Michael Jackson's Influence on the Next Generation

Michael Jackson's Influence on the Next Generation
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 23, 2010

1 of 19

“It’s hard to pick a favorite MJ song. But I would say that ‘Billie Jean’ is one of my favorites. Lyrically how do you make a topic so deep sound so infectious? Only him. That song wows me every time I hear it. He is the force of nature to show us what innovation and fearlessness looks like!” —Alicia Keys

2 of 19 Cassandra Craig

“Michael Jackson’s precision and professionalism were second to none. I’ve directly encountered him, and he gave 100 percent in anything he was involved in. To apply in life the joy he got out of pleasing others is something I will always have to thank him for.” —Marsha Ambrosius

3 of 19

“While I think ‘Human Nature,’ is the greatest song ever recorded, it’s hard for me to summarize a lifetime of inspiration. MJ has been the single biggest influence on my music. The poise and drive he had at 50 years old was out of this world.”—Lloyd

4 of 19

“MJ’s work ethic has inspired me the most. Even though he was hands down the best — his music, dancing, singing, songwriting — he was always striving to be better, striving to be the best, and pushing to take it to the next level.”—Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

5 of 19

“Michael Jackson’s music transcends time. It continues to inspire people of all ages. The fact that my child who is four knows Michael and his work shows the true impact of his life. The greatest lesson he taught was the one of balance. Fame comes with a cost. The industry that builds you up can be the very thing to tear you down.” —Raheem Devaughn

6 of 19

“MJ treated everyone kind, and just loved people. He would hug and kiss the babies, sign autographs, or just stood there and waved just so you could take a picture. That is what made his celebrity fresh.”—Michelle Williams

7 of 19

“I learned from Michael that the sky is the limit, and to always think big — never shortchange yourself.” —Lyfe Jennings

8 of 19 Jennifer Cooper

“It’s hard to pick my favorite MJ video because, but ‘Thriller’ obviously should go down in history as the best video of all time! I remember it being the first video premiering on prime time tv, and me begging my mom to watch — amazing!” —Kandi Burruss

9 of 19

“Michael’s music was one of the first things that made me want to become an artist. When I was on the school bus at seven or eight years old I would sing Michael songs to get attention. It was one of the first times I knew that I wanted to be an artist.”—Robin Thicke

10 of 19

“Michael is one of a kind, a true gift from God. His video ‘Thriller’ took it to another level. One of the first music videos that actually looked like a movie. You have to respect how creative and out of the box he was willing to go.” —Sammie

11 of 19

“Micheal Jackson has been an influence so much to why I love the stage. I remember particularly a performance of his song, ‘Dirty Diana.’ I was in the nosebleeds section, but I felt so much a part of his whole show. That has never happened since, never happened before that, and don’t think it will ever happen again.” —Keri Hilson

12 of 19

“I grew up listening to him and watching him, and he’s the definition of what it is to be a pop star. Everyone who has come after him has not lived up to that yet.” —John Legend

13 of 19

“MJ was always himself in his music, I’ve learned from him there are no boundaries, you can go as far as you want with your creativity. As far as your mind and your heart allow you to.” —PJ Morton

14 of 19

“I really love ‘Rock With You,’ the music of that song just makes you wanna two step. It just feels so good. He was such a star. He aspired make music and create a legacy that will be celebrated all over the world, forever.” —Melanie Fiona

15 of 19

“I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for him and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer, who in so many ways, transcended the culture… His legacy is unparalleled.” —Usher Raymond

16 of 19

“I’m such a huge fan, and always have been. I’m inspired by his passion for being such a great entertainer. We can all take a page out of his book, he was an awesome man.” —Leela James

17 of 19

“Micheal Jackson is the blueprint for what happens when you truly value your gift as a performer… I will forever be inspired by Micheal’s music and more than that, his passion for the art!” —Mario

18 of 19

“Michael’s one of the reasons for me pushing for excellence with everything.” —Estelle

19 of 19

“The energy of Michael Jackson will live forever through the thing that he put all of his life energy into, his music. I will do my part to keep the melody alive, to keep the energy forever changing form, but never ever dying! Long live Michael Jackson.” —Ne-Yo


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