By Emma Okocha
“Michael went to the orbit and never came down; he studied the greats and became the greatest, he raised the bar and broke the bar , the King of Pop is not big enough for him.

He is simply the  greatest Entertainer that ever lived.’’ — Betty Gordy , the Founder of Motown Records.

“I hope he is finally given his due in death, what was denied him in life.’’  —Michael Jackson, speaking at a New York Memorial for the late James Brown.

“And I will say this to his children; there was nothing strange about your daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with.’’ — Rev. Al Sharpton, at the Staple Center Memorial for Michael Jackson.

“Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him so much.’’ — Princess Paris Michael Jackson, Eulogy to her Father at the close of the Jackson Memorial.

“I will never see anything like this again……. nobody is going to die who will be like Michael Jackson.’’ —Larry King, CNN

She alighted the stage, pregnant. The last time she was in the red corner, when it was her turn to carry her cross, her mother, her brother, and her loving nephew had been shot dead in one night.

It did not take her seconds to belt out the hilarious Michael Jackson dirge.

‘Will You Be There…. In my tribulations , in my trial,  in my joy and sorrows, in my confessions. Oscar award winning singer and actress, Jennifer Hudson would not allow her protruding stomach or her family losses come between her and this stage.

Over 20 thousand fans, associates and relations of the Jacksons, Hollywood actors, and super stars of the entertainment industry, were directly before her in respectful silence.

One billion others from Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, France, the countries of Africa were also attracted and were watching on TV, the somber Jackson family organized tribute to the greatest entertainer of all times.

Before her, we had seen the ‘Emancipation Lady’, Mariah Carey sing  ‘’I’ll Be There’’,  It was just okay, but nothing like the effervescence or the stage orgasm of the gloved one.

The perfectionist, the man, who walked the moon and the stars had his incomparable moves on stage. He avoided holding onto the mic.

He would rather caress the sound pipe and when like the “Ejeonu”, African dancing Masquerade, he would materialise from the the open curtains, Michael would charge the open platform.

The colours of his specially knit sexy apparel introduced by the special effects of blinding lights expertly arranged in sequence, fed his nimble legs.

Those legs would be shaking, the hands, equally busy, directing and conducting with the rest of the body. And the pelvis gyrating, threatening to break the narrow waistline.

With the grace of the matador, the ferocity of the bull, Michael on stage would metamorphose into a beast,  an earthquake, eating up the entire stage and overturning the whole structure and sitting arrangement of his rapt audience.

When he would belch ‘the golden BG, ‘Man In The Mirow’ or any of the Thriller Singles, men and women would start collapsing in mass hysteria, men who would be crying like babies would be comforted by their equally wet partners.

Hence, in this business many do not make the mistake of braving it. The Michael Jackson’s songs and performances are no-go areas.

They are masterpieces always delivered with delicate embroidered chant of which only the master can command.

While Michael could effortlessly reproduce a songwriter’s soul and polish his lyrics, redefine the notes and make the audience feel the pulse of his heart melody, very few mortals have risked confronting his songs and succeeded in taking them down.

No wonder, the ageless, Smokey Robinson testified that he needed to see Michael Jackson’s birth certificate after the Jackson Five had invaded the Motown place in 1968, and the ‘’ten year old had, like an old man, sang and performed my love song”.

But the memorial organisers were comfortable and were assured of  the calibre of these select few who have been specially picked for the last dance in celebration of the King who judging from his sterling odyssey, might have been here before now.

If Mariah Carey could struggle that much with the opener, then nobody is safe. For there is only one Michael Jackson, one moon man, the little boy who sang and moved like a deity on stage.

Next came Lionel Richie, with the Spiritual, ‘’Jesus is Love’’ …. what happened?  He croaked it and was so boring. Probably he is yet to recover from the shock of the loss of his friend and co writer of ‘’We are the World.’’

Other not-too-good performances include, Steve Wonder, who said he was back ‘’in peace’ and Mayer who volunteered that he never met Michael Jackson. His instrumental rendition of  ‘Beat It’ was another reminder that the King did beat the bar.

Usher did not falter when he swaggered in and rested his hands on the MJ golden casket. He sang and held his own with, Gone Too Soon’. But the world and Michael’s mourning fans would not have minded some few minutes of moonwalk, just a little bit of ‘Off the Wall’, to complete the King’s last dance to heaven.

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