File:Michael Jackson 1984.jpg

Michael Jackson in 1984

Michael Jackson is an American recording artist, who has influenced and inspired numerous musicians to sing and dance. Jackson debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group.[1] He became a dominant figure in popular music during the 1980s, and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV.[2][3] His sixth solo studio album, Thriller (1982), became the the best-selling album of all time.[4] The album, which has sold over 104 million units,[4] inspired his younger sister Janet to release Control.

With stage performances and music videos, Jackson, referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years,[5] popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk.[6] The dance moves impacted on the lives of several young artists, who sought to emulate their idol. Jackson's clothing was also a source of inspiration for many people. The attire he wore during the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever performance of "Billie Jean" inspired millions of children to don black fedoras and single white gloves.[7] Among those who sought or sported the single glove were Beanie Sigel and Fefe Dobson, the latter insisting that she was Jackson.

Many current contemporary R&B, pop and hip hop artists were influenced by Jackson. Spin editor Doug Brod commented, "In terms of pop songs and performance, Jackson pretty much has no peer. Every current pop star, from Kanye West to Rihanna, will say he's their biggest influence. His impact on the pop charts has been phenomenal."[8] Jackson has stated that several of the artists that he influenced are as equally inspiring to him. "I think Justin is doing a wonderful job as well as Usher and it's great to see. I'm inspired by what they do and I'm sure I inspired him and it's very nice."[9]

Artists influenced and inspired by Jackson[]

File:Britney-Spears Boys.jpg

Britney Spears

File:Chris Brown singing at Brisbane Entertainment Centre 2.jpg

Chris Brown

File:Janet Jackson.jpg

Janet Jackson


Justin Timberlake

File:Snoop Dogg Hawaii.jpg

Snoop Dogg

Artist Country Comments on Jackson Ref
A. R. Rahman India "Yes, I have been inspired by Michael Jackson, though probably not in character. My voice and Michael Jackson's have the same range, since we both have a high pitch, so it probably creates an impression that it is similar." [10]
Beanie Sigel U.S. "I don't give a fuck how tough you are, you wanted a [Michael Jackson] glove. If you were anywhere between the ages of 25 and 40, when Michael was out there doing his thing with 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It', you wanted the glove. And you had the [leather] jacket and you had the button and you had that poster too — the one when Michael had that yellow V-neck sweater on." [11]
Beyoncé Knowles U.S. "If it wasn’t for Michael Jackson I would never have ever performed." [12]
Bow Wow U.S. [13]
Brian McFadden Ireland [14]
Britney Spears U.S. "This is someone who has inspired me and just about everybody in this room, and the world. I consider him the artist of the millennium. He is a true innovator, who pioneered the art of music video, broke down countless barriers, and sold more records than any other artists along the way."[nb 1] [15]
Chris Brown U.S. "There isn't an artist out now that hasn't been influenced or inspired by Michael Jackson. When I was 2 years old in diapers, I sang and danced to Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson is as close to perfection as an artist can be." [16][17]
Ciara U.S. "The biggest influence for me is Michael Jackson, and then there is Prince and Janet Jackson. I'm an old soul. I love older material." [18]
Corbin Bleu U.S. [19]
Craig David U.K. [20]
Dan the Automator U.S. "I was much more inspired by Michael Jackson than Beethoven." [21]
Dryden Mitchell U.S. "My first concert was Michael Jackson at Dodger Stadium when I was like 10 years old. I was a huge fanatic, and I never stopped being a fan." [11]
Fefe Dobson Canada "Dude, I thought I was Michael Jackson, OK? I was wearing that white wife-beater and the glove. I swore I was Michael Jackson. Then I found out I wasn't Michael Jackson and it broke my heart." [22]
Georgie Porgie U.S. [23]
Ginuwine U.S. "If it weren't for Michael Jackson, a lot of us wouldn't be here." [24]
Green Gartside U.K. [25]
J-Boog U.S. [26]
Janet Jackson U.S "When Thriller came, I was so envious. It was so incredible. I was so happy for him but it was like, 'Why can't that be me? That's what I want to do.' That's what inspired me to do Control." [27][28]
Jay-Z U.S. [4]
JC Chasez U.S. [29]
Jennifer Lopez U.S. [30]
John Legend U.S. "He's still a genius and he's still made some of the most important music of the last 30 years. And I still have the utmost respect for him as an artist." [31]
Juggy D U.K. "MJ as an inspiration reflects in me when I'm performing. I'm an entertainer and I get the crowd going." [32]
Justin Timberlake U.S. "Just like Michael took inspiration from James [Brown], sure, Michael's inspired me immensely to do what I do. Anytime someone comes out and dances and does something with choreography, they say, 'Well, that's inspired by Michael.' So, thank you. That's a compliment." [33]
Kelis U.S. "He's influenced all of us in some way. We all at some point were in the mirror trying to be him." [11]
Lil' Fizz U.S. [34]
Lil' Romeo U.S. "I'm influenced by my dad's music and Michael Jackson." [35]
Mariah Carey U.S [27]
Marques Houston U.S. "Everyone knows that my greatest influence has been Michael Jackson, basically because of his musical genius and abilities. In terms of skills as an artiste, I would like to be on par with him." [36]
Missy Elliott U.S. "He's my biggest influence so that's why I'm very defensive. I'm ready to fight about Michael Jackson, so we pray to God he didn't do it, 'cause I might go to jail trying to defend him."[nb 2] [37]
Ne-Yo U.S "Michael Jackson is one of the reasons why I sing. When we met he was really cool people. He was really regular people. Everyone expects Michael Jackson to be this weird guy and he's not. He had a regular suit on. There was nothing weird about him." [38]
Omarion U.S. "He was my main influence. I think Michael Jackson started a lot of things in this industry. He's a great entertainer, and that's what I always wanted to do." [39]
Pharrell Williams U.S. "I met Michael at his video shoot in California. I told him from the age of 6 I would burn holes in my socks moon walking in the bathroom." [11]
R. Kelly U.S. "I was psyched ... I feel I could have done his whole album. Not being selfish. I was just that geeked about it. It was an experience out of this world ... It's amazing to know that five years ago I was writing songs in a basement in the ghetto and now I'm writing for Michael Jackson ... I'd be a fool not to say it's a dream come true."[nb 3] [40][41]
Raz-B U.S. [26]
Sean Combs U.S. "Michael Jackson has been a positive influence in my life." [42]
Silk U.S. [43]
Sisqó U.S. [11]
Snoop Dogg U.S "That's the king right there. Michael Jackson has always been an inspiration to me as far as his music is concerned. You can't take nothing from him." [11]
Sophie Ellis-Bextor U.K. [44]
Usher U.S. "Mike is the truth and you can never deny the truth. That great choreography and great energy that Michael puts behind it, [entertainers] try to re-create that feeling. I try to take different kinds of dance and apply it in the same way Michael did in 'Thriller,' 'Beat It' and 'Off the Wall'." [11]
Westlife Ireland [14]

See also[]


  1. Britney Spears introducing Jackson at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2002.
  2. Missy Elliott after Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse in 2003. He was later acquited on all charges.
  3. R. Kelly on working with Jackson on "You Are Not Alone" for the HIStory album.


  1. George, p. 20
  2. Yardley, Jonathan (August 30, 1993). "Nothing More Than ... Feelings". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  3. Day, Elizabeth (March 8, 2009). "Off the wall but still invincible". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "'XM THRILLER: The Music of Michael Jackson' to Launch March 1 on XM". Reuters. (November 11, 2009). Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  5. Keehner, Jonathan; Mider, Zachary R. (November 5, 2008). "Michael Jackson's Neverland Loan Sold by Fortress to Colony". Bloomberg L.P.. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  6. Smith, Ethan (June 13, 2008). "Michael Jackson Through the Years". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  7. Verrico, Lisa (October 23, 2004). "Gonna dress you up". The Times. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  8. Gunderson, Edna (August 17, 2008). "Pop icons at 50: Michael Jackson". USA Today. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  9. Singer, Michelle (November 3, 2006). "Is A 'Thriller 2' In Store For Jackson?". CBS News. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  10. Sethi, Atul (December 24, 2006). "I am inspired by Jackson: Rahman". The Times of India. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Reid, Shaheem (September 7, 2001). "Michael Jackson Gets Mad Love From Britney, Beanie, Snoop, Usher". MTV. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  12. "Jackson’s return to stage? No ‘Thriller’". MSNBC. (November 21, 2006). Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  13. "'Lil' musicians are becoming big names". Lancaster Newspapers. (May 9, 2002). Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Carlozo, Lou (July 7, 1999). "New British invasion coming to America". The Ledger.,3962269&dq=michael-jackson+shane-filan+westlife+influences. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  15. MTV Video Music Awards 2002. [Awards ceremony]. New York City: MTV. 
  16. Johnson, Jr, Billy (May 1, 2008). "Usher, Has Chris Brown Taken Your Spot?". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved June, 14, 2009. 
  17. Bennet, Joy T. (December, 2007). "The Thrill Is Back". Jet.,M1. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  18. Condran, Ed (December 8, 2006). "Ciara steps back in R&B time". The Record. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  19. Dolan, Casey (May 5, 2007). "Surfacing; Turning the spotlight on musicians making a commercial breakthrough.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  20. Farley, Christopher John (April 30, 2001). "The Garage Door Opens". Time.,9171,999778,00.html?iid=digg_share. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  21. Muther, Christopher (January 11, 2002). "With lovage, Nakamura hits on a seductive sound". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  22. Reid, Shaheem (January 9, 2004). "Fefe Dobson's Jacko, Mermaid Dreams Didn't Work Out, But Justin Comes Through". MTV. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  23. Ganesan, Ram (July 17, 2001). "No kisses, just music, from Georgie Podgie". New Straits Times. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  24. "Michael Jackson opens doors". The Charlotte Observer. (August 29, 1997). Retrieved June 14, 2006. 
  25. Frere-Jones, Sasha (July 24, 2006). "Lovestruck". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Reigning Olympic Champion Tara Lipinski to Audition Local Teen Dancers For Appearance in AFLAC Hip Hop on Ice Starring Tara Lipinski at Fort Myers' TECO Arena October 18th". PR Newswire. (October 12, 2001). Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Reid, Antonio (April 14, 2004). "The Immortals - The Greatest Artists of All Time: 35) Michael Jackson". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  28. Dineen, pp. 56–57
  29. "Subpar lyrics mar debut of JC Chasez's solo CD". Akron Beacon Journal. (March 7, 2004). Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  30. "10 Questions for Jennifer Lopez". Time. (October 18, 2007).,9171,1673250,00.html?iid=chix-sphere. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  31. Laccarino, Sara (July 4, 2005). "Hype too real for Legend's liking". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  32. Jayakar, Salil (September 20, 2005). "Gettin' Juggy with it". DNA. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  33. Sincliar, Tom (September 13, 2002). "The Single Guy". Entertainment Weekly.,,349381,00.html?xid=rss-allabout-JustinTimberlake-Justin+Timberlake+on+his+solo+album%2C+Jacko%2C+Britney%2C+and+more. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  34. Imani, Josey (July 30, 2007). "Lil' Fizz: casting off boy-band image". Jet. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  35. Welter, Maggie (June 21, 2001). "Boy power Lil' Romeo raps big". Chicago Tribune.'+Romeo+raps+big&pqatl=google. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  36. Jackson, Kevin (August 11, 2003). "Marques Houston comes to the fore with debut solo album". The Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on April 11, 2005. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
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  38. Adams, Cameron (August 14, 2008). "Ne-Yo goes solo after penning hits for Beyonce and Rihanna". News Limited. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  39. Johnson, Kevin (July 28, 2005). "St. Louisan Tabor puts the moves on Omarion". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.,10BA637FD54BE780.html. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  40. George, p. 24
  41. Brown, p. 56
  42. "Rapper P. Diddy and songstress Alicia Keys defend Michael Jackson.". Europe Intelligence Wire. (November 21, 2003). Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
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  44. "Sophie's all sass 'n' soul". New Straits Times. (August 9, 2002). Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  • Brown, Jake (2004). Your Body's Calling Me. Amber Books Publishing. ISBN 0972751955. 
  • Dineen, Catherine (1993). Michael Jackson: In His Own Words. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0711932166. 
  • George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection booklet. Sony BMG.