Michael Jackson’s musical legacy stands as a testament to his talents and abilities. The King of Pop transformed pop music and has inspired generations of musicians and fans; from R&B to jazz to rock and reggae, Jackson’s songs and incredible dance moves defined a genre and have been copied and re-copied by almost every artist. KingstonToLA previously stated that Michael Jackson’s artistry transcends time, genres and cultures.
Here are 5 reggae stars who pay tribute to and have been influenced by the King of Pop.
While you may not associate Axel Foley with reggae music, except maybe from his classic SNL sketch “Kill the White People,” the 56-year-old actor/singer recorded a song with Michael Jackson in 1993, “Whatzupwitu,” featured on Murphy’s third album “Love’s Alright.” Murphy’s latest reggae album, “Red Light” came out in 2013. Murphy has fond recollections hanging out with David Bowie and Michael Jackson in the 80s, and the influence they had on him and his then newfound singing talent.
Nominated for the 2018 Reggae Grammy, originating in the South Pacific, the California-based band are heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, among other artists. With a musical combination of island reggae, R&B and soul, the band has been hailed as a passionate newcomer. Common Kings’ bio page describes lead singer Saualei “Jr King” Maliga as one of the most powerfully impressive vocalists among today’s leading artists.
EASY STAR ALL-STARS
With their reggae tribute “Thrillah” album, Jamaican/American studio band has covered Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in its entirety. With their diverse musical guests, each with his own style and musical influence, Easy Star introduce a new dynamic to each of Jackson’s tracks. All Music claims that the album is an instant, unique party, but with that familiar Easy Star island flavor returns with Michael Jackson's "Baby Be Mine," a reggae-meets-R&B track.
Reggae singer, songwriter, musician and producer, Clinark’s repertoire covers reggae with a mixture of social commentary and culture. With a heavy influence from the King of Pop, Clinark’s albums over the years have covered Jackson’s songs with his own unique reggae style. Clinark’s bio on Reverb Nation states that he was devastated that Michael passed away, he alongside Bob Marley, were the greatest influences on him.
The Kingston born Carlton Hylton, also known as Ghost, started performing at the tender age of 3. His music has been described as unique, sensational, soulful and sexy. Dance Hall Reggae World suggests that as a youth, inspired by Michael Jackson, he sang and sang, perfecting his talent. He first came to prominence when he was asked by producer Clifton Dillon to do a few recording sessions to showcase his talent. Following these sessions, his solo career was established and his songs have carried that King of Pop influence ever since.
Michael Jackson still reigns as the King of Pop; in both form and content, he simply did what no one else had done before him. His music and his style have influenced almost everyone from artists, dancers, fashion designers and most of the entertainment industry as well. One part of the entertainment industry that has cashed in on MJ’s global notoriety is the video game industry.
There has been a long history of Michael Jackson themed video games over the years, and its unexpected industries like this that the King of Pop continues to influence greatly. Online gaming has also embraced Jackson. The Michael Jackson King of Pop slot game from PartyPoker is just one of the popular digital games that aims to tap into his global fanbase. And while you probably don’t get the same aural experience as listening to one of MJ’s records or any of the aforementioned artists, the games are brilliant for reminding you what an incredible artist the former Jackson 5 member was.
While the King of Pop will never have an equal, there will always be a steady string of disciples, ready and willing to apply his many innovations to their own particular craft. Which of the above 5 artists do you think were most like MJ?