Justin Timberlake- The Actor

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In my mind Justin Timberlake’s main talent will always be entertainer, singer, songwriter. But as we’ve gotten to know the actor in him, it appears that he can excel in the genre of films as well. (shout out to The Mickey Mouse Club for that!) Justin has starred in over a dozen films, with genres including; suspense, action, and romantic comedy.[I would love to see him in a horror flick! Or playing a dad or something!] But some of my favorite Justin Timberlake movies include; The Open Road (2009), Friends With Benefits (2011), and Trouble With The Curve (2012). [Click movie title links for trailers.]

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*Some Favorite Moments*

“You Look Good.” Scene- The Open Road

“Let’s Play Tennis.” Scene- Friends With Benefits

“Oh yea I’m pretty much what you’re lookin’ for then.” Scene- Trouble With The Curve

These films are a mixture or drama and comedy ie: dramaedies. They showcase some of Justin’s best acting chops; and place him in more organic roles; Men with substance and heart, who know how to love given the chance and a little push and who always know how to make a girl laugh. This is where Justin Timberlake’s acting shines. In a way it’s like he’s able to channel himself into these characters. Because let’s face it ladies, Justin’s a pretty charming, funny, romantic guy. #DickInABox #NotABadThing

Don’t get me wrong movies like In Time (2011) Alpha Dog (2006) and Runner Runner (2013) all allow him to push the envelope a little bit and step outside his comfort zone and really explore grittier characters, which he executes well. But I think he’s so naturally good at comedy that in romantic comedies he just excels beyond the norm, and comes off all adorable and it just gets your heart all fluttery. It’s way more believable, to see Justin Timberlake playing an advertiser who accidentally falls in love with his best friend courtesy of a few casual sexual experiences in Friends With Benefits, rather than an overly geeky/douchey teacher who can’t play a guitar or sing to save his life like he did in Bad Teacher. Watch scene HERE. Seriously that was a bad movie. (Still love you JT!) It’s like at the end of the day; Dude you’re still Justin Timberlake and I don’t buy this character you’re playing, you’re a musician for craps sakes. But it was fun to watch and mind-numbingly entertaining.

I think Justin has a good acting career ahead of him, alongside his music career of course. But what’s even more interesting to me, and I say this because I love films and telling stories [I majored in Film & Broadcasting in college], is that Justin has been dabbling in writing and directing lately. He wrote and directed his music video for his hit “TKO“, he co directed the Michael Jackson video for he and Michael’s newest duet “Love Never Felt So Good,” and recently executive produced a documentary about young child golfers called “The Short Game.” So I think that’s another route he can go and would probably rock it. Because there’s nothing he’s not good at. Who knows maybe one day we’ll meet on a movie set…how’s bout it J.T? 😉 #TheDreamIsBig #GoBigOrGoHome

-<3-

“Love Never Felt So Good” Comes to Life

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So the Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake duet has been gaining a lot of attention. SO much that it’s hard to keep up with it on this blog…but never the less…you know I can’t help but try….

For your viewing pleasure…

The video directed by Rich Lee and Timberlake himself, is very well done. I am a very proud fan girl to learn that Justin had a hand in directing something like this. If this doesn’t get him more directing jobs I don’t know what will, haha. Excuse me while I dust off my film critique skills…(thanks professor Jackson). The concept was well handled; a collective tribute to and of Jackson’s most memorable moments, accompanied by the newest single to make it current. I mean how do you shoot a video for a posthumous album, and still keep true to the artist? There’s a certain weird factor to the idea of releasing a video like this…because the artist himself isn’t here with us. But I honestly think the fans wanted to see it, and I think it was done respectfully. The footage was nicely edited and infused old footage of Michael Jackson’s greatest moments into the shots of the dancers and Justin Timberlake’s performance.

The idea to include dancers is always a good idea. After all Michael was well known for his signature dance moves. It’s only natural to include the newer generation and show how Michael’s music is timeless. I love how they are all dancing on pool tables and in train turn-styles. Much like the King himself did in videos like “Beat It,” and “Bad.” And we see dance sequences from “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean,” and a movie theater scene much like the one we see in Jackson’s epic hit “Thriller.” Throughout the video itself is a homage to Jackson’s hit “Black or White,” as people of different backgrounds and looks are pictured lip-syncing and dancing, as they do interchangeable closeups of each person’s face. It was beautiful to see Justin amongst the kids singing and laughing as the kids of all ages wore Xscape t-shirts. (um hey can I get one of those!) This too is a very Michael tactic, in performances like “We are the World” and “Heal the World,” Jackson often included choirs of children to sing along with him.

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There are beautiful aspects to the cinematography featured in this video. The idea of mirroring Michael and Justin is beautiful. As they try their best to accommodate the duet aspect, whilst not having Michael there to sing and dance himself. The visual they created however, is beautiful. With Jackson pictured on screen behind an off centered Timberlake. The two interchangeably in and out of focus.

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I loved how simple Justin kept his performance. He didn’t try to over do it, and respectfully didn’t try and out shine the true star of the video, Michael himself. He just swayed and grooved to the beat in his typical Justin fashion, nailing his falsetto and proving why he deserves to be on the track. The video is kept happy and light hearted. Justin threw a couple of slight Michael gestures in here and there; the pop of a collar, the flick of his jacket, the shoulder bop from side to side, the head roll and flick of the wrist finger snaps, most of which were portrayed in a Timberlake silhouette (which I adore, I have a soft spot for the cinematic view of silhouettes) with Jackson’s original portrayal on a screen behind him. But Timberlake didn’t try to imitate any of the major dance numbers, (much to my disappointment, I would have loved to see him as part of the smooth criminal number). Because news flash contrary to what the haters are saying, Justin Timberlake CAN dance. But he left it all up to the new generation of Michael Jackson fans. But I get it, I get why Justin did what he did. He was being respectful. Never the less people are gonna say what they’re gonna say. They are gonna claim he is trying to act like Michael, but that’s just ignorance. If anything the only thing he did to, is help to create a work of art that honors Michael and shows how much of an impact he’s had on Justin’s career as well as the world.

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I have to say I teared up while watching this. It was a mixture of missing Michael Jackson and seeing Justin Timberlake in the same light as the greatest of all time. It was amazing, and beautiful and I had a moment there.

I grew up listening to old Michael Jackson music, a lot of Motown was heard in my house. My mom is a Michael fan, so naturally I gravitated toward his music. I got it from my momma.  Although MJ holds a specific spot in my musical heart, Justin Timberlake consumes the rest. I literally grew up with him, listening to him, and becoming the mega fan I am today. I grew up with *NSYNC as they owned the 90’s. I’ve been to many concerts and have really witnessed first hand the rise of his success, which is something I was never able to experience with Michael Jackson. I guess in a funny way you can say Justin Timberlake is my Michael Jackson. But take that with a grain of salt, please.

I don’t neglect that Michael can never be replaced. But I do think Justin Timberlake holds the highest rank for Prince of Pop.  I guess you can say that I’m a good example of how Michael’s music bridges the gaps of generations. As I mentioned before I grew up listening to old Michael tracks, because my mom loved his music. And continued to follow his newer albums as I got older. So sure being a 90’s kid, I may not have been on the planet, when albums like “Off the wall” or “Thriller” dropped. But it doesn’t matter if you were physically around…because you know all the words and can dance along, imitating a move or two, for sure. Because no matter the decade, kids know Michael. People know Michael. And they know he is the great King of Pop.

NEVER FELT SO GOOD

With that being said I’m seeing some hate comments about this video, although the true fans have many positive things to say, there’s always going to be haters. So I had to defend…

Ok I have to say this…to anyone thinking Justin is trying to be Michael Jackson, you are completely wrong. If you watched closely you’d notice Justin barely does any signature Michael Jackson moves, out of respect for Michael. Anything else is just small insinuations to pay honor to the greatest of all time. (To be honest I would have loved if Justin would have busted out a moonwalk! Michael is his idol, we all try to mirror our idols.) In fact Justin didn’t even originally want to record this track because he respects Michael so much. Michael loved JT and they have a lot of similarities musically. It’s inevitable that artists today would be influenced by Michael’s talent, there isn’t an artist out there who isn’t. Never the less Justin is his own artist, paying homage to the king doesn’t mean he’s trying to become him. Justin will have a legacy of his own…that’s why he is the prince/president of pop. Hell Michael was invested enough to want to work with him himself [see: wait for my upcoming review of Justin’s candid Michael encounters during Oprah’s “Masterclass”]. So I’m sorry haters, I just don’t agree with you. Sorry but it needed to be said. But to each their own. Just enjoy good music for good music. 🙂
And Justin, Hats off sir.
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The ending gave me chills.

*I do not take any credit for the images/edits used…although most are just video stills*

-<3-

Michael Jackson’s Legacy Lives On

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You know it’s funny just last night I was watching Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” film on tv…and I was like “Oh I know why they’re showing this, the album drops tomorrow.” I remember going to see the movie the fall after he died and just expecting to ball my eyes out. But I didn’t. Instead I rocked my “off the wall” t-shirt, sitting aside my best friend and my mom,  and just enjoying the music. And enjoying what would have been an incredible concert. “This Is It” consisted of all the rehearsal footage of Michael planning his London shows, just days before he died. And watching it last night I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at his personality. Some may say he’s strange and many will talk about the horrible things that were said about him in the media. But I only know him for his music, for his talent. And someone who comes across so genuine, so loving, so childlike, it doesn’t make sense for me to believe the rumors. So I choose not to. Michael was a true artist, working with everyone  and giving direction fairly. Saying things to guitarists like “I want you to hit your highest note, now’s your time to shine, and we’ll be right there with you.” Uttering God Bless You’s and giving thumbs up to all those involved. You could tell he was a perfectionist with a clear vision, but he knows his music and he was always right. But he also appeared shy and in a way unaware of his greatness. In an incredible “Billie Jean” rehearsal, he finishes with “Well at least we get a feel of it.” Like… are you kidding me, that song is epic and even in rehearsal, you performing it… is always going to be epic. As his dancers and crew members cheered loudly off stage for him, Michael bashfully shrugs his shoulders. I think that kind of level of pure fame, is enough to get to anyone. I only hope that he is at true peace now, and that he sees what a master of his craft he truly was and still is. RIP Michael. ❤

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 Listen to MJ’s XScape HERE

Read the lyrics HERE

 *1. Love Never Felt So Good

Read song description Here

… (we already know how I feel about this song)

Click here to explore my in-depth love

Moving on…

*2. Chicago

The audio is on fire.

Michael’s voice has that typical Jackson rasp accompanied by the heavy breaths he so typically adds in for effect, the song has a funky r&b feel good vibe to it. Very smooth. Definitely a favorite for me on the album so far…(it’s up there with “Dirty Diana” I could easily here this on the radio as a 2014 single, it’d fit fight in.)

Basically a song about a girl who did a guy wrong. lol

*3. Loving You

FUN! Jackson 5 vibes. Smooth Young Michael voice. The composition of this song is just flawless, each instrument, each sound just adds to it’s spunk. I love that funky drum and piano collaboration at the beginning and throughout. Seems to me like could have been up there with “Rock With You.” Would have made for a cool duet with Janet Jackson, vocally it would have been beautiful.

*Three songs in and I’m already loving it*

*I’m over here groovin’ and swayin’*

4. A Place With No Name

Read song description Here

Funky Guitar (due to the use of synthesizers) and Michael’s voice…love the intro…makes for another instant favorite.

Hand claps, and Finger snaps…signature Michael.

“I been through the desert on a “Horse With No Name” “… that was my initial thought, haha (and I was totally right [see: song description!])

The chorus is a fun sing along.

The vocals overall has this raw sound, sounds like this could be the demo, but that’s what makes it so good; makes it more organic.

5. Slave To The Rhythm (recorded during the “Dangerous” sessions)

Read Song Description Here

There’s a build up in the beginning of a assortment of sounds; chains, drums, violin= slave symbolism.

A metaphorical dancer, being forced to obey a man’s needs and ignore her own.

Funky- (timbaland written all over it.)

Britney spears should duet this gem *cough cough* “Slave For You.”

I really enjoy his vocals in this song, he’s got this screech that blends with the rasp and it gives the song a sense of urgency which matches well with the urgency of the beat and of the dancer who is a slave to the rhythm

6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are

“he he” ‘s all up in this one! Wouldn’t be an MJ album without them!

Hip Hop, meets Rock and Roll, meets old school vibes all in one.

Sending a message. (It’s 10 pm, do you know where your children are?)

That’s the thing about Michael’s music, it has two genres…pop, feel good dance songs, then songs with a strong message. I think quite frankly in his heart he wanted to change the world, he wanted to make it a better place.

Well Michael you may be gone physically but your legacy lives on through your music, which continues to touch the lives of previous generations, this generation, and generations to come.

7. Blue Gangsta

Kind of eerie.

Clear cut vocals.

Ballad meets smooth R&B dance track.

Fueled by heart break.

The title is kinda badass!

This song wasn’t an instant favorite for me (although its seriously creepin’ up on me), but I can definitely see this as a single. I can see the chorus catching on and having people belt it out. It screams “Cry Me River” vibes; even though it was recorded before Timberlake’s break up anthem, haha 😀

Also there is a part in the break where he hits a note and holds it, that makes me think of  the ending to “Earth Song.”

*8. Xscape

“Scream” vibe.

Like the concept…trying to escape the media.

Love the horn section!

Is it weird that I could see Britney Spears on this track too?

 

This album is contemporary Michael. It’s still MJ and his raw talent with a bit of a 2014 spin to it. I think the producers set out to make something  that Michael would approve of. I’m interested to know what the Jackson family thinks and if they are proud. I do think that the Jackson family should have been involved with the production.

But I still think the album came out great! It’s a mixture of contemporary versions and original versions. It’s an amazing thing to hear the original versions. The songs range from feel good beats and meaningful lyrics that strive to send messages. There’s a lot of influence that could be chalked up to heart break. There’s a gentle darkness that gets masked by the upbeats beats and rhythms. But “Love Never Felt So Good” and “Loving You” breeze in and save us with their light. However, there is a variety of songs from all walks of Michael’s albums from 1983 to 1999, so it may seem like there is a slight continuity issue, in sound, in quality, or in vocals. But L.A. Reid tweeted that the producers who worked on this album sorted through 22 previously recorded songs and narrowed it down to 8.  I realize that many people have concerns about releasing music that is raw and fear that a perfectionist like Michael would frown upon it. But as L.A. Reid kindly put it, the demos were released solely for his fans who requested it. I know I was on youtube the minute Ryan Seacrest played a snippet of the “Love Never Felt So Good” demo, I was dying to just play it over and over again.  There’s just something so special about hearing the un-tampered with versions. It’s just Michael, and it’s a honor to listen to. To feel like you’re sitting across from him in the recording studio. Close your eyes, and you’ll feel it. It’s bitter sweet for Michael fans who have followed him through his career, because he isn’t here to deliver this album himself. And we have no way of knowing for sure if he would approve of it. But I think that given the simple fact that Michael even just put his voice on these tracks means something, and they should be heard, and honored. So I definitely think it’s worth a listen!

So as always, Michael Jackson, hats off sir.

And to all those involved, I think you did him proud.

“For the ultimate fan experience, XSCAPE is available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings as they existed in his archives as well as a DVD documentary featuring the producers discussing the making of XSCAPE. The duet version of “Love Never Felt So Good”, co-produced by Justin Timberlake, is also available on the Deluxe Edition.” [via michaeljackson.com]

“Love Never Felt So Good” is my top favorite, followed by “Chicago,” “Loving You” and “XScape.”

As I mentioned in my “Love Never Felt so Good” Review post, I am eager to see this thing play out and how they will work the duet. Will there be a music video? Will it ever be performed? I hear there’s this big Michael Jackson extravaganza happening at The Bill Board Awards this weekend and I am holding my breathe until I see for myself. Like I said I’m still waiting on greatness. And that greatness would include Justin Timberlake and Hologram Michael Jackson performing “Love Never Felt So Good” at the awards. But with Justin being on tour overseas…I don’t know if that will happen. However, he is on tour in Russia the 17th but his next show after isn’t until the 23rd, so it’s possible… AHHHHHHH….ok  ok let me not get my hopes up too high. I’ve learned my lesson with that bogus 30 second *NSYNC reunion. 😉 We’ll just have to wait and see on Sunday.

But there’s this.

SC20140513-192558Tune into Ellen May 14! ❤

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accompanied by this photo…um ahhhhh

 

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Um Justin, I think the cat’s out of the back…hold on wait a minute…let me go pick my jaw up off the floor ❤

Michael Jackson is set to unleash World Premiere Experience and “make history” at The 2014 Bill Board Music Awards…which airs LIVE from Vegas this Sunday May 18th on ABC at 8 pm. Yahoo will be streaming the red carpet. 🙂 Tune in!

 For more information on Xscape

visit MichaelJackson.com

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Shout out to this being my 200th post here on wordpress!

 

 -<3-

 

 

Love Never Felt So Good

Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Celebration - ShowOk so anyone who knows me personally, or even if you’ve stumbled upon this blog from time to time….there’s a pretty overpowering chance that you understand that I’m a Justin Timberlake fan-girl and prior to, a Michael Jackson fan (thanks mom). So with that being said, you also understand that this little tidbit just sat all kinds of right with me. This my friends is the ultimate, this….is everything.

The Prince & The King of Pop <3

The Prince & The King of Pop ❤

Read the (Duet Version) Lyrics HERE

(Although I’m not entirely sure if they’re correct, lol.)

Listen to the original MJ version HERE

When Michael Jackson first passed away, I remember the news saying there was a lot of unreleased music he had been either working on or hiding ;). And that he left them to his children to release when they felt was right, or to do as they wished. So now  years later after the release of his first posthumous album “This is it”, a new Michael Jackson album is soon to be released. In fact as of lately Michael Jackson supporting social media were hinting that it’d be sooner than later. Imagine my overly excited reaction when Justin Timberlake himself posted this…

oh holy shit

Captioned: Stay Tuned…. and I was like Oh Holy Shit…I don’t know how to feel.

Read about the song’s history and

how this duet came to be HERE

The Michael Jackson version was first heard on the iheart radio music awards this past Thursday and I liked it (the audio left a little to be desired but the youtube clip I linked above sounds much better) and it makes sense once you learn that the original recording was from the 80’s and we all know 80’s vibes sounded like that. So I do like the original, but I adore the duet version, because it’s fun and beautiful and features two of my favorite human beings in music. It’s EPIC. It’s not over the top, it’s just fun, good music. A lot of critics say it could have easily been a single from Michael’s “Off The Wall” album. The song was just added Timberlake’s vocals (for the second verse) and reworked and con-temporized for today’s radio. Michael Jackson was an artist who always pushed the envelope, he always reinvented himself to keep people interested and keep relevant. But he never did so by failing to remain his signature self. The man who paved the way for many artists today, including the man who is deemed Prince of Pop/President of Pop by many;

Justin Timberlake.

IMG_1560Justin Timberlake is the perfect artist to have Michael Jackson do a duet with for his first single off  his new album. Their vocals blend flawlessly and if you don’t listen closely enough at times it’s almost hard to tell who’s who. Fortunately for me, I’m pro in all things Justin, so I have no problem, lol. It is very evident in Timberlake’s past albums and especially his current album The 20/20 Experience, that he is strongly influenced by Jackson and the legacy he’s left behind. From Timberlake’s dance moves, to his falsetto, the way he dresses, to the way he owns a stage, you can tell Jackson had a hand in making Timberlake the artist he is. But while that may be true, I think it’s safe to say Timberlake is making a legacy of his own, and is here to stay.

On Friday I heard the duet in my neighborhood deli and I instantly felt like it belonged on the radio, 80’s vibes are coming back people!  And I think Michael would be proud. “Love Never Felt So Good” has been on repeat ever since I heard it, it’s been stuck in my head and I’m not even mad about it. That’s the true song test isn’t it? When you find yourself humming a song and it doesn’t even bug you.

There is one small problem I have with the song and that’s the false advertising. Social Media had hyped it up saying Justin would be on the track and that it would be debuted at the awards. So that was the only reason I watched. And to be honest the music awards presented it all wrong. They said the song would be introduced by Usher. And basically it was LA Reid who introduced the song which was supported by Michael Jackson inspired dancers and a screen of Jackson stills while the song played and I was waiting to hear Justin and it never came. Then towards the second verse, Usher came out and danced. Usher, not Justin. That was a bit of a let down. So basically I was terribly confused.

*NSYNC performing with Jackson during his 30th Anniversary special

*NSYNC performing with Jackson during his 30th Anniversary special

If you say Michael Jackson’s new single featuring Justin Timberlake is being debuted at the iheart radio music awards, then why they heck would you play the original solo version and have Usher come out instead. It makes no sense. I think being that Timberlake is on tour, and couldn’t be there to perform, the producers probably figured they’d play the original solo version and do a small tribute involving another Michael Jackson inspired artist; namely Usher. I get that. I also get that Michael’s original version deserved to be heard first. I just wish they would have advertised that.

I also wish there would be a suitable (and by suitable I mean EPIC) Michael Jackson tribute for once. Because ever since he passed, I still feel like I haven’t seen one. They have all been kinda low energy based. Which isn’t right since anything Michael Jackson related was and should always be high energy based including all the amazing artists he’s influenced. The bulk of his music is a party, it’s a good time. It’s meant to make you dance…I dare you to try and keep still when you hear the intro to Billie Jean, because I sure as hell can’t do it.

In a nutshell, Justin Timberlake has yet to fully be a part of an all star celebrity Michael Jackson Tribute so basically I’m saying that’s what all these tributes are missing. LOL. I mean hey if you’re gonna name him the Prince of Pop, call him the next Michael Jackson and hand him the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2013 VMA’s then he sure as hell deserves to be apart of the ultimate MJ tribute. So either he wasn’t asked or he couldn’t, (which I highly doubt he would turn down or take lightly.) I’m just waiting on Justin Timberlake to comment on this whole experience. Because I can only imagine it’s a dream come true for him. It’s definitely a dream come true for me!

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Watch the song’s debut at the iheart radio music awards HERE

Justin pays tribute to Michael Jackson on his own…

“Human Nature”

“Shake ya body (Down to the ground)”

How freakin’ good were they…

see I’m telling you…MJ music + JT= EPIC

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Hey does anyone remember that Celine Dion performance where she performed an Elvis song with Elvis himself and everyone was freaking out because he looked so real???…well plot twist it was a hologram but it was freakin’ amazing!

Jackson performing with *NSYNC

Jackson performing with *NSYNC

Well I think that’s what Justin needs to do, he needs to perform with hologram Michael Jackson and just blow the faces off everyone! Next award show…how’s about it Justin? I wouldn’t mind seeing you moonwalk, or do that signature mj leg kick, or pelvic thrust for that matter.

Don't Forget. Micheal's Music Legacy lives on

Don’t Forget.
Michael’s Music Legacy lives on

I cannot wait to hear what this album is gonna sound like, if

“Love Never Felt So Good” is any indication,

I think I’m looking at my newest summer playlist.

**I take no credit for any images or video footage/audio**

5-7-14

******LOVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD UPDATE!!!!!******

Listen to Justin talk to Ryan Seacrest about the whole process and how it was his honor to be on the track…and also listen up for an AMAZING first listen to Michael Jackson’s demo recording (in 1983) of the song…the demo is literally just Michael and a piano and in all it’s simplicity it is heart breakingly beautiful. Goosebumps are inevitable. Enjoy.

http://www.ryanseacrest.com/2014/05/06/justin-timberlake-reveals-he-wrote-nsyncs-gone-for-michael-jackson/

-<3-