“THE ULTIMATE MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE CONCERT” CONCEIVED, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY JAMES BAKER FOR WEST ONE ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED (c) 2012.
From as far into my childhood as I can remember, I have always been obsessed with Michael Jackson. Everything about the King of Pop mesmerized and enchanted me. I used to spend hours pouring over album covers, photographs, interviews, videos and anything I could find that was about Michael. Even my 7th birthday party was Michael Jackson themed! I always loved to dance and began copying Michaels signature moves as I dreamt of being a performer just like him.
My passion for performing took hold when I discovered open mic sessions and once I began to sing it was clear to me that it was all I wanted to do; live on the stage and entertain people. I was so enthusiastic that during one evening I was told by a compere that I would have to spread my songs over the evening otherwise it wouldn't be a jam
any more but the Ben Live show!
As I grew older and into my teenage years, my confidence also grew. I began experimenting with stage hair and makeup and even clothes to emulate Michaels unique style. I began cultivating the whole persona and image of Michael and was so good I began to perform at talent shows and school assemblies dancing and miming to his songs. I began to sing in the same style as Michael and discovered that I could sound just like him, but at this tender age I didn't realise there could be a career in providing tribute performances.
At the age of 17 I was so confident and practised in my performance that I booked a function hall and promoted my own 'Michael Jackson Tribute Show'. To my amazement the show sold out and the audience loved it. Encouraged, I decided to work full time on improving the show and take it on the road.
Despite landing myself with lots of debt for the clothes and technical equipment, I began to tour with my show. At that time Michael was not an especially popular or visible artist, so it was tough going in the early days. My aim was always to bring the music, dance and charisma of Michael Jackson to the stage rather than make money, but thankfully the audiences were amazing and gave me the confidence to carry on.
Since those early days I have enjoyed 8 successful years as a tribute act and loved every minute of it. I have travelled the world, met hundreds of people, worked with some famous acts and picked up some dear friends along the way.
I am now in the second year of touring my theatre show, complete with dedicated band, singers,
dancers and technicians (otherwise known as my extended family!) and the buzz and excitement I get every time I go on stage takes me back to that excited and mesmerised child who fell in love with Michael from all those years ago. It has been an amazing honour to work with so many talented individuals in so many areas and I have been extremely lucky to follow my dream.
I have one person to thank for everything, the person who shaped my life, my career and outlook, the person who made me what I am today…
the King of Pop, Michael Jackson