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 “Starstruck” Michael Gross On Celebrities And Their Fans

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PostSubject: “Starstruck” Michael Gross On Celebrities And Their Fans   Sun May 06, 2012 6:53 am

Quite a few of them [Michael's fans] have been following him for more than a decade or more, and he rewards and stokes their loyalty. Bea Arizna, twenty-four, who owns a nightclub in Oviedo, Spain, said, “If we are standing outside his hotel or his house, he will always come out. He recognizes us and says, “Are you okay? Why are you here?” He has never insulted them, the way the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Madonna and many other performers have at times snubbed and offended their admirers. This unwavering generosity helps to explain why the fans’ feelings for him seem to be entirely affirmative: what they describe as their “love” for Michael Jackson strikingly (and, in my experience with fans, almost uniquely) has no apparent undertones of hate. He sometimes invites them to have supper or watch movies with him at Neverland, although they declined to discuss these experiences in detail because they sign nondisclosure agreements upon entering the house. “I love the popcorn at Neverland,” says Daniela Kameke. “It tastes better than any popcorn in the world.” When some fans who attended Michael’s Madison Square Garden concerts on September 7 and 10, 2001, were stranded in New York when air traffic halted after 9/11, Michael assigned a bodyguard, paid for several of them to stay in the Helmsley Palace Hotel, chartered a bus to take them shopping, and covered all their expenses until they could return home. “The Spanish Embassy said they couldn’t help me,” Dulce remembered, “but Michael did.” (Gross, Starstruck, p83-4)

(Michael Gross, the author of Starstruck, asked celebrities about their experiences as starstruck fans. Missy Elliot tells a story about Michael Jackson)

Or when I [the author] asked Missy Elliot is she ever wrote a fan letter as a kid, and she laughed like she was busted: “I used to write Michael and Janet a whole bunch of fan mail. It got to a point where I started telling them that I had cancer, I was in a wheelchair.”
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