Monica Remembers MJ’s ‘Consummate Professionalism’
It seems like just yesterday the news broke of Michael Jackson's death. One year later, the pop legend's legacy lives on through his music as fans have put the King of Pop back on the charts, snatching up copies of his previous records. Singer Monica, who was not only a fan but knew Jackson personally, took some time to talk about where she was on the day that the music world changed forever.
"It was everywhere to be honest," she told The BoomBox of hearing the news of Jackson's death. "I was in Atlanta. I believe I was standing in the phone store -- wherever I was I remember people all around me starting to cry. They were answering cell phones and reading text messages."
As a performer who started in the business at a young age, Monica felt connected to Jackson's experience and reflected on one of her favorite memories of him. "I was in Brunei with a friend of mine, Prince Azim, Michael and [our] seats [were] next to each other. I have to say my fondest memory of him was listening to him talk about his kids. He asked me some things about mine and what it had been like being in the music industry as a young person starting off. I just remember his humility and him being so gracious and accommodating to other people ... pulling out my chair before I sat down. Unfolding my napkin and placing it in my lap. Very much a gentlemen."
Despite what many critics remarked as a fall from grace, Monica explained that it was the way in which Jackson handled himself after the allegations, negative press, and taunting headlines, which inspires her. "For me he was the consummate professional and that was something that was known about him in the music industry. I think that that was one of the things that stood out most to me, because his was also one of my first concerts, one of my first big concerts ever, with the 'Bad' tour. On top of that, [he was] able to not be angry with the world, being able to not be angry with the different people that had been around him; I don't think he was treated as a human being on a consistent basis. It always seemed to me that he was being ridiculed and not respected as much as he should've been for his accomplishments in music. He wasn't bitter about it and that was something that I keep with me everyday. I'm not frustrated or angered by people who do things intentionally to harm me. And I think I was most influenced by him when it comes to that because he never felt bitter towards people or the music industry."