The news of the sudden death of the world’s most successful pop star of all times has deeply saddened me. We had known each other for over 35 years. As partners we worked on countless concerts all around the world and we became very close friends.
When I think about Michael, I still see him as that fourteen-year-old boy, lead singer of the Jackson 5, the band I signed back in 1972. It was already obvious then that this boy was born for greater things to come but nobody could have sensed the magnitude of the career he would later achieve. When he became a solo artist and got better from album to album it was clear that his talent had to be further enhanced by extraordinary shows that had never been seen before. Shows that had the whole world in a frenzy over the years to come.
I was allowed to be a part in the kingdom of the King of Pop. Three extensive world tours lead us through all five continents. For more than a hundred stadium shows I had the pleasure to be his Producer and Promoter and I got to know this megastar really well as a person. When you share so many extraordinary moments a co-operation turns into some sort of common ground. And this way a business relationship turned into a very close friendship. So he also invited me later to venture into new artistic ground with him. “Michael Jackson and Friends” was the biggest charity show, broadcast live in over 50 countries around the world with record ratings, plus an abundance in donations which was the more important thing for him since he had already broken all musical records at that point. Of course we did have our disagreements as well – that is part of a close friendship. However, even the odd bit of friction ended up creating more warmth.
I do know from personal experience how painstakingly, professionally and hard working he used to prepare for his shows. The fact that he had to die just now, a few days before his sensational sold out London shows makes this loss even more tragic. I am absolutely certain he would have shown the pop world who the real king is.
With his song “Gone Too Soon” Michael wrote about a friend who had died: “Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight. Here One Day, Gone One Night”. Now these lyrics have come true for himself. The pop world has lost it’s king, I lost a friend.