Spiderman promoted the wisdom that with great power comes great responsibility. Makes sense really. To whom much is given, much is required. Michael Jackson is one of the best examples of this selflessness. During the height of his popularity in the 80s and 90s, MJ took advantage of his influence and reach in order to spread the word about different problems and advocacies of the world.
This is why we have songs such as Heal the World and We Are the World.
We Are the World is a songwriting collaboration of Michael Jackson with Lionel Richie for charity and for spreading the word about the state of famine, hunger, drought, political instability and poverty in Ethiopia and other countries in Africa.
From a single dual collaboration, the production, written in 1985, became a superpower recording track featuring the heavy musical stars of that time. Here are the artists who participated with a distinct solo part:
– Lionel Richie
– Stevie Wonder
– Paul Simon
– Kenny Rogers
– James Ingram
– Tina Turner
– Billy Joel
– Michael Jackson
– Diana Ross
– Dionne Warwick
– Willie Nelson
– Al Jarreau
– Bruce Springsteen
– Kenny Loggins
– Steve Perry
– Daryl Hall
– Huey Lewis
– Cyndi Lauper
– Kim Carnes
– Bob Dylan
– Ray Charles
That’s a supernova right there. In fact, the single was so successful that it was able to raise about $ 63 million for the relief operations against famine.
MJ did not stop there. He had many social awareness songs but perhaps one of the most memorable is really Heal the World.
Together with We Are the World, Heal the World is one of the more visually captivating performances of Michael Jackson because it would often involve an elaborate production with many children doing a United Nations act in the stage – particularly during the halftime show of the Super bowl XXVII.
As a testament to the selflessness of Michael Jackson, the video of Heal the World is one of the rare videos which did not feature the likeness of MJ. Heal the World was released with the album Dangerous in 1991. Michael shared that he created this song while in the Giving Tree inside his Neverland Ranch.
While participating in an Internet chat with MJ in the year 2001, he acknowledged that Heal the World is the one song which he is most proud to have created because it has become an anthem for worthy causes throughout the years.
To make sure that MJ was not all words and no action, he formed the Heal the World foundation. This was a non-profit group for the protection of the welfare of under-privileged children.
Michael has been very active throughout his life in helping other unprivileged people. He had forged special friendships with children with sicknesses, most notably the one who he dedicated the song Gone Too Soon.
As it turned out Gone Too Soon was a fitting song for MJ himself.
During his funeral held recently in the Staples Center, the selflessness of Michael was honored with an ensemble performance of Heal the Worldand We Are the World last July 7, 2009. In old-school fashion, children wearing various cultural wardrobe were shown.
MJ has been successful in using his wide-reaching superstardom in order to communicate messages to the whole world that change is indeed possible. The initiative just has to come from one’s self in order to start making progress. Michael was able to go beyond color, race, age and gender to show us that selflessness will always be remembered well.