Monday, June 29, 2009

BET's Michael Jackson Tribute

Top black performers paid high tribute to fallen pop star Michael Jackson at Sunday's BET Awards where his sister Janet Jackson and father Joe Jackson made their first public appearances since the singer's death. The show's most moving moment came in a final tribute when Janet, a pop star in her own right, took the stage to thank the audience for turning out to honor her dead brother.

"To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family, and he will forever live in all of our hearts," said Jackson, her voice choking as she held back tears. "On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love. Thank you for all of your support, we miss him so much."

She was followed by host Jamie Foxx and R&B singer Ne-Yo singing a tender duet of Jackson 5 hit "I'll Be There," while pictures of Jackson were displayed on a giant video screen.


Last night, BET did a touching tribute to the career of Michael Jackson during its annual award show. The channel had approximately 72 hours to add MJ tribute material to the show. I have done my fair share of event planning and I cannot imagine planning a tribute to a legend. I am sure the planning process is even more difficult under time constraints.
All things considered, I think BET did a good job of memorializing MJ. The performers seemed honored to be a part of the tribute and most of them did a great renditions of MJ classics.

The passing of MJ has been emotionally draining for a lot of his fans. Since emotions are still running high, I understand why many of them were not happy with BET's tribute. There is also a strong contingent of people who think BET is an ignorant caricature of Black culture. Honestly, BET is not the bastion of ignorance that it used to be. It DEFINITELY has its faults, but it's programming isn't more outlandish than any other channel under the VIACOM umbrella (MTV/VH1). "Coonery" doesn't have a color.
I hope the disgruntled fans and the BET haters open up their minds and realize that BET did the best it could.

Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo did an amazing job singing "I'll Be There." They sounded almost as good as the Jackson 5.

You and I must make a pact
We must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I'll be there
I'll reach out my hand to you
I'll have faith in all you do
Just call my name
And I'll be there