Friday, May 30, 2014

Magazine Scans: Michael on the Cover of Ebony Magazine in 1984

I was given this issue of Ebony magazine by a fan back in 2005 and I love the issue. I have always liked the fact that Ebony magazine featured Michael in their magazine because they witnessed his career from the beginning up until the present day. In 1984, the magazine's founder, the late Robert E. Johnson, did an exclusive interview with Michael to discuss one of the biggest years of his life. Can you believe that 1984 is 30 years ago? Michael was on top of the world winning eight American Music Awards and Grammys at one night, his 1982 classic, Thriller, was breaking records and the very popular Victory tour showcased the last time he would tour with his brothers. When I look back at that time in his life, I do not think Michael, or anyone, would ever imagine what would have happened to him nine years after this issue was released. Even with all of the nonsense that has happened to him, the fact that he continues to get new fans and his music still making and impact shows that the media's attempts to taint Michael's legacy just isn't working. Maybe the media need to give it up and deal with the greatness that is Michael. I will also discuss the Hologram mess and Michael making history on the billboard charts. 

Michael in 1984. 

Before I post the Ebony article, I would like to state a few things that caught my attention. I want to start with the amazing thing that happened on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart this week. According to the Billboard charts, the 32 year old classic song, "Billie Jean" entered the chart at number 14. You can read the article here -

The current song from the Xscape album, "Love Never Felt So Good" (featuring Justin Timberlake) has reached to number nine last week but has now went to number 16 this week. It says a lot about the power of Michael and how his music changes things. The reason why "Billie Jean" went to number 14 on the Billboard charts was because of a young man name Brett Nichols performed the classic song at his high school talent show. The video went viral within minutes. 

Brett Nichols made it hot. Go, ahead. :) 

When I saw this performance, I was happy because that Hologram mess that was on the Billboard Music Awards days before really angered me. This performance showed the reality of Michael's legacy: when one dances like him, it is done with respect and care. The young man did not change his natural look to look like Michael. He wore the tuxedo, fedora hat, white socks and black loafters to honor Michael. Brett's performance was not a mockery of the man like that horrible hologram was. 

The nerve of that hologram to be posted on the official Michael Jackson account reaching over 10 million views when some of Michael's iconic performances have a measley 4 million views. Horrific. When I saw that hologram mess, I had to post Michael's best performance I ever seen him do on my twitter page: the Motown 25 performance from 1983 - 

How can anything top this awesome performance? 

After people seen that hologram mess, a lot of people (well, I barely read or seen anyone liking the hologram mess) were angry, perplexed, scammed, weirded out, creeped out, bothered and wanted to state something. It made sense that contributoring writer, Alexander Hardy, wrote an informative, intelligent, humorous and realistic blog post about why it is wrong to continue to resurrect Michael via a hologram instead of accepting what Michael gave us. You can read the article here - 

There were so many good points that Mr. Hardy made but this one point in particular was the main reason why I and so many fans hated that hologram mess, 

"Michael was the perfectionist. His attention to detail was unparalleled. We have heard stories of him finding fault in vocals and choreography that sounded and looked pristine to everyone else. So, knowing that he fought for years for control of his work, and subscribed to an aesthetic that even his closest confidantes perhaps couldn’t tune into, seeing lawyers and label heads dream up this pixelated a*s Diet Michael under the guise of goodwill toward fans is disappointing. And f*cked up."
You would think that the executors of his Estate and whoever supported that hologram mess would remember that but sadly, they did not. Heck, they did not even care. Ebony magazine seemed to be the only media outlet that did care about Michael's legacy and their constant support for Michael is one of the reasons that I have little hope for the media. 

Which brings me to the Ebony magazine cover story that they did on Michael in 1984 about Michael's greatness. The article talks about how Michael ruled the world 30 years ago and what people did not know about him around that time. I hope you enjoy the magazine article as much as I did.

I need to state something: what happened to the cover is a long story. 


"The Michael Jackson Nobody Knows", by Johnson, Robert E, Ebony. pages 155-162, December 1984.

Articles -
"Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' Returns to the Hot 100",, May 28th, 2014

"Michael Joseph Jackson is Dead (So Leave Him Be)",Hardy, Alexander.

Michael Jackson's Motown 25 performance from
Brett Nichols talent show performance of "Billie Jean" from 

A picture of Michael from 1984 from my personal harddrive.