at the O2 dome
for his comeback concerts.
When he found out
that he was committed to 50 shows
and there was no way of getting out of it,
he snapped.
He felt like they'd tricked him,
he was put up against the wall
and let down by people,
or misled, I should say.
It was thrown on him by his manager
and, in his state of mind,
he could've said yes to anything.
After I heard that he was doing
those many shows,
I started calling him, telling him...
Then I heard how they were gonna
do 'em every other day,
and I told him he couldn't do it that way.
He had to rest.
And I kept after them.
DILEO: The wear and tear
of all the managers,
all the promises that they didn't live up to,
took its toll.
Probably, a more stronger person
would be able to fight through a lot of that,
and a lot of them have.
Frank Sinatra, he was pursued the same way
but he seemed to be a person
who could put people at bay.
But it seemed like Michael has
a certain type of frailty to his self
and it wouldn't allow him
to be very strong-minded
or to be forceful with a lot of people.
KATHERINE: Everybody he met,
he trusted them, for some reason.
And I think that's why Michael
was taken advantage of so much.
Doctors are human beings, too,
and they get star-struck,
and they want a little touch of that fame,
and they wanna be able to say,
"I'm Michael Jackson's doctor."
Michael would doctor shop,
like a lot of celebrities do,
and he'd find the doctor,
just the right one, who would do the thing
that Michael wanted him to do.
Michael felt that he needed to escape,
and he had always been suffering
from insomnia,
from as far back as I can remember.
CASCIO: Michael Jackson did have a problem.
Do I believe he was an addict?
No, I don't believe Michael Jackson
was a drug addict.
He went through cycles.
It really depended on what was happening
in his life and in his world.
KATHERINE: I had no reason to think
or believe that he was on drugs
until my children came to me one time
and they said it,
and I said,
"Well, I've never seen him in that shape."
Then I went to him
and I talked to him about it,
and he kept denying it.
DILEO: I asked him, I said, "Now, Michael,
is there any problems I should know about?"
"What do you mean?"
I said, "Well, you know,
once in a while you seem a little dizzy.
You wanna go to rehab?
"No. No! There you go. See?
Now, why would you assume that?
"I'm not taking anything, Frank.
I'm not doing one thing."
TARABORRELLI: One of the people
working for him said,
You won't ever guess
what this man is doing to get to sleep. .
And I Said, "What?"
And I was told he's using an anaesthetic.
And I Said, "What?
"How do you do that?"
I had never heard of such a thing.
He said, "Dude, I don't know what to tell you,
but that's what's going on."
Unfortunately, he did find doctors
who were willing to do this crazy thing
that ultimately led to his death.
Fire Paramedic 33.
What is the nature of your emergency?
ALVAREZ: We have a gentleman here
that needs help, he's not breathing.
NEWSCASTER: We have breaking news
for you tonight,
the singer Michael Jackson
is reported to have died from a heart attack.
I heard that my brother had passed away
through my sister Janet,
who asked me to pull over
'cause I was rushing over to my mom's.
I just couldn't believe it.
So, I had to just sit in my car
and pull myself together,
you know, and I went over
to my mom's home.
The entire family had met that evening,
and was there condoling each other,
you Know.
It was rough.
Just the whole time
was a rough time in my life.
Rebbie Jackson MICHAEL'S SISTER.
It's so very difficult even to talk about it.
It really is.
PAYNE: I was heartbroken.
I was just totally heartbroken.
It was probably one of the most surreal.
Peabo Bryson SINGER
and solemn days of life as we know it,
I would think.
I was devastated. I started to cry.
We had spent 40 years of our lives
as the closest of friends.
And I couldn't believe it.
I remember the feeling I got, you know.
Lamont Dozier
It was like somebody punching you
in the stomach.
God, it was just so...
EDDIE FLOYD: I didn't follow the news a lot.
I'll tell you why I didn't follow the news.
Eddie Floyd
It's because of the people
exploiting the man.
That makes me sad.
EDWARDS: The night that Michael died,
the next show I did,
I mentioned Michael, too.
Dennis Edwards
It just was...
People just stood up, you know.
They stood up.
And a lot of people took
their cigarette lighters out
and just lit it.
You know, it's just sad, man. It's sad.
TITO: It's just a sad moment,
to have to carry one of your brothers
to his grave.
MICHAEL: We would perform all night,
tell you the truth, every day.
It's not a good feeling.
It's a major part of you died with that.
MICHAEL: And there was this man's house,
who used to sell candy
we used to stop there and just load up,
eat candy for days.
KATHERINE: I never lost a child.
Children are supposed to bury their parents,
not parents bury their children.
And that's what hurt me the most.
Many days, I go back to his first cry,
from the doctor slapping him on his butt,
up till his death.
all the memories of Michael are fond to me.
I can't pick out any particular.
I'm happy with the children here,
and at the same time,
I'm sad because their father's gone.
They always say Daddy did it this way.
"Daddy used to do this.
Daddy used to do that."
Those kids are so proud of their father.
I can't find words.
To me, it's just such a loss, too soon.
Eddie Holland
It left such a gap
and made us see what was missing.
Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford.
Why hadn't we embraced him?
Why hadn't we loved him?
PAYNE: He gave us so much love
and so much wonderful music.
And I think that this is what
we'll always remember him for.
I love the fact that everything he sang,
he sang from his heart.
And I love listening to him singing,
every record he's ever recorded.
Michael's legacy is that he will be known
as the greatest entertainer ever.
ROBINSON: Michael was a great talent.
He was the best overall talent
that I've ever seen in my life,
and I've been following talent
since I was three years old.
He was the best I ever saw.
I'll remember that little boy that I met
when he was 10 years old,
Dionne Warwick SINGER
that little feisty, cute,
incredibly talented youngster,
that went on to become one of the greatest
entertainers that ever lived.
There's only one Michael Jackson.
To me and my children,
Percy Sledge SINGER
he meant so much to our lives.
He was, to me, the greatest entertainer
I had ever seen in my life.
Whitney Houston SINGER.
He was a gentleman and he was very kind.
And I'll always love him, always.
REBBIE: He was one of the warmest
and most loveable persons
you could ever meet.
I think Michael's greatest achievement,
throughout his life,
was making people happy,
helping people.
If somebody needed an operation,
or a family starving that needed food,
he would send over groceries for a year
and things like that.
I think that's where
he really got his enjoyment,
seeing somebody sad become happy.
Those are the things he really wanted
to achieve that was beyond the music.
We will remember him
as this great showman and humanitarian.
When people say to me,
"Do you think of Michael
as being a tragedy?"
I just don't think of that at all.
I think that Michael's story
is one of triumph.
This is a man who was the total embodiment
of the American dream.
This is a guy who came out of Gary, Indiana,
and set the world on fire.
He did amazing things with his life.
Did he make mistakes? Yes.
But that's the humanity of Michael Jackson,
I think, that's most appealing.
DOZIER: He wanted to make the world
a better place.
That spirit of his is still around now.
The part that I loved the most about him
was that gentle friend side.
All the other things, everybody knows about.
But that part of Michael,
that's the part I love.
God bless Michael Jackson, you know,
'cause he was one of the greatest.
Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.
Michael Jackson became
the biggest pop star of all time
but that's not how I'm gonna remember him,
because he was just one great human being.
Rest well, my friend. I love you, M.
Katherine, how do you feel
Michael Jackson will be remembered?
Well, David, Michael practised one thing,
and it was from his heart,
L-O-V-E, love.
And I think he will be remembered
for the love that he had for the world,
and especially for his fans,
and his family.
- Thank you so much.
- Okay.
- I love you. Can I have a big hug?
- Of course.