Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston duet: One day in your life at Madison Square Garden in 2001 + more Michael Jackson analysis!

Today we’re going to take a brief look at Michael Jackson’s 30th anniversary celebration from Madison Square Garden in 2001 from his duet with Whitney Houston to the unusual placement of the band

Michael Jackson rehearsing Billie Jean at MSG 2001

Michael Jackson rehearsing Billie Jean at MSG 2001

Welcome Michael Jackson fans! Today we’re going to take a quick, introductory look at the Michael Jackson 30th anniversary celebration from Madison Square Garden.

I’ve previously, on my website, taken quite an in depth the look at the History tour, Dangerous tour and Michael Jackson and friends 1999 but I haven’t touched on this concert yet.

Today we’re going to take brief look and we will be re analysing and adding commentary to every single Michael Jackson show and all the rare stuff, and i’d love you to participate so feel free to ask questions below as i’d love you to participate! It’s going to be really great.

Now Michael Jackson performed 2 concerts, one on the 7th September 2001 and one on 10th September 2001, so that was actually the day before the twin towers terrorist attack on New York, so a pretty terrible time.

Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Celebration

Michael Jackson rehearsing "You Rock My Word" in 2001

Michael Jackson rehearsing “You Rock My Word” in 2001

Back to the concerts, it was very much an outpouring, it was almost like a tribute to Michael Jackson with an outpouring of love. He did perform, and it was a reunion with his brother and all of the stars really did come out to show their respect for Michael Jackson. I’m talking about he did a duet with Britney Spears, Whitney Houston came out and he even rehearsed a duet with WHitney Houston “One day in your life” which we will come to briefly in a moment.

Beyonce, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight. They really did all come out for Michael and I really think that the director did a really great job in capturing the emotion and the spirit of the event

Nearly everybody I know and knew from the time was there! The director really captured the magic and the outpouring of love for Michael, at the show.

Now, the second show was very different to the first show. The second show really was more polished, which made sense, the second show was quite a magical event and the first one was great too. We’re going to take a look at a couple of things and one of those things is the Whitney Houston and Michael JAckson “duet”: One day in your life.

Michael Jackson and WHitney Houston duet: One day in your life. 30th anniversary rehearsals

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston duet rehearsing "One day in your life" at MSG 2001

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston duet rehearsing “One day in your life” at MSG 2001

It’s rumoured in the Michael Jackson community that Michael Jackson was going to perform a duet with Whitney Houston, One day in your life and I can say today and confirm that that’s ABSOLUTELY TRUE! Michael Jackson did indeed rehearse One day in your life with WHitney Houston and they did sing and i’ll tell you a little bit about what happened.

Michael Jackson did sing a lot of the song in falsetto and they did rehearse. Now, one day in your life is such an emotional song, if any of you have heard the song. If you haven’t go and take a listen to it. For me that brings tears to my eyes and to see two legends, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson sing together, it is extremely emotional.

Whitney Houston rehearsing "One day in your life" with Michael Jackson

Whitney Houston rehearsing “One day in your life” with Michael Jackson

I feel almost like a private moment and I just feel that in a way i’m glad that it wasn’t performed because I don’t know if it would have been in keeping with the rhythm with the rest of the show. Also it sounded to me like their was some kind of orchestral issue because Michael played with the band and Orchestra. It sounded like the strings, were out, maybe not out of key but there was a string issue and Greg Phillinganes actually mentioned this at the rehearsal.SO maybe that’s the reason why it didn’t go ahead.

What I can say is that Whitney Houston did perform with Michael Jackson. She performed Wanna be starting and she absolutely smashed it as you can see from the video!

Let’s not forget that “One day in your life” did make it into the show, by way of video interlude.

Interesting things about the MSG Michael Jackson show

Now, a few interesting things from the show. This was a reunion of the Jacksons after many many years and it was a pretty beautiful reuntin. Jermaine’s voice sounded brilliant, I have to say! Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson on the same stage!

Couple of things, Interesting points. Number 1: The positioning of the band. For me i’m interested in those kind of things. If you remember the BAd tour, Michaels band was in a pit behind him at Madison Square Garden but this time they chose to raise it up probably 15 feet of the floor, so Michael band was way up behind him, basically out of sight and this caused a lot of issues, a lot of technical issues. because essentially you need to have a clean eyesight to the band so you can communicate with them.

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston

As you know Michael communicated a lot with his musicians. SO this positioning of the band on this particular show caused a lot of issues and not just for Michael but for other entertainers as well. Dionne Warwick for example, during We are the world, her cue obviously messed up and she was visibly upset about it and MIchael also had to insist and not get annoyed but it was obvious that there were miscommunications happening with regards to the positioning of the band.

I feel that the drummer was way at the back, let’s say 15 feet up AND way at the back, I feel like this was probably too far away and it would have been better to have them on a level.

I know that this was probably a visual thing but i’ll just tell you quickly how it works. Michael JAckson will cue his musical director, so Brad Buxer and Greg Phillinganes were both performing, which is magical in itself to have them back together, first time since the Dangerous tour, anyway!

The musical director will cue the drummer and then the drummer will then start his track. Now that process takes longer than you think because the drummer has to get the confirmation, starts his track, give it one bar and then start. Now, if Michael JAckson just goes like that! And he wants “The way you make me feel” to start, that process needs to happen before it can start. In the mean time Michael is standing there, looking like that and going like that and that’s what it is.

For example in the rest of the tours the band is right behind him, he can just look and almost the band feel when to start and then they hit it!

Also, you can see from the second show it’s so much smoother and basically, I don’t like the positioning of the band for this, I felt like it caused too much trouble. Nevertheless, still a great show and it looked great visually.


Probably the best pyrotechnics i’ve seen on a Michael Jackson show. The director, very famous director, Bruce Gowers, really did capture this perfectly. But the mis cues, you really do see it a lot, from Michael to the Jacksons to the other stars and we’ll come back to that because there some really interesting points. Especially with Billie Jean, obviously the cue is when he puts the hat on and he didn’t put the hat on so the band had to wait

Show Rehearsals

During the rehearsals there’s some really great footage of Michael rehearsing Billie Jean and setting his spotlight. He’s explaining to the crew when they need to place the spotlight. He’s very much like “guy’s … TUM! (finger click)”. It’s very funny because he’s basically blasting his band.

Quite a complicated structure with the foley, walking “clack, clack, click!”. It’s quite complicated, especially when you’re only doing it for one to two shows. But we will come back to the rehearsals of “you rock my world” and “Billie Jean” and all the rest of it, don’t worry about that – we’ll take a brief look.

My perspective about the rehearsals is that I feel that they shouldn’t be released to be honest. I feel that This is it is a unique case, I get very emotional when I watch this is it, I almost feel like I wish that is wasn’t released, however I understand why it HAD to be released. With regards to the Dangerous tour and the History tour rehearsals, part of me thinks that we shouldn’t see the creative process that Michael wouldn’t have wanted us to see that and especially with the Madison Square Garden, I really hope that that isn’t released but that’s up to the Michael Jackson Estate.

With regards to Limited rehearsals like the German DEF 2, or the History tour documentary behind the scenes, which wasn’t released but was planned to be released, I think that’s great! As long as it’s an edited and controlled view and then we can compare to the actual show.

Now, we really do lots of analysis and commentary to come, we really will go through all of the concerts and shows, so don’t worry, so please subscribe, check out the blog and if you have any questions or comments please ask them below and I will try and answer them, as long as they’re related to Michael Jackson, I really want this to be about Michael’s art and performance.

Don’t believe TV Michael Jackson “experts”.

Talking about that: Experts on TV! Guy’s, do not believe “experts” on Michael Jackson. A lot of the time they talk absolute nonsense. Now let me give you 2 examples! Recently this April we had a documentary on ITV, it was Thriller: Perspectives and the presenter was a dancer from a group called Diversity, a really great dancer and a really good guy. Anyway, they went around the world and interviewed everybody and they were talking about the Thriller album cover. They went to the Grammy museum in Los Angeles and the museum said on camera that the jacket that he wore, the white suit on the Thriller album cover was custom made for Michael by Hugo Boss.

Now! and that was it! No no no.

Any Michael Jackson true fan knows that this was not the case! Dick Zimmerman – a very famous photographer, that was HIS suit! Michael literally said “I like your suit, have we got anything like that?” and he was like “no we don’t have anything lek that but would you like to wear mine?” and Michael’s like “sure, let’s give it a go!” and in the end you can see that it’s slightly big on the album cover but in the end that was the iconic photo on the Thriller album. It was not custom made by Hugo Boss for Michael at all!

So if the Grammy Museum can make a mistake (obviously an innocent one) so my point is don’t always believe what you hear in the media, especially what you hear from Michael Jackson “experts” because a lot of the time they’re just guessing. They would have seen Hugo Boss and Tailor made and they would have deduced that it was tailor made for Michael Jackson when that’s not the case. Also you can see by looking at the costumes next to it that they are much bigger, so you can see the difference that way. However, now we’re getting Sherlock Holmes!

Mariah Carey’s “lovers” revelations …

Let’s just go back to one other thing, recently, this past week. Mariah Carey’s “lover” – assistant appeared in the UK’s Daily Mail talking about their relationship and going around the world and going with Mariah to her performance in Korea at the Michael JAckson and friends 1999 show.

She performed a great performance, if you get a chance have a look on youtube.What happened was that in the newspaper he said that in between the songs Michael would come of stage and talk to Mariah about what accountant they use etc

What he actually said was that Michael came off stage for 3 minutes between songs to talk to Mariah.

He used to talk to Maria Carey about her account.

That he went back to perform for 100,000 people and that he went back to the stage to perform “Thriller

Now, guys, let me just tell you something. Number 1, the show in Korea was not in front of 100000 people. Number 2: Michael JAckson did not leave the stage for 3 minutes during the show and finally he didn’t even perform the song Thriller! Guy’s don’t always believe what you read!

We’ve got so much to come, please subscribe, join me because we’re going to have a lot of fun things to come and analysis. You’ve got to be a real Michael Jackson fan because sometimes we go deep, any of you have read my previous articles but we’re going to have a lot of fun and this is about Michael’s art.

Thank you

One other thing, i’d like to thank the United Grand Lodge of England for their double page article, which I didn’t think that Freemasonry today would ever have “Michael Jackson” on his toes but they’ve included an article about me and I really appreciate it, so thank you Freemasonry today.

We’re going to do a full video on the madison square garden concerts and everything involved, so I hope you subscribe and enjoyed, see you soon!

By Anthony King (c) (Video Transcript)

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