Ryan Leslie Performs in Atanta – Tribute to Michael Jackson


I was on my tour bus when I heard the news that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. Almost immediately it seemed as though the world held its breath, hanging on the words of the media outlets they trusted to tell them he was going to pull through. I received a flurry of text messages and phone calls. I did my best to hold back tears when CNN finally confirmed his passing, and I honored his contribution to history with a moment of silence at my show in Atlanta that night:

The reverence I experienced in the room at that moment will stay with me for life.

The end of this clip shows me reverting back to my childhood for a moment during soundcheck. For a few seconds, I took off my cool and became the little boy that believed I could be just like him. I’m sure many of us can remember what came over us when we saw Michael perform. We wanted to dance like he did – to feel the exhilaration and pass on the electricity that we’d just experienced. I appreciate Michael’s contribution to my life. In many ways his music, videos, and live performances lit the spark in me to pursue the career path that I chose as a young teenager. His ability to bring people together in peace and celebration serves as a standard to which we as entertainers are all measured.

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