Michael Jackson’s humanitarian background commences during his early years, when, out of his daily earnings as a Jackson – 5 lead member, he would purchase ice-cream and chewing gum for children in his neighborhood, according to both himself and members of his family.
The Early Years:
On June 28, 1968, the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Television and Radio Announcers (NATRA) hold its show/dance fund-raising affair, ‘Soul In’, in the Sunset Ballroom. The show featured Jerry Butler, Mable John, Jean Wells, the Esquires, the Jackson 5, Maurice & Mac, the Trends, the Mirettes, the Forevers, Bobby King and Fran Oliver.
The Jackson Five’s June, 1970 concert at the Los Angeles Forum in California, the group returns to the stage, at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan as part of a star-studded tribute to boxer Joe Louis. By 1970, the ‘Brown Bomber’ was broke and ailing, and the organizing committee hopes to raise 100,000 dollars to help him defray hospital costs. Comedians Bill Cosby and Redd Foxx, and music artists Billy Ekstine, Mahalia Jackson, B. B. King, the Four Tops and the Jackson 5 entertain crowd of 12,000 spectators on August 12. Louis himself is too ill to attend, although a vacant chair is left in front in his honor. Berry Gordy, himself a former boxer, serves as the Honorary Chair for the event, and is probably responsible for getting the Jackson Five to perform for the gig.
On January 31, 1971, the Jackson 5 return to their home county, Gary, Indiana, to play two benefit concerts for Mayor Richard G. Hatcher’s re-election campaign at Westside High School. A ceremony is held outside their former home at 2300 Jackson Street.
Approximately in 1972, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 visit the Children’s Heart Hospital in Philadelphia County, PA., the singer also being seen signing pictures and autographs for the children therein.
In early 1972, the Jackson 5 and The Supremes are the headliners performing a benefit concert, the first annual 'Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Concert' in Atlanta, Georgia, helping to raise the start-up funds for the "Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change" in Atlanta.
On September 30, 1972, the Jackson 5, and a variety of entertainers, perform for "Save The Children", a film theme of the 1972 "Black Exposition" and conducted by "Operation PUSH" ("People To Save Humanity") in the International Amphitheater of Chicago, the event highlighting, among musical acts, footage of the city’s black population, their churches, schools, slums and playgrounds, and promoting the hope for an improved future, benefiting the children of Chicago, Illinois.
On November 18, 1972, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 perform at an NAACP fund-raising dinner at Hollywood, Palladium, California, at the 6th annual Black Image Awards. The NAACP is the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People, one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States.
On December 9, 1972, Michael J. and the Jackson 5 make an appearance in the Watts Christmas Parade in Los Angeles, California, and they serve as honorary chairmen. The parade is televised the following day on KTLA.
On December 23, 1972, in Los Angeles, California, the 14-year old singer and the Jackson 5, dressed as Santas, make their appearance at a Christmas party held at the Pacific Townclub, to visit and offer presents - on behalf of their record company, Motown - to 700 (according to some sources, others reporting a number of 400) underprivileged children. In an article, titled “The Jackson 5 Really Changed!”, the writer points out that “the first time the J-5 did a benefit at a children’s hospital, Michael came home and cried all night at the memory of all those sick children lying in beds, some not even able to move their hands to clap. That is when he became actively involved in communicating with these kids. He corresponds with youngsters his own age in hospitals all over the country. These are not letters dictated to a secretary by a superstar, but letters written in Michael’s own hand during breaks in recording or rehearsing or even in school.”
On December 24, 1972, the Jackson 5 perform Christmas songs during a benefit concert at the "Foundation for the Junior Blind" in Los Angeles, California, for 1000 visually impaired children, 400 of which attending the benefit party. On his thoughts about the event, Michael Jackson declares: "You know, really, this is what Christmas is all about - giving."
On March 7, 1973, young Michael Jackson visits the bedside of 6-year old Leslie Robinette - suffering from from aplastic anemia caused by the genetic disease fanconi anemia – at the Seattle Children’s Hospital - then The Children's Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center. Robinette received a bone marrow transplant, and was one of the youngest to ever have the procedure. She went through chemotherapy, radiation, an ever-changing plethora of medications and was kept in isolation for three months; her state of health was precarious, the doctors saying, after she was dismissed from the hospital, that she might live 10 years. “I was sitting in my room looking out the window, ironically listening to 'Looking Through the Window' by the Jackson 5, when I heard all the nurses going wild and carrying on”, Robinette declares 26 years later. Coincidentally, the Jackson 5 were there. “They asked me which one I wanted to see, and I said I wanted to see Michael - he was the cute one”, she says, laughing. She describes teenage Jackson as shy, but kind and sincere, signing an autographer for her, holding her hand and asking about her state. “I would never say that he saved her life - that's crazy - but he gave her back a little of her will to live because she had lost it”, Trine Robinette, Leslie’s sister adds. Leslie eventually did improve, and her family returned to their farm in Greeneville, Tenn., where she still lives with her parents. 11 years later, Leslie met Jackson again, while he was on tour in Knoxville with his brothers, where she received free tickets, then went backstage to meet the Jackson clan. "I asked him if he remembered me, and he said yes. We talked about my singing in chorus and how I was getting my back brace off soon”, Robinette says. Jackson then told his security detail that she was his guest, so she got to watch the third show from a raised VIP platform, seated right next to Jackson's mother, Katherine. Still struggling with her disease, she is less than 4 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds, but she is now 42 and is involved in North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and currently is training to become an instructor. "I've always felt that Michael and I were kind of kindred spirits, because we both grew up not being able to really go anywhere or do anything normal kids do”, Robinette says, adding that she hopes people will remember Michael Jackson for his good deeds and music.
On August 16, 1973, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 perform in a benefit gig at St. Paul Civic Center Arena in Minnesota, with proceeds of the concert being funneled to the Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA). AAMOA, based in the Twin Cities, promotes Black Music and assists Black composers and musicians worldwide.
On January 29, 1974, the Jackson 5 start their one-week tour in Dakar, Senegal for their first African tour, where they perform concerts, attend representations from several African dancers, visit the humble dwelling places of some inhabitants there, and also pose for pictures with and sign autographs for them, among sightseeing and shopping experiences. They also hold a press conference with a Senegalese radio, and visit Goree Island.
On August 17, 1974, the Jackson 5 perform at the World Expo/Expo ‘74 in Spokane (Washington). Expo '74 was an environmentally themed world's fair, which ran from May 4 to November 3, 1974. Spokane was the smallest city to host a world's fair, until Knoxville, Tennessee held the 1982 World's Fair eight years later. The theme for Expo '74 was “Celebrating Tomorrow's Fresh New Environment.” The fair had 5,2 million visitors and was considered a success, nearly breaking even, revitalizing the blighted urban core, and pumping an estimated 150 million dollars into the local economy and surrounding region.
The Jackson 5 attend The Tournament of Roses Parade in 1974. Better known as the Rose Parade, it is "America's New Year Celebration", a festival of flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrians and a college football game on New Year's Day, produced by the non-profit ‘Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association’.
In 1977, The Jacksons (as they would be known since 1975) visit the impoverished areas of Trinidad, Port-au-Spain, namely the economically deprived inhabitants, not affording to attend a Jacksons’ concert. Michael Jackson enters their cardboard – stone houses and visits and greets the Catholic – school girls therein. The mentioned year finds The Jacksons competing with other teams of entertainers in the "Rock ‘N’ Roll Sports Classics" special program; being joined in their East team by affiliated show business members, they are awarded as first – place winners of the competition with a set of 20,000 dollars, a charitable contribution funneled to the University of California, U.S.A.
On May 17, 1977, the Jacksons flow to Glasgow, Scotland for a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II, with proceeds of the show going to the Silver Jubilee Fund. The Fund was established 1977 to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and its purpose is to enable a small number of senior students in Cumbria’s schools and colleges to undertake work experience projects of academic nature overseas, connected to industry, service to the community, the arts, sport etc.
Michael Jackson is seen signing autographs prior a benefit show he attended at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, California, in October, 1978.
In January, 1979, the singer donates a number of his favorite books, including J.M Barrie's "Peter Pan", to the Chicago Public Library’s Young Adult Services and, on occasion of a library project, "Boogie To The Book Beat", he delivers a speech on the importance of reading. According to the “Michael Jackson, The Early Years” biographical publication by Chris Cadman and Craig Halstead, some of his other favorite titles he presents to the Library that year were: “The Old Man and the Sea”, “RIP Van Winkle”, “The Red Balloon”, “Abraham Lincoln, The Prairie Years and the War Years” and “The Complete Works of O. Henry” among others.
In 1979, "The Black Linkage For Adoptive Children" hosts a charity event during which the Jacksons’ costumes from their 1979 Destiny Tour were auditioned off to the highest bidder; Michael Jackson’s costume garnered 575,00 dollars, the highest price from an impersonator who performed in an outfit that night for a gig.
In October, 1979, the entertainer participates at a fundraiser, 'Stars Come Out For The Sun', in Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles. The event was organised by Jackson's friend at the time, American actress, writer and activist, Jane Fonda and was to benefit solar energy.
The August/September 1980 issue of “Ebony Jr”. writes that all summer long, the Chicago Public Library has been carrying on a special program with the Jacksons’ help. The program, “Boogie to the Library Beat,” was put together to raise the interest of young people in the benefits and joys of reading. Michael Jackson agreed to help the Chicago Public Library in this program, while fan club members visited different libraries to help encourage young people to read, and to invite more young people to join the Chicago Jacksons International Fan Club. “The Chicago Jackson International Fan Club” would like to say, thank you, Jacksons, for making the biggest dream of our lives come true, for taking time out to spend with your fans, and for entertaining us for ten years”, the fan community expresses for “Ebony Jr.”
In 1980, Michael Jackson performs song “Rock With You” at “Because We Care”, a UNICEF Charity Gala held at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. "Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, not only for your applause, but thank you for caring; and I’m very happy to be here. I love you all. Thank you”, he says to the audience after completing his performance.
Around 1980, while touring in Philadelphia, Michael Jackson and The Jacksons visit the local Children’s Hospital, the group also making other such relief apperances during their tours.
On July 22, 1981, The Jacksons give a special benefit concert for the "Atlanta Children’s Foundation" at the Omni Auditorium in Atlanta, Georgia, and raise 100,000 dollars for the charity, subsequently to lengthy episodes of Black youth disappearances and murders in the mentioned city. Speaking on behalf of himself and his brothers, Michael Jackson reveals, "We Are doing this because we care". LeBaron Taylor, vise president and general manager of Divisional Affairs for CBS Records, distributor of Epic Efforts for whom the Jacksons record, and coordinator of the special event comments, "We are pleased that The Jacksons have scheduled this special performance for such a worthy cause [...]".
* During the years of residing at Hayvenhurst mansion with his family, Michael Jackson accepts a large number of children’s requests to visit him there through foundations such as "Make A Wish", most of these visits not being publicized, sister La Toya Jackson confirms in her 1991 autobiography, as well as the singer himself. The young visitors would be treated to screenings, sweets to their preference from the residence’s Candy Store, to petting the exotic pets of his menagerie, to arcade and video - game playing and the like.
In July, 1982, Jackson attends the City of Hope Spirit of Life Awards Dinner, producer Quincy Jones being honoured with a ‘Spirit of Life’ award that evening. ‘City of Hope’ is an organization recognized worldwide for its compassionate patient care, innovative science and translational research, which rapidly turns laboratory breakthroughs into promising new therapies. For nearly 100 years, City of Hope’s pioneering research has brought the world closer to cures for many life-threatening diseases, from cancer to diabetes.
In 1982, singer Donna Summer covers world-anthem "State Of Independence" on her album, “Donna Summer” produced by Quincy Jones. Summer's version of the song features an all-star choir including Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, James Ingram, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Lionel Richie, Christopher Cross, Dyan Cannon and Stevie Wonder. This song was originally written and recorded by Jon Anderson and Vangelis for their 1981 album, The Friends Of Mr. Cairo. It was cited by Quincy Jones as being the precursor to and inspiration for the 1985 'We are the world', written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and thematically, it is a spiritually-driven song about universal love, peace, and unity unfolding under God’s guiding truth.
Decades ago (the beginning of the ‘80’s, presumably), Lidia Knight, a 10 year old disadvantaged girl from the Dominican Republic, receives her first pair of new shoes on behalf of a project sponsored by Michael Jackson. The project’s volunteers came to her village to measure children’s feet, then returned with brand-new made shoes for them, including with a pair of socks, a backpack full of school supplies and a small boombox that played Jackson's music. From then on, Lidia's life became different and her school classes better, thanks to new paper and crayons. "(Michael Jackson) inspired me to dream, when I didn't think I was allowed to do it. I wasn't taught to dream," says Lidia. "I'm thankful that I'm at a place in my life now where I can better myself ... and I don't think God has brought me here to just stop.” Lidia currently works as a waitress, is a mother and will start her second year of college this autumn at the Cape Girardeau Partnership for Higher Education. Her mother and brother now live in New York, and her older brother and two sisters still live in the Dominican Republic, where poverty is still very much a harsh reality. To learn more about Lidia’s troubled life and formative background, go to http://www.semissourian.com/story/1748399.html and read her heart-striking story.
On January 27, 1984, Michael Jackson suffers burns on the back of his head while filming the said commercial with his brothers for the Pepsi Corporation. The magnesium smoke bombs used for the commercial are to blame, being only two feet away from either side of the singer’s head. A spark from one of the bombs set his hair alight and resulted in second and third degree burns his scalp. As a result of the unfortunate incident and news coverage, both Pepsi and Jackson’s sales soar. Two subsequent Pepsi commercials are debuted at the Grammy awards ceremony in 1984. Jackson does not sue Pepsi, instead donates the entire earnings in damages from the sponsor - 1,5, million dollars – to a center named after the singer, “The Michael Jackson Burn Center For Children”.
On April 9, 1984, through the auspices of the "Brass Ring Society", an organization which fulfills the wishes of terminally ill children, he welcomes 14-year-old David Smithee to his mansion, the boy suffering from cystic fibrosis, as a result, granting his last wish. During the afternoon visit at Jackson's Encino, California home, the boy watches a movie with Jackson in his home theater, plays video games and learns how to moonwalk from the star. Of the video games, David later tells a Tulsa Tribune reporter, "I played two games with him and beat him both times.” The visit was topped off with Jackson giving David the red leather jacket he had worn in the "Beat It" video and a beaded glove he had worn to the American Music Awards, where he collected eight awards. 7 weeks after, however, Smithee unhappily passes away. Michael Jackson will remember the boy by dedicating the Jacksons' 'Victory' album in his honor.
In 1984, he engages in supporting the "National Campaign Against Teenage Drunk Driving", campaign addressing the perils of alcohol use resulting in car accidents, and/or life loss. In May, he is asked to donate the song "Beat It" for anti drink driving advertisements
In June, 1984, the entertainer meets with other supporters of the “Camp Goodtimes”, a non-profit organization founded by parents of children with cancer, in Malibu, Los Angeles, such as O.J. Simpson, Dustin Hoffman, David Soul, Neil Diamond and Richard Chamberlain. The first Camp Goodtimes event will be held in Vashon Island at Camp Sealth, August 1984. Ninety-three children, cancer patients and siblings attended and twenty-five American Cancer Society volunteers, who staffed the camp along with the summer staff at Camp Sealth.
On July 5, 1984, on occasion of a Jacksons’ press conference at former restaurant in New York, USA, "Tavern on the Green", Michael Jackson announces that his Victory – tour share of proceeds are to entirely cover three charitable organizations: "The United Negro College Fund", "Camp Good Times" and "T.J. Martel Foundation". Furthermore, at each gig, 500 places are reserved for invalids and hospital patients, taken on stretchers into the stadiums.
One night in Dallas, Texas (presumably during the Jacksons’ Victory Tour concerts from July 13 to July 15, 1984), Michael Jackson receives a 9-year-old boy with a brain tumor and spinal cancer. The boy is rushed to Jackson’s room on a stretcher.
As the July 23, 1984 issue of JET magazine reports, NAACP Executive Director, Benjamin Hooks, announced on July 4 that the Jackson family have agreed to let the civil rights organization register potential voters outside the stadiums at their summer (Victory tour) concerts. Hooks also declared that the family has endorsed the program and will serve as national co-chairmen for the National Voter Registration Drive project. Registration booths would be set up outside Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, venue of the tour's opening concert.
In 1984, the group donates 1200 tickets, valued at 39,000 dollars, to a number of disadvantaged children, subsequently to a performance at Texas Stadium in Dallas, Texas. In addition, they are performing for eight children suffering from incurable illnesses in Jacksonville, Florida, where Michael Jackson grants the wish of 14-year old Malanda Cooper in Miami, Florida, paralyzed in a car accident, visiting her backstage and presenting her with a tape of his Victory tour concerts and a jacket worn by the singer during the concerts. The group also performs for 700 other underprivileged people during another performance. Furthermore, they enable the transportation of 40 children from the "Thelma Marshall Children's Home" for orphans, foster and abandoned children, - The Hoosier Boys Home and the Donzels Work Study Program for high school students working toward a college education to Detroit, Michigan for a performance there. The selfsame year, Michael Jackson meets and supports a moribund young patient by offering his black sequined glove and leather jacket to him.
On December 13, 1984, he visits the unit for burn victims at "Brotman Memorial Hospital" in Los Angeles, him having been admitted there previously for head injuries, derived from the stage pyrotechnics incident during filming the commercial for Pepsi along with his brothers. Among the victims, he meets 23-year old mechanic, Keith Perry, burned over 90 percent of his body in a car crash. The surgeons declare that Jackson’s visit at Perry’s bedside was the main reason he had pulled through: "Michael encouraged him, talking to him for hours", says Los Angeles hospital spokesman, Judy Davis.
1984 is the year when the United Negro College Fund establishes the 'Michael Jackson Scholars' program while the singer is on tour with his brothers.
In 1985, for the “Hands Across America” project, which follows the USA For Africa one, Jackson favors use of “We Are The World”. He has been outvoted by the other board members and a new song was especially written for the event, “Hands Across America”, with “We Are The World” as the B-side, though the song won’t achieve nearly the amount of success “We Are The World” has. A second version of “We Are The World” will be produced by George Duke, with children singing the lyrics. Jackson has always preferred this version to the USA For Africa one, considering that the song was "meant" to be sung by children.
On March 29, 1985, the singer visits the Royal London Hospital, it being his second visit there in two years. Jackson also views the remains of Joseph Carey Merrick - the Elephant Man - , sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick. He became well known in London society after he went to live at the London Hospital. Merrick died in 1890, at the age of 27. Following his hospital visit, Jackson attends an evening party and reception afterwards in his honor, CBS Records presenting him with a platinum wall-mounted plaque.
On July 30, 1985, Michael Jackson severely sprains his right hand during the filming of 3-D fantasy musical, ‘Captain EO’. He is treated at the ‘Brotman Memorial Hospital’ where he also visits a sick fan, confined to her wheelchair.
In 1985, he attends a charity Australian Telethon in Perth. He also makes a brief speech outdoors, before a crowd of fans. In August, 1985, after his appearance on the Telethon, he visits the ‘Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital’ in Perth, which benefits the hospital’s children. He chats with children there and their parents and poses for picture. On October 21, 1985, while in Perth, he also visits the animals from the “Cohuna Wildlife Sanctuary”, and is photographed with a Koala bear in his arms, being fed leaves.
An animal advocate also, the singer rescues a chimpanzee (that would become his pet animal) from a cancer research facility in Texas, U.S. in 1986, and would, moreover, house other endangered species of animals as part of his menageries from both Hayvenhurst and Neverland ranches throughout the years. Jackson is said to have first seen soon-to-be pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, in American film comedy, “Back To School”.
On February 28, 1986, he telephones and invites 14-year-old Donna Ashlock from California - convalescing after a heart transplant - over to "Hayvenhurst" mansion in Encino, there dining and watching a film with the young patient, the actual visit taking place on March, 8. That same year, he invites 12-year-old Danielle Finmark (attending "Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times", an organization for children with cancer) to the ranch, where she tours the residence, visits his menagerie, has lunch with Jackson and watches movie "Short Circuit" with him, according to Finmark.
In the afore – mentioned year (1986), he establishes the "Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund", a foundation then estimated at 1,5 million dollars, aiming to boost youth education, specialization in art performances and communication. The company’s funds would be a yearly supply for the African-American students attending a "UNCF" college or university. That year, the fund had provided 97 scholarship awards and enrolled scholars in nearly all of UNCF’s 42 schools, it was reported.
“Michael’s Pets”, a collection of stuffed animals made in the likeness of Jackson’s own pets is marketed in October, 1986. The singer was “very instrumental in the designing of the toys” and “in how it should be programmed”, according to Bob Michaelson, who helped develop the line with Jackson. The stuffed pets are ten in number, namely Cool Bear, based on the singer himself, Jabbar the giraffe, Louie the llama, Muscles the snake, Bubbles the chimpanzee, Uncle Tookie the frog, Spanky, a white dog, Mr. Bill, another dog, Suzy the rabbit, and Jeannine the ostrich. The singer requests that one dollar out of each purchase from the "Michael’s Pets" set be placed aside for a children’s organization.
On September 10, 1987, on a stop from his Bad Tour concerts, Michael Jackson visits the Korakuen Amusement Park in Tokyo, Japan, and the Disneyland Tokyo the following day.
In September, 1987, Michael Jackson donates 20,000 dollars to a family in Japan, for their 5-year old kidnapped and murdered son, Yoshiaki Hagiwara, in memory of whom the singer says a few words while on stage in Yokohama, Japan, on the second leg of his Bad World Tour. He also dedicates the Tour to the late youth. Furthermore, on September 13, he displays his support towards a campaign against racism, as well as towards "NAACP"s mission to help arrest prejudiced conduct against black artists.
In October, 1987, he gives away 30 personal items and memorabilia such as t-shirts, sunglasses or a windbreaker for an auction addressing "UNESCO", the proceeds of which being invested into awareness raising and helping educate children in developing countries.
On November 13, 1987, Michael Jackson meets 4-year old wounded Angela Darlington and her mother, Helen, in Melbourne Children’s Hospital during a stop from his BAD concert there at the Olympic Park Stadium. The mother has this to say on the visit 21 years later: “My daughter, Angela, was in hospital with head injuries after being hit by a car. One day we were told by the nurses that Michael Jackson was coming to visit. We had to keep it a secret, so the hospital wasn’t overwhelmed with fans. There was a big flurry, as his assistants handed out T-shirts and signed copies of his Bad album to everyone on the ward. Then he just walked around and talked to the patients. […] I said hello. He said he was pleased to meet me. I was gobsmacked. He was very gentle and seemed shy. I got the sense he had a deep love for children, especially those who’d been hurt. Then he crouched down and said ‘Hello, Angela’. She couldn’t talk, because she’d just come out of a coma, but she started smiling. After that day, she started to get better. I think of him as an inspiration. We’d been having a terrible time – Angela was in hospital and I’d been ringing Lifeline to keep myself together, but he was a total inspiration for the whole ward. I thought: ‘Thank God for sending him’. He just had a presence about him – this great empathy with people who needed to get better. Now, Angela is 25, at university and full of life. There was another boy on the ward who was about 15 and was a huge fan. After Michael’s visit, he started getting better too. His mom thought it was a miracle. I believe many of the children got better after meeting him. I think people should know about this side of Michael. I’ve never believed he was anything but a good person.”
On November 18, 1987, he visits the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, Australia. Natasha Lang, mother of a child committed in the hospital at the time, offers her account of his visit there years later: “[…] I will never forget that day as long as I live, when Michael came to the hospital with an abundance of stuffed animal toys, so generously given, to all the children in the children’s ward. He went around the ward and visited each child personally and quietly spoke words of comfort to them and I will never forget the delight of these children, the medical staff and the parents who visited on that day. My son now is a grown man and I wish to share this photograph with the whole world because it shows Michael’s selfless and generous nature. My son, unfortunately, lost his eye in a school accident that week and, as you can imagine, it was a real tragedy for the whole family, but that day he gave us all some joy, great pleasure and an abundance of happiness.”
World-conscious single, “Man In The Mirror” (written by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard), is released on January 9, 1988, and is the fourth consecutive number-1 single off album BAD. It was recorded with The Andre Crouch Choir. The song is described as Jackson going “a step further" and offering "a straightforward homily of personal commitment”, which can be seen in the lyrics: “I'm starting with the man in the mirror/I'm asking him to change his ways/And no message could have been clearer/If you wanna make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change.” The videoclip features shots of starving children, homeless people, intermixed with shots of individuals that have made contributions towards helping them: Bob Geldoff, organizer of Band Aid and Live AID for the relief of famine victims, Willie Nelson, organizer of Farm Aid benefiting farmers, shots of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Bishop Desmond Tutu, President Reagan with Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachov. Other notable people appearing include Raúl Alfonsín, Lech Wałęsa, Anwar El Sadat, Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks, Pieter Willem Botha, and Adolf Hitler. Tragic events such as the Iranian hostage crisis, John Fitzegerald and Robert Kennedy’s assassinations, King’s, John Lennon’s are combined with a more joyful occurrence, the rescue of Jessica McClure from a well in Midland, Texas. Jackson is featured in only a brief shot, raising his arms giving the peace sign, surrounded by a crowd of children while on tour in Japan. “Man In The Mirror” peaks at number 1 in the United States soon afterwards. It is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs, topping the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two weeks. The song reaches the number 8 in the UK Singles Charts in 1988, but in 2009, following the news of his passing, the song will peak at number two.
In January, 1988, one of his Bad Tour concert proceeds in Los Angeles are funneled to "Childhelp USA", the largest organization against child abuse.
In February, 1988, the singer’s (inspirational) song, "Man in the Mirror", in partnership with "Camp Ronald McDonald", provides the cancer-plagued children of "Good Times" with its royalties.
On February 24, 1988, two-year old cancer patient, Allan Bufford, held by his mother, Brenda, meets his favorite entertainer backstage in Kansas City, Missouri on occasion of Jackson’s US leg of his first solo world tour, the Bad Tour. The ill boy obtained his doctor’s permission to attend the sold-out show.
On March 1, 1988, (on occasion of the United Negro College Fund's 44th dinner) at a press conference organized by his sponsor, Pepsi, in Manhattan, N.Y., he offers UNCF’s President and CEO, Christopher Edley a check for 600,000 dollars, the entire grossings from his private sold-out benefit concert held at Madison Square Garden in New York City (for the 42 UNCF institutions, including Fisk University), making him one of "UNCF"s most significant donators. The event featured children reading their dreams and wishes as Jackson looks on.
In the spring of 1988, Michael Jackson moves out of his home in Encino, California, which he has shared with his parents, brother Randy, and sisters La Toya and Janet since approximately 1971. He purchases a 2,800 acre ranch in Los Olivos, California in March for the reported price of 28 million dollars, while other sources say it was closer to 17 million. Previously called 'Sycamore Ranch', it was spotted by Jackson 5 years before, when he filmed a music video for "Say, Say, Say" with Paul McCartney. The grounds of this ranch consist in a mansion, guest house, tennis courts, lakes, streams, thousands of oak trees and a large space for his menagerie. The house will become an more or less official non-profit organization housing disadvantaged children and their families for over 17 years. Shortly before purchasing his new home, his Encino house was used for an auction of artwork, the 2 million-dollar proceeds from the auction going to the “South African Council of Churches” for housing, clothing and medical supplies. The auction is hosted by actress Whoopi Goldberg; Jackson was not at home at the time.
On March 15, 1988, at his new mansion, Michael Jackson hosts benefits for Saint Vincent’s Residence. Saint Vincent’s Residence is one of the charity organizations from the Catholic Community Services of Northern Nevada, which offers 28 studio apartments and 25 rooms at affordable weekly rates for low-income and special needs individuals and families. Its mission statement reads: “With food, clothing, shelter and a helping hand, Catholic Community Services brings hope to all people in order to build spirit and self reliance within them and within our community.”
In April, 1988, Jackson gives away free-of-charge tickets for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia to the "Make A Wish Foundation".
On May 22, 1988, he visits the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital in Rome, Italy, where he signs autographed pictures and delivers sweets, records and moral comfort to the ill children, among whom 13-year old heart-transplant patient, Nunzia Glaccio. Jackson signs a check for 100,000 pounds to the hospital for leukemia research. While in Rome for his Bad Tour, he also visits the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican City, Saint Peter’s Cathedral, and other significant places.
On June 19, 1988, Michael Jackson is performing a concert during Bad World Tour at the Reichstag Building in Berlin, West Germany, before an audience of 50,000 people. Over 3,000 East Germans gather at the Berlin Wall to listen to Jackson performing on the other side of the Wall in West Berlin. The entertainer decided to perform at Reichstag to send out a message of peace and unity. The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic between East Berlin and West Berlin which ran just behind Reichstag, from August 13, 1961, this completely cutting off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed the death strip that contained anti-vehicle trenches, fakir beds and other defenses. The fall of the Wall started on the evening of November 9, 1989, and was the first step toward German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990. Michael Jackson wrote a poem dedicated to this historic episode for his 1992 book, “Dancing The Dream”, titled simply: “Berlin 1989”.
In 1988, Jackson’s signed fedora is given away on occasion of a music celebrity auction advantaging the "T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research", the hat being sold for over 4,000 dollars.
On July 16, 1988, he meets Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales before his third "Bad" concert at Wembley Stadium, London, and presents a check for 150,000 dollars/300,000 pounds for the "Prince’s Trust" (an organization addressing disadvantaged children), as well as one for 100,000 pounds for the "Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital" in the U.K. Jackson also presents the royal couple gives with Bad Tour jackets for sons Prince William and Prince Harry; he also presents them with a framed set of cassettes and compact discs of solo albums “Off The Wall”, “Thriller” and “Bad”. “I was so excited at meeting the royal couple. I’m very very happy that they came to watch me perform. I thought the Princess was just wonderful.”, says the singer following the meeting. Originally, Jackson did not wish to perform “Dirty Diana” in order to not offend the Princess who bears the name, but she told him that is one of her favorite songs and that he should perform it, which the singer eventually does.
On July 20, 1988, he returns to meet with critically ill children and their parents at the "Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital", where he spends longer time with the less critical patients, reserving words of comfort to them, reading them stories and delivering presents, including albums, signed photos and T-shirts. He associates himself with the "Wishing Well Fund" for sponsoring the contruction of a novel unit, as part of the "Hospital for Sick Children" in Great Ormond Street, London, England. Notably, 9-year old Neil Clark, having undergone live-saving surgery to remove a brain tumour – and originally not scheduled to see the popstar – is visited by the singer, the boy’s father declaring with gratitude that the visit "cheered my son up". 4-year-old Joanne Doeffer, having undergone a throat operation and breathing through a special tube, was visited by the star, the meet-and-greet prompting her to struggle and say "Thriller" to a delighted Jackson. In the evening, a banquet is held in his honor at the Guildhall.
In July, 1988, on occasion of a ceremony honoring the singer in England, Jackson is accompanied by 10-year old Jimmy Safechuck, a young American fan he had taken under his wing, Safechuck also appearing in one of Jackson's commercials with Pepsi. At Hamley’s in London, the world’s largest toy store, he shops with Safechuck and purchases computer games, over twenty dolls and teddy-bears, and six puppets: three Stevie Wonder ones and three of himself. He also expresses wish to purchase a carnival for the backyard of his ranch, offering 2 million dollars to John Carter’s Steam Fair; however, Carter will not prove interested in selling it, thus Jackson’s offer is declined.
On his 30th birthday in 1988, on August 29, he delivers a concert to the "Give For Life" charity in Roundhay Park, Leeds, England, where 90,000 admirers sing to him "Happy Birthday". The benefit concert’s 130,000-dollar grossings will favor immunization programs for 40,000 children. He also presents a check for 65,000 pounds to the mentioned charity-organization.
Michael Jackson lends his song, “Beat It”, for use in a Flinstone Kids cartoon special encouraging children to avoid drugs. “The Flinstone Kids” airs in September, 1988. In it, little Fred, Barney, Wilma and Betty work odd jobs to earn money for tickets to a Michael Jackon concert. They finally make it to the concert and see Michael Jackstone singing new lyrics to “Beat It” about the unnecessary use of drugs: “They told the girl / Why don’t you step over here? / You wanna be cool, / Take a look in here. / They wanna do drugs / And their words are really clear, / So beat it! / You don’t need it! (Say no!) / You don’t need friends / Doing things that are wrong, / There’s lots of kids like you / Who are cool and strong, / It might be kinda tough, / But you can move along, / So beat it! And say it ain’t fair, /Don’t mean it! / Don’t need it! / Just say no to drugs! / Defeat it! Have a life that’s happy, / A future that’s bright, /You make it happen,/ Drugs are wrong / And you’re right./ Just beat it! / Just beat it! (Say no!) / And defeat it! / Now, Moms and Dads. / You ought to listen to me: / To be a kid today, / It ain’t easy. /Just make your home and family / A loving place to be. / So beat it! Send it riding a wave!” Sister La Toya also contributes to the special with “Just Say No” from her album, “LaToya”.
On October 23, 1988, the performer signs a check for 125,000 dollars, to Mr. Esther Edwards and Motown founder, Mr. Berry Gordy, finance sustaining the maintenance of the "Motown Museum Historical Foundation" in Detroit, Michigan, the highest amount of money donated up until that time to the museum; Jackson also donates a black fedora, one of his rhinestone gloves and a stage costume dating from 1972.
Later that year, Jackson gives permission to ITV Telethon, disseminates 4000 Michael Jackson concert tickets to the "Hospital for Sick Children" in Great Ormond Street, London, tickets valued at 200,000 pounds; the entertainer, accompanied by a number of patients, visits the institution and the children admitted therein, as well as reads a story to the less affected patients, comforts them verbally, poses for pictures and hands out dozens of presents to them.
In December, 1988, he visits 12-year-old David Rothenburg (who later will change his name into Dave Dave), doused with kerosene and severely burned 5 years before by his father during a custody conflict; the boy had suffered an estimated 50 reconstructive operations, yet, remained disfigured. Afterwards, the singer visits the injured youth more times, and pays for the necessary further operatory interventions.
On January 10, 1989, at the completion of his Bad tour, the "Children’s Wish Foundation", in association with Jackson, donate 100 tickets to critically ill children for each concert.
* During his Bad World Tour (as well as other tours of his), he is joined backstage prior to his concerts by children with illnesses from the respective local areas of his performances, with whom the entertainer would pose for pictures and sign autographs to, often, the singer spending time purchasing and assembling playthings he would personally deliver to them the following day, according to Seth Riggs, Jackson's vocal coach. Jackson invites underprivileged children to watch him perform, and contributes to hospitals, orphanages, and other charities. At every Bad Tour concert, he makes sure that 400 tickets are being reserved for underprivileged children. These tickets will be distributed across hospitals, orphanages and charities. Jackson also donates concert takings to multiple causes. He also brings out several children on stage to dance at the end of each Bad Tour concert. They are usually chosen at each stop from local hospitals or charitable organizations, such as “Make A Wish Foundation”. Then he joins in, dancing like them. While in Los Angeles, California, he also brings young Jimmy Safechuck on stage.
On February 7, 1989, Michael Jackson visits each classroom from the "Cleveland Elementary School" in Stockton, California, the parents of the children at the nearby Central United Methodist Church, as well as the children checked in the hospital, 3 weeks after a gunman had fired 100 bullets into a playground, then committing suicide. 5 children were murdered and 39 injured during the attack. The pop star arrives to comfort the surviving children by giving them the confidence to view the world more positively subsequently to the traumatic experience. 8 year-old Thahn Tran, who had lost his younger brother during the massacre, speaks about the effect Jackson’s visit had on him: "I didn’t want to go back to school, but Michael made it all right again. If he goes there, it must be safe. Michael is my friend and I’m very glad.", sharing the sentiments of other children there, according to Diane Batres, a counselor from the district support unit. In addition to making another visit to the nearby church hosting the injured ones from the attack and the parents of the dead – to whom he offers words of sympathy, signs plaster casts on the wounded youngsters’ legs, while chatting and joking to them -, he makes another stop at the "San Joaquin General Hospital", and talks to two wounded children under treatment there. 7-year-old Alice Montejano says, while raising her autographed picture: "I’m not frightened about going back to school now, because Michael will keep all of those bad men away". Afterwards, Michael Jackson says the following to the children in the mentioned hospital: "You are very brave. When you are better, perhaps you will come and visit my private zoo." Vice-Mayor of Stockton, Ron Coale, has this to declare on Jackson’s goodwill visits: "Words cannot say how much turmoil this town had been through over the past few months. Michael Jackson’s visit has helped us to try and overcome it a little."
On March 5, 1989, he invites 200 disadvantaged children from "Saint Vincent’s Home for Dysfunctional Children" and "Big Brothers and Big Sisters Programs" to visit the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara, California, with him, after which he welcomes them to his newly constructed mansion at the time, Neverland, showing them around, as well as introducing them to his private zoological garden.
He contributes to the creation of a new California Raisin commercial which first airs in theaters in July 1989, and on TV in September, and it features a claymation of Michael Jackson. The claymation dreams of being ‘Michael Raisin’, who performs “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, by Marvin Gaye. His singing voice isn’t used in the ad, because of his exclusive contract with Pepsi at the time, but his speaking voice can be heard at its end. The singer acts as a model for the claymation figure and contributes to the creation of six other backup raisins and their personalities. He receives 25,000 dollars for his contribution to the ads, which he donates to charity.
On November 13, 1989, Jackson performs song "You Were There" (that he wrote with Buz Kohan) for singer-entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., the first and only time, at the 'Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary TV Special', the event’s funds advantaging the "United Negro College Fund"; for the show's all-star finale, Jackson accompanies Ella Firzgerald and Eddie Murphy on stage. The reaction to Jackson's simple, yet intense performance earns him a nomination for an Emmy award. At the same date, he is reported to have hosted 50 children from "Maclaren Hall" and "Make A Wish Foundation" at his residence, while, via the "Wishes Granted" charity, 4-year-old Darian Pagan, suffering from leukemia, is granted the wish to meet the singer and is, additionally, invited to watch a performance by a group of Canadian acrobats with him.
On December 19, 1989, the entertainer visits F.A.O Schwartz toy store in Manhattan, New York to purchase Christmas gifts for himself as well as for children. He then goes to Radio City Music Hall accompanied by several children to view the 'Christmas Spectacular', an annual musical stage show, featuring over 140 performers, lavish sets and costumes and an original musical score.
On December 28, 1989, young HIV victim and activist Ryan White befriends the entertainer, and shares a holiday with him at Neverland Ranch at the singer’s invitation. Following the youth’s swift disappearance, Michael Jackson dedicates song "Gone Too Soon" (from his 1990 "Dangerous" album, composition also performed in loving memory of late Princess of Wales in 1997) and the poem: "Ryan White" (from his book, "Dancing The Dream") to him.
On January 6, 1990, he organizes a festivity for 82 deprived children at his residence via "Childhelp USA", who are offered a tour of the ranch, games to play, a barbeque for meal and a film representation to watch: "The Little Mermaid" and "Back To The Future II".
On April 4, 1990, while in Washington to receive a humanitarian award on behalf of President Bush, he visits the capitol Children's Museum there; he plays with exhibits and enjoys being surrounded by children. On April 5, following his award reception, he is a guest of honor at the Children's Museum fund-raising reception at the historic Merrywood Estate, McLean.
In July, 1990, he invites 45 critically ill children from the Project "Dream Street", from Los Angeles to Neverland, where they are treated to a tour of his ranch, a meal and a film. The Dream Street program is an organization for children with life-threatening illnesses.
On September 12, 1990, Michael Jackson attends a ‘City Of Hope’ Gala honoring CBS' Record Division President at the time, Tommy Mottola.
In November, 1990, Michael Jackson invites British lung cancer victim, John Brown, to visit him to his Neverland Ranch in America. The 14-year old jets to Los Angeles, California with sister Michelle. The trip is arranged by “Make A Wish Foundation”. Mother of two, Michelle, has written to them when John was told there was nothing that doctors could do. On the arrangement: “It’s wonderful. This is a fantastic, kind-hearted act. John can’t believe it. Michael is his favorite pop star.”, his sister says. “It’s just in time for John. He knows he is dying and he probably has weeks left rather than months. He’s such a brave lad.”
In 1991, he organizes and hosts a "Chimpanzee Tea Party", in benefit of Jane Goodall’s ape research institute. On May 6, 1991, he also attends Mrs. Goodall’s "International Tribute Benefit".
On June 1, 1991, The Temptations' group member, David Ruffin, dies of a drug overdose. Because it has been found that Ruffin was peniniless, Jackson contacts Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit and makes arrangements to cover a large portion of the funeral costs. He also sends a heart-shaped arrangement of carnations to the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit with the note, "With Love, from Michael Jackson". Jackson was a big admirer of The Temptations. He would not attend the funeral ceremony to not divert attention from it.
On July 26, 1991, Jackson visits the "Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation" in Los Angeles, California, (charity addressing drug abuse problems and approaching relief programs for families with gang members), talks to the children there, offers them financial support and a wide-screen television set. He attends the event along with child star and friend, Emmanuel Lewis.
In December, 1991, the entertainer’s company in Los Angeles, California, "MJJ Productions", donate 200 turkey dinners to a number of destitute families.
Before heading for a two-week venture in Africa, the singer pays a visit to a storage facility in Oxnard, California, where a sequined glove of his will sell for 1,000 dollars. Before the auction, he meets with four children, to whom he sings "Man In The Mirror" since one child didn't believe it was truly Jackson singing.
On February 3, 1992, he informs on the creation of "Heal The World Foundation" during a press conference at the New York Radio City Music Hall, the mission of the foundation being that to provide rescue to world-wide children; protection against abuse; caregiving; delivering medicines for children and fight world hunger, as well as to convey awareness on children’s rights and necessities, and improve world’s life standards.
Between February 11 and February 18, 1992 - and on occasion of Black History Month - the artist tours 30,000 miles of the African continent in 11 days (covering Gabon, The Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Kenya and Libreville), where he visits medical centers, schools, churches, children’s housings and educational NGO’s for disabled children. He phones his ranch daily, however, to make sure his property and animals are unaffected by the storms and floods in California at the time. He is reportedly interested in making a film, "Return To Africa", for his own video library. While in Gabon, President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, declares that “the return of Michael Jackson (to Africa) fits into the tradition of the abolition of time and the integration of space. His music made us feel that he’s never really been away”. In return for the honors received by the entertainer in Gabon, he presents President Bongo with the album Jackson was awarded when he was named ‘Artist of the Decade for the Eighties’. The President’s grandchildren, Christopher, Neata and Malika join some one thousand children, including the singer’s friend, Brett Barnes at a party given by Jackson back at the Intercontinental Hotel. He also gives an interview while in London regarding his visit and more for May's issue of "Ebony" magazine, confessing towards the end, "You know, that's the most I've said in eight years... You know I don't give interviews. That's because I know you and I trust you. You're the only one I trust to give interviews to."
On June 27, 1992, Michael J. kicks off his Dangerous World Tour in Munich, Germany. The show features special effects by David Copperfield, a strategically built stage, special lighting and pyrotechnics, new and original choreography and notable costumes. It took tow 747 jets to transport the equipment from country to country.
On May 1, 1992, after being rewarded with another "Point of Light" award by President George Bush Sr., the singer visits 7-year old Raynal Pope - other sources at the time, such as Associated Press, reporting that the girl's name was actually Raynelle Tucker, severely injured by four dogs March 21 in District Heights, Maryland. He spends forty five minutes with the young girl, her younger sister, Myjan, and two of their cousins; they play hide-and-seek, wrestle and dance, after which Jackson poses for pictures and autographs a Beat It jacket.
On May 6, 1992, he pays expenses for young Ramon Sanchez’ funeral, mortuary and cemetery costs and a headstone, illustrating how he is a "point of light" and that each person can help a dispriviliged someone. 9-year old Sanchez was killed during the Rodney King violent riots in California, while in his kitchen having a glass of milk. His parents couldn't afford to bury him, hence Jackson's aid. The Sanchez family later have the opportunity to thank the singer in the flesh, being arranged for them to visit a studio in Culver City, where he was filming a Pepsi ad. Through a translator, the mother of Ramon tells Jackson that "Ramon was one of your biggest fans. You have helped to make a very tragic time for us more bearable. Your involvement was a pleasant surprise, and we are eternally grateful."
In June, 1992, Jackson attends a Soccer’s Charity match held in Italy, after which he will receive funds on behalf of Nazionale Italiana Cantanti for his Heal The World Foundation.
On June 26, 1992, a day before the first leg of his Dangerous Tour, Michael Jackson donates 40,000 DM (20,000 pounds) to then Mayor of Munich, Mr. Georg Kronawitter, as a relief for the needy children residing in the urban areas. On June 29, he visits the "Sophia Children’s Hospital" in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, publicly signing a check for 100,000 pounds for the institution's "Michael Jackson Playroom"; the singer is also presented with a check for the Heal The World Foundation.
On July 25, 1992, while on tour in Dublin, Ireland, he announces a donation of 400,000 pounds, out of his concert earnings, to various charities there - some reports solely mentioning the 'British Children Charity'. A delay provoked by a malfunction before his Dangerous Tour concert in Leeds, UK, leads to the singer being fined by a national council with 60,000 pounds, that are paid by Jackson to a music charity fund.
Eric Herminie, a fan of Jackson’s, threatens to jump off the roof opposite the Dorchester Hotel, where the entertainer is staying on his Dangerous Tour concert in London, Britain. “It was worth it.”, Herminie says. “He was fabulous on the phone. I talked for quite a while with him. He sounded a very warm person. He told me not to do it again - to stay together. Of course, I am going to. He basically saved my life. If he hadn’t come out, I obviously would have jumped.”
On July 31, 1992, before performing on his second concert at the Wembley Stadium in Great Britiain, he financially (re)acknowledges the "Prince’s Trust" with a 350,000-pound check. The very year, the first "Heal The World European Children’s Congress" is established in England, the occasion of which 84 children, aged between 8 and 16, have gathered to discuss global issues of imminent interest and their possible solutions. Despite being down with laryngitis, the artist also participates at "Regent’s College" for several hours.
On August 16, 1992, backstage in Leeds, England, he meets with 6-year-old Nicholas Killen, left visually impaired after a cancer procedure.
In September, 1992, Michael Jackson presents the Queen of Spain’s charity with a sum of 1,000,000 pesetas.
On September 30, 1992, Jackson visits the "Leaganul De Copii Sfanta Ecaterina" care facility and its children, in Bucharest, Romania, before his "Dangerous" tour concert on October 1. He spends a large amount of time in the orphanage, where 5-year old Alice, whose mother was an employee at the facility, gives to a gracious Jackson a drawing and photo album created by the home's children, which he patiently browses. Before his concert, he officially launches the Heal The World Foundation in presence of then Prime Minister, Theodor Stolojan, and discusses HTWF’s tenets in a press conference, before which a group of children sing "Heal The World" to him. He also finances a playground for 500 homeless children there via Playday, in the amount of 10,000 dollars, and inaugurated by then Romanian President, Ion Iliescu. A portion of the proceeds from this concert is reported to have been directed to the Serbian refugees at the time. During his stay in Bucharest, he also takes time to visit the Snagov Monastery, built by Vlad Tepes, the so-called Dracula; he requests privacy, and spends 6 hours inside, reportedly, in order to pray and explore the building. Jackson contributes 100,000 dollars for the said monastery.
Michael Jackson, along with other celebrities of color, contributes to the financing of director Spike Lee's 1992 film, "Malcolm X", a biographical film (released on November 18) about the African-American minister, human rights activist and black nationalist, Malcolm X. The public speaker was shot dead by three men hired by Nation of Islam, while speaking to a meeting of Afro-American Unity, on 'grounds' of the activist's leaving the Nation in favor of Sunni Islam, but particularly of race equality and human rights. The story of the film is based on "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" as told to African-American writer, Alex Haley. Actor Denzel Washington will be nominated for an Academy Award For Best Actor for his role as Malcolm X.
On October 1, 1992, Jackson chooses a concert in Bucharest, Romania for worldwide television broadcast, the country being known for the large number of children’s housings. According to the October 19, 1992 issue of JET magazine, Jackson’s Heal The World Foundation also funded a medical relief mission in Bucharest by US eye doctors and child development specialists.
On November 24, 1992, inside a hangar at "John F. Kennedy Airport" in New York, Michael Jackson monitors the loading of 93,700 pounds of medical supplies, blankets, shoes and winter clothing onto a cargo jet bound for the children of Sarajevo, a war-torn zone in the former Yugoslavia. The Heal The World Foundation teams up with "AmeriCares" to fly the 2.1 million-dollar worth of aid to Sarajevo for distribution by the United Nations. The aid is reported to have been also addressed to the Serbians, Croatians and Muslims in need.
On November 25, 1992, Michael Jackson grants the wish of young David Sonnet, whom he meets via the Make A Wish Foundation, the boy being invited to go along with other children from the foundation to Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Sonnet suffered a brain aneurysm at the tender age of 8, leaving him only able to function through a communication device, it helping him convey his thoughts through a specialized computer. Young David had received a ‘Beat It’ jacket from a local charity in a West Palm Beach, Florida, which he wore for his special encounter. Jackson notices it and says “I see you have my jacket on’. Among the activities David did together with his mother at Neverland, he held Bubbles, Jackson’s monkey, rode the Octopus, the merry-go-round and other activities suchlike. Because Sonnet was unable to talk or walk, the two shared an “I Love You” in sign language. A visibly emotional Jackson receives a stuffed lion and a picture of himself from the youngster and tells the boy he would keep his photo in his room. Before this encounter, David Sonnet had written to Jackson on various occasions as a show of support, and the entertainer would write back and include photos and other personal mementos. A hat of his featured in this auction from West Palm Beach was gifted from Jackson to Sonnet, while Sonnet sent a thank you card to the singer, inclusing a wedding card when he married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994. Both times Jackson responded with a signed letter and salutation. According to Debbie Sonnet, David’s mother, Jackson’s music did help him recover of a coma his recovery room was decorated with numerous Jackson photos and his music was played at all times. Sonnet passed away on July 26, 2004.
On December 26, 1992, the singer acknowledges the merits of the "United Negro College Fund", by virtue of which the "Michael Jackson Scholarship Program" had enabled over 200 young men and women to receive qualified education up until that time. Jackson contributes a taped performance of "Heal The World" to Lou Rawls' UNCF telethon, taken from a "Dangerous" concert mixed with footage of Jackson during his journey in Africa.
In 1992, he attends the ‘Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards’, performs ‘Heal The World’ on stage with a large group of children and makes a brief speech. The Milken Family Foundation is a private foundation established by Lowell Milken and Michael Milken in 1982, with the mission to support education and medical research.
In 1992, Michael Jackson recites via phone to Ryan White’s mother, Jeannie, a part of the poem ("Ryan White") he wrote for the late young activist and friend, during her appearance at the Maury Povich US TV Show. Mrs. White talks about her deceased son and his friendship with the entertainer.
On January 18, 1993, he joins Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Michael Bolton, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers and various other artists, including a choir of children, all conducted by Quincy Jones, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to sing “We Are The World” for a preinaugural celebration of then incoming President Bill Clinton. The new first family, including daughter Chelsea Clinton, later joins Jackson and the other stars on stage. His appearance at the event was unscheduled. Jackson stays at the Madison Hotel and his only requests are for clothes pressing service and strawberry ice cream. “An American Reunion: The 52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala” takes place a day later - January 19 - at the US Air Arena in Landover, Maryland. Jackson first addresses President elect Clinton on the need for and importance of increased funding for AIDS cure research, then sings “Gone Too Soon” - in memory of his friend, late activist, Ryan White, and “Heal The World”, accompanied by a large group of children. He dedicates the song to "all the children of the world". He then joins the other performers at the event, including Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, Elton John and Barry Manilow, for a finale led by reunited music group, Fleetwood Mac, singing one of their songs, the optimistic “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)”, a song about living daily life in positivity, discarding past negativity.
In January, 1993, Jackson is involved in the creation of a new version of the video for “Man In The Mirror” - “Portrait Of Change” - which is shown on MTV, with footage of the Presidential campaign and some of the areas needing the most changes: poverty, homelessness and the environment.
On January 26, 1993, at a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, a novel U.S. Children’s Relief Initiative, "Heal L.A.", is announced by Jackson, a collaborative effort sustained by "Cities in Schools", "Big Brothers/Big Sisters", "BEST Foundation", "Watta Health Foundation", and "Partnership for a Drug Free America", with the mission to battle urban-area troubles and those of their young denizens through instructive programs featuring AIDS prevention, a substance-free living, as well as counseling and immunization campaigns.
On January 31, 1993, Michael Jackson performs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for Superbowl XXVII’s halftime of Dallas' 52-17 trouncing of Buffalo, this raising NBC's halftime rating higher than the Super Bowl action before it. Unlike many previous years, he was the only performer in the entire halftime show and his set included message-oriented songs such as "Jam" (with the beginning of "Why You Wanna Trip On Me"), "Billie Jean" and "Black or White". The finale featured a video montage showing Jackson participating in various humanitarian efforts around the world, and a choir of 3,500 local Los Angeles area children singing "We Are The World", later joining Jackson as he sings his single, "Heal the World". A giant inflatable Globe also rises on the center of the stage, as is the case with each Dangerous and later HIStory concert. The foundation’s initiative, “Heal L.A.” is launched in conjuction with his appearance at Superbowl XXVII. The NFL pays performers only for their expenses, but it donated 100,000 dollars to Jackson's ‘Heal the World Foundation’, named for one of the songs he sang at halftime. Radio City’s Music Hall marketing and special events expert, Arlen Kantarian, declares shortly after the singer’s demise that he recalls Jackson pushing to sing newer songs from his then newly released "Dangerous" album, as opposed to older songs like "Billie Jean" and "Black or White." According to Kantarian, Jackson said, "'Billie Jean's' just a tune; it doesn't mean anything,'" and "It's a new world; this has to be about 'Heal the World.'"
In February, 1993, the entertainer sends his condolences to the parents of two-year-old James Bulger, then murdered in Liverpool, Merseyside by 2 older minors.
In 1993, Michael Jackson tops a list of the music industry’s Who’s Who participating on comedy actor and occasional singer Eddie Murphy’s third musical album, ‘Love’s Alright’, “JET”’s April 23 issue reveals. A variety of charities will benefit from proceeds from the sales of the Murphy-written single, ‘Yeah’, and it features voices as Michael and Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, Julio Iglesias, Luther Vandross or Garth Brooks. The single’s proceeds would be funneled through Murphy’s “Yeah Foundation”, which he founded soon after the single had been recorded. Eddie Murphy’s album, ‘Love’s Alright’, also features a duet between himself and Michael Jackson, titled “Whatzupwitu”, the video for this song being released that year. The song, featuring the Boys Choir of Harlem, bears the message that man and the world are God’s creations and He is the overseer of all, both good and evil, and the video is a light-hearted look at Murphy and Jackson singing and dancing against a backdrop of blue skies, clouds, hearts, birds and flowers. Jackson, who featured Murphy in his “Remember The Time” short film, agreed to be a part of the two mentioned projects.
On April 26, 1993, as part of his "Heal L.A." tour, Jackson pays an unannounced visit to the "Watta Health Foundation" and two school centers from "Los Angeles South Central", where he engages in discussions with the children and the service staff providers of the immunization, mentoring and drug-abuse prevention programs. He also poses for pictures with the children in need of the mentioned programs, and embraces them. Jackson's "Heal L.A." and "Heal The World Foundation" will provide much needed funding to many inner-city organizations, including to the "El Santo Nino Center" on East 23rd Street, where the singer meets with the children later in the afternoon. His final stop that day is the "Horusman Middle School", where he listens to children boasting of a special mentoring program.
On June 10, 1993, Michael Jackson attends an afternoon rally at a middle school in Los Angeles, California, to launch a new DAREPLUS (‘Play and Learn Under Supervision’) program for the school, an initiative educating children on the perils of substance abuse and gang memberships/grouping. Jackson was a member of the Board of Directors of DARE (‘Drug Abuse Resistance Education’) and he was presented with a t-shirt for which he said: “Thank you very much. I love you all. Thank you.”
On June 18, 1993, he pays a visit to a hospital in Washington, D.C. for several hours, speaks to the children and plays chess with them.
“Together For Our Children”, a syndicated special, begins airing in June, 1993. The special was put together to help raise funds for children immunization. Jackson lends a performance of "Jam" from London's Wembley Stadium to be included in the special.
In early July, Jackson sends Mallory Cyr, an eight year old girl suffering from a rare intestinal disorder, a check and a promise to call. He has responded to a letter writing campaign conducted by school children in Sabattus, Maine. Jackson's note reads, "I am sending you all my loving and caring, Mallory, along with the enclosed gift, which I hope will help nourish you and keep you strong."
In August, 1993, "HTW" partners with "Pepsi-Cola Thailand" to endow 40,000 dollars to the "Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's" foundation and to the Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund, as a sponsorship for school meal programs in the villages of Thailand. In the same month, new ambulances reach "Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children" in Moscow, Russia and the "Hospital de Niños Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez" in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Michael Jackson arrives in Fukoka, Japan on September 7, 1993, and performs 2 successful ‘Dangerous’ concerts there. He also visits a school affiliated to a U.S. naval base there, while at his September 10th concert in Japan, the artist flies a terminally ill Dutch boy, 15 year old Martijn Hendricsen, and his two brothers over via “Make A Wish Foundation”. They were driven in a 23-foot gold limousine to the Amsterdam airport to meet with the entertainer and see the concert. To the local press, which he allowed for a brief filming, he smilingly declares: “I love you, Taipei and I’ll miss you very much. See you next time. Lots of kisses. Bye.”
On September 13, 1993, while on his Dangerous tour in Moscow, Russia, for his concert there, he goes shopping in Moscowand tours the Kremlin Museum and armoury. On September 15, he postpones his flight out of Moscow, instead goes to visit a hospital for mentally challenged children there, who rejoice at seeing him and fight for his attention. One of his aides says that the singer has asked for one of the children to be flown to America for care and treatment which Jackson will pay for. The singer holds a few children in his arms and on his lap, comforts and plays with them and wishes to entertain them: “I’d like to sing with them. We all know a song together”, he says, visibly emotional. He also visits children in a nearby orphanage, who will sing a song to him in Russian, turning him – the ultimate performer, into an attentive spectator.
On September 20, 1993, during his stay in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jackson visits ill patients at a hospital, speaks to and passes toys to them, waves to an extensive congregation of admirers from his hotel balcony and throws down pieces of memorabilia to them. He also visits the Tsirn Army Base there. Meantime, Jackson’s associate, "Pepsi", warrants 160,000 dollars for the "Ghandi Foundation for Children", resulted from the singer’s concerts in New Delhi, India.
Earlier in October, 1993, Jackson's thirty-five year old cousin, Tony Jackson, dies in a car accident. While he was not able to return home for the funeral (being on tour in Mexico, and having been performed surgery on an abscessed tooth), he pays all of the funeral expenses.
In October, 1993, grants totaling in 100,000 dollars are distributed to the "Children's Defense Fund"; "Children's Diabetes Foundation"; "Atlanta Project", and "Boys and Girl Clubs" in Newark, New Jersey, to further the provision of health services for children.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, October, 1993, the entertainer donates thousands of tickets to his October 6 Dangerous concert to ill, needy and disadvantaged children.
From October 15 to 17, 1993, he is Brazil for two History concerts in Sao Paolo. In Rio de Janeiro, he donates thousands of tickets to the gigs for underprivileged children and visits a hospital, including one of his fans checked in it. At the time, concert promoter Dodi Sirena recalls a "sensitive" artist who asked for an amusement park to be reserved for his use, then invited children from the poorest public schools. "He displayed great concern for everything in the country, with poverty, with street children," Sirena says. 2 years later, he would film in Rio de Janeiro, in the Dona Marta slum. “This process to make Dona Marta better started with Michael Jackson,” press liaison for Rio’s office of tourism, Claudia Silva says. “Now it's a safe favela. There are no drug dealers anymore, and there's a massive social project. But all the attention started with Michael Jackson.”
On October 28, 1993, Michael Jackson enables 5000 deprived children in Mexico to visit "El Nuevo Reino Aventura Park", home of whale Keiko. In the same month, Jackson passes thousands of concert tickets to the necessitous children of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and provides thousands of such children with another set of tickets in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In December, 1993, "HTWF", in association with "Gorbachev Foundation USA", renders 60,000 vaccine doses to the impoverished children of Tbilisi, Georgia.
In 1994, Michael Jackson presents 500,000 dollars to the "Elisabeth Taylor’s AIDS Foundation".
In early 1994, Jackson has reportedly resurrected an earlier project. He was to have contributed a song to the Adams Family Values soundtrack. That song, "Is This Scary", is now being finished along with an extended length video. The video, financed by the artist, was said to cost 6 million dollars.
On January 7, 1994, the pop star organizes, on occasion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, a gala for 100 needy children at his Neverland residence. Meanwhile, "HTWF", with partners "Unihealth" and "Los Angeles Immunization Coalition", disseminate vaccines to the homeless children in Los Angeles, beggared by a damaging earthquake in the area. Moreover, the singer’s "HTWF", along with "Discovery Playthings", hands hundreds of toys to children attending an immunization drive. "Heal L.A.", additionally, donates more than 85,000 dollars to the "Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center", "Casa Rutilio Grande", "Clinica Para Las Americas", "Families in New Directions", "Meeting Each Need With Dignity", "Proyecto Esperanza", "Pueblo Nuevo", and "Vaughn Street Family Center" sheltering the victims of the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley earthquake. Associated with "General Electric", "Lever Brothers" and "Surf Wash", "HTWF" deliver washers, dryers and soap to 25 NGO’s, as well as free laundry services, all for the earthquake-stricken people, in addition, along with "Heal L.A." and "Salvation Army", 400 homeless people and their children are invited to spend a day at "Universal Studios". Michael Jackson and his residence are also hosts to 100 children from the "Community Youth Sports and Arts Foundation" in Los Angeles, whom he speaks and plays with, poses for pictures and signs autographs; the children, moreover, watch film "Beethoven's 2nd" with him in his amusement park, and visit his private zoo.
In the summer of 1994, "HTWF", in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District, "I Have A Dream Foundation", "Best Buddies", "Overcoming Obstacles" and "California One To One", provides 2000 children with tickets to see singer Janet Jackson, the L.A. Laker Jam and The Beach Boys in concert; in the fall of the same year, "Heal L.A." funds implementation of the Los Angeles Team Mentoring Program in six Los Angeles Unified School District Middle Schools, from the South Central Los Angeles and the Pico Union Districts, reaching over 1,000 young people, and utilizing 300 volunteers.
On June 23, 1994, the singer visits Cab Calloway in a New York Hospital. Cabell "Cab" Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer and bandleader, and in May, 1994 suffered a stroke leading to his passing six months later.
On August 6, 1994, Jackson and then wife, Lisa Marie Presley, visit two children’s facilities in Budapest, Hungary: the Heim Pal Hospital For Children and the Bethesda Hospital, while shooting the Communist-themed video for the HIStory album. The singer distributes an estimated 2,600 toys to the afflicted young patients, while "HTWF", along with partners "Toys 'R' Us" and "AmeriCares", distribute 20,000-dollar-worth toys, food and provisions suchlike therein. Author of "Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary", Adrian Grant, also present at the facilities, remembers a highlight of this event 10 years later in an interview for a fan magazine: "During the visit, the most amazing thing happened, when Michael brought a smile on the face of a dying 8-year old girl who had lain motionless and silent for weeks. […] [She] reached out and touched Michael’s hand. It was great to see the positive effect Michael’s superstar status could have on a person. […]", says Grant. Jackson also offers to purchase a respiratory machine for the Bethesda Hospital.
On August 21, 1994, the Jacksons, minus Randy, perform at a U.K. Scientology fund-raiser, “For The Children Of The World.” It remains unclear whether Michael J. attended the event, although his then wife was and still is a devout member of the controversial Church of Scientology.
In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley visit almost each room in the St. Jude Hospital in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. He hands out toys and signs autographs to the ill children, then stops to chat with some of them. 10-year old leukemia patient, Kristen Sidman (sp) is one of them, whom he tells, while stroking her head, “You are going to get better…”, then adds, “She’s shy as I am – (I) can’t believe it”.
In March, 1995, Michael Jackson and "HTWF" provide specialized treatment to 4-year-old patient, Bela Farkas, who was abandoned by his mother and in need of a liver transplant, the singer, together with then wife, Lisa Presley, also visiting and befriending the boy a year before at the "Bethesda Children's Hospital" in Budapest, Hungary, Jackson paying for the ultimately successful surgery expenses and care. The estimated cost for the transplant was 120,000 dollars. He also meets a girl admirer from Krusevac, Serbia, backstage, following his concert in Budapest, and empathizes on the struggles of Serbian people, praising their history to her.
* At a children’s hospital (name not specified, possibly the Bethesda Children’s Hospital…?), accompanied by then wife, Lisa Marie Presley, he donates 60,000 dollars for financing the surgery a little dying boy, according to the first issue of “Michael Jackson – Music Fans Special”.
On March 3, 1995, Michael Jackson attends two-year old (murdered) Craig Fleming’s memorial service, pays his surviving brother’s medical costs, establishes a trust fund in benefit of the latter, as well as dedicates song "Childhood" from his "HIStory" album in his memory. He also involves himself in founding the "Community School/Safety Havens Initiative", with the purpose of creating a secure environment for the L.A. students, families and residents, and consisting in after-school activities, namely computer instruction, languages, mathematics and sports. In the mentioned year, "HTWF" brings forth entertainment figures to support "Heal L.A."s initiatives, such as pop/rap singers Kriss Kross (who visit patients at the "George C. Page Children's Hospital Community Health Center", in support of Heal L.A. Immunization Initiative), Raven-Symone and Bryton McClure (who visit students at Bancroft Middle School, in support of Heal L.A. Mentoring Initiative).
Travis Thomas, a 5-year old boy who suffers from cystic fibrosis, wished to meet the entertainer, the issue number 2 of History Magazine reveals in 1995; his wish comes true in June through Jackson and the Make A Wish Foundation, a non-profit group that fulfills the dreams of children suffering from fatal illnesses and which Jackson would support for many years. Travis and his family, along with 20 other seriously ill children, spent a weekend at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and were allowed to roam around the compound’s private amusement park. “The love this man has on his face when he is with these special children is unbelievable. He is one of the kindest and most gentle men I have ever met’, Travis’ mother says. “One evening, we were watching TV and Travis hadn’t eaten for a couple of days. He was on TV”, Thomas recalls, “and we came across the American Music Awards and Michael Jackson… Travis sat up and wanted to eat… He said, ‘I love Michael Jackson, Mama!”.
Minister Louis Farrakhan reveals, for the first time, during a public lecture in Chicago, July 26, 2009, that the entertainer quietly donated 100,000 dollars to the historic ‘Million Man March’ from October 16, 1995. ‘The Million Man March’ was a gathering of social activists, en masse, held in Washington, D.C.. Under the leadership of Nation of Islam head, Louis Farrakhan, African American men from across the United States converged on Washington in an effort to “convey to the world a vastly different picture of the Black male” and to unite in self-help and self-defense against economic and social ills plaguing the African American minority/community.
In December, 1995, "HTWF" and the youth ambassadors of "WCC" address a statement to the "Guardians of the Future" monument in Mexico City, co-sponsored by "EC2000", "Terra Christa Communications", "UNICEF", the mayor’s office in Mexico City and the "Coalition for Children of the Earth".
In 1995, singer, dancer, and choreographer Michael Jackson rehearses for what would have been a concert with “just the man, just the moves, just the music”, a special due for cable-network, HBO, and titled “Michael Jackson: One Night Only”. On August 17, 1995, on occasion of a live-chat interview with his fans (Simulchat), he announces the existence of this project: “I’m doing an HBO special, and it’s intimate. It’s close-up. It will allow me to do things I’ve never done before.” Jackson also rehearsed a special pantomime number for the show with internationally acclaimed French actor and mime, Marcel Marceau and planned to accompany this act with song, “Childhood”, and had other 25 songs planned or performing, notably "Black Or White", "Dangerous", "Smile" and "You Are Not Alone". The concert was set to be aired on Sunday, December 10, 1995, 8 p.m., at New York’s historic Beacon Theater, but it was cancelled because Jackson had collapsed on December 6, while rehearsing for this special due to a severe case of gastro-enteritis, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and was rushed to Beth Israel Medical Center in New York where he remained hospitalized until December 13. William Alleyne II, the artist’s doctor for almost two weeks at the time, speaks for the first time since Jackson’s life-threatening experience, a month after his untimely demise fourteen years after: “Mr. Jackson was in critical condition, Alleyne says. He was dehydrated. He had low blood pressure. He had a rapid heart rate. He was near death. […] Michael Jackson was unconscious when he arrived. I had to make that clear.” Alleyne adds that he found no immune system problems and no drugs while examining Jackson and, eventually, he was stabilized. “Michael Jackson was the most soft-spoken, least demanding guy you would ever want to meet, Alleyne says. Everything he said was a whisper. His biggest concern was could he perform.” Alleyne advised the singer against it. Near the end of Jackson's hospital stay, he asked Alleyne if he could visit other patients in intensive care. Jackson met one lady, gave her an autographed picture after he prayed with her, and the lady told Alleyne, ‘I can die now; I prayed with Michael Jackson’. “I told Mr. Jackson maybe visiting with people who had suffered heart attacks or other serious problems wasn't such a good idea.” Before Alleyne left the hotel that day, Alleyne recalls Jackson telling him: “Thank you for saving my life”. Then Jackson told Alleyne he understood how difficult it had been for a black man to get to such a distinguished position within the medical world, that Alleyne's accomplishments were inspiring to Jackson. “It was very touching, Alleyne says. I will never forget that. That to this day he is so loved comes as no surprise to me. He was very gracious and kind”, Jackson’s former doctor adds. The “One Night Only” show was put on hold and soon after Jackson’s hospitalization, his then wife, Lisa Marie Presley, would file for divorce. Asked about a possible reschedule by a fan during a VH-1 interview in 1996, the artist said there were plans for the concert to still happen in South Africa. The show would, however, not be rescheduled indefinitely.
In 1995, all proceeds from the sales of two French perfumes, "Mystique de Michael Jackson" and "Legende de Michael Jackson", named after the singer, go to charity.
In February, 1996, "HTWF/WCC" youth ambassadors from Mexico exhibit a model for sustainability to the U.N. Habitat II Prep. Committee; later on, the 2 NGO’s attend "Children First: A Global Forum" in Atlanta, Georgia, event hosted by former President, Mr. Jimmy Carter, Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, "Carter Center", and "Task Force for Child Survival", and co-financed by "Rockefeller Foundation", "Annie E. Casey Foundation", "World Bank" and "Heal the World", gathering 360 representatives from 100 countries to discuss strategies on the improvement and development of children’s lives. "HTW" and "WCC" also assist the "Spectrum of Light Youth Conference" in Washington , D.C., with the intention to create new collaborations benefiting a sustainable society in a thriving environment.
On June 21, 1996, Michael Jackson donates his four-time platinum "HIStory (...)" C.D. to the Dunblane appeal in Sevenoaks, U.K.
Prior to the starting off the HIStory World Tour, Michael Jackson performs a free-of-charge concert at the Disney-themed Jerudong Park Amphitheatre in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on July 16, 1996, attended by 60,000 people. The 2-hour show was in celebration of the 50th birthday of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, and was attended by the Brunei royal family, excepting the Sultan himself.
Starting with July 18, 1996, Jackson visits South Africa for a few days, arrives in Johannesburg, where he attends a private birthday for then President Nelson Mandela on the mentioned date. Mandela invites an estimated 2000 children to the party and poses with the singer before cutting a birthday cake for his 78th birthday at Hilton College in Kwazulu-Natal. Jackson has taken time off from touring, to visit South Africa where he also reveals he is writing a song about him. Mandela, stepping out on to a patio to greet the media, turnes to Jackson and says, “I can see who is the world leader. I have never seen so many journalists!” While in South Africa, Jackson also visits the black township of Soweto, where he lays a wreath of flowers at the memorial to honor the youngsters who were shot dead by South Africa’s security forces during the 1976 Apartheid riots, and renders a bouquet of white roses, carnations and lilies in remembrance of 11-year-old leukemia victim, Jaymee Bowen. Meanwhile, the highest bid for a Neverland visit on behalf of the star is obtained at the “Cities in School” celebrity auction and, with the aid of radio “KIIS-FM” in Los Angeles, 115,000 dollars are delivered to school pupils.
Michael Jackson returns to Budapest, Hungary in July 22, 23, 1996, to meet with now healthy Bela Farkas at the Bethesda Hospital, as well as other young patients in the hospital. Farkas was diagnosed with liver failure two years before and was in need of a transplant, the arrangements for which having been made by the entertainer a year before. He also visits the Hungarian Parliament, and attends a children’s show in the Nep Stadium, where he interacts with children and holds some in his arms.
In September, 1996, the artist is guest of honor at "Hope", the first sports festivity for underprivileged children, where 3000 children and 600 volunteers have participated.
On September 6, 1996, in Prague, the Czech Republic, he visits the city, sorties to hospitals and orphanages to see ailing children and hand out presents, including a video recorder to one children’s home. He also meets with President at the time, Vaclav Havel, in the capital’s spectacular old castle and shows him around the presidential offices.
On September 13, in Bucharest, Romania, he gives away toys and sweets to and plays with children from the "Leaganul De Copii Sfanta Ecaterina" state home, which he also visited back in 1992, and which he also acknowledges with 35 million Lei (1 million dollars). Jackson visits a children's hospital as well, where he plays with the toddlers there. On arriving in Bucharest, September 12, he, alongside the Cascio family children, kneels before a monument - a cross in University Square dedicated to the victims of the 1989 Romanian revolution, and lays flowers. He also is a guest at the Parliament Palace where children are giving performances for him, including for "Heal the World", which Jackson sings along to. As during many of his tours' stops, Jackson takes time to tour the city and sightsee the famous architecture there.
On October 1, 1996, he donates earnings from one of his concerts in Tunisia to the "National Solidarity Fund", charity dedicated to fighting poverty. On October 3, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, he visits hospitals "Ronald McDonald House" and "AMC", interacts with the patients and distributes toys and other presents to them. A unit from one of the hospitals (for parents who want to be with their children) is named after Jackson. That month, Jackson also visits a facility for challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan, and offers 2000 free concert tickets to them.
On November 1, 1996, Jackson donates most of the proceeds from the HIStory concert in Bombay, India to the poor and destitute. The superstar flew in to India in a private jet. Sabbas Joseph, director of Wizcraft, the event management agency that had the airport shut down on his arrival recalls 14 years later: “Michael met the CM and Raj Thackeray. This was followed by an aarti by Sonali Bendre. As he was walking out, a strange incident occurred. A child fell down and Jackson immediately glided over and picked him up. He held him and hugged him with such care like he was the child’s mother.”, recounts Sabbas. “The (1993) allegations seemed all wrong. Michael even shot with 100 children in India for a calendar that he was producing”, he continues. On his way from the airport, he stopped the car several times to dance with the poor. Sabbas adds that Jackson was even willing to postpone his visit for a day or two in India to meet Mother Teresa. But that didn’t work out. Viraf Sarkari, co-director at Wizcraft, recalls that all the celebrities and industrialists wanted to meet him. “We arranged meet-and-greet sessions with him. Michael kept all his commitments. He was a gentle person and met everyone respectfully.” Sabbas echoes the sentiment that Jackson was the easiest international artiste to work with, as he was very humble and the staff very professional. Both directors acknowledge that Jackson had a great spiritual connect with India. Viraf says, “We first met him in Los Angeles to confirm the concert. We were told he is very keen on performing in India. We’d presented him with a Ganesha, a Nataraj and a sherwani. And without requiring any explanation, he said, “Yes, that’s Ganesha, the god of luck.” Even when Bal Thackeray presented a silver statue of Nataraj to Jackson, the star didn’t need the politician’s explanation and said, “Yes, I know, that’s the god of dance and art.” More recountings on the visit coming from Times of India are as follows: on his arrival in India on October 31, Sonali Bendre, clad in traditional Maharashtrian (Indian State – Maharashtra) nine yard saree, performs the aarti and tilak for the singer at the airport, him being taken up with the ceremony. When being driven out of the air port in his 20-car motorcade, he stops his Toyota, removes himself from his security guards and steps out to meet the urchins lined up along the highway to catch a glimpse of him. He picks up several children, whom he hugs and kisses. He then spends a few minutes with them before he proceeds to the Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray’s residence, Matushree, in Bandra East. Here, he is presented with a silver tabla and tanpura, which are musical instruments from India. Later that evening, at the special bash organized in his honour by the concert’s organizer, Bharat Shah, at the Oberoi, he makes a brief appearance. Bharat Shah presents Jacksons with a silver replica of the Taj Mahal at the same party. At his request, a high tea is organized at the pool side where children from orphanages are invited to meet and play with him. He hands them gifts and chocolates that he has brought with him. Jackson also organizes a party for children in his hotel room on the day of the History show itself. About 50 children are invited, for whom he orders cakes and burgers. He also plays with the invited children. Jackson requests that he is provided with a few saris which he wants draped around the sofas during the photo session with the children, to give his pictures the ethnic effect. Burkhas are arranged for the singer due to him wishing to visit Aasha Daan, Mother Teresa’s ashram in Byculla, South Mumbai. But due to an extremely tight schedule, he wasn’t able to fulfill his wish.
He visits a children’s home and a school for visually-impaired ones in Bangkok, Thailand on November 4, 1996, endows the former with 100,000 dollars, and distributes toys and presents to both the institutions' children. A children's home spokeswoman comments: "They don't know him as a pop star. To them, he is just a very nice man who came here to offer hope." [source: American Journal news footage]
On November 7, 1996, 13-year old Emely Smith is granted the wish to encounter him backstage in Auckland, New Zealand, during a halt from his concert there, where he will also pay a visit on November 16 to children’s hospital, "Starship", room to room, and hands out toys, autographs and C.D.’s, respectively, to each of the young patients. The visit lasts for hours, the singer conversing to all the ailing children. He signs autographs to the children, and one cancer-stricken young girl asks the entertainer what it is like being a superstar, to which he humbly replies: "Hmm... I don't know.. I really don't. 'Cause I don't remember not performing, so it's fun to make people happy... It really is." Another boy tells him his favorite song is the singer's 1972 "Ben". When asked by a reporter how the looks on the patients' faces make him feel, he replies, his hand on his chest: "It touches my heart. I love them very much.", after which he shakes hands with the boy asking him about "Ben", then adds, hand on chest again: "It's heart-touching." "The Smith Family", a fund-raising NGO for indigent people, receives a finance portion of the artist’s Australian concerts.
In November, 1996 Michael Jackson pays a visit to the "Prince of Wales Hospital" in Brisbane, Australia, a housing of children with cancer and heart conditions, asthma and various tumors, in which he delivers autographs and toys to over 75 children. He also visits a children’s facility in Sydney, where he similarly acknowledges more patients, as well as 6-year old severely burned victim, Tjandamurra O’Shane - doused in petrol and set alight in the grounds of a primary school by an Adelaide man - at a hospital in Australia, on a halt from the HIStory tour.
On November 26, 1996, Jackson visits the "Royal Children’s Hospital" in Melbourne, Australia, where he delivers toys to and signs autographs for the children.
On December 7, 1996, on occasion of the annual Orphans Christmas Party held at the Manila Hotel in Manila, Phillippines, he donates toys to 300 children from different orphanages around Metro Manila, signs autographs and speaks to the medically cared for children; additionally, he makes known that a portion of his concerts will be used for renewing a hospital's facilities which he has also visited. A young orphan boy present at the event says: “I got separated from my mom and siblings. That's how I ended up in an orphanage... […] I became happier [after I had received the gifts from Michael]… It feels like… the sadness is gone. I’m not sad anymore.” Then P.R. officer at Manila Hotel, Gwen J. Cariño, offers a detailed insight on her blog regarding the event and its preparations alongside Jackson himself, shortly after the susperstar’s untimely passing in 2009: “Michael offered to fill up the 300 loot bags with goodies and toys, candies and chocolates. […] It was at the Champagne Gardens on Dec. 7, 1996. I was surprised to see him walking towards us, guided by his aide. Michael came up to me as I had to brief him. “Hi, how are you? Thanks so much for letting me in, I know I’m early ’coz I didn’t want to miss the program.” I said, “Are you kidding? Thanks so much for volunteering! Here’s what Michael, why don’t you just sit here and watch the musical numbers before we get into the gift giving. I will have to tweak the program a bit.” He replied, “Sure, anything you say… (pausing to look at my name tag) Gwen!” […] Amazing how he patiently sat through the whole program. Carol Banawa, then an Ang TV mainstay couldn’t believe MJ was watching her perform. She had her red blouse signed by him right after her number. Then followed Stefano Mori’s dance number. Later, his back up and dancers came up on stage followed by select kids from different orphanages who danced to the beat of Billie Jean. Oh, the smile on Michael’s face was just amazing. […] He later showed me and [security] Wayne other stuff people would use or pick up on the ground when they couldn’t find paper for him to sign on. One lady made him sign at the back of her elegant, designer Filipiniana gown. One teenager came up to him holding a dead leaf and another one, a popped balloon. […]” That day, Jackson also makes a visit to the pediatric ward of the Paranaque Community Hospital, in Manila, bringing cheer to the children there, as well as to 3,000 admirers who waited for him several hours, reports The Philippine Star. Inside the hospital, Jackson interracts with the young patients and their mothers, shakes their hands and kisses them. He also meets with town officials.
Michael Jackson visits the Children’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan around 1996, signs autographs and hands over more than 200 toys to them.
On January 25, 1997, the musician waves 85% of the $5 to $6 million ticket receipts from a concert held on November 1, 1996 in Bombay, India, and donates 1,1 million dollars to a local NGO educating children dwelling in slums - "Shiv Udyog Sena” - the sum also helping to create jobs for 270,000 young unemployed people in the state of Maharashtra, Bombay; on arriving in Bombay, the singer asks to stop in order to converse with children playing in the crowded slums for 20 minutes, according to Indian journalist, Hema Shukla.
In early April, 1997, Michael Jackson is interviewed and photographed with his personal family by British OK! Magazine. OK! Has paid for the pictures and interview and Jackson has donated the entire 1-million-pound profit to his Heal The World foundation. OK! has recently provided erroneous information on the birth of his first son, releasing selective photographs of the new-born son without the parents’ consent.
On April 19, 1997, he arrives in Paris, France at the Grévin Wax Museum for the inauguration of his wax figure there. A huge legion of fans welcome the singer, that the Grands Boulevards had to be closed off by the police, in collaboration with the Grévin Museum. After greeting the excited crowd and signing autographs to fans for over 10 minutes, Jackson and his entourage enter the Museum. French mime, Marcel Marceau makes a surprise appearance at the unveiling of Jackson’s wax figure and performs a panthomime act for the entertainer. He imprints his hands in clay, as well as offers one of his “HIStory” triple platinum record to the Museum. On exiting the building, Jackson once again greets his many admirers and signs autographs for more than 15 minutes. Melissa, a young girl brought by he parents beyond the safety barriers, runs up to him happily and hands him a photo to be autographed. He dedicates the photo to the girl and she runs off, only to return to him three more times, Jackson eventually taking her in his arms and waiting for her parents to take a picture. He also acknowledges a fan in wheelchair, bends down to her level and signs an autograp, after which reaches out to kiss her both cheeks.
Michael Jackson returns to Warsaw, Poland in an unofficial, but elaborate visit on May 28, 1997, to explore the possible venues for his new project. The local politicans are amazed, therefore decide to support the 500-million dollar investment. Rough estimates place Jackson’s intended contribution at 100-300 million dollars. A June 1, 1999 date is scheduled for the opening. While in Warsaw, his first stop there was the President’s Palace of Wilanow, which he tours alongside Professor Marek Kwiatkowski, and converses with the former President’s wife, Jolanta Kwasniewska, who expresses hope that the singer’s plans for Poland all materialize. The President of Poland at the time, Aleksander Kwasniewski, hands a plaque over to him on behalf of the city of Warsaw and they embrace. The singer shows interest in the interior decorative frieze of the Palace, as well as in the monument of King John III Sobieski. Then, Jackson visits the ‘Bristol Hotel’ and a high school, Batorego, which he tours for 15 minutes, without disturbing examinations taking place at that time. His third stop is the ‘Warsaw’s Kings Bathrooms”, enjoys the peacock, a movie on Warsaw, and tours the ‘Palace on Water’. He attends a piano concert - a Chopin recital at the Theatre of Stanislaw, after which the Major of Warsaw, Marcin Swiecicki, presents him the keys to the city and effigy of mermaid. Both Jackson and Swiecicki, furthermore, sign a letter of interest in which both parties agree to prepare for the contructions of a theme park of the first kind there. He even will set up a company in Delaware under "MJJ Poland Inc". He also attends a special dance show put together by patients from the Children’s Hospital on Litewska Street and acknowledges, as he usually/always does, the ill young patients. That day, he will shop for children at the “Kidiland” toy store, reportedly in the amount of 670,000 dollars, then fly to Lubiaz by helicopter to visit the “Cistercian Order Palace” for 45 minutes; Jackson expresses will of having the two-story baroque building renovated and leased; he tours with same Professor Kwiatowski, very impressed by the singer’s knowledge on Polish relics. The plans to build the amusement park on a nearby military airport have won approval from state officials in February, 1998, meantime the entertainer asks Landmark to draw up sketches for the proposed theme parks, however, following the project’s approval and a huge hiatus, the army owning the airport does not agree to make it available for the park, and other two grounds pointed out by the government will also be denied due to local protests. The Polish government abandons this project altogether and nothing will come out of it.
In 1997, Michael Jackson takes part at ‘The Variety Club Of Great Britain – Central Counties Region’, a children’s charity annual event, where he presents a pair of keys to an official there, on behalf of Jackson and his Heal The World Foundation. At this point, no further information regarding the keys’ exact utility is known, but can be safely assumed it was a donation made to the Club. His wife at the time, Debbie Rowe, is also present at the event.
On June 18, 1997, he signs "Children in Need", a book auctioned by UNESCO.
On June 18, 1997, the singer attends the 30th anniversary of the Phantasialand theme-park in Germany before flying to Milano, Italy to perform a HIStory concert. In Milan, a boy from Latin America, Daniel, suffering from AIDS, meets Jackson, the entertainer also inviting him on stage and carrying him in his arms. Antoinette Parisi, the adoptive mother of Daniel, writes after the ruling of the trial 2003/2005: “I’ll never forget what you did for my son, Daniel. After meeting you, the doctors called it a miracle, because, for some months, it was like he never had AIDS. Now that justice has been served, I just wanted to express my gratitude and happiness. […] My child is not here with us anymore, but I know that from up there he is always looking over you. […]”
On July 5, 1997 Russian daily newspaper, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ publishes the information that, on July 2, 1997, Michael Jackson has donated 1,5 million dollars to the Jehova’s Witnesses organization in Russland, Russia.
On July 16 1997, one of Michael Jackson’s vans accidentally runs over an admirer’s leg as a crowd of fans sprint after his limousine, pushing an admirer to the ground and causing him a broken foot. The fan, called Joe Jenish, a then 28-year old account supervisor, later receives a phone call to inform him that Jackson knew of the accident and arranged that he meet him. The following day, Jenish goes backstage at the Wembley stadium in London, where the entertainer apologizes profusely for the accident (albeit it was not his personal fault) and signs his cast twice. Since meeting Jackson, Jenish has become an even more devoted supporter, and is currently the U.S. correspondent for the international fanzine "King," a contributor to the MJ News Fan Club, and the head of "MJ Day," an annual Michael Jackson conference.
On July 18, 1997, Christine Dowling, a 31 Irish Michael Jackson admirer suffering from Morquio syndrome, is granted the wish to meet her famous hero. The opportunity arises during Jackson’s HIStory Tour concert, when the entertainer’s security people would be looking for fans to come up on stage for the song performance of “Heal The World”. “The music for “Heal the World” came on and I was wheeled onto the stage. Michael held my hand”, Dowling recounts 13 years later. “Normally, I wouldn’t feel anything in my right hand, as I had lost feeling in it a few years before, but that night I could actually feel Michael’s hand. He turned to me as we headed off of the stage. He told me that he loved me and I knew that he really meant it!” She goes on to say: “A few hours after the concert, I could feel a burning sensation up and down my right arm. The next day, I had feeling back in my right hand. I truly believe I got my feeling back from simply holding Michael’s hand. My Ma said, “With 35,000 people singing such a positive song as “Heal the World,” you were bound to get a miracle.” […] Even though I am in a wheelchair, that night I felt like I was walking on air. […] I am so blessed and thankful that my dream came true.” Following her hero’s death, Dowling organized a tree planting in his memory, as well as a Michael Jackson Memorial 7 Fun Day on August 8, 2009, with full proceeds directed to a children’s hospital she had attended in her childhood.
On September 13, 1997, Michael Jackson attends a public memorial for late Princess Diana at a church in Los Angeles, California. On 31 August 1997, the Princess died in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris along with then boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed. Jackson also dedicates song “Gone Too Soon” to his late friend and reschedules a HIStory concert from Ostende, Belgium - that was supposed to take place precisely on August 31 – to September 3, which he dedicated in loving memory to Diana, especially his performance of "Heal The World". From the September 3 HIStory concert onward, Jackson’s cover of Charlie Chaplin’s song “Smile” is played back before each concert, pictures of the late Princess being shown on the jumbotron for some parts of the concert.
* Jackson has invited underprivileged children on stage with him in each city included in his Europe "HIStory World Tour" during world-awareness songs such as "Heal The World", similarly doing so during his "Dangerous World Tour".
In January, 1998, Michael Jackson records a demo version of charity song, “What More Can I Give”, with tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
On May 15, 1998, Jackson participates at the "Southern Africa Economic Summit" from Windhoek, Namibia, an annual event considering the formation of a newly competitive Africa, and meets with President Patrick Nandago. The singer is there to announces his plans to build a leisure complex and shopping centers in the impoverished country, investments he hopes to improve the lives of ill and impoverished children around the world.
On July 27, 1998, he announces during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan the establishment of "Michael Jackson Japan Co.Ltd.", a new Japanese Company Wonder World - Land Of Toys. The new company's mission is the construction of theme parks and toys selling around the world.
In September, 1998, Michael Jackson befriends 5-year-old cancer-ailing Aza Woods at the "Hilton Hotel" in Las Vegas, displays the "Star Treck: The Experience" show to him and invites him to his ranch, helping with his healing stages.
In March, 1999, the entertainer negotiates with a consortium led by Malaysian entrepreneur, Abdul Rahman, to donate a certain amount of money to help create four African universities in Tunisia, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, which would be named after him.
In June, 1999, Michael Jackson performs at the “Michael Jackson & Friends – The Power of Humanity” two sell-out stadiums spellbound, to an audience capacity of 45,000 in Seoul, Korea (June 25) and 60,000 in Munich, Germany (June 27). Among the star friends of Jackson invited to perform were: Mariah Carey, Vanessa Mae, Slash, All Saints, The Scorpions, Status Quo, Ringo Starr, Boyz II Men, Andrea Boccelli, Luther Vandross, Luciano Pavarotti, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram and Shobana. The concerts raised approximately 3,3 million dollars for charities Red Cross, UNESCO and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Both concerts were televised in Europe and Asia to a massive viewer response.
On September 4, 1999, at the 4th Kora All-Africa Music Awards in Sun City, South Africa, Michael Jackson presents Mr. Nelson Mandela and his "Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund" with a check for 1 million rand (166,400 dollars, - a portion of the proceeds from the "Michael Jackson and Friends" concerts from June 25, 1999 in Seoul, South Korea and June 27, 1999 in Munich, Germany), the former President declaring the following on the donation: "The trustees of the Children's Foundation and myself would like to express our deepest appreciation to our friend, Michael Jackson. He is a supporter of worthy causes and I'm happy that the foundation is tonight one of his benefitions (sic). [...] And the contribution of Michael Jackson, I hope, will inspire people not only in our country, but throughout the world, to follow his example and to bring a measure of happiness to our children. [...]" In addition, the 3,3-million-dollar grossings of the "Michael Jackson and Friends – The Adventure of Humanity" benefit concerts held in Seoul, Korea and Munich, Germany, advantage "UNESCO", "Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund" and "International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies". "What More Can I Give" is the key-phrase utilized in these concerts – "the concept of giving" - , and a child’s face is shown on the videotron screens during certain parts of the Munich concert.
On December 4, 1999, Michael Jackson attends singer Whitney Houston’s Fund Raising Event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.
The New Millennium:
In January, 2000, Michael Jackson performs at the "Evening of Stars" telethon, organized by the "United Negro College Fund", the event collecting 13,5 million dollars.
On September 19, 2000, on occasion of an interview for BBC Radio Oxford, London Times' "Millennium Preacher of the Year" at the time, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, offers some tidbits on then friend, Michael Jackson, and his "genuine devotion" for children, including his (the Rabbi’s). He recounts that, on occasion of Jackson’s 42 Birthday at his Neverland ranch – to which Boteach and his family were invited – the singer also welcomed a critically ill ten-year old boy, suffering from leukemia, and his family for four days. The singer would treat him to the amusements of his home, speak to him in order to help him gain post-chemotherapy confidence and pays his medical expenses, as in more such cases involving the deprived, Boteach adds, (as part of Jackson’s relief efforts outside the public eye), continuing to say that the pop star would weekly invite hundreds of children from inner city schools for day trips to his ranch, spending "millions of dollars on children who are in need", an affirmation confirmed by the singer himself, by others who have been/were in contact with Jackson and some of the media reports. Moreover, Boteach also recounts that, after reading a piece of news on a critically cancer ailing boy, Jackson asked the staff of a New York hospital to install a telephone in the boy’s room, the singer then phoning the young patient daily, his paedatrician confirmed.
In October, 2000, Michael Jackson and his family support "Wave To The World", an official fund-raising project of the Paralympic Games 2000 in Sydney, Australia, alongside a host of other stars, contacted by project founders, Mark Filby and Stephen White. Jackson puts on an orange "Wave To The World" T-shirt and participates in a video for a song, "Spirit of Life", beside siblings Rebbie Jackson and Jermaine Jackson, the latter acting as executive producer of the song. Michael Jackson, later on, invites founder Mark Filby at the Jacksons’ Hayvenhurst residence, into a room filled with memorabilia, dedicated by the entertainer to his family. A video compilation with the participating stars "waving" is, in addition, created, among whom Jermaine Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, mother Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson.
On November 20, 2000 the entertainer attends the birthday party of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in Englewood, New Jersey, USA, and meets young Elissa Mingino, a 7-year old girl suffering from leukaemia. Her biggest dream was to meet with her favourite singer: Michael Jackson.
On December 20, 2000, in thunderous applause, he makes a surprise stage appearance at WKTU 3rd Annual Holiday Concert, the "Miracle On 34th Street" relief event in Madison Square Garden, New York, alongside other artists who performed their finale with Whitney Houston in the lead, such as Backstreet Boys, Melanie C., Ricky Martin, Destiny’s Child, Toni Braxton, Marc Anthony or Christina Aguilera. The singer embraces Houston as he enters the stage and shakes hands with all the gathered stars. Jackson addresses a few words to the audience, including a “Merry Christmas” holiday wish and joins the other performers for the encore, but didn't perform solo due to a case of laryngitis. He was a special guest of honor that night.
On February 14, 2001, in New York, Michael Jackson, in association with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and "L’Chaim Society", announces via a seminar, the establishment of "Heal The Kids", a HTW campaign lasting a year (2001) with the mission to help parents worldwide rededicate themselves to their children, by providing them with sufficient attending and moral support. Three years afterwards, Boteach declares that the charity completed its purpose.
On March 7, 2001, the day following his critically acclaimed speech at Oxford University in London, he attends ‘MJ Day 10”, the tenth anniversary fan event and charity auction from the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in London, even though in crutches due to a severe leg pain. The party has been organized, as always, by Adrian Grant, author of ‘Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary”. A visibly hurting, but strong Jackson welcomes the crowd and says a few words on taking the stage in front of 3000 excited fans. The event features 100 performers which Jackson describes as ‘beautiful and incredible’, and is, additionally, a charity auction featuring Jackson memorabilia also unfolds, when a hat, personally signed by Jackson will be purchased for over 1,000 dollars, a personal phonecall by him on a lucky person’s birthday is also out for bidding, in addition to one of his jackets worn at the WMA the year before, and other smaller items which Jackson has donated for the ‘Movie For Action’ charity auction; the mentioned NGO is associated with “UNICEF” in projects concerning African children and mothers with AIDS. Other proceeds from the evening go to Michael Jackson's "Heal The Kids" initiative. This fan event will give him the inspiration to develop the show further and in 2005, he will put ‘Thriller Live’ into production alongside Grant.
On March 26, 2001, Jackson delivers books to children attending a theater play in Newark, New Jersey, upon the opening the "Michael Jackson International Book Club", a "Heal The Kids" charitable subsidiary sponsoring juvenile reading and parental reading to children. Jackson is accompanied by Rabbi Schmuley Boteach and friend Frank Cascio.
On October 21, 2001, Michael Jackson performs alongside a host of other artists (Al Green, Bette Midler, Backstreet Boys, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Usher, Pink and more) his relief songs "We Are The World", "Man In The Mirror" and "What More Can I Give" at "United We Stand: What More Can I Give", a benefit concert organized by the artist and held at the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and collecting 15 million dollars for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York City, N.Y. The benefit gig was the third major concert in tribute to the 9/11 attacks. The other two were held in New York City. During the telecast of this show on ABC, there was no mention of Jackson's name and he was always filmed with the rest of the singers in the background; this was because Jackson signed a contract with CBS over the 30th Anniversary Special (from September 10) to not appear under his name in any other program. Jackson recorded the all-star tribute that year, which included stars such as Ricky Martin, Destiny's Child, Shakira, Celine Dion and Gloria Estefan. But despite the commercial power of such a line-up, Sony Music did not release the song, much the singer’s bewilderment, as he intended that the song be released immediately for the benefit of the 9/11 victims.
On February 9, 2002, Michael Jackson makes a brief appearance alongside Elizabeth Taylor at the "Art for AIDS: A Tribute To Rock Hudson" fund-raiser held at Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California. Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., professionally known as Rock Hudson, was an American film and television actor, and also one of the first major Hollywood celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness. At the beginning of the event, commemorative t-shirts signed by various stars including Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Ringo Starr, Sharon Stone, Halle Berry and others have been auctioned. Jackson's, which was signed twice, will go for an amazing 700 dollars. Elizabeth Taylor and him will also briefly appear later at a private 2,500 dollar per plate dinner, also in support of the fund-raiser.
On April 24, 2002, the musician performs at a fund-raiser at "Apollo Theater" in Harlem, New York for the "Democratic National Committee", to launch a campaign aimed at persuading United States citizens to register and where nearly 3 million dollars are collected for the voting registration. Jackson performs "Dangerous", "Black Or White" and "Heal The World" (joined by Diana Ross) at the said event called "A Night At The Apollo", the superstar sharing the stage with former president Bill Clinton and singers Tony Bennett and K. D. Lang.The money would be used for the then new "Every Vote Counts" campaign, the committee said. The 1'400 audience members paid up to 5,000 dollars each to see the array of stars.
On June 14, 2002, Michael Jackson leaves Paddington Station in London, on a train ride to Exeter, Devon (in Great Britain) with then friends, Uri Geller, David Blaine and Mark Lester, as well as with 200 fans. They all go to Saint James Park where 10,000 have gathered for a fund-raising event in Exeter, organized to collect money for the football club and two charities aimed at combating AIDS and malaria. At the Stadium, the singer meets a young disabled boy, who jumps for joy straight into Jackson’s arms. “I held him so tight… It was unbelievable”, the youth says. “And he walks around for a bit and tapped me on the head and said “I love you”, and it was just the most memorable thing I’ve ever done in my life.” He meets other local children at the Stadium, among whom Lauren Setherton (sp), who, at the time, was suffering from cancer.
On September 15, 2002, by means of an auction, the performer donates 16 autographed items (compact discs, videos and a pair of cotton napkins), valued at 3935 Euros, to victims of a flood in Germany, as well as an autographed fedora and a jacket, worn by Jackson at the 2002 American Music Awards, to the "Tribute To Bambi" charitable auction, items calculated at 18,303 Euros and addressing the street children of Germany from "Off-Road-Kids e.V".
In December, 2002, Michael Jackson and Bee Gee's member, Barry Gibb, write "All In Your Name", commonly, yet falsely spread about as "Prayer For Peace", and leaked to the media a few years ago. The two meet in Miami, Florida on December 20 to work on the charity song, which was written in protest of the U.S. plans to invade Iraq. The war in Iraq will eventually break out as a military campaign against "the terrorists" on March 20, 2003.
On June 12, 2003, the entertainer attends a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition breakfast planning meeting with Reverend Jesse Jackson in Chicago, Illinois. Operation PUSH" ("People To Save Humanity") focuses, among musical acts, the city’s black population, their churches, schools, slums and playgrounds, and promotes the hope for an improved future, benefiting the children of Chicago, Illinois.
In June, 2003, Michael Jackson invites the Wolfs - a German family of two parents and two children, Saskia and Sabrina, affected by the floods of Saxony, Germany in August, 2002 - over to Berlin, Germany during his participation at the "Bambi Awards", including to Neverland for three days, where they enjoy the ranch's facilities and also meet with the singer's children. In September, he donates 16 autographed items, among which CD's, videos, a stuffed teddy-bear and two cotton napkins in support of the floods' victims. Jackson also donates a pair of painted footgear to the "Shoes For Charity" fund-raiser, in aid of children suffering from traumatic experiences.
Patricia Peckley, who suffers from lung problems, has asked the Make a Wish Foundation for the chance to meet her favorite entertainer. She and her daughter Maria celebrate Michael Jackson’s 45th birthday at Neverland in 2003, visiting his dressing room, enjoying a concert and watching videos in his movie theater. “Michael Jackson is a wonderful human being, an amazing person to talk to”, says Peckley.
On August 30, 2003, 12 year-old Trisha, from USA suffering from asthma, recounts her story of meeting the entertainer a year and a half before, via Make A Wish Foundation, one of the trusts the singer would support (for two decades). Her number one wish was to meet the entertainer and she is among the manifold children that were given the opportunity to meet him over the years. “They told my mom and I, that we were flying to Los Angeles in three weeks to go to the Celebration Of Love concert. I screamed and cried. I couldn't wait”, says/writes Trisha. “[…] [At the concert], some guy […] said that Michael would like us to go up to his dressing room. So, my mother and I, plus the other 2 families that were there, walked up the narrow staircase and walked into the dressing room and he was standing in the corner, in front of the firehouse”, she recounts. “I was the second to walk up to him and he hugged me so tightly. His colonge got all over the shirt I was wearing, but I hugged him again and started crying. I told him I was a fan since I was 1, and he went "Wow...Thank you". I couldn't believe he said ‘Thank you’ to me. Michael and my mother were starting up a conversation about a place in Scotland from where she was, It was Lochlomond I believe. I still couldn't believe it.. The next day (Sunday), we got on a bus and drove for three ours to the Neverland ranch, where fans were loaded down the street with "Happy Birthday, King Of Pop!" banners everywhere. I [have] seen Michael pull out in his black S.U.V, I think, but wasn’t sure... That's how I got to meet Michael Jackson”, writes Trisha onwww.mjfanclub.net.
On September 15, 2003, the entertainer hosts a star-studded charitable event at Neverland Valley Ranch, ticket price at presale being 725 dollars, with proceeds going to the Oneness charitable organization. Guests enjoy a tour of Jackson’s menagerie, amusement rides, various assortments of food and other exciting things. The party subsequent to the event is hosted and broadcast live by ‘KIIS FM’. Jackson briefly addresses the guests in attendance. Prior to his speech, the "Harvest International Children’s Choir", along with a host of fans and special guests in attendance, join in to chant 'Happy Birthday' to their favorite star, whose birth date had been 2 weeks before.
On October 1, 2003, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, he makes an appearance at the "Light The Way For Lupus" charity event raising funds for "Lupus L.A." and Lupus research. Therein, he also presents the Medical Visionary Award to his doctor, Mr. Alan Metzger in recognition for his work with aiding Lupus patients, including the singer himself.
In 2004, Michael Jackson’s custom-designed car, a Bentley Arnage Red Label Turbo, is sold at an auction benefiting the singer’s "Go For Your Dreams" foundation; the automobile served to drive to Jackson’s Neverland Ranch the host of stars that recorded the "What More Can I Give" charity single in 2001, in appreciation for their involvement in the benefit project.
On September 17, 2004, during his latest child-abuse pre-trial appearances (the singer being absolved of all counts of misconduct later in 2005), he welcomes a large group of supporters to the restaurant "Epiphany" in Boston, Massachusetts, ordering pizzas for each individual, in appreciation for their enduring commitment to him.
During his trial (in 2005), Jackson and his parents allow a visit from fans at his home and inside it, the admirers remaining impressed by the manifested generosity given the circumstances.
Vernay C. Lewis (USA) from MJFC fan club shares that in April, 2005, a group of fans from MJFC went to Neverland Ranch to show him support in light of then current trial, and gave him a basketful 2000 of roses. A week before, they were a part of the “Many Nations…One Voice” rally on Courtroom day, April 4, 2005 in support of Jackson. Part of the group of fans (approximately 100) remaining after they handed over their present are welcome inside the singer’s Ranch by him to view his living and dining room. In addition, fans met him, his parents, his children, and make-up artist Karen Faye. He had opened his gates as a show of gratitude for all the events that had taken place in his support. Michelle Basart (USA) from MJFC shares 4 years later, on occasion of late Michael Jackson’s 51st Birthday Tribute Party in Portland, Oregon, that “we were able to see Michael as a father that day. Paris held his had and helped daddy open the boxes & pull out ultimate collection box sets to hand off to all of us fans there. I will treasure it and seeing Paris help her daddy give them to us fans.” At the mentioned tribute bash, Mary Carr talks on she was present at one of Jackson’s HIStory shows overseas and how her and eight other female fans of the entertainer met him in a hotel elevator, as he was was staying two rooms down the hall next to theirs; the fans would then add that, the following day, when they left the hotel to pay their bill, they found out it had been paid already by Michael Jackson.
At an unknown date, the singer hires a circus for children with the Down’s Syndrome, according to English musician, Pete Townshend. “[Jackson] has unselfishly helped every cause, and individual child, I have sent his way.”, Townshend declares in June, 2005, defending his friend against the child abuse charges. “In one case he hired a circus for the Down’s Syndrome children of a special school of the daughter of a friend of mine, and showed up to happily, and – yes – in childlike enthusiasm – watch the show with them. This little girl believed she was Michael’s future wife, and he so kindly allowed her to sit next to him, as his future bride. His feathers may be badly burned, and he may be damaged in other ways too, but he is something of an angel.”, says Townshend.
On November 3, 2005, Michael Jackson attends Rosa Parks' funeral service in Detroit, Michigan. The megastar assists a 7-hour long long ceremony, seated between Park's relatives. Tens of politicians, businessmen, religious leaders and people of the show business are present to pay their respects to the woman having made the fights for the civil rights in America possible. Among the famous guests were Reverend Jesse Jackson, former president, Bill Clinton, then president George W. Bush and singer Aretha Franklin. Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005, at the age of 92, notably famous for refusing to leave her seat on a bus to a white man, in 1955, Montgomery city. Her arrest caused the protest against the racial discriminations led by Martin Luther King Jr.
On May 28, 2006, on occasion of accepting an MTV Legend Award in Japan, Michael Jackson visits the "Seibi Gakuen" children’s home in Tokyo, where he meets more than 160 children, and watches children performing traditional music. He addresses a few words of appreciation to the audience, as well as shakes hands with and signs autographs for the children.
On November 8, 2007, the pop star participates at Reverend Jesse Jackson’s birthday celebration, the event also being a fundraiser.
On June 6, 2009, it is reported that Michael Jackson has given his socially-conscious song, „Heal The World” to a group of young entertainers from Merseyside, Liverpool, to help raise money for the "James Bulger Red Ballon Centres Appeal", established by his mother, Denise Fergus from Kirkby, Merseyside. James Bolger, her 2 year-old son was killed in 1993 by 2 teenagers. With all proceeds being funnelled to James Bulger House (a school for bullied children), hundreds gathered at an homage event with a host of singers and dancers in Liverpool, including James’ parents. The four-hour concert, paying homage to 3 more tragic teenagers – Rhys Jones, Francesca Bimpson and Sarah Payne - ended with an emotional live performance of song "Heal The World”. "The Centre will accomodate roughly 15 children, but they are never going to lose their education at school because of bullies at school. These kids are going to have the best education that we can offer them through our charity Red Ballon Learner Centres”, the fundraiser’s organizer, Steve Linder, said. On the singer and his offer, Fergus later comments: "[Michael] was aware of James, as he sent a personal message to me, with a large basket of flowers. He wrote a couple of lines for James and he named it 'Child Of Innocence'. We played Michael's song at James' funeral. I've listened to 'Heal The World' over and over again and it gave me such a buzz when we found out we could release it to raise money for the James Bulger House. The words in the song are very touching. I feel the world does need healing with children committing crimes. It is very upsetting the way the world is at the moment, bullying is going on everywhere." The song performed by the Merseyside entartainers would be released on October 26, 2009.
* Michael Jackson is reported to have been owner of two top floors of the Dolphin Hotel at the "Walt Disney World Resort" in Orlando, Florida, in which ill children and their families have been allowed to stay for gratis.
* The entertainer also had made donations to local schools in Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, California, according to local residents there. (information from Linh Ngo)
* At the wishes of the late entertainer – as expressed in his will - The Michael Jackson Family Trust would devote 20% of its trust earnings to a number of undisclosed charities.
In September, 2009, a YouTube member, MYGRANDSONDEVIN, posts the following lines underneath a fan video by mjchicco for song “Privacy”: “I know people judged him so wrongly. I met Mike & got to know him, because my 3 year old little grandson had severe cerebal (sic) palsy - couldn't walk - talked very few sounds - couldn't eat by mouth (fed through a tube) - blind in both eyes & Mike came to see him. He stayed at our house to see if there was anything he could do. But, unfortunately, my grandson died.”, the post reads.
On October 19, 2009, it is reported that 2 legal documents, signed by Michael Jackson, handing to USA for Africa the profits from the 1985 hit "We Are the World" that Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote, and which brought in „"ens of millions”, will go to auction, benefiting VH1's Save the Music Foundation. "(Michael Jackson) was a bigger philanthropist than most people gave him credit for,” USA for Africa Executive Director, Marcia Thomas, says of the singer-entertainer. "He didn't do it for the credit. He did it because he felt it was the right thing to do.” Nancy Birdsall, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development, adds that "We Are the World' marked what at that time was a high point in rich-world concern about poor people in the developing world. That sort of awareness helps to open the way not only for more effective foreign assistance but for other changes in policy, such as trade and migration, that can have a big impact on poor people's lives.” The 2 legal documents, transferring his rights and profits to the group USA for Africa, are estimated to gross in 50,000 dollars at the Alexander Autographs auction at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. The in-person and online auction includes a huge number of rock-and-roll and Hollywood artifacts and is organized by an auction house noted for its historical and political offerings.
On February 1, 2010, over 80 musicians are involved in the (re-)recording of best-selling charitable hymn, We Are The World (written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985), at the Henson Studios in Los Angeles, California, in order to raise funds for the capital of Haiti, Port-Au-Prince, roughly stricken by an earthquake on January 12, 2010). The project was organized by singer Lionel Richie and producer Quincy Jones, the song containing updated lyrics and music, including a rap segment pertaining to Haiti. Michael Jackson’s original segment of the song was kept, his sister, Janet, joining him in a duet through a montage. Among the voices provided for this new version were Pink, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nick Jonas, Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean, Jeff Bridges, Vince Vaughn, Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Will.I.Am, Carlos Santana, Enrique Iglesias, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Scherzinger and Nicole Richie, with other artists joining for the chorus, among whom Patti Austin, Natalie Cole, Faith Evans, India.Arie, nephews of Michael Jackson - Taj Jackson, Taryll Jackson, T.J Jackson, Gladys Knight, A.R. Rahman or Rob Thomas. A shortened video of the 2010 version of We Are The World premiered on US TV channel, NBC on February 12, during their coverage of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics, while the full video was played a day later. The “We Are The World 25 For Haiti” project, apart from raising money benefiting the Haiti victims, it will make grants for efficient Haiti relief efforts and continual development of programs for the nation in the future, via the newly created We Are The World Foundation. On February 19, 2010, Latin artists such as Emilio and Gloria Estefan gather to record a Spanish-language version of the song - "Somos El Mundo" - for the same purpose. Other singers involved in recording this song version are Banda El Recodo, Carlos Santana, Chayanne, David Archuleta and José Feliciano.
In late February, 2010, Michael Jackson’s 3 children help carrying on their father’s legacy, by making a $10,000 donation to the ‘L.A. Housing Corporation’, an organization which provides shelter for homeless families. They make the donation on behalf of the Heal the World Foundation, interact and play with said institution’s children. Unfortunately, however, this charity has meanwhile been proven in court to not be affiliated with Michael Jackson nor the Michael Jackson Estate, despite heads of this company in question staunchily claiming otherwise. ..
On August 8, 2011, Michael Jackson’s 3 children, accompanied by several other family members, unveil several sketches by their father, as well as a signed portrait of the entertainer that will decorate the walls of ‘Children's Hospital Los Angeles’. The artwork, co-donated by artist and drawing-collaborator of Jackson, Brett Livingstone-Strong, includes a dozen sketches drawn and signed by the former, featuring depictions of Mickey Mouse, furniture and other objects.
The singer’s humanitarian commitments during the course of his life are accredited in the Guiness Book of World Records and in the Year 2000 Millennium Edition, establishing him as the pop celebrity having supported the most charities, registered as 39, as well as other affiliated organizations and projects, namely: AIDS Project L.A., American Cancer Society, Angel Food, Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles, BMI Foundation, Inc., Brotherhood Crusade, Brotman Burn Center, Camp Ronald McDonald, Childhelp U.S.A., Children's Institute International, Cities and Schools ScholarshipFund, Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Dakar Foundation, Dreamstreet Kids, Dreams Come True Charity, Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Love Match, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Minority Aids Project, Motown Museum, NAACP, National Rainbow Coalition, Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund, Red Cross, Rotary Club of Australia, Society of Singers, Starlight Foundation, The Carter Center's Atlanta Project, The Sickle Cell Research Foundation, Transafrica, Unesco,United Negro College Fund (UNCF), United Negro College Fund Ladder's of Hope, Volunteers of America, Watts Summer Festival, Wish Granting, YMCA - 28th Street/Crenshaw.
Research has shown that Mr. Jackson supported at least 33 more charities, namely: Democratic National Committee, Community School/Safety Havens Initiative, Lupus L.A., United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Atlanta Children’s Foundation, Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change, Foundation for the Junior Blind, Oneness, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, The International Child Art Foundation, Go For Your Dreams, Opportunity Village, Off-Road-Kids e.V, UNICEF, T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, National Solidarity Fund, Family Caring for Families, Operation Christmas Child, Children's Defense Fund, Children's Diabetes Foundation, Boys and Girl Clubs, Ghandi Foundation for Children, Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's, Heal L.A., Prince’s Trust, Youth Sports & Art Foundation, Jane Goodall’s Ape Research institute, Children’s Wish Foundation, Give For Life, Wishing Well Fund, MusiCares and Camp Good Times.
"Besides his talent as a musician and entertainer, it's his humanitarian efforts. the fact that he really wanted to bring joy and happiness to sick and disabled children. [...] Michael has always used that fame to give to others. He worked with lots of charities to help sick children and their families. He worked very hard every day yet during the Thriller period, through the Victory Tour and even after, he'd go and visit children's hospitals, do appearances for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, local hospices when he was off, much of the time it went unnoticed by the media. That was Michael's decision, these were private moments dedicated to help. Lots of artists today don't do that, you don't see them as concerned as Michael was.”