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June 28th, 2009
11:37 PM ET

The Genius of Michael Jackson

CNN's Don Lemon talks with music producer Rodney Jerkins about what it was like to work with a creative force like Michael Jackson.

Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. M. Snead

    I am disappointed in the bias and gossip like interview of Don Lemon with Joe Jackson. He later introduced his interview during the CNN news by stating that Mr. Jackson did not appear to be a grieving father. Wasn't aware that Don set the standards on grief? People respond to loss and grieve in many different ways (and often in private). Don's comment was insensitive and inappropriate ..........He needs to apologize.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:41 am |
  2. Beth

    Michael I grew up embracing your genius and appreciating every offering you’ve shared. An amazing and gifted child, your voice will live inside me forever. Very few individuals are truly creative, and you own a huge piece of that experience- always doing it proud with unique perfection and difference. That force drives you, and you relentlessly feed its need and thirst with your massive sacrifice of human energy. You are not so misunderstood, as misunderstanding of yourself. Your father’s physical meanness didn’t destroy you, but was a more convenient explanation for you than to expose the wounds to your ego caused by public hints of doubt or mistrust of you despite your creative accomplishments and innovations. Children, I could always make the logical connection, are people who can be trusted and inspiring with their freedom from fear and inhibition. Your comfort zone was not perverse, but you crying quietly alone, unable to accept love from a fickle world. Your addiction a symptom. You belong to God and inspire my life and the rest of the world each time you sing or dance or create videos and films. Sunshine beams thru. You Michael are the only all encompassing creative talent, bearing such magnitude, in modern times. The King of Pop, as you say, isn’t descriptive enough really. No word spoken against you ever tainted any of the work you so painstakingly produce, nor does it affect my love for or belief in your translations of the impervious form of art and movement. I have not accepted your leaving. Shocked and not ready to imagine the world without your generous soul. Who will heal our hearts as we helplessly watch you sleeping sadly alone now?

    June 29, 2009 at 3:16 am |
  3. Beth

    Michael Jackson stands untouchable. He personified creativity of an extraordinary dimension. His massive expense of human energy fed the greater cause and paid homage to the impervious realm of forms. Generously he gave to music and dance and film, enlightening new visions of expression and movement. You have a place in my heart. Toujours!

    June 29, 2009 at 3:43 am |
  4. Andy

    I can't believe all the tributes for a guy who has been brought up on molestation charges this many times. I understand he was never convicted, but the man admitted to sharing his bed with underage children. There is something wrong with a 40 year old man who sleeps with 10 year olds that are not his kids. If this was the average guy who did this, we would be rejoicing in his death. But because he was a famous singer, millions of people are mourning him. I grew up listening and loving his music. But he put himself in this position. I truly don't understand why we are honoring someone who has been brought up on molestation charges as many times as he was. If he was a priest we would have convicted him in the press.

    June 29, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  5. Terrance

    Thank you for the all the work you have been doing covering Michael Jackson's passing. I have one question regarding the Joe Jackson interview. Did you find his appearance and response to questions at the BET Awards strange? He seemed to be defensive when you were only trying to get som e info for the fans of Michael. Also he did a bit of marketing for a record label! What are your thoughts on this?

    June 29, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  6. Louis Saccoccia

    Don Lemon's baggy eyes and lenghty covergate of Michael Jacksons death has been excellent. I want to take this opportunity to state that Mr Jacksons loss is really not a loss but something that will live on forever. There will be no more new songs but his songs will be playred ternally. Thank you and continue the indepth news.

    June 29, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  7. Rhonda

    I am hurt and deeply saddened by Michael Jackson's sudden death. It isn't only a loss for his family, friends, and those in the entertainment industry that has worked with him or knew him, but for millions of fans worldwide who'd admired his craft for years. I feel I have lost someone close to me.

    I cannot comment on the many bloggers who have brought up the child molestation charges against him because we would never know if he did it or not. One thing is certain Michael appeared to be a deeply troubled individual. Something went wrong in his childhood and he never seemed to come to terms with it. Rest in peace Michael!

    June 29, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  8. Dirk Peddler

    Yes he was a great musician, do I think it merrits almost constant media coverage by CNN for the last week? No, not even close, there are more pressing things to report.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  9. Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

    I've been waiting for someone to discuss the fact that Michael Jackson was a "transformer" long before Michael Bay's two blockbusters. From Moonwalker:

    Check it out!

    June 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  10. michael armstrong sr.

    dear rodney your wright michael was a creative genious and he depeneds on you to deliver his last perfomance this would involve the jackson brothers and janet to tour america with his body with janet singing his songs and the brothers as backup give michael a long good buy make him miss us .

    June 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  11. Debbie Baber

    Wouldn't it be nice to find a "news" program that gave us that, news. Qualified, factual, news. Not the what if's and maybe if's, just facts. It would be a hugh success. Second guesing what might have happend gets real old. My current point.. custody battle over Jackson's children headlines...........hello, there isn't one. Just the facts please.

    Debbie Baber

    June 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  12. Lisa

    I am so sick and tired of people saying that Michael Jackson is a child molester! All charges were dropped! Not because of some kind of legal loop hole, but of proof of the accussors REAL intention; as well as their preditorial characterstics–to gain money. I myself have had children and a sister who were molested, of all people I know from personal connections. Believe me- there is NO MONEY in this world that you can give me from putting a child moleser in prison!!! What I think is so interesting about the people who still think MJ is a molester is that-not even proof beyound many shadows of dobt–you still believe what you believe–what does that say about you? ANY OF US can be accused of anything, even child molestation. As far as the first case, MJ paid millions so he can be left alone, it does not mean it is an admission of guilt. I myself a struggling single mother, paid, a woman 60 dollars,so she would leave me along...and I did nothing to her! What makes you think millions of dollars can do? If you did any kind of research their are alot of cases of false accusations–and because of severity of the accustions, most of them end in the court of law. For various reasons; money, and revenage seems to be on the top of lists. Yes, Michael Jackson is definely an eccentric, and had a drug addiction, but it does not mean he is a child molester. Yes, he is a creative genius, yet I never think someone is a decent person because of their genius. I try to be as ojective as possible..One of the reasons why my family and professors wanted me to go to law school. I have always loved MJ for what he has given –his gift of song and dance, and I even admired him more as someone who used his talents to help social issues and injustices throughout the world. I believed in my heart that he was innocent, yet, because I have a researcher kind of mind, I read the cases in detail, and kept in mind the different personalities who molested my sister and children, and considering that most geniuses are eccentric, adding all that together -- MJ is not a child molester. And Yes–the children are still the victiams, but not from MJ, but from the sick adults who used them to get what they wanted from Michael Jackson–MONEY. RIP Michael Jackson–You are vey much loved..there are people who see you only with their eyes, not with their heart.

    July 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  13. Pearlie Strother-Adams

    After the MJ memoria you wanted to know what Al Sharpton meant when he said to MJ's children: "There wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. What he had to deal with was strange." What Sharpton meant was that MJ was lied on by those who saw him as an easy mark and wanted his money and in at least two cases –got it. It is sad that these people lied on this man. MJ was a beautiful person and he tried to help these people and in the end they destroyed him. Even worse is that the media have for the most part ignored the fact that MJ was acquitted of all chartes in the 2003 trial. I am amazed and so is Sharpton to hear people like Jeffery Toobin malign this man. Toobin obviously does not like blacks. He has gone our of his way to make MJ look bad. He has been very disrespectful. Nothing that reputable people like Attorney Tom Messereau, says seems to register with Toobin. MJ was not a child molester. More cildren would have come forth. He had access to too many children to only have these come forth. It is a shame the way blacks are mistreated in the media and this is what Sharpton was talking about. Mefdia would rather take the word of thesr liars over thsi beautiful man who gave so much. Whie stars are not treated this way, even whe it is known for sure that they have done wrong. Why do we not hear about Phil Specter, Robert Blake and so many others. Why is there this tendency to try and ruiin black men who do well. Be careful Don. pearlier

    July 10, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  14. miss ann

    Michael was a child at heart, all those people used him. As a parent it is your job to protect your children. Why would a parent allow this to happen. If this were true where were the parents? why weren't they brought up on charges? If this happen to my child money would be the last thing on my mind. I would have been in a jail, I would have to explain why I had just killed someone.the police. To the jackson family I pray for peace to be still in your life. To the people who have told the many lies on this man, I pray that you ask GOD to forgive you for what does a man gain when he lose his soul. RIP Mr. Jackson GOD bless your family.

    August 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  15. Dawood

    P Diddy had very precisely described the genius of Michael Jackson: "He showed that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life. He made me believe in magic."

    Check other notable tributes paid to Michael Jackson by peers:

    August 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  16. Awoz

    It is obvious that the most exciting and intriguing part of nature is going into extinction by the day. We cant explain or picture 100%Michael Jackson's personalty but in every way we can see him or report his life.................He is just not ordinary...............Anextraordinary [art of nature no doubt have been taken away from us.

    We will miss u.

    October 30, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  17. Marcus Weedon

    Enjoyed reading this, really very good stuff, appreciate it.

    April 3, 2015 at 2:59 am |

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