December 30, 1984 12:00 PM

“My Lord, he’s a wonderful mover. He makes these moves up himself and it’s just great to watch. Michael is a dedicated artist. He dreams and thinks of it all the time.”

FRED ASTAIRE, dancer emeritus

“Fred Astaire was to that era and that music—the way the music moved through him in the ’30s—what Michael Jackson is to this era. You could put him behind a scrim and see his silhouette and you’d know who he was. It’s like he’s got a direct connection to God, because those moves just come from within him and through the music.”

SANDY DUNCAN, actress-dancer

“Sure, if you like Bing Crosby or Nat Cole, you’re gonna like Michael Jackson, but he ain’t no music pioneer.”

MILES DAVIS, jazz great

“[His music is] characteristic of that ill-famed American life-style which the U.S.A. is trying to foist on the world. This film [Thriller video] is really fascist, because it forces you to appreciate it like a drug. You were all sitting around obsessed with it—you couldn’t even talk to each other.”

SOVIETSKAYA KULTURA, official U.S.S.R. cultural newspaper

“I am a vain creature. Tremendously vain. My Grammys mean a lot to me. I have all 23 in my studio. There are so many now that it looks like some sort of contemporary sculpture collection. And I don’t like [my record] being threatened by this Mr. Michael Jackson!”

SIR GEORG SOLTI, Chicago Symphony conductor

“I wish he would go away. Nothing personal. I’m not bored reading about him, because I don’t read about him. I’m just bored about his using up space for something else that I would like to read about.”

ART BUCHWALD, columnist

“When I see him dance and sing, it touches me, like a spirit; it moves me inside, sort of like the Holy Ghost. But it’s more than singing and dancing; he manages to touch your soul.”

ISIAH THOMAS, pro basketball star

“The bottom line is I don’t feel paranoid when I hear his music.”

LARRY BRYGGMAN, As the World Turns

“Michael must tell the kids to put the glove on the hand they don’t write with…. Kids have got to be able to get a good education and the pen is slipping on the gloved hand, making them poor writers.”

JAMES BROWN, Soul Brother No. 1

“The kids love him. Times have changed and guys can look any way they want, but it doesn’t mean nothing. They’re straight as a razor blade. His talent—that’s what’s special.”

JOE FRAZIER, former heavyweight champ

“The projection of a femaleness by a male performer presents a very bad role model for the millions of children who literally idolize this very talented performer. I think he has no intentions to injure anyone, but I do feel he needs to carefully appraise his presentation as to whether, as an older man one day, he wants to look back on the wreckage he’s left behind in the lives of others.”

JERRY FALWELL, electronic evangelist

“This Jheri-Kurl, female-acting, sissified-acting expression, it is not wholesome for our young boys nor our young girls.”

LOUIS FARRAKHAN, Black Muslim leader

“No dope-oriented album ever sold as much as Thriller, and no vulgar artist ever became so famous as Michael has.”

REV. JESSE JACKSON, politician

“The Jackson concert in Madison Square Garden was the first time I felt my baby kicking. When he heard Michael Jackson’s music, he was stomping. I thought his foot was going to come right through my stomach.”

PIA ZADORA, starlet

“He seems partly child, partly adult, partly masculine, partly feminine; he seems to be a person for all ages and all sexes. I don’t see that he is doing any harm, but I’m not sure he’s doing any good either.”

BENJAMIN SPOCK, baby doctor

“No living tenor has ever projected at this decibel level. What really gets me jealous, if I’m going to be totally honest, is his genius for holding high Cs steady while gyrating at a velocity previously unknown to man.”

NEIL SHICOFF, Metropolitan Opera tenor

“He takes a step that you’ve been doing and then by the time he switches it around, you don’t even recognize it. There is nothing new about thrusting your hips out, but when he does that with quick moves, the high kick out and that slow back-up step he does, people say, ‘Jeez, what is he doing?’ And he never lays on a move long enough for you to figure it out. I’m sure if he worked with Nureyev or Baryshnikov, he would come close to that level. Can he tap dance? I don’t know. But then again I’d hate to leave my dancing shoes in his vicinity.”

SAMMY DAVIS JR., entertainer

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