This is all about the death of Micheal Jackson and the move of Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid
The death of Michael Jackson has brought a new dimension which somewhat sheds a new light into stardom. The question on every one’s mind is that why did he have to die at the twilight of his career. In addition to this, things are beginning to reveal itself on his life from childhood to his eventual death. Some are comprehensible, while others remain a mystery. An issue that is on every youth’s mind and will continue to taunt them is how they too can become stars. Looking at MJ’s life, a prototype could be developed on how stars are made. A general inference will be that stars are not made over night but the way to becoming one is a continuous and consistent process.
How are stars made? Do they just wake up every morning, stand before the mirror, and view themselves as stars or special than anyone else? These questions readily comes to one’s mind when one sits and think about the music stars, movie stars etc. They represent what people want embodied in human. These human wants are very vast and versatile alongside unique to every star. One of them that is discernible is the sexual appeal. Most of the stars need to be appealing to the eyes. This includes the right height, nice sense of dressing etc. All the stars of our generation either have sexual appeal or do what arouses it. Another thing that can be attributed to this is giving people what they want. A good example here will be Princess Diana. She was a philanthropist in the real sense. She gave, made and championed foster homes. People around her felt her and the earth stood still during her burial with tears flowing freely. Over thirty-three million people attended her burial. Taking a good example from Nigeria, the music stars today give the populace good tunes and beat that is either soothing to the ears or evoke the dancing them. They make their song as simple as possible by repeating the lines in their songs. By so doing, it is easy to sing along with them. Now that this is done, they are worshiped as stars.
In addition to all these, the stars tend to stick to our faces. They are everywhere. On our shirts, newspapers, wallpapers even our books. The people we see every day tend to occupy a soft spot in our hearts. They make, feed and cause gossips to circulate about themselves. For example, Kanye West was reported to have hit a photojournalist while on his way for a vacation. This type of news makes them stay alive in our hearts. Another example is Tuface Idibia who was said to have many kids from different mothers. He went on to sing it in his song Enter the place. These stars know about the hard work part. They rehearse so hard that when the time comes to deliver, they are exceptional and never found wanting. Most of their success can be ascribed to 5% gift to 95% hard work. Madonna is known for meeting every body working with her before and after any of her shows. Beyonce looses weight at will to keep up with her appealing look in her music videos. She later gains weight for the motion pictures. Ronaldinho one of the best footballers around, stays up all night to master his skills.
Michael Jackson had all the attributes of the fore-mentioned even more. He was the perfect star the world has ever known. He had the capacity to remain in the news every now and then even after his death. Discovered at a tender age of three, he continued to rise to stardom until his ultimate death. On his way to stardom, his physical appearance became a cheat on him. It is no news that his father molested him. Nevertheless, one cannot rule out the fact that he loved what he did back then or at least that is what the world was made to believe. Listening to the tender voice in songs like I’ll be there, I want you back and ABC; one could be convinced that he was enjoying what he was doing. He could pitch at a high falsetto more than any black musician around. Furthermore, he seems to understand what older people understood. He sang with such tenacity that people fell in love with him not just because he was a pretty face, but because of the genuineness in his dance moves, his voice and everything about him. A man in an interview was quoted in Nigeria to say that his grandmother in the village knows to him.
Then came Motown 25, where he did so perfect a step the world has seen but ignored. The moonwalk era was born. Though rumor has it that he copied the legendary James Brown or he saw some folks do the step down his block and decided to try it out. The truth remains that this dance step is synonymous to him and can only be done perfectly by Michael Jackson. Still on this same day, he wore a new style of clothing. Before then, black artist were known to sing on stage all suited up except the likes of James Brown who wears this outrageous outfit. Then came the suit accompanied with glove on one hand and undersized pants, which gave him the nickname the gloved one. Of the wall was a success and he had a record label to manage his songs. Many people found what they wanted in a black boy that had this voice like an angel. With this success, Michael understood what people wanted and he decided in his own heart to meet it. Meet he did. With hits like Don’t stop til you get enough and Rock with you, awards came streaming in. With Thriller album came the accolade that no other child prodigy or any other black artist has ever experienced. He was in his early twenties when he came out with the highest selling album of all time. He was obviously inexperienced on how to manage stardom. Many questions have been asked on how and why did his albums sell (still selling) so well.
The reasons are not far fetched, as can be seen through his life. One of the major reasons that could be associated with this is that a record label who knows how to make money signed him. Record labels have ways of seeing to the future because they know a bag of money when they see one. Of course, A&M record label owner, Gil Friesen will not agree to this. MJ was seen as a talent that could keep cash flowing. Then his videos were exceptional. His videos were different from every other ones seen around that time. Thriller video is good example not forgetting Billie Jean video. On the premiere of his videos, people stood all night to see them. He constructs his works into a story line that when watched, it is like watching a movie. He was a genius that knew how to do all these things. The chief reason to his success however, was his sex appeal. This is very apparent in his dance steps. He was just a complete idol that appeased to every one. With all these, he had the whole world eating from his hands.
The world has changed from the time MJ was the “King of Pop”. No one could ever attain his status. Eyebrows will be raised and not agree to this. Many things have divided the hearts of the world. There was the era of motion pictures where people went to the cinemas to see their favorite movies. There was a cross love from music to movies when classic movies like Titanic and Phantom of the Opera were made. Today, it is not only the movies that shared the hearts of the world with music, but sports too. In the year 1994, the world experienced the most colorful world football cup hosted in the United States of America that the world had had a glimpse in 1990 which Italy hosted and began to love sports more. Two years later, the same country hosted the Olympics in Atlanta. Those that won medals during these events were beginning to receive the same accolades the musicians were getting. Today football (or soccer) is fast gaining grounds. In Nigeria, it is regard as an era of football craze where children as young as nine years old know the names of players in most European clubs and their respective countries. People are beginning to put on jerseys as normal dressing. It was reported in one of the dailies that Nigerian supporters wanted to spot their favorite club jerseys to a friendly match between Nigerian and another country instead of putting on the country’s jersey. This is truly a football era not forgetting that the transfer market this year has been the most interesting and different from others.
A good question could be asked is that is Ronaldo the next MJ? The question arises from the fact that he seems to have some attributes the world needs. He has an awesome personality that the press could feed on when he is on and off the pitch. It is Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal that is being discussed here not Ronaldo Delima who has reached the peak of his career and is now experiencing a dilemma of down turn. Ronaldo (Christiano) had a humble beginning and came to limelight while playing for Sporting Lisbon. He became a sought after player when his club (Sporting Lisbon of Portugal) played Manchester United of England. He was seen as a good prospect by the manager of the club from Manchester who later brought him to ply his skills in England. Ever since, he has proven to be a force to reckon with in world football. He has won the entire individual and team awards that are there except the world cup title. One would expect that with the current global financial crunch, a player like him should not be bought for an outrageous amount. The reverse is the case. Does he worth the price he was bought? Does he worth making Real Madrid of Spain to dig deep to get £80 million? Though people have different opinion on this, but Florentino Perez, the President of Real Madrid knows what he sees in him to put that amount down.Nonetheless, a handful of the reasons that could be associated with this are the endorsement rights that he has and the capability of selling him. Selling him in the sense that his jerseys are the most bought now. On his day of unveiling, fans in their numbers trouped to buy his jersey and some went as far as stealing them.
Eighty thousand people were estimated to have come to his unveiling. This is of course more than the seventy-five thousand people that came to see Diego Maradona unveiled in Napoli. Christano Ronaldo or better still R9 has warmed his way to the Madrid fans’ heart. He is just the person they need to spare head the galacticos II era. He has a pretty face, he has the controversial personality that the press can pry into and he is adventurous. Before his unveiling, he was said to have hit a fan in Portugal who wanted to take a snap of him. This was after he came back from the supposedly summer holiday where he might have been with a flock of models. His attitude is more than enough to keep him in the news and Madrid fans, alongside his fans will like this. His lifestyle could never be compared with that of the likes of Kaka and Messi who share part of this popularity and have supposedly better skills. This is because of him being more adventurous than these people. The likes of Kaka and Messi could be regarded as being boring by the press because they do not live a controversial life like Ronaldo. They could be in a place and go unnoticed. With Kaka, being a Pastor and Messi a tiny man, little or nothing could be pried from them. Ronaldo’s mum came to the public to say that she has not seen her son with any lady before. This is fascinating because he has been pictured times without number with models. With him moving to his new home in Madrid, he would have a handful of them. Certainly, he will be aware of that by now with hundreds of fans breaking the security in his unveiling to touch him. The security said they were caught unawares with this happening. He has been given bodyguards making him one of the very few footballers if not the first to have one. He shares this trait with a Pope.
He is a good actor with the likes of Thierry Henry and David Beckham. This was prominent in the just concluded season where he scored crucial goals or missed. A good Prima Donna of our generation. The world’s most expensive player already has his jersey selling without having yet kicked the ball. He has definitely begun to fetch some returns for his buyers. Many will think Florentino Perez crazy to spend too much on him but it is well known that people around the world will want to see the golden boy play resulting in buoyant television rights. If eventually he succeeds with galacticos II, winning marches in gallant style, more shirts will be sold bringing more revenue for the club. It is feared that he will not be such a star in the club but this is far from it. With him playing alongside the likes of Kaka, Xabi Alonso (on his way), Sergio Ramos etc who will not be selfish with the ball. In addition, with the skills he possesses, he is not far from achieving success. In addition to this, the Spanish La Liga is known for its romantic approach to football where the ball is passed to the legs rather than the players running to the pass as seen in the English football with strength being quintessential. With him spending most of his school days in such a league will make him a spectacle to watch and a headache to the defenders. The only thing that stands between him and success is luck. If he is so unlucky to be injured which he seldomly does, it could mar his ply in the club. In addition to this, he could be unlucky as he was in his last campaign in Champions League where he had the most shots but he was not the highest goal scorer. His shots could be over hit, parried by the keeper or blocked by defenders.
He could be affected by change of league syndrome where he needs to adapt to the Spanish style of football. Though a Brazilian in Felipe Scolari once coached him, he could experience little difficulties with this style because he has totally stripped himself of the fancy side of him and always want to run given the available space. Many players have suffered from this, with the likes of Sebastian Veron, Robbie Keane and Quaresma coming to mind. However, if he succeeds, he has the chance to be regarded as one of the greatest ever to have played the round leather game. But another obstacle is for him to surpass the likes of Afredo DiStefano, Eusebio and Raul by scoring more goals than they have. This is not far fetched because he is a lucky chap. He is the first player from English Premier League to win the most prestigious award in world football by clinching the world footballer of the year 2007/2009 season. Including being the most expensive player in the world even during the global financial downturn with Real Madrid signing him for £80million to being the player to have the most people in attendance to watch his unveiling.
He needs to deliver like the way the football legend of our generation; Zinidane Zidane did, even more. He has the ability and time to surpass his role model Lius Figo who taught him some of the things he does now. This was glaring during the last world cup where Figo passed down the prowess he possessed to him. As the world awaits the next MJ, the world waits on R9 to perform. May God help him.
BY WINSALA O’Seun
University of Lagos, Akoka