Just 5% of India’s music sales are from international artists and there Michael IS western pop.
His popularity is not just confined to the cities, but people in rural areas love his dance moves as much as they love their own Bollywood heroes, who borrow from Michael’s world famous moves to enhance their own performances. The founder of a thirteen thousand strong Indian Michael Jackson Fan Club, Nikhil Gangavane, believes that any good actors, composers, choreographers are compared to Michael. The Moonwalk reached from “the classes to the masses” and his album sales are unprecedented for a western star.
He performed one show in India on November 1st, 1996 to a sell-out audience at the seventy thousand seater Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai. It also provided jobs for the youth of the state of Maharashtra.
Michael arrived at Mumbai airport on October 30th and was greeted by actress Sonali Bendre, who put the traditional Hindu “tilak” mark on his forehead. A motorcade escorted him to the concert, and he stepped out of the car several times during the journey to wave at the thousands of fans lining the streets between the airport and his hotel lobby.
Fans still remember. “Go to any village, any corner in India and you’ll find everyone is familiar with the name Michael Jackson,” Kaur says. “There is no musician who can replace MJ.”
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Source: Billboard & MJWN with special thanks to Paul a.k.a. MJ Cool