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Grammy Performance of the Day/Michael Jackson/”Bad” Medley

To say the 1988 Grammy Awards aren’t a piece of music history would be a huge understatement because holy shit…they most certainly are. 

Not only did U2’s world-changing The Joshua Tree set win Album of the Year, but Ms. Jody Watley snatched it all for Best New Artist and our oh, so dearly departed Ms. Whitney Houston’s opening performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” only solidified her big win for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance that night. 

However, the true show stopping moment of the now three decade old evening (!!) occurred when the big, Bad maestro himself, Mr. Michael Jackson, took the stage to serve us with all kinds of life thanks to a career defining medley including “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the record’s classic title track. 

While the rousing ten minute (!!) set became another exceptionally solidified reason as to why MJ will forever be the King of Pop, much to everyone’s surprise, Bad was completely shut out of every major category it was nominated in, which was rather shocking as it was this record where Jackson became–and is still is–the only male artist in Billboard chart history (Katy Perry claimed the diva crown with 2010’s Teenage Dream) to land five consecutive number one singles from one album. 

While we’ll never know why MJ only took home the Grammy for Best Engineered Non-Classical Album (say what?) that night, what we do know is that it really doesn’t matter because it’s performances like this one–and pretty much every other one he gave us–are the reason why everyone who takes that Grammy stage doesn’t hold a candle (although some have come close…but no) to what MJ bought on that legendary night thirty years ago as it will forever be in a magically BAD class of its own.

 

Cover photo courtesy of YouTube 

 

 

 

 

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Jam of the Day/Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson/”Say Say Say”

if there’s one thing in this absolutely f#$king bonkers world that we can all agree on, it’s that Philly has already been making us live that summer concert life to the fullest–Beyoncé, Hall & Oates, Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Phish–and that’s only just a handful of the esteemed music artists who’ve already graced us with their powerful music presence this summer and will help the City of Brotherly Love keep its title in being the best Concert City in America, an honor (we got one!) that was bestowed upon us last year by Vivid Seats. 

But if you’re worried those live music vibes will run out of juice before Labor Day, there’s no need to fret because Coldplay, Adele, Gwen Stefani, Eve, Demi Lovato, Garbage, Lauryn Hill (and lots more) are on the schedule to stop by before you pack up those white open-toed shoes until next summer. 

And tonight is certainly is no exception as the living rock legend himself, Sir Paul McCartney, will be taking over Citizens Bank Park with a show that truly needs no explanation because at seventy-four years old, there’s no denying that Mr. McCartney can still rock it out with the best of them. While we can absolutely expect the British rock icon to perform a number of his solo material and a headphones full of collaborations from his Wings days (get those lighters ready for “Baby, I’m Amazed), you can also most likely bet that we’ll get to see elements of his second number one single with the number one with the late Michael Jackson, “Say Say Say,” worked into show that critics are calling “magic.” 

Served as the lead single from McCartney’s chart busting record, Pipes of Peace, the cheeky tune was penned by McCartney and MJ, which would further prove that the dazzling duo was unstoppable after their preceding single “The Girl is Mine,” struck Billboard chart gold a year prior. Also, after its release in  ’83, “Say Say Say” became Jackson’s seventh top-ten hit inside a year, which would certainly set a nice stage up for him to the turn the world on its axis with the release of Thriller a year later. 

Of course, McCartney’s timeless ’80s tune was given a big push to the top because of its accompanying video, which was directed by iconic filmmaker Bob Giraldi and constructed as a short film centered around two con artists called “Mac and Jack” (played by McCartney and Jackson). The video was released around the same time MTV was in its true infancy stages in changing the music landcape (sigh..), and in turn both music artists were both credited for the introduction of dialogue and storyline into music videos, a trend we know is certainly going strong today. Lemonade, anyone? 

Okay, so while we could easily sit and spill about every detail of this classic music video and true moment in pop culture time (hey, Latoya!), but you need to start getting ready for McCartney’s show at CBP tonight, so just watch and reminisce on times when music was music and this world seemed a little easier to get through, and “Say Say Say” is one of the shining reasons why. 

Cover photo courtesy of www.paulmcartney.com 

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Academy Awards Performance of the Day/Michael Jackson/”Ben”

A 1972 song originally written with Donny Osmond (!) in mind, “Ben” was offered to a then fourteen-year-old Michael Jackson, who recorded the delicate number after Osmond was unavailable to record it due to his hectic touring schedule. (Keep in mind the year, kids).

Serving as the theme song for the film of the same name (which served as the sequel to the 1971 horror film about a boy and his killer pet rat, Willard. #lol), “Ben” spent one week scurrying at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Jackson’s first #1 solo hit and also making him the third-youngest solo artist to have a #1 hit following Stevie Wonder, who was thirteen when “Fingertips, Pt. 2” went to number one, and Mr. Osmond, who was months shy of his fourteenth birthday when “Go Away Little Girl” owned the pole position a year prior. 

Michael’s somber rodent scorned ballad also won a Golden Globe for Best Song and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1973, losing to “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure. However, when Jackson performed the tune at the Oscars that night, he not only stole the show, but it was truly the first time the world saw a foreshadow into his impending future as being the one-and-only King of Pop.

It’s a truly breathtaking moment in MJ time that no one will ever forget anytime soon, and if you haven’t watched this iconic performance in a while, now is certainly the time as we get ready for the Oscars spectacle this Sunday.