Behind the scenes at Michael Jackson/Ebony Magazine cover shoot

Meanwhile, more than 200 readers from around the world have already written in over the past few days with questions about the shoot, the interview and the star. Here are a few of those questions, along with comments from the Ebony team -- vice president and editorial director Bryan Monroe, creative director Cole and senior editor Joy Bennett -- who were with him over those three days...

Q: Will Michael Jackson do another world tour? -- Dusty in Dublin, Ireland

A. (Bryan Monroe) | Michael didn't say specifically when or if he would tour, but was hesitant about taking on another global concert series. " I don't care about long tours," he told us in the interview. He doesn't want to grow old doing concert after concert, flying from one mega-stadium to the next. "Not the way James Brown did and or Jackie Wilson did," he said in the article. "They just kept going, running, killing themselves. In my opinion, I wish [Brown] could have slowed down and relaxed and enjoyed his hard work."

Q: Can he still dance as amazingly as he did before? -- Gabriella in England

A. (Bryan Monroe) | For a man nearly 50, he was still incredibly limber. He showed of a few of his classic moves during the photo shoot - the leg twist/kick move in particular. Yes, he's still got it.

Q: When is a new CD coming out? -- K. Hall in Alabama

A. (Joy Bennett) | Not sure. Michael told us repeatedly that he was writing every day and recording in the studio. He also says that he thinks he's got more blockbuster hits coming out (see the story for more on his writing process). Neither he nor his staff will confirm a date but we'll be on the lookout for an early 2008 new release.

Q: Is he very shy in person? -- Stacie in New York A. (Joy Bennett) | No, surprisingly he was not very shy. He wasn't shrouded, masked or gloved and he answered questions directly, and at great length.

Q: There has been talk about his skin color. Is he the whitest person to be on the cover of Ebony? -- Mae in Southeast Asia

A. (Joy Bennett) | Not at all, the actor Carroll O'Connor was on Ebony's cover as his character, Archie Bunker in June 1972. But make no mistake, despite his unusually light skin, he has said it is due to a skin condition called vitiligo, Michael is still 100 percent African American.

Q: I think America still has yet to grasp the influence and position Michael has internationally. You can ask a woman who grew up in a small community in Norway, and a woman who grew up in Africa, and they will know his name, and his music. I have some questions: Who decided on the clothing? Was it picked by the stylist, and approved by Michael Jackson beforehand? Why this particular museum? Was the location picked by Michael Jackson? -- Annette in Norway

A: (Harriette Cole) | Michael wanted to be photographed in an artistic setting and the Brooklyn Museum gladly accommodated us all. We shot in the midst of ancient and contemporary history, and it was powerful to be in that space. Regarding the wardrobe, we worked with celebrity fashion stylist Phillip Bloch to develop concepts for wardrobe and then he and his team went shopping. We really wanted him to look elegant and timeless on the cover. We found a number of looks that would achieve that and presented them to Michael. He ultimately chose what he would be happy to wear--which turned out to be far more outfits than we had time to shoot! Michael Jackson was the perfect fit for everything we put on him. It was a lot of fun to work with someone who looks great in clothes, who knows how to move his body and who understands the camera. It was magic!

Q: Did most of the people who worked with Michael, during the interview or photo shoot feel intimated by him? How did he interact with the crew? -- Samantha and Michele

A: (Harriette Cole) What I loved the most about working with Michael Jackson is how kind he was to everyone. He was gracious to the elevator operator, the guard and the executives in the museum. He made sure to thank each person who was in ear shot when the shoot was over. He was generous and kind. Did some people feel intimidated by him? I don't know if that's the right word. More, I think some people were mesmerized. Some were pinching themselves wondering if they actually were in the presence of the King of Pop.

Q: Michael looks healthier and happier than he's been in years (not just in the photo shoot but in paparazzi pictures even). In your time spent with Michael, did you get a sense that he really wants to make a comeback and reinvent the music industry again? The world is awaiting his next move, but I get the feeling he doesn't even realize how much he is missed in the music scene. -- Robert

A: (Harriette Cole) Michael certainly seemed healthy and happy--and more, content. He had a peace about him that was palpable. He seemed comfortable in his own skin. Never mind, he's got the body that any woman or man would die for! At 49 years old, he's got a slim dancer's body, evidence of consistent, disciplined exercise. So, could he make a comeback? He certainly seems strong enough. We also know that he is actively in the studio creating. He told us that he travels with a tape recorder so that whenever he gets the inspiration to make music he can capture it for later reflection. He also noted that many artists today are not reaching inside to create their own unique music. He thinks it's breakthrough time. That certainly could include a Michael Jackson breakthrough--or should I say another one!

Q: Tell us about BLANKET! That little mysterious baby! How did you find the little boy? Was he a well-behaved kid? How are both father and son to each other? Do you get a real sense of how Michael is as a father to his children from what you've seen so far? -- Melissa in Manila, Philippines

A: (Harriette Cole) | We didn't meet Michael's two other children. His daughter, Paris, is 9 and he has another son, Michael Joseph, 10. Blanket was incredibly well-behaved while he was in our company, which is saying a lot for a 5-year-old. He is obviously very close to his dad. They walked into the fitting holding hands and only separated when both of them became at ease. Michael's parenting skills were to be commended. Without many words, with very subtle gestures he offered discipline, guidance and support. Michael also obviously wants Blanket to learn good manners, so when the Ebony team came into the room for the interview, Michael coached Blanket on the proper way to shake hands and say hello. Small things, but isn't it the small things that show the measure of one's true self?

Q: Are there plans for another Ebony/Jet/Michael Jackson collaboration in the near future? -- Jamison

A. (Bryan Monroe) | As they say, "stay tuned." We are planning one more cover, this time on our sister publication, Jet magazine, to come out in mid-December. It is a weekly magazine, so keep an eye out for it on your newsstand. We may even have some breaking news in it, too!

Anonym | Datum: 2014-02-10 Tid: 19:32:56

Kul att läsa!! :D

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Publicerat det: 2014-02-10 | Klockan: 19:15:24 | Kategori: Intervjuer


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