Especially if you’re duet partner is Michael Jackson. Since singing alongside the King of Pop on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” Garrett has carved her own niche with winning a Grammy for the chart-topping single and two Oscar nominations associated with her work on the movie adaptation of the stage musical “Dreamgirls” and the animated film “Rio.” Still no matter the accomplishments, Garrett is humble when she cites the two people responsible for her success.
“I just owe everything that I am to him [Jackson] and because of Quincy [Jones] I got to be introduced to him through my music. So I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Jones for my life as it is at this moment because he was my introduction to Mr. Jackson,” the former Brand New Heavies member confided to EUR’s Lee Bailey. “I don’t even know how I would be in the same sphere as Michael Jackson if it weren’t for my association with Quincy and his relative association with Michael and the project that he’s done for him.”
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was the lead single for Jackson’s follow-up to “Thriller,” “Bad. The album, which spawned four other No.1 hits, was re-released Tuesday (Sept. 18) in honor of its 25th anniversary.
After Jackson passed away in 2009, Garrett said she felt the need to “write something that expressed how I felt about having met him, about having worked with him and about how his creative influence has changed my life entirely.”
The result is the singer’s new song, “Keep on Lovin’ You.” The recently released track showcases Jackson as seen by Garrett, who stated how the track captured the bond she shared with the legendary vocalist. The video for “Keep on Lovin’ You” features performance footage of Jackson and Garrett from Jackson’s “Dangerous” tour.
“It’s my answer to our duet. My love letter back to Michael…how I was feeling and how it felt to be with him at that time, how we respected him so much and let me feel like he had as much to learn from me as I did from him,” Garrett said of her friend and mentor. “I think the first line of the song is ‘I know I was nervous and if you were feeling nervous too I didn’t have a clue. I found it so refreshing you turned out to be so cool. You were just cool.’ When I wrote those lines, they really expressed my deepest, most heartfelt feelings about him as a man, as an artist, as my duet partner.”
Garrett’s video for “Keep on Lovin’ You received a worthwhile co-sign from the Jackson family and estate, who gave permission to use the “Dangerous” tour footage for the clip.
“They gave me permission after having seen what we did, how we used it and I am so, so pleased. That was a huge coup for me,” Garrett said. “It’s all well and good to have a video that you feel is a tribute to Michael, but if he’s not in it, it could be anybody. But because they allowed me to use us on tour, on the “Dangerous” tour, it just brought so much legitimacy to this next single…I could not be more happy with the way it turned out with the fact that the family gave their blessing and everybody is just totally alright with the way this came out.”
With “Bad”‘s reintroduction to music fans, Garrett feels the timing couldn’t be better.
“…It was such a great project,” said the entertainer, who believes the second time around is the charm for one of “Bad” standouts, the inspirational “Man in the Mirror.” “That was one of my biggest regrets for the song itself, that it didn’t really get the recognition it deserved,” stated the “Man in the Mirror” co-writer, who added that the song was not nominated for a Grammy in light of it being released a year after “Bad” arrived in stores.
In the coming months, fans can look for more from Garrett, who will release her upcoming album, “Look Inside Myself.” The album, which will feature “Keep On Lovin’ You,” is slated for release later this year.
Check out the video for “Keep on Lovin’ You” is below. The single is available on iTunes and Spotify.