Monday, February 9, 2009

Excerpts from my new book The Cult of Celebrity, Part 2

Early in his career, Michael Jackson's peeps hired fake fans to make him look popular. One of the music industry's tried-and-true techniques is to have a would-be celebrity simply adopt the mantle of a star. Behave like a star, think like a star, and create an atmosphere of glamour and importance around you, and you just might convince enough people you are a star. This tool has been used to great effect in the music industry.

Darryll Brooks, a promoter and artist manager, has been a big part of the music machine since the early 1970s, managing the careers and promoting the live shows of acts such as Prince, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Ray Parker, Parliament-Funkadelic, Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Kid n’Play, and Mya. He says that early in Michael's career they did what they could to make him look like more than he was....

“The Jacksons were doing a pictorial for Ebony magazine, and they hired kids to create a hysteria and appear to be fans running after them, to bring out the look of folks running after the star. Readers didn’t know it was staged.”

Music insiders also hired fake fans to rush the stage as they were arriving at concerts. Brooks says, "It was to hype the image.”