1989 - The King of Pop, Rock & Soul
This year has been quite the rollercoaster and it's only just the beginning. The tour finally ended. Michael did a total of one hundred twenty-three concerts in fifteen different countries to millions of people. My husband's impact is simply astounding. I feel like I've been living an absolute dream traveling the world with him as he sang to his legion of fans in every nook and cranny around the world. The money he's made from this tour has been spread across several different means. Savings, donations and funding scholarships. If there's one thing people can't say about my husband is that he isn't a giver. Anyone else would keep their money to themselves, not helping anyone who hasn't helped them. But Michael is something different. He donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities and organizations that mean a lot to him. He puts money towards college students' scholarships. He is the epitome of a giver. They can call him weird. They can call him odd. They can call him eccentric. But the one thing they can't call him is an egotistical, selfish celebrity. Although he's left the Jehovah Witnesses, he still holds onto the values and morals he's learned from them and it shows.
After the tour ended, I thought we'd be able to enjoy our home together. Nope. Michael had the American Music Awards where Eddie Murphy presented him with the Video Pioneer Award. That certainly made up for the Grammy loss in a way. At least the world recognized that my husband does music videos better than anyone else. Or in Michael's words, short films. He does it better than anyone and the people behind the American Music Awards knew that. After that, we stayed at home for a bit, but then it was off to Stockton, California. Michael was so heartbroken about hearing that a man had opened fire on an elementary school. He used his celebrity for good and went to visit those shaken children. Offering them, their families and the school whatever he could. Not long after that, Michael finally fired Frank. The reasons were endless. The disrespect towards us was getting worse. So much so that in Philadelphia, Frank thought it okay to scream at Michael because he showed up to Frank's friend's house an hour late. Mostly because Michael didn't want to go, but also because he felt Frank felt like he was in charge of Michael telling him where to go and when to go there. A screaming match between Bill and Frank ensued and after that, nothing was ever the same. Michael kept his distance and only discussed business with Frank from then on. Frank began taking credit for Michael's success which he definitely did not like. It was becoming tiring having to hear, "had it not been for me, you wouldn't be on this tour making all this money!" all the time. Frank really began to think that if it weren't for him Michael wouldn't be where he was today. If that's not a lie, I don't know what is. If Michael hired anyone else, the outlook minus all the disrespect would probably be the same. It wasn't long before Michael began to feel like Frank was tampering with money either. He just felt that he could no longer trust Frank. Suddenly, money was missing from where Michael hid it, or a check intended for a donation ended up signed over to Frank instead of that organization... And most of all, Bad wasn't as successful as Thriller. Whether Frank had a hand in that or not, Michael felt the loss he had with Bad was something serious. So much so that he got rid of Quincy to work on his next album with him. Going into the nineties, Michael doesn't want an eighties sound. He wants a nineties sound and he plans on defining that exact sound. Despite all that Frank had put me and Michael through, Michael fired him in the worst way I could possibly think of. Through John Branca. I'm still bothered by that although it happened in February. I just wish Michael had fired Frank himself. John gave Frank a letter signed by Michael and himself. I think it would have been better if Michael had done it in person. From employer to employee. It just made my husband look like a coward against a lion like Frank. I mean at least he did it like he said he was. He could have just done a better job at letting him go though. He doesn't like confrontation. I don't either. But when it comes to my money or my business, I'm definitely letting that person go face to face.
As if that wasn't enough for this year, the whole world saw LaToya's bare body in the spread of a Playboy magazine. You think our family hasn't gotten enough controversy? Well, that certainly landed the whole Jackson clan back into the news. She sported a whole new look. From her nose to her breasts. I thought her natural breasts were fine, but I guess she didn't. Either her or Jack. I'm not sure. Prior to the spread, Michael had found out all about it and paid himself a visit to the Playboy mansion to talk to Hugh about it. Once he saw the photos, he was shocked and slightly embarrassed as he told me. Hugh loved it though, telling Michael how LaToya was a natural. I still haven't seen the spread and I'd rather not. But when Michael told me about it, he couldn't stop talking about why they didn't cover her nipples. Katherine almost had a heart attack after hearing about it, which was what prompted Michael to find out if it was true or not. Once everyone found out it was true though, the whole family was in disbelief. Katherine was ashamed and heartbroken wondering what had happened to LaToya and why and how she had become this way after being such a meek young woman when she was at Hayvenhurst. Ever since nineteen eighty-seven when Jack became her manager, we never see her anymore. And now this?! We all thought she was either out of her mind or just wanted attention since Janet and Michael were blowing up the way they were, she wanted a piece of the pie too. However, I don't believe Playboy was the way to go about it. This isn't LaToya. This is not the sister I know. Granted, people change, but I don't think she would change like this. Even my parents called to wonder what was going on with LaToya. It hurts to say, but I just don't know what's going on with my sister-in-law. She calls from time to time, but I don't have a number I can call for her as its' ever-changing. After the Playboy magazine dropped, she's stopped calling though. She doesn't even call Katherine, which surely breaks Mother's heart. Joseph feels like it's all Jack because there is no way a daughter like his would just bare her naked body for the entire world to see like that. LaToya's always been conservative, so we wonder where the change went. I just pray LaToya does better because this isn't like her. I'd like for her to come back home, but I don't see that happening for a long time. She's probably so wrapped up in Jack that there's just no way we'll get the old LaToya back.
Our home has been opened to many children as just last month, Michael arranged a get together for two hundred underprivileged children to visit the circus and to roam around the premises. After finally settling in, we had a Ferris wheel, Carousel, Roller Coaster, Super Slide, Bumper Cars, and a Swinger installed. We'll be getting more, which I'm incredibly excited about. Those children just had a ball with all we had to offer. The movie theatre with free candy was mostly their favorite. It was so fun to be able to do that for them and I look forward to being able to do it more often. Michael and I love children, so to be able to share our humble abode with children that aren't even ours was certainly a treat.
"Mrs. Jackson, I think Mr. Jackson is about to come up," Roland informed me as we sat in the living room. It's the third Annual Soul Train Awards and he's going to be the recipient of the first Sammy Davis Jr. Award. I really wish I could be there, but alas, during Frank's reign, he already cleared Michael's schedule to go and he didn't get me a ticket to go. Even after Frank was fired, the show was already sold out, so I couldn't go even if I tried. Sammy Davis Jr. wasn't able to attend as he was all the way in Norway, so he was being shown on the screen talking about the award and how he was delighted to have an award named after him and that Michael was going to be the first of many to receive it. It made me so happy to hear Sammy commend Michael on his tour and the fact that he himself felt like Michael was the greatest entertainer he had ever laid eyes on. Although Sammy regretted not being there, he said once he landed back in the states, he'd surely congratulate him when he sees him. As if everyone already knew, Sammy then introduced the presenter of the award. He couldn't even get the name out without the crowd screaming over his name. Michael and Sammy's mutual friend and my favorite comedian thus far, Eddie Murphy.
The camera then cut to Eddie standing off to the side behind a podium just as cool as he wanted to be. He's gained some weight, like, in a good way! My, my, my, he's gotten handsome over the years. "As most people know by now, Michael Jackson over the past year appeared before more people and toured more countries all over the world than any other artist. The Michael Jackson World Tour went to fifteen countries in all and grossed more than twenty-one million dollars and has seen upwards of four million fans. For another perspective on Michael Jackson's phenomenal career, I'd like to introduce you to one of Michael's closest friends and a wonderful actress whom I've admired for quite some time now, Ms. Elizabeth Taylor." Oddly enough, Eddie actually looked nervous, but he still looked good. The camera cut to another podium with a picture of Michael off to the side on a screen. I don't like Elizabeth and she doesn't like me even after all these years, but she has nothing but good things to say about my husband and I can't wait to hear what she has to say. She walked out just as uppity as you could imagine, taking in all the applause, wearing a black outfit with red flowers splattered on different parts of it. She looked nice; I can admit that. I'm no hater.
"You don't like Ms. Taylor, do you, Mrs. Jackson?" Roland asked me.
"No. She's lucky Michael still considers her a friend, because any other husband would have dropped her like a bad habit if their wife didn't like her. She's just as rude as they come. Don't let those purple eyes and that smile fool you." He laughed at my comment.
"Thank you, Eddie," she finally said into the microphone. "I'd like to say a few words about a wonderful human being who is also one of my dearest friends. I would adore Michael Jackson whether he was the world's biggest greatest star or not. But it so happens that he is the greatest and perhaps one of the most gifted music makers the world has ever known. What makes Michael even more unique may be the fact that all of his accomplishments, his rewards have not altered his sensitivity and concern for the welfare of others or his intense caring and love for his family and friends. And his fans," she smiled. "And especially, all the children all the world over. Michael Jackson is indeed an international favorite all ages, an incredible force of incredible energy. The art of music, a pacesetter for quality production, a band guard for high standards of entertainment. What is a genius? What is a living legend? What is a megastar? Michael Jackson! That's all. And just when you think you know him; he gives you more." The tv screen then showed a montage of the entire Bad tour. From the eastern hemisphere to the western hemisphere. My husband has impacted, influenced and entertained people all over the world. And to think I was there for each and every show minus maybe nineteen shows. I was there for the rest of the one hundred four of them. He worked hard and relentlessly to put on an amazing show for each and every one of his fans and in turn, his innate generosity made him donate some of the proceeds from that very tour to organizations all over the world. And only after that, did he reward himself with Neverland. After all of that and with this award that he's about to receive, how on earth did the Bad album not do as well as we anticipated? That will forever leave me puzzled.
After the montage, the camera cut to Eddie and Elizabeth standing side by side with Elizabeth holding Michael's award, "ladies and gentlemen, the nineteen-eighty-nine heritage award and Sammy Davis Jr. award recipient and in my estimation the true King of Pop, Rock and Soul, Mr. Michael Jackson!" The audience erupted in applause as a spotlight in the center of the stage pointed to the back. Michael walked out wearing a black suit jacket with a red band on his arm, a red dress shirt and black pants with buckles. He waved out to the crowd with the largest smile on his face. Karen did a great job on his hair. She pressed it and tried to add some small curls to it, but it mostly looked straight. Nonetheless, my husband looked absolutely amazing and I can't wait for him to come home tonight. He kissed and hugged Elizabeth and hugged Eddie as well as he grabbed his award. Taking in all of the applause from the audience, he smiled and thanked the audience, then thanked Elizabeth and Eddie again out of nervousness. I could already tell, although I don't understand what he has to be so nervous about. He looked so good up there.
"First of all, I'd like to thank God, who makes all things possible. I'd like to thank my mother and father, who I love very much, Katherine and Joseph Jackson," the camera cut to my in-laws as they smiled proudly at Michael. "I thank Quincy Jones, who's in the audience. I don't see him. He's somewhere... Oh! He was right there, but thank you, Quincy. Thank Bill Bray, John Branca, The Epic Family, Walter Yetnikof, and Larry Steso, and Glen Bromine. I love you. Thank the fans, the love of my life. I love you all. Thank you very much," he waved to the fans.
"Was that 'love of my life' directed to you?" Roland looked over at me.
I nodded, "yeah. Nobody noticed though. He said it so fast, they probably thought he was talking about the fans."
"So, your marriage will be announced sooner than we thought, huh?"
I smiled, "very soon."
To Be Continued...