Before dance music there was disco, one of the leading protagonists of which was the late Michael Jackson.

It’s perhaps apt that two of the most formative figures in the development of pop in the 1980s, Jackson and Madonna, were born within days of each other. While ‘Queen Madge’ celebrated her 60th birthday on 16 August, today, 29 August, would have marked Jackson’s 60th.

On the back of his breakthrough album, Off The Wall, released in 1979, US network ABC broadcast an interview with a youthful Jackson (and his brothers), at the start of a journey that would take in Thriller, Bad, and a myriad of musical accomplishments in what was sadly a life cut short.

It’s a fascinating time capsule of a pop icon in the making – having already tasted success with the Jackson 5, the stage was literally set for superstardom. What’s interesting to note from the interview, however, is Jackson’s inherent shyness, a trait long associated with the reclusive star.

 

As Jackson explains, “I get embarrassed easily. I’m more comfortable on stage than any place in the world. Being around everyday people, I feel strange.”

As interviewer Sylvia Chase suggests, by spending his entire upbringing on stage, Jackson never had to deal with the ‘real world’.

“That’s true in one way,” the pop star replies. “But it’s hard to in my position. I try to, some times, but people won’t deal with me in that way, because they see me differently. They won’t talk to me like they will a next door neighbour.”

[Kudos to DaddySinister for the YouTube upload]

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