Saudi Arabia: Michael Jackson v. Elvis Presley

When Saudi blogger and journalist Yasser Al Ghaslan heard about Michael Jackson's death, he immediately remembered the day he heard that Elvis Presley had died.

He writes:

عندما مات ألفس بريسلي و هو الملقب بملك الروك إند رول في عام ١٩٧٧ كنت حينها لم أتجاوز سن السادسة، في تلك الليلة الصيفية من شهر أغسطس كنت أجلس بين والداي في بيت جدي في إيطاليا حيث كنا نقضي الإجازة الصيفية و قد كنا نتفرج على التلفاز و هم ينقلون للمشاهدين خبر وفاته مع مشاهد للمعجبين ينتحبون لفراق ذلك الفنان الذي شغل العالم بفنه الموسيقي و رقصاته اللولبية و كريزماه الشخصية التي جعلت منه معشوق الفتيات و ملهم الفتيان.
When Elvis Presley, known as the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, died in 1977 I was no more than six. On that summer night in August I was sitting between my parents in my grandfather’s house in Italy where we were spending the summer holiday. We were watching television; it was delivering to viewers the news of his death, with scenes of fans wailing at the departure of the artist, who had engaged the world with his music and gyrating dancing, and personal charisma that made him adored by girls and an inspiration for boys.
يوم الخميس الماضي تلقيت في حدود الساعة الثانية عشر ليلا إتصال من أحد الأحبة يبلغني فيه بأن ملك البوب مايكل جاكسون قد مات و هو على بعد أيام من الإحتفال بعيد ميلاده الواحد و الخمسين، فقد نقل أحد المواقع الإلكترونية و أكد الخبر في حين لم توكده بعد السي إن إن، و بعد مرور ربع ساعة تقريبا تأكد الخبر في الوقت الذي كنت أتلقى فيه تهاني الأصدقاء و الأحبة على دخول اليوم الجديد و الذي أكملت فيه سن الثامنة و الثلاثين.
Last Thursday, at around midnight I received a call from one of my friends telling me that the King of Pop Michael Jackson had died, and one website confirmed the news even before CNN had. After approximately a quarter of an hour the news was confirmed at the same time that I was receiving congratulations from friends and loved ones at the start of a new day, on which I reached the age of thirty-eight.
بين موت ألفس بريسلي و موت مايكل جاكسون ٣٢ سنة تقريبا ولدت و ترعرعت بينهما أجيال و أجيال و تغيرت عوالم و تبدلت أذواق و تحللت و تحلحلت أخلاق لأمم و شعوب من هنا و من هناك … فبالرغم من أني كنت كما كان الكثيرون من أبناء جيلي معجب بأغاني مايكل جاكسون و بالنمط الذي أدخله على ثقافتنا المتمردة إلا أن موته بالنسبة لي كان كمن ينظر لمشهد من ذاكرة الزمان، فألفس و مايكل … كانا ملوكا لمدارس فنيه لها أتباعها و كلاهما ماتا و هما في ريعان الشباب و كلاهما لاحقته لعنات المعجبين و المنتهزين و كلاهما ماتا و لا زال هناك من يقول بأن الموت لم يلحقهم فهم أحياء بيننا بفنهم و عظمتهم، و لكني أقول أنهما ماتا كمن يموت أي إنسان و لم يبقي خلفه إلا عمله و ذكريات من عاصروه بمن فيهم ذكرى ذلك الطفل الذي جلس بين والديه و ذلك الرجل الذي كان ينتظر تهاني عيد ميلاده الثامن و الثلاثين.
Between the death of Elvis Presley and that of Michael Jackson were about 32 years. I was born and grew up between them. There were generations and generations, the world changed, tastes altered, the morals of nations and peoples from here and there dissolved and disappeared. … Despite the fact that I, like many of my generation, was a fan of Michael Jackson’s songs and of the example he introduced of a rebellious culture, for me his death was nevertheless like witnessing a scene from a long gone memory. Elvis and Michael…were kings of their respective schools of music, each with their followers, and both died in their prime, and both were followed by the curse of fans and opportunists. Both of them died, and there have still been those who say that death has not touched them and that they still live amongst us with their music and greatness. However, I say that they died just as anyone dies, and left nothing behind except their work and the memories of their contemporaries, including the memory belonging to that child sitting between his parents and that man waiting for the wishes for his thirty-eighth birthday.
المفارقة التي ربما لها و ربما ليس لها معنى أن مايكل جاكسون تزوج إبنت ألفس بريسلي في عمل إعتبره الكثيرون أنه من أجل العلاقات العامة و من أجل خلق صوت مدوي في الإعلام الفني الغربي، فسبحان الله كيف تلتقي الأقدار على أكثر من خط.
Perhaps ironically – and there is no meaning to it – Michael Jackson married Elvis Presley’s daughter. Many considered it to be for public relations and to create a loud noise in the Western music media. It’s amazing that their fates met in more than one way.

35 comments

  • negre

    …Everybody on earth knows Michael Jackson, from wall street, to the indigenous people living in huts…on the other hand, if you go to Congo(central Africa) and ask them about Elvis, they ‘ll all shake their heads…..this speaks for itself!!!!..MJ is the greatest EVER!

    • DON

      You’re not being truthful! Did you go up to every single person in Africa and ask, “Do you know who Elvis is?” and they said “Who is Elvis?” No, you’re just making assumptions which makes you sound unknowledgable.

  • girl

    it’ll always be michael, everyone heard of or listened to his music even in the most remote part of the world. simply put. elvis’s music is for white people and michael jackson’s music is for everybody

    • DON

      GIVE ME A BREAK! You and I know better than that.

  • Ron Stone

    This will be my last comment about this Jackson bull….Too many idiots who don’t have the facts. As I have said before, Jackson died 25 years ago!!! People can keep their heads buried in the sand all they want. We have the facts and that is ELVIS has ALWAYS been KING to people all over the world without leaving the United States! Jackson is a “self proclaimed king”. Those of us who are alive 32 years from now will say “Who is Michael Jackson?” Will Jackson have over 75,000 people in a candlelight vigil 32 years from now like Elvis?? Hell no, because he was a bonafide child molester and a freak with a plastic face and a scarf wrapped around his face!!!
    Yes, he is with his Allah and burning in Hell! So lets forget the FREAK and remember ELVIS THE KING!!
    People shouldn’t have started this bull of comparison.
    But it isn’t all your fault, you were gullible and let the Media shove all of this down your throat!! May you all go to be with Jesus Christ and Elvis when you die.
    I pray that you don’t have to be with Allah and Jackson. Good-bye Saudia Arabia and others who have their heads buried in the sand.

    ALWAYS ELVIS! It has been a pleasure talking to you and I pray we see each other with Jesus Christ and Elvis. May God be with you and give you a intelligent mind, Ron Stone

  • Chuck

    Ok, let’s base it on the decision of the award-giving bodies(which went through a careful process of selection, not through on-line polls) and not through fan’s biased opinions.

    MJ is the MOST awarded musical artist of all time. He has a total of 392 awards won (for Grammy Awards alone, MJ got 15 Awards won, Elvis only had 3 Grammy awards won).

    MJ has more Guinness World Records than any other artist (most remarkable: “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_r

    THESE AWARDS WILL CLOSE ALL ARGUMENTS:
    Who received the “ARTIST OF THE CENTURY” award? MJ
    (by the Annual American Music Awards, LA Jan 2002)

    Who received the “ARTIST of THE MILLENNIUM” award? MJ (World Music Awards,2000)
    about the Millennium Awards:
    “Apart from the world’s best-selling artists in the various categories and the national best-selling artists, special millennium awards were presented in 2000, for the very first time to the world’s best-selling recording-artist of all time.”http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/World_Music_Awar…

    MJ was also awarded by the Grammy’s in 1993 the “LEGEND AWARD”
    about the Grammy “Legend Award”:
    other winners in given in different years categories were: Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones,…….( no Elvis nor Beatles on the list).

    “The Grammy Legend Award,is a special award of merit given to recording artists by the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Legend_Aw

    ********As the haters claim, it is not true that Michael self-named the title “King of Pop”, he was in fact awarded the:

    “Triple Crown Award – King of Pop, Rock & Soul”(1989, BRE Awards).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_r

    Guinness World Records (p187, 2011 ed)
    1- most successful entertainer of all time (certificate given to MJ in 1996)
    2- the 1st to have reached more than 100million albums sold outside the USA
    3 – the biggest selling-album of all time (Thriller); Thriller remained in the Billboard200 Top 20 for 80 consecutive weeks

    other notable Guinness Records:
    13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); (Elvis only got 3 Grammy awards won)
    26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the “Artist of the Century”);
    13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era);
    13 number one singles in the US (more than any solo male artist)

    • DON

      Go to Graceland and you will find out who the true most awarded artist is. Michael Jackson was only awarded the awards you mentioned for three reasons: 1) He was friends with the majority of the judges that vote in the categories, 2) Affirmative action and 3) Fake awards were created in a attempt to mislead the public.

  • Chuck

    More FACTS to look into:

    Michael Jackson only had 10 solo albums – and out of these 10 albums, 5 of which were solo albums made when he was an adult.

    Got to Be There (1972)
    Ben (1972)
    Music & Me (1973)
    Forever, Michael (1975)
    Off the Wall(1979)
    Thriller (1982; Bad (1987)
    Dangerous (1991)
    HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995)
    Invincible (2001)

    These very 5 albums as a solo and ADULT artist – “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “HIStory,” – are among the WORLD”S BEST-SELLING ALBUMS OF ALL TIME!

    Of course, Thriller is on top 1 with 110M sales.

    Elvis made more than 40 albums. Imagine the sales of Michael Jackson if he did more than 40 albums!!!!

    ALL of MJ’s adult solo albums – are among the best-selling worldwide!!!!

    Not even 1/3 of Elvis or Beatles total albums made it to the best-selling worldwide.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_al…
    /wiki/Michael_Jackson_albums_d iscography
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley_discograp…

    • DON

      First of all, Jackson would’ve never made close to that number of albums. He simply didn’t have the stamina just like he didn’t have the stamina to finish his last two tours : (“History” and “Dangerous”). He wouldn’t have finished the 50 shows at London’s O2 Arena either. Like I said, go to Graceland and weep. Besides, the real barometer for how big a album is is sales. While Jackson’s sales are impressive Elvis’ are unmatched! Elvis has more gold and platinum certifications than any solo artist or group in history. He’s also logged more time on the charts than any other artist or group in history. Imagine that!

  • Chuck

    Michael Jackson was inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock ‘n’ roll. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson

    Did you know that he composed his songs by using his mouth to imitate all sorts of instruments (Beatboxing)? This is a truly natural and unique talent!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5he8XQCBw

    Btw, MJ’s voice, a clear tenor, vocal timbre: Spinto, Countertenor, Baritone. Highest note: B5; Lowest note : E2 Vocal range: 3.6+ octaves– E2-B5; 44 notes by the middle of 1980s according to Seth Riggs, vocal consultant. In the 1990s, Riggs said the range expanded to 4 octaves.

    Four octaves gives Michael Jackson a range that few can match.” Ref. “Inner Michael”
    How about Elvis’ vocal range? Just 2 and half octaves. Hmmm….

    MJ is a MASSIVELY talented artist! The most iconic GLOBALLY, the GREATEST of them all!

    • DON

      If you believe that I have some ocean front property in Saudi Arabia to sell you. As far as Jackson being the only person from popular music in the Dance Hall of Fame it was a decision made to get much needed headlines for both Jackson and the Hall. So, don’t be so smug. One day the Hall will recognize Elvis and he will garner that honor as well. Also, as far as the vocal range category is concerned Elvis has proven himself time and time again to have a much greater range than the so-called experts give/gave him credit for. Opera stars such as Placido Domingo to Luciano Pavarotti to Kiri Te Kanawa have sung his praises which outranks any “opinion” your so-called “experts” will ever express. Hmmmm…. Can it be?

  • Chuck

    Do you now understand why MJ is indeed the greatest of them all?

    The FACTS i posted in 3 previous messages are just apart from the CONSISTENT hysteria and panic he caused EVERYWHERE in the planet MJ went – EVEN up to the month he passed away!

    Can you name any other artist that for a LONG time – still causes mass hysteria every time he/she is seen in public?????????
    MJ crosses all borders too – he’s well-loved GLOBALLY.
    And oh, i forgot:
    Guinness also named him “The most famous man on earth”!

    • DON

      Consistent hysteria and panic? Really? Elvis accomplished that both in life and death and wasn’t even in the building (movie theaters, drive ins, etc.) He was famous in other countries as well and did not get to appear there. Fans from other countries would travel to the U.S. to see Elvis. Elvis accomplishes hysteria and panic and he’s been gone for over 40 years. He also causes hysteria and panic at virtural concerts he’s appeared in from 1997 to the present. So much for your argument! Like I said about the Dance Hall of Fame in a earlier message, the reason Guinness named Jackson “The most Famous Person On Earth” was for the media attention it got for both him and Guinness. You have a right to love Jackson and dislike Elvis but do not think you can put him over Elvis without opposition.

  • Nathan

    Great actors, great leaders and great singers have one thing in common.

    They leave indeliable impressions in our Hearts and move millions the world over emotionally.

    When we try to pinpoint what is about them that endears us to them, all of a sudden all logic becomes blurry.

    We cannot quantify the wonderful feelings we experience, it only deserves a qualitative treatment.

    Elvis moved the World with such un-explainable feelings. That is the reason why even 34 years after his death, he is still revered not only by the older generation but also by the younger generation not even born while he was alive.

    Michael Jackson has many years of Elvis’s proven track record to break.

    What probably makes Elvis unique is that he could translate whatever he was feeling into musical poetry.

    Many an Artist have acknowledged that Elvis possessed unbelievable phraseology in music- meaning his ability to interprete lyrics to be sung musically was impeccable.

    That is the reason why he could sing any genre of music with ease and still sound uniquely Elvis.

    Many people call it charisma but slicing it down to the basics, he was God-given.

    There is only One King and it is ELVIS.

    For all those who say it is Michael, please wait another 34 years to substantiate your stand.

  • Hey…to those who commented for Micheal Jackson…I love micheal jackson too..but read what Bob dylans,John Lennons,Bruce Springsteens,Chuck Berrys,Led Zepplins,AC/DC/Aerosmiths (ultra long list)have to say about Elvis…we will believe them rather than you !!!!
    When anyone reads,,Long Live The King…i swear…even Jackson fans will feel,that one was for Elvis EAP /

    • Bruce

      Rakesh,
      When did Jonh Lennon pass away? December 1980, right?

      Too bad he did not witness the solo career of MJ. I am sure John Lennon would have retracted that statement had he seen the solo years of MJ.

      MJ is the Greatest Entertainer Of All Time!

      Little Richard (singer, songwriter)
      Michael is fantastic. I love him. He is a great artist, he is the greatest entertainer I’ve ever seen.

      Sean Lennon (singer – son of John Lennon)
      If it wasn’t for Michael Jackson, I probably wouldn’t make music now. Thriller changed my life completely.”
      [source:’US’ magazine; October 1998]

      Smokey Robinson:
      “Michael was my little brother. I knew him since he was 10 years old,” the music legend said.“I’ve been watching talent and watching people perform since I was probably two years old. I have tapes of old performers and people like that. The overall picture: He was the best I ever saw.”

      “The only male singer who I’ve seen besides myself and who’s better than me – that is Michael Jackson.”– Frank Sinatra

      “Oh, God! That boy moves in a very exceptional way. That’s the greatest dancer of the century”.- Fred Astaire

      “I didn’t want to leave this world without knowing who my descendant was. Thank you Michael!”- Fred Astaire (shortly before his death)

      • DON

        Celebrities said those things regarding Jackson because they were friends of his and wanted attention. I could give you example after example of celebrities who made similar comments about Elvis both during his life and after his death. People will say nice things about you and later turn on you. That’s the reason you can’t take things like that at face value.

  • Joaquin

    HOW CAN ELVIS BE THE BIGGEST SELLER?

    According to the 1980 Guinness Book of Records “by the end of 1978 the Beatles had sold 100 million singles and 100 million albums – more than any other recording act.”

    According to the 1996 Guinness Book of World Record, Michael Jackson is the
    “most successful entertainer of all time”
    “the biggest selling artist of all time”
    “the 1st to have reached more than 100million albums sold outside the USA”

    SHORT STORY:
    The title holder for Biggest-Selling Artist of All Time was first with the Beatles then given to Michael Jackson.

    • DON

      Au contraire! It is Elvis who has sold the most music. The proof is at Graceland. They have the largest collection of gold and platinum records by a single artist in history with new certifications coming in all the time. Don’t believe me. Visit Graceland and weep!

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