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Nigerian stars vote Jackson greatest musician ever

*Beats Elvis Presley, Bob Marley

Stories by Ogbonna Amadi, Bridget Amaregbu and Lolade Sowoolu

Following the  death of the King   of Pop, Michael Jackson last June 25, an argument erupted among Nigerians in the entertainment industry on who the world’s greatest entertainer and musician is. Three names were listed: Michael Jackson and Bob Marley, while Elvis Presley was later added.  From the poll conducted by Saturday Vanguard, Nigerian stars came out with one single verdict: Michael Jackson is the greatest performer and entertainer of all time, beating Presley and Marley to second and thirds.

Bio data of the Stars

Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was born August 29, 1958, in Gary,  IN. The fifth son of steelworker Joe Jackson, Michael displayed a talent for music and dance from an extremely young age.

Michael Jackson in rehearsal two days before his death.
Michael Jackson in rehearsal two days before his death.

His childhood was strictly regimented. From the start, he was to an extent sheltered from the outside world by his mother’s Jehovah’s Witness faith, and his father was by all accounts,  an often ill_tempered disciplinarian.

“Michael Jackson: The King of Pop” contains all of the record setting feats accomplished by this shy yet extraordinarily gifted singer and dancer. His first solo album for CBS Records was “Off The Wall,” became the first album ever to yield four top ten hit singles.

Its follow up, “Thriller,” became the biggest selling album in music history, yielding seven top ten hits. “Bad” went to number one in a record breaking 25 countries and has surpassed all other albums in sales with the exception of one, “Thriller.”

“Dangerous” when first released sold faster than “Bad” in its first few months of release, and more incredibly, it also surpassed the initial sales of “Thriller.” He made hit after hit, celebrated music videos one after another, sealed obscenely huge record sales and contracts.

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley was the first widely known    rock_and_roll singer star _ and      subsequently named the King of Rock and Roll.  He rose from poverty to fame in the mid 1950s, attracting large audiences in concerts, and especially,  teenage girls everywhere he went.

Elvis was young and attractive, had great voice, and his sound and style were unique.

Elvis’ musical style was a combination of black Rhythm & Blues, country, blues, pop music of the day, and gospel.  His stage performance was a novelty thing in the 1950s, with lots of swivelling dance movements that some parents and church people considered vulgar and a dangerous influence to their teenagers.  He even got nicknamed “Elvis the Pelvis” for his swinging dance.

Elvis also started making movies in 1956 with the film “Love Me Tender” _ acting had been his dream for a long time.  Between 1956 and 1961, he was both recording, giving live concerts, and making movies (with the exception of his time in army) and achieved international fame.  Other movies from this early period are “Loving You”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and “King Creole”.

Soon after returning from the army in 1961, he abandoned singing to live audiences and turned exclusively to film making.  Elvis was soon to grow dissatisfied with his acting career and totally quit making movies in 1969.  Instead,  he started giving live concerts again.

The time from 1970 till his death at 1977, Elvis spent touring in concerts all over the United States _ around 1,000 concerts total.  He also had long engagements in Las Vegas International Hotel each year.  He made history with these elaborate shows, his costumes (most often various jumpsuits) breaking box office records.

Elvis died totally unexpectedly in 1977 from heart attack, prescription drug abuse being indicated as a cause.

Bob Marley

Hon. Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley OM    (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) was a    Jamaican singer_songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands- The Wailers (1964 – 1974) and Bob Marley & the Wailers (1974 – 1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement, (of which he was a committed member), to a worldwide audience.

Marley’s best known hits include “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Exodus”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Stir It Up”, “Jamming”, “Redemption Song”, “One Love” and, together with The Wailers, “Three Little Birds”, as well as the posthumous releases “Buffalo Soldier” and “Iron Lion Zion”.

The compilation album, Legend, released in 1984, three years after his death, is reggae’s best_selling album, being 10 times platinum in the US and selling 20 million copies worldwide.

They were great in different ways —  Orits Wiliki

When I heard the news of Michael Jackson’s death, I had no word to      describe what went through my mind. First,  I didn’t believe the news. I wished that I was dreaming and when I woke up, it would be different.

Michael was a colleague who took the music industry to a different level, with the kind of music video he produced. He raised the bar and till date we are still struggling to meet up to his standards.

Now if we are talking about the greatest among them-Jackson, Bob Marley and Elvis Presley, I’d say it might be difficult to say whom amongst them is the greatest.

You see they were all great achievers in their own right. Comparing them is like asking which is the greater between air, light and water. Can we do without any of the three elements of life?

Give it to Michael Jackson — Weird MC.

It was really sad that Michael had to die when he did. Everything I do on stage were inspired by him.

There can never be another like him. And who so ever thinks he is capable of taking up the mantle, that person has a lot of job to do.

He remains to me, the greatest entertainer to have ever graced the earth. And after him, comes Bob Marley and perhaps Elvis Presley.

Michael, a legend— Ruggedman

It was shocking when I heard the news, but then God only knows the best.  His death was certainly a big blow to the entertainment industry.
Video wise he was the last statement in video production and today we are doing every thing to meet up with standard he set.

Comparatively, he is the best thing to have happened to the industry. And perhaps the only other person who made great impact in the music industry was Bob Marley but he remains my second best.

Michael was the best— Felix Duke

The news of his death came to me as a rude shock. He was a man we all      looked up to. Indeed we have lost the first and only King of Pop. He was a man that held the world spellbound with his performances and perhaps, he remains the only person whom at a point had his fame comparing to Jesus Christ.

I take solace in the fact that his legacy lives on.

Michael? No rival— Alozie Uzoukwu

Just like he sang in one of his songs, I was speechless. I got the news via
an sms at about 11pm on Thursday night, and I didn’t believe it. I thought someone was trying to play a joke on me. It’s happened and it’s happened.

The reality of it all is that we have lost a great entertainer. Michael stood out in everything he did- his songs performances and his controversies. The truth is Michael was out of this world. No thing compares to him.

Michael ruled like a King— Charles Novia

I learnt of his passing on when I tuned in to the news segment of the Silverbird Television. My scream woke up my wife,  and the children and they all rushed into the living room to join.

To say the truth, we all burst into tears. I grew up listening to Michael and I idolised him. He was like a brother, friend and mentor rolled into one.
He was the best and he ruled the industry like the Kng he was.

Michael a demi god, Yemie Adeoye

Michael Jackson is a rare species of man, an enigmatic individual that       gave the needed fire to world entertainment. Since he arrived the global entertainment scene,  there has been none like him.

Yes! Robert Nesta Marley was a prophet, Elvis Presley was an entertainer but Michael Joseph Jackson was a demi-god, the god of entertainment, and I can assure you that decades away from this day,  his followers will still worship him with enthusiasm.

This man was the initiator of modern and movie-like music videos, and he sold album copies never recorded in the history of man. His dance-step, the Moonwalk, is a signature per excellence that can never be perfectly imitated by any man on Earth.

And he has done more for charity than any music idol I’ve known or heard about.

He was invited to the White House by the Ronald Reagan administration and given the award of the Entertainer of the Decade.  He became so popular that he was refereed to as the 2nd Most Popular Thing in the World after Coke.

Michael is incomparable and only time will tell. Don’t forget he taught us all how to dance, because from Usher Raymond to Justin Timberlake and from Neyo to Chris Brown , or even our own P-square the dance-steps can only remind you of no other, but Michael Joseph Jackson.

Bob Marley remains the best— Ras Kimono

When the news hit me, brethren, my penis shrank immediately. It was sweet pain and I couldn’t cry, nor did I laugh.

I felt bad by his death suddenly, and today he will not have the opportunity to honour his come back concert. And neither will the world ever get to hear his voice any more, except for the songs he’d done in the past.

There was nobody like Michael I must confess to you in the last two centuries.

Michael was one of the best stage performers the world ever saw, and he had the crowd eating out his palm.

But Bob also pulled the crowd wherever he played and 20 years after his demise, his music remains the highest selling in the world. Maybe in 20 years, we will know if Michael can break his records. For now I will place my bet on Bob Marley.

Marley is biggest —Omawunmi Magbele

I was just watching CNN when they said Michael Jackson had cardiac arrest. Next thing I knew, he was dead. I felt very bad. It was horrible because he’s one of those people you think will live forever.

It was so unfortunate. For me, I think Bob Marley is the biggest of the three of them. His music had a lot of wisdom in it. What people take out of your music is very important and Bob Marley’s songs have a lot of wisdom. I don’t know much about Elvis Presley. Dem never born me when he reign.

MJ is bigger than Presley  — Cally Ikpe

I was watching TV when a friend called me to say there’s something
funny going on, on CNN. I tuned in and at about few minutes to 1am, it was confirmed that Michael Jackson had died at last. Ah, it was very confusing. He suffered for too long. Maybe, death is a relief.

I’m happy it’s come to the open that he’s the most celebrated musician ever even more than Elvis Presley. Michael crossed age, religion, ethnic barriers and all possible restriction you can think of. Of course, MJ is the greatest entertainer.

He wrote more songs, did more sacrifices… Michael never lived his life. He sacrificed his life for music. The same can’t be said of others. Bob Marley played music while living his life, Elvis Presley did same too. Michael did not live his life for once. He gave it all for music. He’s definitely the greatest.

MJ saw the future — Faze

Somebody sent me a text message about his death while I was in Abuja saying something about MJ dying. Afterwards I got a phone call saying the same thing. Later I watched CNN and it was confirmed.

No matter what people have against him, the fact remains that we all love his music. I feel the pain. I still don’t believe he’s dead. It’s too early for him to die. MJ’s definitely the biggest.

He did videos as though he had been to the future. His videos are still very relevant even today.

If you watch his videos again, you’ll find out that the quality of some of his videos is better than many of the ones we even try to shoot today. He was a very unusual person. It looks like he saw the future.

MJ is second to Bob Marley — Rymzo

I was stopped at a police check point when one of the officers recognised me and called out my name saying did I know Michael Jackson was dead?  I turned on the radio and heard the news myself.

I was very depressed because I didn’t see it coming. His contribution to music was enormous. The last I read about him was that he was planning some concerts.

And then next minute, he’s dead. But Bob Marley is still the greatest of the three because he spoke for peace. I don’t even recognise Elvis Presley because I deal with the blacks. Bob Marley’s first and Michael second.

It’s between MJ and Bob Marley — D’jinee

I found out on Facebook. I saw people’s profiles filled with all comments about Michael Jackson and soon my friends started calling me. That was when I went on line to

I was shocked but not as bad as other people. I knew about his cancer problem and knew death would come someday. I was just preoccupied with the consequences of his death on his planned shows.

Michael Jackson’s eccentric, everybody knows. His lifestyle would perhaps make people say he’s the biggest. But then personally, I think it’s between Michael Jackson and Bob Marley.

Michael is it— Yeni Kuti

I was shocked when I heard news of his death, it was totally unexpected. I hate to say it, I shed a few tears when the reality of it hit me. We grew up with Michael.

I am more sad because he didn’t live long to fulfill his promise of playing in London. On whois the greatest perormer to have graced the world I’d give it to Michael.

I liked Bob Marley and his music. H e also stood for world peace, but there is no way you’d compare him to Michael. Michale was the complete performer. I don’t even know any of Elvis Presley’s songs.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.