Stop Deifying Celebrities, Leaders
Everyone knew Michael Jackson.
But very few probably really knew Jackson like his family and longtime collaborators like Berry Gordy and Quincy Jones.
So when Jones, the legendary jazz musician and producer, made some explosive claims about Jackson allegedly stealing music from people like Donna Summer and Greg Phillinganes, it should definitely be taken seriously, whether it turns out true or not.
Jones said, “I hate to get into this publicly, but Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer’s] ‘State of Independence’ and ‘Billie Jean.’ The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come.”
Jackson spent many decades cultivating an image of ingenuity, sensitivity, philanthropy and goodwill. But that does not mean that he was not human and prone to do human things.
While Jones’ allegations have yet to be confirmed by any other source, Jermaine Jackson and producers Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A” Reid of LaFace Records have confirmed a story of brotherly betrayal.
According to his memoir “You Are Not Alone Michael: Through a Brother’s Eyes,” Jermaine spoke of visiting Michael in the hospital in June 1990.
While at the hospital, Jermaine shared the news that he was moving to Atlanta to work with the hit-making duo of L.A. and Babyface.
Jermaine stated that the LaFace Records producers were going to do for his career what Jones had done for Michael’s career.
After Jermaine moved his entire family to the Buckhead section of Atlanta, the former Jackson 5 bassist became frustrated that it took over 90 days to meet with L.A. and Babyface in the studio.
LaFace employees told Jermaine that the production duo could not work with him anytime soon because they were tied up with Michael, working on music in a Los Angeles studio.
It infuriated Jermaine that Michael would backstab him and steal his producers.
Furthermore, it infuriated L.A. and Babyface after it became known that Michael had no intentions of using the music they had worked on for the past three months on his 1991 album “Dangerous.”
That moment led to Jermaine, Babyface and L.A. recording the controversial diss track “Word to the Badd” in its original form.
While it is not yet proven that he stole music from Summer and Phillinganes (“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”), it is proven that he stole his own brothers’ producers for suspicious reasons.
While that incident does not make Jackson a horrible person, it does prove that he is human, despite his iconic status, and capable of doing horrible things even to a family member and former band mate.
Too often we put celebrities on a pedestal and act shocked when their real personalities do not match up with their public persona.
When we found out about all of the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby many were flabbergasted because the allegations did not match the image of Heathcliff Huxtable from “The Cosby Show.”
When we found out that O.J. Simpson was accused of domestic violence against his former wife, the late Nicole Brown Simpson his image as the All-American success story was shattered.
When Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman, his reputation was completely destroyed, despite his acquittal.
Fans, supporters and consumers have to realize that our heroes are just humans and not gods.
Instead of deifying humans and worshipping them as idols, we need to understand that they are just as human as we are, despite possessing otherworldly talent.
If we spent more time recognizing the true deity God, we would not be surprised by the controversial stories about our worldly heroes.
We would just realize that we really do not know these celebrities, and they are really no different than any other human being battling between doing right and doing wrong.