Mario Says Michael Jackson is ‘Unforgettable’
The day that Michael Jackson died is arguably one of the most memorably occurrences in music history. When news broke that the King of Pop had been rushed to UCLA Medical Center, after suffering cardiac arrest, nearby fans stood outside the hospital to show their support. It wasn't until later that afternoon when Jackson was officially pronounced dead in a statement read by his older brother, Jermaine, that the impact was truly felt. We spoke with singer Mario, who recalled his response and where he was when he heard of the pop legend's untimely death.
"I remember exactly where I was. I was in the mall," Mario told the BoomBox. "I had a show that night and I was shopping. At the mall I was at they had a big TV screen and I just remember reading the headlines: 'Pop Superstar Michael Jackson Pronounced Dead' and I had to take a double take. People were crowding around. I felt like I was in a movie, it was crazy. The mall just went frantic. People [were] crying. I've never been to a Michael Jackson concert, to watch it on TV and see people cry is one thing but to see it in person and to see the effect that it had on all races of people... It was powerful."
As a young singer himself, Mario became a fan of Jackson's voice before the dance moves. The Baltimore native was struck by Jackson's ability to capture such emotion within his music despite being so young. "My first time seeing Michael and becoming a fan of his was when I was about 9 or 10 years old. He did a performance of the song 'Ben.' I later became a fan of the "Thriller Mike," crazy dance moves and his spontaneous style-I became a fan of his voice [when he was] a kid because I became a singer when I was younger. I had been singing since I was 4 years old, so I was inspired by him singing that song and how soulful his voice was at such a young age. That's when I became a Mike fan.
"To me Michael was one of those artists who was innovative in his music. He always reinvented himself with every album. I think he had an incredible ear for music. I think that music to him was such an art that he spent every day of his life getting to know music better. It was everything to him and I can relate to that love for music but I also relate to his theory and his formula of creating. [He is] unforgettable."