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Michael Jackson fame in Russia
Michael Jackson's fame truly knew no borders: He was even the first international popstar to perform in post-Soviet-era Russia.
In spite of all of the rumors and his "Wacko Jacko" persona, Jackson's musical draw remained strong.
Jackson first visited Moscow in September 1993, just two years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Until then, it had been illegal even to purchase his songs.
The historic concert sparked scenes of near-hysteria among young Russians who embraced him as a symbol of all things American.
Their devotion was all the more extraordinary as few of them had seen images of what he looked like: Russian television didn't show his videos or play his music in the 1980s.
According to pop music historian Dmitry Babich, "Video culture was not very developed in Russia, there were very few VCRs. Michael Jackson became a legend without people seeing him a lot.
"So when Russian television became liberalized, young kids of 17, 18, 19 years of age wanted to watch only him.
"The concert of 1993 was really a major event, not only in terms of pop culture but history in general. It was the first big concert of a world star in Russia," Babich told the Russian News & Information Agency.
The open-air concert was held at the Luzhniki Open Arena in Moscow. Jackson was three hours late, yet the large crowd waited patiently for his arrival in the torrential downpour.
Vladimir Ivanenko, National Producer for Russia's Retro FM station told CNN he remembered watching Jackson's concert on television in 1993.
"It was delayed for 3 or 4 hours," he said. "It was a very rainy day in Moscow that evening and it was an open air concert. It was so wet that his assistants had to sweep the stage all the time during the songs," he said.
"For people in Russia it was something extraordinary," Ivanenko continued. "Everyone was excited that Michael Jackson was in Russia. The quality of the show and sound was shocking for people. He put on quite a show for them. It was incomparable to anything they had ever seen."
Jackson visited Russia twice, in 1993 and 1996. He was also the first Westerner to appear in an advert on Russian TV. More facts about Jackson's life »
Ivanenko said: "For Russians, America was like another planet and Michael Jackson was the king of that planet ... (He) was seen as the face of the crazy American life."
Part of Jackson's appeal, Ivanenko told CNN, was that there was a forbidden fruit element about him.
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"His music was not played during the Soviet era as there was only state radio. His music was from America and America was supposed to be an enemy," Ivanenko said.
"Jackson's music was not available at all," he continued. "It was the same for all the international artists. Friends passed it to each other and that was the main source of distribution. iReport.com: Share your favorite Jackson memory Jackson
"It was all done completely illegally," he explained. "Someone would bring their long-play tape deck and record it for others, that's how it was distributed, but if you wanted to buy a real one, you had to buy it from the black market."
But it was not just for his music that he proved popular among Russians, Ivanenko told CNN.
"I think Michael Jackson was more popular as a personality than as a musician. For us living in Soviet-era Russia, we were much more closer to Europe and European music and culture than to American music."
"His music is kind of extraordinary for Russian listeners. It was based on funk and a style that Russians were not used to. The music is not very close to Russians' soul. They mostly prefer the music of Abba and Boney M."
Ivanenko added that people in Russia were very shocked at the news of Jackson's death.
"People are very shocked whether they like his music or not," he said. "Michael Jackson is a true music legend and he was too young to die."
Michael Jackson memories
am almost 21 years old and I have been a fan of Michael since I was about three or four. My Michael Jackson memories consist of watching his music videos on vhs (recorded off of VH1) especially the videos for "Leave Me Alone" and "Speed Demon", which were my favorites back then as well as putting in the Dangerous album and playing "Heal the World" over and over and over again. It drove my mom nuts. I also talked about him constantly in pre-school sunday school class. She wasn't impressed. Even though my taste in music has changed over the years, I will never cease to be a fan of Michael's. I will really miss him.
l love him, his songs, his personality. i was shocked to hear abt his death. rest in peace micky. show the angels how to moonwalk..
Reported by CNN
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- They headed to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow after news broke that Michael Jackson had died. And they're still coming.
Alexandra Belayeva, left, and Zhenya Iordanskaya visit the Michael Jackson memorial in Moscow.
1 of 2 Young Russian fans, some of whom don't even speak English, bring homemade signs, pictures and drawings of Jackson, Russian religious icons, candles, teddy bears -- all signs of how much they loved the singer.
"At first I couldn't believe it had happened," 23-year-old Zhenya Iordanskaya said. "I thought it was another rumor. My friend told me about it, and then I saw it on TV, on every channel. I was really in shock. And I still can't believe it."
Iordanskaya was standing in the rain Sunday with her friend Alexandra Belayeva, 20, looking at the shrine Jackson's fans have erected along the fence in front of the Embassy.
Iordanskaya says she was 8 when she first heard "Black or White."
"I didn't understand English, but the faces of all the different people really inspired me. And the fact that he dealt with all these issues, you really have to give him credit for that," Iordanskaya said.
Belayeva says she became a fan about three years ago.
Michael Jackson: The Memorial
Join CNN for all-day coverage Tuesday as the world celebrates the life of a worldwide pop icon, and don't miss our prime-time coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET.
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"The way he lived his creative live really inspired me," she said. "I really got into him as a person. Because you can really see the soul of a person in their creativity, can't you? It was such a shame that people put him down so much."
Belayeva says she's still in shock over Jackson's death at his California home on June 25. "When I heard he had died, I really couldn't believe it. He was so close to us. Not one of us, but so close. He was unbelievably kind.
"It's so sad to lose a person like him. It's also so sad that he was so alone at the end of his life. People didn't understand him. But at least they recognized his genius during his life. Sometimes that doesn't happen."
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Iordanskaya and Belayeva love to dance, and when they saw "Dangerous," they knew they had to try it out. "We studied his moves in that for days! We practiced. We really loved it!"
I ask the women to name their favorite Jackson songs. They roll their eyes. Where do you start? Iordanskaya starts with "Liberian Girl." "Also 'Earth Song.' "
"It's really powerful," she said, "the energy and the lyrics!"
On a rainy, cold day in Moscow, Iordanskaya and Belayeva say they still cry thinking that Jackson is no longer on Earth.
In the garden of flowers and mementos that sprouted almost overnight in front of the U.S. Embassy, next to eight flickering votive candles that make you feel as if you are in a Russian church, one fan has written a poem: "You're an angel flying into the distance, you're an angel, a carefree angel, flying into the distance."
THRILLER MICHAEL JACKSON Vinyl LP Original 1982 QE38112
I am german and I have a surprise:
THE KING OF POP
The Original LP printed in Netherlands from 1982
LP MICHAEL JACKSON " THRILLER "
Printed in Holland Produced by Quincey Jones
Wanna be startin'somethin'
Baby be mine
The Girl is Mine(with Paul McCartney
P.Y.T(Pretty young thing)
The Lady in my life
1982 CBS Inc. 85930
Printed in Holland with Gatefold Cover.
So YOU will buy the FIRST EDITION, with the right Number!!!
Let me know what you will give me for it !
emilly.rainbird AT googlemail.com
I love Mike!!!
Michael Jackson Community
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I am a Bangladeshi Freelancer and a true fan of Michael Jackson.
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