WEST END STARS OF ‘THRILLER – LIVE’ TO RELEASE MICHAEL JACKSON’S ‘SPEECHLESS’ AS A CHARITY RECORD FOR WAR CHILD
SPECIAL WEST END PERFORMANCE PLANNED FOR FRIDAY JUNE 25 BEFORE THRILLER – LIVE TO MARK THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MICHAEL JACKSON’S DEATH
Six of the young boys who have played Michael Jackson in the West End production of THRILLER LIVE, are releasing a charity single to mark the first anniversary of his passing.
All proceeds from ‘Speechless – The Tribute’ will go to War Child.
The single will be released on June 21 and the boys, James Anderson, Jean-Mikhael Baque, Kieran Alleyne, Kuan Frye, Mitchell Zhangazha, and MJ Mytton-Sanneh, aged 13 – 15, will perform it live before the performance of Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre on Friday June 25, the anniversary of Michael’s death.
Producer Adrian Grant says: “I wanted to do something positive to mark the one-year anniversary of Michael’s passing, and chose to cover one of my favourite Michael Jackson songs, ‘Speechless’, and release it as a single in aid of the charity, War Child. Of course we could never look to improve upon the original. This song is heavenly and is all about Michael’s amazing vocal. Michael loved songs with emotions and a message, with a sense of immortality. He once told me, “I like there to be some depth in the lyrics as well as a melodic simple-ness that the whole world can sing them.”
‘Speechless’ is one of Michael’s records that is simple yet powerfully effective.”
“The sentiment behind the song and what it now means to me in Michael’s passing truly reflects the emotions one feels due to his loss – those of sadness, but also remembering the joy he gave the world as we celebrate his life.”
The song has been recorded featuring the young cast of the stage show, ‘Thriller Live’. Six of the young boys aged 13-15 who play Michael Jackson in the production when he was in the Jackson 5 laid down their vocals over a 2-day session. Members of the adult cast plus some talented gospel singers added some rejoice and celebration to the song – closing with an original sound bite from Michael.
“As we all know Michael Jackson raised millions of dollars for many good causes around the world, and children were very close to his heart. Especially those that, were underprivileged or deprived of a basic happy childhood. All profits from sales of ‘Speechless – the tribute’ will be donated to War Child, a charity that we feel fits perfectly with the message that Michael looked to convey through his music and actions as a caring humanitarian.
“During one interview he said to me, ‘Being a world traveller I am touched and moved by everything (sad) that happens, especially to children. It gets me emotionally sick, and I go through a lot of pain when I see their suffering. I can’t pretend as if I don’t see it. It affects me very much.’
Downloading the single will provide funds for War Child, a small international charity that protects children living in the world’s most dangerous war zones, a cause that would very much have touched Michael’s heart.
Thriller – Live is a spectacular, high-octane concert-style show specially created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer and undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5.
Thriller – Live moonwalked into the West End in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours and standing ovations across Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. Following the tragic death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, the show has now been updated, and it features a spectacular new opening, and there are six additional songs, some new visuals and extra choreography. Unlike other West End productions, Thriller – Live is not a rigid book musical with set songs, but is a constantly evolving music concert celebration. Since opening in the West End, two world tours have seen the show play to acclaim in many countries, including Germany, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Further productions are planned for 2010 for Australia, Asia, South and North America and Canada.
It is currently booking until January 9, 2011.
Thriller – Live was originally conceived and created by Executive Director of the show, Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of ‘Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary’. It is produced by Paul Walden & Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.
For more information on the project please click here.