Michael in his own words

On the criticism he dealt with:

"I can't help but pick up on some of the criticism leveled at me at times. Journalists seem willing to say anything to sell a paper. They say I've had my eyes widened, that I want to look more white. More white? What kind of statement is that?

I didn't invent plastic surgery. It's been around for a long time. A lot of very fine, very nice people have had plastic surgery. No one writes about their surgery and levies such criticism at them. It's not fair. Most of what they print is a fabrication. It's enough to make you want to ask, "What happened to truth? Did it go out of style?" "Right after Motown 25 my family read a lot of stuff in the press about my being "the new Sinatra" and as "exciting as Elvis" - that kind of thing. It was very nice to hear, but I knew the press could be so fickle. One week they love you, and the next week they act like you're rubbish." "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins!"

His speaking voice:

"I love "Pretty Young Thing," which was written by Quincy and James Ingram. "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" had whetted my appetite for the spoken intro, partly because I didn't think my speaking voice was something my singing needed to hide. I have always had a soft speaking voice. I haven't cultivated it or chemically altered it: that's me - take it or leave it. Imagine what it must be like to be criticised for something about yourself that is natural and God given. Imagine the hurt of having untruths spread by the press, of having people wonder if you're telling the truth - defending yourself because someone decided it would make good copy and would force you to deny what they said, thus creating another story. I've tried not toanswer such ridiculous charges in the past because that dignifies them and the people who make them. Remember, the press is a business: Newspapers and magazines are in business to make money - sometimes at the expense of accuracy, fairness, and even the truth."

On his work ethic:

"In the end, the most important thing is to be true to yourself and those you love and work hard. I mean, work like there's no tomorrow. Train. Strive. I mean, really train and cultivate your talent to the highest degree. Be the best at what you do. Get to know more about your field than anybody alive. Use the tools of your trade, if it's books or a floor to dance on or a body of water to swim in. Whatever it is, it's yours. That's what I've always tried to remember. I thought about it a lot on the Victory tour."

His Faith, Spirituality and the love his Mother instilled in him:
"My mother knew her polio was not a curse but a test that God gave her to
triumph over, and she instilled in me a love of Him that I will always have.
She taught me that my talent for singing and dancing was as much God's work as a beautiful sunset or a storm that left snow for children to play in.
Despite all the time we spent rehearsing and travelling, Mom would find time
to take me to the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses, usually with
Rebbie and LaToya.

Years later, after we had left Gary, we performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show", the live Sunday night variety show where America first saw the Beatles, Elvis, and Sly and the Family Stone. After the show, Mr. Sullivan complimented and thanked each of us; but I was thinking about what he had said to me before the show. I had been wandering around backstage, like the kid in the Pepsi commercial, and ran into Mr. Sullivan. He seemed glad to see me and shook my hand, but before he let it go he had a special message for me. It was 1970, a year when some of the best people in rock were losing their lives to drugs and alcohol. An older, wiser generation in show business was unprepared to lose its very young. Some people had already said that I reminded them of Frankie Lymon, a great young singer of the 1950s who lost his life that way. Ed Sullivan may have been thinking of all this when he told me, "Never forget where your talent came from, that your talent is a gift from God."

I was grateful for his kindness, but I could have told him that my mother had never let me forget. I never had polio, which is a frightening thing for a dancer to think about, but I knew God had tested me and my brothers and sisters in other ways - our large family, our tiny house, the small amount of money we had to make ends meet, even the jealous kids in the neighbourhood who threw rocks at our windows while we rehearsed, yelling that we'd never make it. When I think of my mother and our early years, I can tell you there are rewards that go far beyond money and public acclaim and awards." Michael Jackson in "Moonwalk"


"During the meals I've had with him, he did pray silently. When he prayed out loud, it was always to God, but that doesn't mean he didn't use any other names. We would talk about god and grace and humility a lot. One day MJ and I were working on some new music, and during a break we started talking about the name Michael. He said "Hey, Bearden! Do you know what our name means?" I didn't know. He said it means "most like God." And then he said to me, "We can't be big-headed about it. We have to be humble or God could take our gifts away. Promise me you'll be humble!"
Michael Bearden speaking about Michael Jackson in Ebony

An excerpt from a 1977 interview Michael did with Timothy White. Michael was 19 at the time. It was published in Rock Lives (1990) and republished in the Q/Omnibus Press Rock N' Roll Reader (1994).

But there's a lot of ugliness in the world, too, a lot of cruelty. Did God create that?

No! That's because of man! Man is because of the fallen angels. It says in the Bible that all this would happen, and it's all coming true.

It's easy to judge the world from the privileged safety of America If you'd been to India and seen the ugliness there...

I can't wait! I that's what I want to see!

I've seen the very rich and the very poor, but I'm mainly interested in the poor. I don't wanna think the whole world is just like what's around here. I want to appreciate what I have , and try to help others.

I know what the rich are like. I've studied that country India so much, and when I go to other countries, people say, "You wanna see the ugly part of it?" [Nods] That's what I want to see!

What are you looking for?

[Smiling] I want to see what it's really like to starve. I don't want to hear it or read it. I want to see it.


It's a whole different thing when you see it! All the things I've read in my schoolbooks about England and the Queen were OK, but my very eyes are the greatest book in the world. When we did the Royal Command performance over in England, and then after it I actually looked into the Queen's eyes, it was the greatest thing! And it's the really the same thing with starvation! [Dreamily] When you see it, you just receive a little more.

Some qualities he feels a person should possess:

"The most important: Stay humble. The humbleness that a child – like a new-born baby – has. Even though you become powerful and have power with people, with your talent....underneath all that be as humble as a child, as a baby, and be as kind and as giving and loving. They don’t become puffed up with pride."

People He Admires Most:

"I love people who have really contributed to the pleasure and happiness of the planet and mankind, people with light, from Walt Disney, to Ghandi, to Edison, to Martin Luther King. These are people with light, people who really cared about children, bringing families together, and love. That's what I try to say in my music and in my songs. If you go to one of my concerts, my shows, you will see 200,000 people swaying, holding candles, saying, 'We want to heal the world,' and 'We love you.' I've seen it around the world from Russia, to Germany, to Poland, to Africa, to America. We're all the same. People cry in the same places in the show. They get angry in the same places in the show, they get the pathos in the same places."
..... 2002 Gold Magazine

On studying the Bible:

"Each day I take time out to study the Bible, no matter where I am. The teachings of the Bible have added a new dimension to my life. It, somehow, makes me whole."
..... 1976 "Black Stars" Magazine interview

Appreciating God's Beauty:

"Wherever you go, man-made things are man-made, but you’ve got to get out and see God’s beauty of the world."
..... 1979 JET Interview

"I pray a lot. I see a beautiful sunset and I say „God, that’s beautiful…Thank you”, or a baby smile or butterfly wings or anything like that.”
..... 1987 Ebony/JET TV Interview

On remaining humble, despite his stardom:

"I never have felt that people should feel that they are better than others, simply because they just happen to possess a larger share of material items and monetary wealth than others less fortunate. I believe in sharing, assisting, and just lending a helping hand to people."
..... 1976 "Black Stars" Magazine interview

"That's why I don't put awards of trophies in my house. You won't find a gold record anywhere in my house because it makes you feel you've accomplished 'look what I've done!' But I always want to feel 'no, I haven't done it yet.'
..... 2005 Interview with Geraldo Rivera

His Philosophy for staying at the top:

I think, being humble and believing in yourself and having true love in your heart for the world, and really trying to help people through lyrics and the love of music and dance, because I truly do love people very much."
..... 1996 TV Interview with Ian "Molly" Meldrum

The White Glove, white socks and other fashion statements:

"I had been wearing a single glove for years before Thriller . I felt that one glove was cool. Wearing two gloves seemed so ordinary, but a single glove was different and was definitely a look. But I've long believed that thinking too much about your look is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, because an artist should let his style evolve naturally, spontaneously. You can't think about these things; you have to feel your way into them.

"I actually had been wearing the glove for a long time, but it hadn't gotten a lot of attention until all of a sudden it hit with Thriller in 1983. I was wearing it on some of the old tours back in the 1970s, and I wore one glove during the Off the Wall tour and on the cover of the live album that came out afterward.

It's so show business that one glove. I love wearing it. Once, by coincidence, I wore a black glove to the American Music Awards ceremony, which happened to fall on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Funny how things happen sometimes.

I admit that I love starting trends, but I never thought wearing white socks was going to catch on. Not too long ago it was considered extremely square to wear white socks. It was cool in the 1950s, but in the ¦60s and ¦70s you wouldn't be caught dead in white socks. It was too square to even consider - for most people. But I never stopped wearing them. Ever. My brothers would call me a dip, but I didn't care. My brother Jermaine would get upset and call my mother, "Mother, Michael's wearing his white socks again. Can't you do something? Talk to him." He would complain bitterly. They'd all tell me I was a goofball. But I still wore my white socks, and now it's cool again. Those white socks must have caught on just to spite Jermaine. I get tickled when I< think about it. After Thriller came out, it even became okay to wear your pants high around your ankles again.

My attitude is if fashion says it's forbidden, I'm going to do it.

When I'm at home, I don't like to dress up. I wear anything that's handy. I used to spend days in my pyjamas. I like flannel shirts, old sweaters and slacks, simple clothes.

When I go out, I dress up in sharper, brighter, more tailored clothes, but around the house and in the studio anything goes. I don't wear much jewellery - usually none - because it gets in my way."

On his shyness and being lonely:

"Sometimes it's hard for me to look my dates in the eye even
if I know them well. My dating and relationships with girls have not had the
happy ending I've been looking for. Something always seems to get in the
way. The things I share with millions of people aren't the sort of things
you share with one. Many girls want to know what makes me tick - why I live
the way I live or do the things I do - trying to get inside my head. They
want to rescue me from loneliness, but they do it in such a way that they
give me the impression they want to share my loneliness, which I wouldn't
wish on anybody, because I believe I'm one of the loneliest people in the

"She's Out of My Life" is about knowing that the barriers that have
separated me from others are temptingly low and seemingly easy to jump over
and yet they remain standing while what I really desire disappears from my sight.....

But I got too wrapped up in "She's Out of My Life." In this case, the story's true - I cried at the end of a take, because the words suddenly had such a strong effect on me. I had been letting so much build up inside me. I was twenty-one years old, and I was so rich in some experiences while being poor in moments of true joy. Sometimes I imagine that my life experience is like an image in one of those trick mirrors in the circus, fat in one part and thin to the point of disappearing in another. I was worried that would show up on "She's Out of My Life," but if it touched people's heartstrings, knowing that would make me feel less lonely.

When I got emotional after that take, the only people with me were Q and Bruce Swedien. I remember burying my face in my hands and hearing only the hum of the machinery as my sobs echoed in the room. Later I apologised, but they said there was no need.

Making Off the Wall was one of the most difficult periods of my life, despite the eventual success it enjoyed. I had very few close friends at the time and felt very isolated. I was so lonely that I used to walk through my neighborhood hoping I'd run into somebody I could talk to and perhaps become friends with. I wanted to meet people who didn't know who I was. I wanted to run into somebody who would be my friend because they liked me and needed a friend too, not because I was who I am. I wanted to meet anybody in the neighbourhood - the neighbourhood kids, anybody.

On the awkwardness of his changing adolescent appearance, insecurities about his appearance and a bad case of Acne:

"Because I think every child star suffers through this period because you're not the cute and charming child that you were. You start to grow, and they want to keep you little forever. " "Yes, and I had pimples so badly it used to make me so shy. I used not to look at myself. I'd hide my face in the dark, I wouldn't want to look in the mirror, and my father teased me and I just hated it and I cried everyday."

Because show business and my career were my life, the biggest personal struggle I had to face during those teenage years did not involve the recording studios or my stage performance. In those days, the biggest struggle was right there in my mirror. To a great degree, my identity as a person was tied to my identity as a celebrity.

My appearance began to really change when I was about fourteen. I grew quite a bit in height. People who didn't know me would come into a room expecting to be introduced to cute little Michael Jackson and they'd walk right past me. I would say, "I'm Michael," and they would look doubtful. Michael was a cute little kid: I was a gangly adolescent heading toward five feet ten inches. I was not the person they expected or even wanted to see. Adolescence is hard enough, but imagine having your own natural insecurities about the changes your body is undergoing heightened by the negative reactions of others. They seemed so surprised that I could change, that my body was undergoing the same natural change everyone's does.

It was tough. Everyone had called me cute for a long time, but along with all the other changes, my skin broke out in a terrible case of acne. I looked in the mirror one morning and it was like, "OH NO!" I seemed to have a pimple for every oil gland. And the more I was bothered by it, the worse it got. I didn't realise it then, but my diet of greasy processed food didn't help either.

I became subconsciously scarred by this experience with my skin. I got very shy and became embarrassed to meet people because my complexion was so bad. It really seemed that the more I looked in the mirror, the worse the pimples got. My appearance began to depress me. So I know that a case of acne can have a devastating effect on a person. The effect on me was so bad that it messed up my whole personality. I couldn't look at people when I talked to them. I'd look down, or away. I felt I didn't have anything to be proud of and I didn't even want to go out. I didn't do anything.

My brother Marlon would be covered with pimples and he wouldn't care but I didn't want to see anybody and I didn't want anyone to see my skin in that shape. It makes you wonder about what makes us the way we are, that two brothers could be so different.

I still had our hits records to be proud of, and once I hit the stage, I didn't think about anything else. All that worry was gone. But once I came offstage, there was that mirror to face again.

Eventually, things changed. I started feeling differently about my condition. I've learned to change how I think and learned to feel better about myself. Most importantly, I changed my diet. That was the key.

On the human side of performing:

"There've been times right before a show when certain things were bothering me - business or personal problems. I would think, "I don't know how to go through with this. I don't know how I'm going to get through the show. I can't perform like this."

But once I get to the side of the stage, something happens. The rhythm starts and the lights hit me and the problems disappear. This has happened so many times. The thrill of performing just takes me over. It's like God saying, "Yes, you can. Yes, you can. Just wait. Wait till you hear this. Wait till you see this." And the backbeat gets in my backbone and it vibrates and it just takes me. Sometimes I almost lose control and the musicians say, "What is he doing?" and they start following me. You change the whole schedule of a piece. You stop and you just take over from scratch and do a whole other thing. The song takes you in another direction."

On Breaking Down and Crying on Stage:

"It's always real and I take that moment and I pray not to cry and I usually, you know, do, because everything goes back to me from conception to us when we were little babies and children and now to see all the adulation and notoriety and it's just a work from God and it all goes through me real fast, you know? It's a blessing. I just break down and I cry at that moment, but I try not to show it to the audience, but I can't help it, you know?

Michael Jackson talking to Steve Harvey in a radio interview, 2002 in regards to his getting emotional on stage when performing with his brothers at his 30th Anniversary Special. Michael, in other concerts, would often get emotional during "I'll Be There", the song he sang with his brothers at the 30th Anniversary Special, and also while singing "She's Out of My Life." For why "She's Out of My Life" makes him emotional, see On Shyness and Being Lonely" above.

Being on stage again:

Michael's response to being asked what it felt like to be performing again in a 2001 Getmusic.com interview

"It's hard to explain. It was quite exciting to feel the audience and to see them. To be accepted so warmly by them. It's just an incredible feeling, it really is. They're there to support you, to love you and to hear their favorite sons and you just stand there and they're just giving you so much adulation and love and it's just full of love. It's wonderful. It's very emotional. It brings me to tears. It's wonderful."

Being more comfortable on stage, than off:

"It's being offstage that's difficult for me. Either writing music or writing poetry or being onstage or watching cartoons are my favorite things to do in the entire world. That's what brings me to life. I love that." >
2001 Getmusic.com interview

Coping with Fame and Respecting & Having Time for His Fans:

"I cope with it in a way - and I’m not calling myself Jesus, because I would never even look at myself on the same level - , but I’m comparing it to Jesus, because what God gave to Him was for a reason, and he preached, and people came about him and he didn’t get angry and push them aside and say leave me alone, I ain’t got time."
1984 Ebony Magazine

Feeling Like An Old Soul at the age of 29:

"So I very much identify with anyone who worked as a child. I know how they struggled, I know what they sacrificed. I also know what they learned. I've learned that it becomes more of a challenge as one gets older. I feel old for some reason. I really feel like an old soul, someone who's seen a lot and experienced a lot. Because of all the years I've clocked in, it's hard for me to accept that I am only twenty nine. I've been in the business for twenty four years. Sometimes I feel like I should be near the end of my life, turning eighty, with people patting me on the back. That's what comes from starting so young.
Michael Jackson in "Moonwalk"

The Wiz and insecurities:

"My character had plenty to say and to learn (Michael played the scarecrow in The Wiz). I was propped up on my pole with a bunch of crows laughing at me, while I sang "You Can't Win." The song was about humiliation and helplessness - something that so many people have felt at one time or another - and the feeling that there are people out there who don't actively hold you back as much as they work quietly on your insecurities so that you hold yourself back."

On His Humanity:

"I'm just like anyone. I cut and I bleed. And I embarass easily."

On Growing Up Famous and The Truth About Celebrity:

"There were times when I had great times with my brothers, pillow fights and things, but I was, used to always cry from loneliness."

'Well, especially now I come to realize - and then - I would do my schooling which was three hours with a tutor and right after that I would go to the recording studio and record, and I'd record for hours and hours until it's time to go to sleep."

"Well, you don't get to do things that other children get to do, having friends and slumber parties and buddies. There were none of that for me. I didn't have friends when I was little. My brothers were my friends."

"I remember one time we were getting ready to go to South America and everything was packed up and in the car ready to go and I hid and I was crying because I really did not want to go, I wanted to play. I did not want to go."

"I remember going to the record studio and there was a park across the street and I'd see all the children playing and I would cry because it would make me sad that I would have to work instead."

True Michael:

"There’s a line that I do at the end of "The Wiz" (movie) that I feel is especially effective. It goes like this: "Success, fame and fortune – they are all illusions. All there is that is real is the friendship that two people can share." I think that sums it up, because the real bottom line is love and friendship. The rest just comes afterwards. I like to think of everybody I entertain as being a friend. But I do particularly love children."
From a 1979 "Blues and Soul" Magazine interview

Folk Music Inspiration:

"That’s why I love Paul Robeson so, because his folk songs all said something. Songs like "This Little Light Of Mine"... I only wish more people had been educated by him."
From a 1979 "Blues and Soul" Magazine interview

Inspiration for the song "Beat It"

The gestation process for "Beat It" was so fast, it was amazing. I thought about what I’d do in that situation…A confrontation with a gang…I wouldn’t do what those people would do. The way I was raised…I would turn the other cheek without creating a war or being a coward either."
1995 Simulchat TV Interview

On Explicit Song Lyrics and His Avoidance of Them:

"I don’t criticize other entertainers, but I don’t see any reason for singing songs that are vulgar and sexually explicit.... I think entertainers are in a position today to change a lot about certain things, especially young people’s minds."
From a 1979 Ebony Magazine interview

"Sometimes they go too far. They don’t leave anything for the imagination. If I just walked out on stage naked, there’s no imagination. I’m not letting them imagine what I look like without the clothes. But you see, they overdo it….We got to leave them something to imagine. People go too far at times. I think it’s important to set the right example, because there are so many kids who look up to us."
1984 Ebony Magazine

A Natural High:

"As corny as it sounds, natural highs are the greatest highs in the world. The stars, the mountains, children, babies smiling are just magic."
1979 JET Magazine

On Songs he would perform for the rest of his life:

"Heal The World", "Speechless", "You Are My Life"...because, the point is that they’re very melodic and if they have a great important message that’s kind of immortal, that can relate to any time and space."
2001 online audio chat

On human beings treating people as animals (in reference to the Elephant Man’s story):

"That’s what war is all about…so many of the problems in the past… I don’t think anybody likes war and, in truth, I don’t like war, I like peace, I’m a peaceful person.”
1987 Ebony/JET TV Interview


"In the field I’m in, there is a lot of that and it gets offered to me all the time. People even go as far as to just stick it in your pocket and walk off. Now, if it was a good thing, they wouldn’t do that. I mean, would somebody drop something beautiful in my pocket and just walk off? But I don’t want to have anything to do with any of that. I mean, as corny as it sounds, but this is how I really believe: Natural highs are the greatest highs in the world. Who wants to take something and just sit around for the rest of the day after you take it (drugs), and don’t know who you are, what you’re doing, where you are? Take in something that’s gonna inspire you to do greater things in the world."
1984 Ebony Magazine

On fans that got a little out of hand:

"There was never a real "Billie Jean." (Except for the ones who came after the song.) The girl in the song is a composite of people we've been plagued by over the years. This kind of thing has happened to some of my brothers and I used to be really amazed by it. I couldn't understand how these girls could say they were carrying someone's child when it wasn't true. I can't imagine lying about something like that. Even today there are girls who come to the gate at our house and say the strangest things, like, "Oh, I'm Michael's wife," or "I'm just dropping off the keys to our apartment." I remember one girl who used to drive us completely crazy. I really think that she believed in her mind that she belonged with me. There was another girl who claimed I had gone to bed with her, and she made threats. There've been a couple of serious scuffles at the gate on Hayvenhurst, and they can get dangerous. People yell into the intercom that Jesus sent them to speak with me and Gold told them to come - unusual and unsettling things.

Fans and scary mob scenes

When we'd arrive in a new city, we'd try to do all the sightseeing we could. We travelled with a wonderful tutor, Rose Fine, who taught us a great deal and made sure we did our lessons. It was Rose who instilled in me a love of books and literature that sustains me today. I read everything I could get my hands on. New cities meant new places to shop. We loved to shop, especially in bookstores and department stores, but as our fame spread our fans transformed casual shopping trips into hand-to-hand combat.

Being mobbed by near hysterical girls was one of the most terrifying experiences for me in those days. I mean, it was rough . We'd decide to run into some department store to see what they had, and the fans would find out we were there and would demolish the place, just tear it up. Counters would get knocked over, glass would break, the cash registers would be toppled. All we had wanted to do was look at some clothes! When those mob scenes broke out, all the craziness and adulation and notoriety became more than we could handle. If you haven't witnessed a scene like that, you can't imagine what it's like. Those girls were serious . They still are. They don't realise they might hurt you because they're acting out of love. They mean well, but I can testify that it hurts be mobbed. You feel as if you're going to suffocate or be dismembered. There are a thousand hands grabbing at you. One girl is twisting your wrist this way while another girl is pulling your watch off. They grab your hair and pull it hard, and it hurts like fire. You fall against things and the scrapes are horrible. I still wear the scars, and I can remember in which city I got each of them.

Early on, I learned how to run through crowds of thrashing girls outside of theatres, hotels, and airports. It's important to remember to shield your eyes with your hands because girls can forget they have nails during such emotional confrontations. I know the fans mean well and I love them for their enthusiasm and support, but crowd scenes are scary.

The wildest mob scene I ever witnessed happened the first time we went to England. We were in the air over the Atlantic when the pilot announced that he had just been told there were ten thousand kids waiting for us at Heathrow Airport. We couldn't believe it. We were excited, but if we could have turned around and flown home, we might have. We knew this was going to be something, but since there wasn't enough fuel to go back, we flew on. When we landed, we could see that the fans had literally taken over the whole airport. It was wild to be mobbed like that. My brothers and I felt fortunate to make it out of the airport alive that day.

On his special gift as a child:

"When you have a special ability as a child, you don't realize it, because you think everyone else has the same gift that you have. I didn't realize why they were clapping or crying or starting to scream. Later in life people would say, 'do you realize you have a special talent?' But you know that talent is not from our doing...it's from above. So I was always humbled by people who would come with accolades or adulations."

Memories and Music as destiny:

"My first memories of my Mom are of her holding me and singing songs like 'You Are My Sunshine' and 'Cotton Fields.' She has always had a beautiful voice. I suppose I got my singing ability from my mother-and or course, from God."

"We were a family that sang all the time. We would take the furniture out of the living room and dance. We would have a songwriting competition while we washed the dishes....while we were cleaning. Music was our destiny."

(On thinking about the heights he has reached and not really realizing the talent he possessed at an early age). "I never really thought about it really. I never thought about it. I knew I wanted to do something wonderful with my life and to help people, but I never really clearly thought about it when I was really little. I just sang and danced and didn't understand why people were applauding and clapping and screaming. You really don't know why.
2005 Interview with Geraldo Rivera

On Human Nature:

"It's a commonality in mankind that I don't like that part of it, that kind of ,you know, envy, but then there's a beautiful side to mankind to, isn't there."
2005 Interview with Geraldo Rivera

Life coming full circle:

"But back to Motown 25, one of the things that touched me the most about doing that was, after I did the performance––I’ll never forget. There was Marvin Gaye in the wings, and the Temptations and Smokey Robinson and my brothers, they were hugging me and kissing me and holding me. Richard Pryor walked over to me and said [in a quiet voice], ‘Now that was the greatest performance I’ve ever seen.’ That was my reward. These were people who, when I was a little boy in Indiana, I used to listen to Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and to have them bestow that kind of appreciation on me, I was just honored. Then the next day, Fred Astaire calls and said, ‘I watched it last night, and I taped it, and I watched it again this morning. You’re a helluva mover. You put the audience on their ASS last night!’ So, later, when I saw Fred Astaire, he did this with his fingers [He makes a little moonwalk gesture with his two fingers on his outstretched palm]."
Ebony/Jet interview

On his being a Perfectionist:

"I'm never pleased with anything, I'm a perfectionist, it's part of who I am."

On his life’s purpose:

"I think…to give. In the best way I can, through song and through dance and through music. I mean, I am committed to my art. I believe that all art has as it's ultimate goal the union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine. I believe that to be the reason for the very existence of art. And I feel I was chosen as an instrument to just give music and love and harmony to the world. To children of all ages, and adults and teenagers.... I love people of all races from my heart, with true affection."
1993 TV Interview with Oprah

On His Hopes:

"I pray that we continue to serve the world in a positive way, not a negative way and not hurt anyone, because it’s wonderful."
1995 Simulchat TV Interview

His Goals:

"I’m just a person who wants to be honest and do good, make people happy and give them the greatest sense of escapism through the talent God has given me. That’s where my heart is, that’s all I want to do. Just let me share and give, put a smile on people’s faces and make their hearts feel happy."
1999 The Daily Mirror Magazine

His Wishes and Mission To Help Others:

"I would love to see a children’s festival, to hear children’s choirs, pretty much present when I come to different countries, singing some of their favorite songs of mine. We should forge and create a children’s day, a celebration internationally, where children are honored. Where parents can take their children to the movies or to the toy store or to the park. And, that, alone, will create a bonding. Because the family bond has been broken. They don’t eat with their children or speak to their children much anymore, or mother their children.... We have Mother’s day, Father’s Day – no Children’s Day. And I would love.... to see them sing songs, or a parade or something. I would love that.....I’ve always done that, yes..... I’ve done it all my career: "Heal The World", "We Are The World"; "Will You Be There", "Man In The Mirror", about the planet, earth songs..... because that’s where my heart is. I care. My biggest dream is to have a Children’s Day, where children can bond with their parents."

On what he would like to be remembered for / his legacy he wants to leave:

"Helping – especially children."
1991 Upscale Magazine

How he would like to be remembered:

"As a person who came and brought light to the world, some escapism. Also, as the voice for the voiceless children, because I love them. I'm living for the children. If it weren't for the kids, I would throw in the towel. A baby, a child – now, that's amazing. They're little geniuses, you know, little geniuses. They really are."
2002 Gold Magazine

Words of Wisdom, Inspiration and Misc. Quotes:

"The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation."

"The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work."

“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”

“And my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance.”

“I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don't know where we are
although I know we've drifted far
What about yesterday
What about the seas
The heavens are falling down
I can't even breathe
What about the bleeding Earth
Can't we feel its wounds
What about nature's worth?
It's our planet's womb.”

Michael in "Earth Song"

"And the dream we were conceived in will reveal a joyful face... and the world we once believed in will shine again in grace. Then why do we keep strangling life wound this Earth, crucify its soul. Though it's plain to see, this world is heavenly. We could be God's glow... Heal the world."

Lyrics from "Heal the World."

“You can always dream, and your dreams will come true, but you have to make them come true.”

Michael Jackson

They say I'm different
They don't understand
But there's a bigger problem that's much more in demand
You got world hunger
Not enough to eat
So there's really no time to be trippin' on me

You got school teachers
Who don't wanna teach
You got grown people
Who can't write or read
You've got strange diseases
But ah, there's no cure.
You got many doctors
That aren't so sure
So tell me

Why you wanna trip on me
Why you wanna trip on me
Stop trippin;

We've got more problems
Than we'll ever need
You got gang violence
And bloodshed on the street
You got homeless people
With no food to eat
With no clothes on their backs
And no shoes for their feet

We've got drug addiction
In the minds of the weak
We've got so much corruption
Police brutality
We've got streetwalkers
Walkin' into darkness
Tell me
What are we doing
To try to stop this

Michael Jackson in his lyrics for "Why You Wanna Trip On Me," from the Dangerous album

"Come, let us dance
The Dance of Creation
Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life."

From the poem "Heaven Is Here"
Dancing The Dream, Poems & Reflections
by Michael Jackson

"I have this dream" By Michael Jackson (one of Michael's unpublished songs)

some people say
I live in a fantasy
because I see the world
visions come to me
in my sleep
I closed my eyes
to see what God is showing me

close your eyes
and imagine with me
see the wonder
in every living thing
if we can life
the way it is in my dreams
love will take us to a place where
god can be seen

this is my dream

I have this dream
this i believe
the world a place for all humanity
if we could take love to it's highest level
more than the world has ever seen
I have this dream

verse 2

let's put Gods love on display
angel of love come my way
it really up to you and me
one world together in harmony

in my dream I see heaven
and the face of the one perfect being
I see people turning into angels
and God giving them their wings


I have this dream
this I believe
the world's a place
for all humanity

if we could take love
to it's highest level
more than the world has ever seen
I have this dream

   Source:Reflections of The Dance