In response to media requests, the following statement is being released
By Raymone Bain regarding the late “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson,
today being the 30th Anniversary of his historic album, “Thriller:”
“Quincy (Jones) said to me during our sessions that the key to being a wonderful writer and performer is you just get out the way and leave room for God to walk in the room…and that’s exactly what I did in creating ‘Thriller’ with Quincy…I let God walk into the room.” — Michael Jackson Ebony Magazine 2007
Washington, DC — “On Tuesday, November 14, 2006, Michael Jackson and I walked into the London world offices of the Guinness Book of World Records where he was being honored for his historic album, “Thriller,” being named as the biggest-selling album off all time, and the “Thriller” video being named the best-selling music video of all time. As the elevator carried us from the street up to Guinness offices, he looked at me and his eyes swelled with tears. He said it was one of the best days of his life in a long time. This ceremony was the launch of the 25th Anniversary of ‘Thriller.’ Today, five years later, we commemorate the album’s 30th Anniversary…but without him; and today, my eyes swell with tears, because regrettably he is no longer here with us.
“It was Michael Jackson’s spiritual awareness of the importance of ‘Thriller’s’ place in history that, despite the fact he hated photo shoots and conducting interviews, he agreed to do so. And, much to his surprise, he enjoyed it because for the first time in many years, the focus was on his tremendous and profound accomplishments.
“When Mr. Jackson was asked what made ‘Thriller’ so successful, (this during his first major interview in more than 15 years to commemorate the classic work’s 25th Anniversary; and what sadly and subsequently ended up being his last major interview,) he told Ebony Magazine’s editors Joy Bennett and Bryan Monroe, the same as he had told me, in quoting his longtime friend and mentor, Quincy Jones, Michael said, ‘Quincy said to me during our sessions that the key to being a wonderful writer and performer is you just get out the way and leave room for God to walk in the room…and that’s exactly what I did in creating ‘Thriller’ with Quincy…I let God walk into the room.’
“On that November day in 2006, what seems as if it was yesterday, as Craig Glenday, Editor-In-Chief of Guinness World Records, Ltd., read the long list of Michael’s record-breaking accomplishments, he whispered to me and said, ‘Do you think anyone else will be able to break this record?” The night before, Michael reminisced with me in a historic walk down memory lane for him, his stories of creating and recording “Thriller,” his relationships with Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien and Walter Yetnikoff, and how music had changed from that time, the internet’s influence now in shaping music; and, how he was going to show a new generation of fans just who he was, while making his longtime fans proud.
“We went on to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of “Thriller” by releasing a commemorative 25th Anniversary CD, with featured new remixes with will.i.am, Kanye West, Fergie and Akon; and, his sitting for the previously mentioned Ebony Magazine interview. Mr. Jackson took great pride in reading the Magazine’s cover, “Michael, 25 Years After Thriller- Exclusive: The King of Pop talks God, Creativity, Fatherhood and Music, 104 Million Copies of Historic Album Later, How The World & The Artist Have Changed.” He was humbled that Ebony’s Chairman, Linda Johnson Rice, would honor him in such a positive way as he seriously worried about whether the headline would be a negative one. Earlier in the month, to also commemorate the album’s 25thAnniversary, he conducted another historic photo shoot L’Uomo Vogue (Italian Vogue) with his longtime friend and renowned photographer, Bruce Weber. He worried about that headline too, but it also made him proud.
“As I look back, so many people tirelessly supported Mr. Jackson in helping to make the commemoration of ‘Thriller’s’ 25th Anniversary, five years ago, a happy time for him…a time which also produced tangible products which he personally participated and which now his fans and others can always have to reference. In addition to his own personal staff and team of professionals …I am sure he would personally want to thank Andrea Finkelstein, Steve Berkowitz, Jim Parham, Roger Mentz, Lyn Koppe, John Ingrassia, Adam Block, Charlie Walk, Al Quaglieri, Debra Lee, Stephen Hill, Cathy Hughes, Linda Johnson Rice, Rushka Bergman, Bryan Monroe, Harriett Cole, Sylvia Flannigan, Quincy Jones, Broderick Morris, the Late Peter Lopez, Steve Harvey, Jamie Foster Brown, Flo Anthony, Rob Silverstein, and so many others for helping him to leave the legacy of “Thriller” in a very meaningful, impactful, and positive way.
“ ‘God walked in the room’ again on June 25, 2009 to call Michael Jackson home, but his greatness, innovation, cutting-edge, trend-setting creativity, talent, and mesmerizing brilliance, will continue to live on… in infinity… and fifty years from now, listeners will share in this brilliance as they continue to listen to ‘Thriller.’ May God bless his children and his family.“
Raymone K. Bain was Michael Jackson’s longtime spokesperson and general manager.