James Brown’s Influence on Michael Jackson-Jada Mitchell

The Influence of the Century



“The Godfather of Soul”, also called James Brown developed to be a standout amongst the most compelling influences in Michael Jackson’s life. As a kid Michael Jackson was interested by Brown’s flashy exhibitions in front of an audience and would soon start to execute them into his own stage demonstrations. By the age of five Michael Jackson was uplifted into the big leagues by his dad, Joseph Jackson. Denied a normal childhood at an exceptionally youthful age, Michael and his kin started a family-melodic group called “The Jackson 5.” They started playing the popular hits people tuned into on the radio across the nation.

The band visited the Midwest broadly from 1966 to 1968, as often as possible performing at clubs and bars. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and a cover of “I Feel Good (I Got You)” by James Brown. It wasn’t until July 23, 1968 where they got real acknowledgment by Motown proprietor, Berry Gordy. Gordy was hesitant to sign the “Jackson 5” yet after their tryout audition of the melody “I Got the Feelin”, by James Brown, he altered his mind. In March 1969, “The Jackson 5”, were forever etched into Motown records. This denoted a key point in Michael Jackson’s life where his melodic impacts from James Brown would be taken note. Tune’s from Michael Jackson that demonstrate the impact James Brown had in his life are Don’t Stop’ Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean, Thriller, Smooth Criminal and Beat It.


I. Discussing Michael Jackson song don’t stop till you get enough. This song has major musical influences from James brown

A. song has vocal tics, introduces his falsetto voice, unique ”grunt” and “oho” sound

1. this is a common musical trait found in James Brown’s music. His song “I got the feeling” includes a vocal grunt and his high pitched scream


I. Discussing Billie Jean and its influence from James brown

A. The way Michael performed Billie Jean, incorporating his” moonwalk”, had elements of James’ “camel walk”.

1. when James would perform please, please, please he would fall in the middle of the song and there was a certain level of passion, which Michael also carried with himself while performing.


I. Discussing thriller and its influence from James brown

A. James brown released a single the payback before Michael’s thriller which both had similar sounds. One of the things that comes up is a ”walking” bass line that you can hear in both styles of music.

1.when performing they both have many dancers and they’re style of delivery were both very flamboyant. This is one thing that can been seen in James’ performance of the payback at the midnight special and Michael’s performance in Munich in 1997.


I.Discussing smooth criminal and its influence from James Brown

This song is another case of Michael Jackson’s high energy in making noteworthy in front of an audience execution exhibitions, for example, James Brown. The bass line in “Smooth Criminal” is kind of like the bass line in “I Got You (I Feel Good)”.
1.there are delays in the two melodies where the bass line is forgotten.


I.Discussing beat it and its influence from James Brown

A.there are many aspects included in “Beat It” that uncover impacts by James Brown is his endeavor to advance a vital message through music. Michael Jackson’s message in “Beat It” was to stop posse savagery. This component was additionally joined in James Brown’s music.

1.An illustration would be in 1968 after Martin Luther King Jr’s. death. The night of James Brown’s performance the streets were filled with destruction. When he ventured in front of an audience, he quieted the cops and the crowd. Michael Jackson did a similar thing in his song “Beat It”. Rather than succumbing to anger he essentially just said to “beat it”; another method for saying to “leave it alone”.



Four years after his departure, Michael Jackson is one of the most standout artists amongst the most persuasive artists of all time. Jackson’s heritage is as continuing as it was multi-faceted. Michael Jackson joined the specialty of sound, move and design across the board keeping in mind the end goal to create something society had never experienced. Be that as it may, as all artist, their creativity is sparked from someone who has inspired them. On account of Jackson it was “The Godfather of Soul”, James Brown. From the interesting “grunts” and “oho!” sounds to the colorful clothing, James Brown played an exceptional part in Michael Jackson’s life. The “moonwalk” which was apparent as he performed “Billie Jean” out of the blue at Motown’s 25th Anniversary Special, was impacted by James Brown’s “camel walk”. The formation of a “dramatic” performance in front of an audience executed by James Brown was another element Jackson incorporated into his musical legacy. A James Brown or Michael Jackson all around performance were not just a show, they were an embodiment of art.





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Montgomery, Jaems. “MICHAEL JACKSON’S LIFE & LEGACY: DON’T STOP (1979-81).” MTV. July 02, 2009. Accessed October 22, 2017. http://www.mtv.com/news/1615224/michael-jacksons-life-legacy-dont-stop-1979-81/.


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