Grammy Legend Award Acceptance Speech
Michael attended the 1993 Grammy's accompanied by Brooke Shields. Sister, Janer Jackson, was on hand to present Michael with the very special Grammy Legend Award.
Introduction by Janet Jackson
Janet: Before he won 12 Grammy awards, before he dazzled billions of fans around the world with his amazing talent as a performer, before he impacted on millions of lives with his ongoing humanitarian efforts, before all of that, he was one other thing, he was my brother.
Hi, I'm Janet Jackson, and I'm pleased to be here tonight to honor the man I love and admire as an artist, and a person. My brother, Michael Jackson.
The Grammy Legend award is given for ongoing contributions and influence in the recording field. But nowhere does it tell you what to do to become a legend. If I were to write a book of instructions using my brother as a guide, it would read something like this:
[Video retrospective of Michael's career is shown, with Janet's narration in voiceover.]
How to become a legend. Let's start with the present and work our way backwards. Take a big chance with a live ninety-minute prime time interview with Oprah Winfrey......
Oprah: Join me . . . for the world-wide television event of the year.
Janet: Put on a spectacular Superbowl half-time show before the largest audience in TV history. Use your extraordinary popularity, influence, time, energy, money, and heart to help children heal the world. Create a two and a half hour, standing-room-only concert event from Bucharest, Romania, that gives HBO the highest audience rating in cable history. Release 'Dangerous' and watch it enter the charts at number one and become the world's biggest-selling album of 1992. Record 'Bad' and watch it become the second biggest-selling album ever. Stun the Motown 25th Anniversary audience with a legendary performance that leaves everyone moonstruck. Record 'Thriller' and watch it become the number one largest-selling album of all time. Bring your enormous talent to the creation of new style videos that are really mini-movies with imaginative stories and mind-blowing effects. Capture an armful of eight Grammys, the most ever won in a single year. Tour the world over, making new friends everywhere you go. Break all existing attendance records, while visiting over thirty countries, many of them more than once, and bring the best in contemporary concert entertainment to over ten million loving fans. Create an international anthem with a superstar cast that becomes the top-selling single of all time. Make a serious effort to have four consecutive number one hits before graduating from grade school. It helps to have brothers who are very musical, and it doesn't hurt to have a little sister who loves you very much. But first and foremost, if you are going to be a true legend, try to be born with a lot of talent and the willingness to take the plunge. So, to sum it up...
[Video shows highlights again in reverse order.]
Janet: Now I'm very happy to present the Grammy Legend Award for 1993 to my big brother, Michael Jackson.
[Michael receives a standing ovation, as he walks on stage. The two hug, as the crowd continues with standing ovation.]
Janet: Congratulations Michael Jackson. ....No but, I just wanted to say one thing, Seriously, I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you and how much you've inspired me, and how proud I am to be your sister. And how much I love you, I do.
Michael: I love you too, thank you.....I hope this puts to rest, I hope this finally puts to rest another rumor that has been in the press for too many years: Me and Janet really are two different people.....
....In the past month, I've gone from "where is he?" to "Here he is again," but I must confess, it feels good to be thought of as a person, not as a personality. Because I don't read all the things written about me, I wasn't aware that the world thought I was so weird and bizarre. But when you grow up as I did, in front of one hundred million people since the age of five, you're automatically different. The last few weeks, I have been cleansing myself and it's been a rebirth for myself. It's like a cleansing spirit.
[To the screeming crowd]: I love you too.
My childhood was completely taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there were no birthdays, it was not a normal childhood, nor the normal pleasures of childhood - those were exchanged for hard work, struggle, and pain , and eventually material and professional success. But as an awful price, I cannot re-create that part of my life. However, today, when I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature. I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our God-given talents. The sound . . . of approval rolls across the universe, and the whole world abounds in magic. Wonder fills our hearts, for what we have glimpsed, for an instant, the playfulness of life.
And that's why I love children and learn so much from being around them. I realise that many of our world's problems today - from the inner city crime, to large scale wars and terrorism, and our overcrowded prisons - are a result of the fact that children have had their childhood stolen from them. The magic, the wonder, the mystery, and the innocence of a child's heart, are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world. I really believe that.
What, what we need to learn, what we need to learn from children isn't childish. Being with them connects us to the deeper wisdom of life which is everpresent, and only asks to be lived. They know the solutions that lie waiting to be recognised within our own hearts. Today, I would like to thank all the children of the world, including the sick and deprived . . . I am so sensitive to your pain.
I also want to thank all those who have helped me to channel my talent here on earth. From the beginning, my parents, all my brothers and sisters, especially Janet. I am so proud of her, it's incredible. I mean, I remember when we were little, I used to ask her to be Ginger Rogers, while I was Fred Astaire..... The Motown family, my teacher Berry Gordy. Diana Ross, I love you. Suzanne De Pazze. The wonderful, great Quincy Jones. Teddy Riley. My new godson Michael Gibb. My new Sony family, Akio Morita, Mickey Schulhoff, Tommy Motola, Dave Glew, Polly Anthony . . . Thanks for making one of my most creative efforts, the album Dangerous, such an incredible success. I love you all so much. Sandy Gallin, Jim Morey. All the fantastic fans around the world - love you very much.
[Michael receives more cheers from the audiece, as he and Janet leave the stage.]