R. Kelly Shares His Memories of Meeting Michael Jackson

MsCassieMollie

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Michael Jackson Anniversary - R. Kelly Remembers the Superstar : People.com
BY RENNIE DYBALL

Monday June 25, 2012 02:20 PM ED

michael-jackson-440.jpg


It's been exactly three years since Michael Jackson's untimely passing. But for R. Kelly, the memory of spending time with the King of Pop will last forever.

They met when Kelly wrote "You Are Not Alone" for Jackson, and the late pop star agreed to sing it. Kelly details the thrill of meeting Jackson, their collaboration on the song – and what it was like to hit the mall with the mega-star – in his upcoming memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, on sale June 28, reprinted here with permission from SmileyBooks.

r-kelly-2-240.jpg


The day finally came. I got to the studio two hours early. I ordered my favorite Chinese food. I was sure to include some vegetarian dishes for Michael. I was so nervous that I started practicing in front of the food just how I would introduce Michael. Would I say, "Mike, would you like some Chinese food?" Or, "Mike, want some of this, man?" Or maybe it'd be better to say, "If you're in the mood for some Chinese food, Michael, you're welcome to it."

Thirty minutes and several phone calls from Jackson's people later, the legendary singer arrives.

He looked at least eight feet tall. He looked like an avatar. He was wearing a black mask over his face. Only his eyes were showing.

Finally, Mike walked over to me. He looked in my eyes, opened his arms, and gave me the hug of my life, whispering to me in his lighter-than-air, soft, high voice. "The world's gonna be singing this song."

I blurted out something silly like, "Congratulations on everything you've done, Mike. Congratulations on being Michael Jackson."

Just about then, Bubbles the chimp pranced into the room. In my mind, I called Bubbles "Trouble." The chimp made me nervous.

"He's friendly, isn't he, Mike?"

"Oh, yes, he's not going to hurt you."

"Anyway," I said, "I'm just glad you like the song."

"I don't like it, Rob. I love it. I don't want to change one thing. I want to sing it just the way you wrote it. You captured me beautifully. That's the reason I came here. We can get started just as soon as I do my vocal warm-ups."

"If you excuse me for a minute," I said, "I'll be right back."

I walked to the bathroom and just fell out on the floor. I broke down and cried. It wasn't that Michael Jackson was singing my song; it was that Michael had felt how I'd caught his spirit. Michael Jackson had come to Chicago to work with me!

"Rob," he said in that high, sing-song voice, "would you mind coming in here and singing backgrounds with me?"

Mind? Are you kidding? Michael Jackson was asking me to sing with him!

I had to practically stop myself from running to the vocal booth. I paced myself so I could walk slowly, but in my heart I felt like a little girl.

When we started to sing, the blend was perfect. We were butter and toast. He did that some rocking motion I'd seen him do on "We Are the World." Sitting there next to me – my voice over his, his voice over mine – I tasted heaven. Heaven on earth. Brother, this is as good as it gets.

"You know, Rob," he said later that afternoon, "sometimes it can take me a month to get a song where I want it."

"Me, too, Mike," I agreed. "Sometimes it takes me more than a month."

"I'm glad you understand. You'll be patient with me, won't you?"

PHOTOS: His Strangest Moments

"I'll be whatever you want me to be, Mike. It's still like a dream for me."

Then, the King of Pop made an unexpected request

"Can I ask you something else?"

"Sure."

"Is there a mall around here, Rob?"

"Just a couple of blocks away."

"Would you go there with me? I love malls."

"I love 'em too, Mike. Let's roll."

With Bubbles and the security team in place, we went to Water Tower Place, one of the nicest malls in Chicago. Michael headed straight for the Disney store where he was fascinated by a larger-than-life statue of Donald Duck hung above the entrance.

"That's beautiful," said Michael. "Do you think they'd sell it to me? I'd love to have Donald Duck for Neverland."

"Couldn't hurt to ask," I said.

Of course Michael Jackson walking into the Disney store caused a near-riot. When the manager appeared, Michael couldn't have been sweeter: "Is there any way I could buy that Donald Duck?" he asked.

"I'm afraid not, Mr. Jackson. It's permanently built into the front of the store."

"Oh, that's a shame," Michael said politely. "But thank you anyway, sir."

PHOTOS: The King of Pop's Reign

I'd never met anyone with better manners.

The pair worked on perfecting the song over the next three weeks and spent time chatting together in the studio.

The experience of working with Mike was drama-free. Every night after he left the studio and got in his van, people were hanging out the windows of office buildings and hotels, stretching their necks to get a glimpse of him. He'd always stop and wave.

When the job was done and it was time for him to leave Chicago, he gave me another hug and said, "You're my brother."

I was too choked up to say anything.

When "You Are Not Alone" dropped as the second single off Mike's History album, it made the Guinness World Records book as the first song to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. It was #1 in the U.K. as well as in France, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan. Mike was right. They were singing it all over the world."


Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. News of his death was like a hatchet to my chest. He meant to me what breathing means to most people. He was not only my brother and friend, he was also my mentor. I am honored and blessed to have been in Michael's presence. I got to know him like most of the world never will – on a person-to-person, soul-to-soul level.
 

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R. Kelly Shares His Memories of Meeting Michael Jackson
BY RENNIE DYBALL

Monday June 25, 2012 02:20 PM EDT

It's been exactly three years since Michael Jackson's untimely passing. But for R. Kelly, the memory of spending time with the King of Pop will last forever.

They met when Kelly wrote "You Are Not Alone" for Jackson, and the late pop star agreed to sing it. Kelly details the thrill of meeting Jackson, their collaboration on the song – and what it was like to hit the mall with the mega-star – in his upcoming memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, on sale June 28, reprinted here with permission from SmileyBooks.

The day finally came. I got to the studio two hours early. I ordered my favorite Chinese food. I was sure to include some vegetarian dishes for Michael. I was so nervous that I started practicing in front of the food just how I would introduce Michael. Would I say, "Mike, would you like some Chinese food?" Or, "Mike, want some of this, man?" Or maybe it'd be better to say, "If you're in the mood for some Chinese food, Michael, you're welcome to it."

Thirty minutes and several phone calls from Jackson's people later, the legendary singer arrives.

He looked at least eight feet tall. He looked like an avatar. He was wearing a black mask over his face. Only his eyes were showing.

Finally, Mike walked over to me. He looked in my eyes, opened his arms, and gave me the hug of my life, whispering to me in his lighter-than-air, soft, high voice. "The world's gonna be singing this song."

I blurted out something silly like, "Congratulations on everything you've done, Mike. Congratulations on being Michael Jackson."

Just about then, Bubbles the chimp pranced into the room. In my mind, I called Bubbles "Trouble." The chimp made me nervous.

"He's friendly, isn't he, Mike?"

"Oh, yes, he's not going to hurt you."

"Anyway," I said, "I'm just glad you like the song."

"I don't like it, Rob. I love it. I don't want to change one thing. I want to sing it just the way you wrote it. You captured me beautifully. That's the reason I came here. We can get started just as soon as I do my vocal warm-ups."

"If you excuse me for a minute," I said, "I'll be right back."

I walked to the bathroom and just fell out on the floor. I broke down and cried. It wasn't that Michael Jackson was singing my song; it was that Michael had felt how I'd caught his spirit. Michael Jackson had come to Chicago to work with me!

"Rob," he said in that high, sing-song voice, "would you mind coming in here and singing backgrounds with me?"

Mind? Are you kidding? Michael Jackson was asking me to sing with him!

I had to practically stop myself from running to the vocal booth. I paced myself so I could walk slowly, but in my heart I felt like a little girl.

When we started to sing, the blend was perfect. We were butter and toast. He did that some rocking motion I'd seen him do on "We Are the World." Sitting there next to me – my voice over his, his voice over mine – I tasted heaven. Heaven on earth. Brother, this is as good as it gets.

"You know, Rob," he said later that afternoon, "sometimes it can take me a month to get a song where I want it."

"Me, too, Mike," I agreed. "Sometimes it takes me more than a month."

"I'm glad you understand. You'll be patient with me, won't you?"

"I'll be whatever you want me to be, Mike. It's still like a dream for me."

Then, the King of Pop made an unexpected request

"Can I ask you something else?"

"Sure."

"Is there a mall around here, Rob?"

"Just a couple of blocks away."

"Would you go there with me? I love malls."

"I love 'em too, Mike. Let's roll."

With Bubbles and the security team in place, we went to Water Tower Place, one of the nicest malls in Chicago. Michael headed straight for the Disney store where he was fascinated by a larger-than-life statue of Donald Duck hung above the entrance.

"That's beautiful," said Michael. "Do you think they'd sell it to me? I'd love to have Donald Duck for Neverland."

"Couldn't hurt to ask," I said.

Of course Michael Jackson walking into the Disney store caused a near-riot. When the manager appeared, Michael couldn't have been sweeter: "Is there any way I could buy that Donald Duck?" he asked.

"I'm afraid not, Mr. Jackson. It's permanently built into the front of the store."

"Oh, that's a shame," Michael said politely. "But thank you anyway, sir."

I'd never met anyone with better manners.

The pair worked on perfecting the song over the next three weeks and spent time chatting together in the studio.

The experience of working with Mike was drama-free. Every night after he left the studio and got in his van, people were hanging out the windows of office buildings and hotels, stretching their necks to get a glimpse of him. He'd always stop and wave.

When the job was done and it was time for him to leave Chicago, he gave me another hug and said, "You're my brother."

I was too choked up to say anything.

When "You Are Not Alone" dropped as the second single off Mike's History album, it made the Guinness World Records book as the first song to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. It was #1 in the U.K. as well as in France, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan. Mike was right. They were singing it all over the world."

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. News of his death was like a hatchet to my chest. He meant to me what breathing means to most people. He was not only my brother and friend, he was also my mentor. I am honored and blessed to have been in Michael's presence. I got to know him like most of the world never will – on a person-to-person, soul-to-soul level.

Source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20606156,00.html
 

Courtney

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Michael headed straight for the Disney store where he was fascinated by a larger-than-life statue of Donald Duck hung above the entrance.

"That's beautiful," said Michael. "Do you think they'd sell it to me? I'd love to have Donald Duck for Neverland."

This is my absolute favorite part of this lovely story. It really just shows the truly beautiful, innocent heart Michael had. So beautiful, so sweet, so Michael. :heart: :cry: I love you!
 
E

ExoticPrincess

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See, these are the kinds of stories about Mike that I absolutely just love hearing.

"I'm afraid not, Mr. Jackson. It's permanently built into the front of the store."

"Oh, that's a shame," Michael said politely. "But thank you anyway, sir."

I'd never met anyone with better manners.

And yes, he had the best manners!:yes:
 

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That is a nice story. People not knowing what will happen when they meet Michael and find out what a nice and caring person he was. People saw him as special yet he would make you feel special.
 

Rhilo

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The celebs and non-celebs, Michael touched and left a lasting impression on whoever he met. Michael may have had Bubbles still in 1995, but I'm guessing he would have been too big and deemed dangerous to carry around. He was 12 years old and an adult by then. Maybe this was a different, younger chimp?

Anyways, chimps aside, I loved reading this. It corroborates what many others have said about meeting Michael, being in his presence for the first time.
 

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Lovely read,thanks for posting.

That is a nice story. People not knowing what will happen when they meet Michael and find out what a nice and caring person he was. People saw him as special yet he would make you feel special.

That's the impression I always get from these stories.I find it to be such a rare quality.Michael = :heart:
 

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Lovely story.
------------------------------
"The day finally came. I got to the studio two hours early. I ordered my favorite Chinese food. I was sure to include some vegetarian dishes for Michael. I was so nervous that I started practicing in front of the food just how I would introduce Michael. Would I say, "Mike, would you like some Chinese food?" Or, "Mike, want some of this, man?" Or maybe it'd be better to say, "If you're in the mood for some Chinese food, Michael, you're welcome to it."

I blurted out something silly like, "Congratulations on everything you've done, Mike. Congratulations on being Michael Jackson."
------------------------------------------

This bit made me laugh out loud, it didn't go according to plan:D

I thought Bubbles was sent away to animal sanctuary after Prince was born?
 

loveforever

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I think This encounter with R.kelly happened around November 1994 that's the time Michael recorded you are not alone in chicago studio.
 
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Zack44

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That was a nice read. I wonder if that monkey actually was Bubbles, because I thought he was gone from MJ by the end of the Dangerous era. I also wonder if, in his book, R. Kelly mentions anything about writing/creating "Cry" or "One More Chance" too.
 

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I thought that R.Kelly wrote "You are not alone". Didn't he ? :scratch:
 

StellaJackson

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I thought that R.Kelly wrote "You are not alone". Didn't he ? :scratch:

No. He stole it.

Belgian court rules Michael Jackson hit was plagiarized
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | 12:51 PM ET CBC News
Michael Jackson's 1995 hit You are Not Alone was plagiarized from a song written by Belgian twins in 1993, a Belgian court has ruled.

The court transferred rights to the song to the twin composer brothers, Eddy and Danny Van Passel, according to a report on Agence France Presse.

The judgment is only applicable in Belgium and so the Van Passels will have difficulty collecting royalties.

You Are Not Alone debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song was written by U.S. singer-songwriter Robert Kelly and released in August 1995 by Jackson from his album HIStory: Past, Present and Future: Book I.

The Van Passels say the work is identical to their song If We Can Start All Over.

They have been fighting for 12 years to gain recognition for their work and have the backing of Belgian rights society, SABAM, which confirmed in 1995 that the songs are the same.

The Van Passels have published songs in more than 100 countries, and had a No. 1 hit in Asia with Dying Inside to Hold You.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/music/story/2007/09/12/belgium-jackson.html

Here's the original.

[youtube]8PrJ7jf8cbI[/youtube]

I don't think Michael knew because Kelly presented it to him as his own work.
 

OnirMJ

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No. He stole it.

Belgian court rules Michael Jackson hit was plagiarized
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | 12:51 PM ET CBC News
Michael Jackson's 1995 hit You are Not Alone was plagiarized from a song written by Belgian twins in 1993, a Belgian court has ruled.

The court transferred rights to the song to the twin composer brothers, Eddy and Danny Van Passel, according to a report on Agence France Presse.

The judgment is only applicable in Belgium and so the Van Passels will have difficulty collecting royalties.

You Are Not Alone debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song was written by U.S. singer-songwriter Robert Kelly and released in August 1995 by Jackson from his album HIStory: Past, Present and Future: Book I.

The Van Passels say the work is identical to their song If We Can Start All Over.

They have been fighting for 12 years to gain recognition for their work and have the backing of Belgian rights society, SABAM, which confirmed in 1995 that the songs are the same.

The Van Passels have published songs in more than 100 countries, and had a No. 1 hit in Asia with Dying Inside to Hold You.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/music/story/2007/09/12/belgium-jackson.html

Here's the original.

[youtube]8PrJ7jf8cbI[/youtube]

I don't think Michael knew because Kelly presented it to him as his own work.

The judgment is only recognized in Belgium. I agree that Kelly plagiarized their song (melody) to create You Are Not Alone. Kelly did write the lyrics though.

Is their song released?
 

StellaJackson

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The judgment is only recognized in Belgium. I agree that Kelly plagiarized their song (melody) to create You Are Not Alone. Kelly did write the lyrics though.

Is their song released?

All I know about it is what I posted. I guess it must have been released somehow in order for Kelly to hear it. Yeah he did write the lyrics, but the melody is a clear rip off. There was an old news report which had an interview with the Van Passel brothers but it doesn't seem to be online now.
 

helena22

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Thanks for posting. I'm waiting to get my copy of the book.


The day finally came. I got to the studio two hours early. I ordered my favorite Chinese food. I was sure to include some vegetarian dishes for Michael. I was so nervous that I started practicing in front of the food just how I would introduce Michael. Would I say, "Mike, would you like some Chinese food?" Or, "Mike, want some of this, man?" Or maybe it'd be better to say, "If you're in the mood for some Chinese food, Michael, you're welcome to it."

Thirty minutes and several phone calls from Jackson's people later, the legendary singer arrives.

He looked at least eight feet tall. He looked like an avatar. He was wearing a black mask over his face. Only his eyes were showing.

Finally, Mike walked over to me. He looked in my eyes, opened his arms, and gave me the hug of my life, whispering to me in his lighter-than-air, soft, high voice. "The world's gonna be singing this song."

I blurted out something silly like, "Congratulations on everything you've done, Mike. Congratulations on being Michael Jackson."
:rofl: I don't think he was this star-struck with anyone else throughout his entire career.
These are some funny stories.

That was a nice read. I wonder if that monkey actually was Bubbles, because I thought he was gone from MJ by the end of the Dangerous era. I also wonder if, in his book, R. Kelly mentions anything about writing/creating "Cry" or "One More Chance" too.
I'm sure he did.
Oh, btw, the two songs, was it a face-to-face, in-person session?
Even if it wasn't, he must have talked about it in the book.
I'm wondering if he wrote about the last time he met him not long before he passed.
Can't wait to find that out myself!
 

Silouette

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Thanks for posting the article MsCassie. It's always a nice feeling when I read these kind of stories.
To read how many people, including big the stars, are in awe, overcome with emotions and reduced
to tears when it comes to MJ. Just star struck. :)

He looked at least eight feet tall.
 
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