July 23, 2010, 6:52 PM Louisville Events Examiner Valmai Owens
While the media hype surrounding Michael Jackson’s life and death has decreased since his death, fans in the US and other countries are still active in their support of the late icon. Among the many groups, Tribute websites and fan clubs that have been established, several books have also been published. One such book, titled Fans In The Mirror, was launched as an eBook on the first anniversary of Jackson’s death and has received some excellent reviews.
A press release was issued today exclusively to this Examiner and highlights the experience the author went through while creating the book.
After Jackson’s death in 2009, the market became saturated with articles and books examining and paying tribute to a life and career that has been subject to media and public scrutiny for nearly 45 years. Sifting through all these writings, I became aware that there was a singular lack of material that focused solely on his fans. Considering the extraordinary and widely acknowledged relationship Jackson shared with his fans throughout his career, I found this odd and intriguing.
Often labeled obsessive and accused of being blinded by loyalty, throughout Jackson’s life his followers have not only remained faithful and steadfast in their support of his success, but also during his trials and bad press. I found myself asking why? What was it about the pop icon that elicited such unerring devotion? Better yet, what were their personal stories; what changes had occurred in their lives as a direct result of Jackson’s life and death. As a writer, my next project had found me – a project from the perspective of ordinary people whose lives were profoundly touched by Michael Jackson; a unique book about the fans, by the fans, for the fans!
In November, 2009, I had the rare opportunity to discover what was at the heart of the fans’ unmatched devotion when I started receiving submissions for a book I was creating in conjunction with The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait, titled Fans In The Mirror. Reading their true stories and poems, I was struck by one fact. These were ordinary people living normal everyday lives that had sometimes been touched by personal tragedy and grief, but also had been changed by Jackson in positive and often dramatic ways.
Fans in the Mirror is a companion to a documentary project by the same name, which is being developed for The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait by Don Wilson (the creator, director and producer of the “Man in the Mirror” video). Like the book, the documentary will focus on the fans themselves. As Wilson envisions it, the film will “fly over the dots in Michael’s Tribute Portrait and zoom in on some of them to reveal the individual fans behind the dots. It will take audiences all over the world and introduce them to the very different cultures and people who have one thing in common – Michael Jackson – and who are now connected through their dots in this one-of-a-kind participatory portrait. It will reveal how one man had the power to inspire and change countless lives in a world that seemed determined to destroy him.”
Giving the fans a voice through this book has provided me the chance to come to know Michael from an unfiltered, intimate and very real point of view. I have gained new respect and admiration for him on a much higher level and therefore appreciate more how important his role in this life and our world was.
The book, priced at $9.99, is only available on The Michael Jackson tribute Portrait website at www.michaeljacksontributeportrait.com.
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