Today marks the one-year anniversary of the untimely death of Michael Jackson. It’s definitely a time of reflection on the man, his music and his legacy. And there’s be a lot of talk as folks remember where they were when they found out that Michael had passed. Here’s one such story.
The Commodores were performing at Wembley Arena in London on June 25, 2009. They learned of Michael’s death as they walked off the stage. The following night, lead singer JD Nicholas substituted the word “Michael” for “Jackie” in their performance of their Grammy Award winning song “Nightshift” – that one change brought the audience to their feet. That’s where the idea started to re-write the song as a tribute to Michael.
The Commodores and Dennis Lambert (one of the original writers along with Commodores member Walter Orange and Franne Golde) have re-written the lyrics to “Nightshift” and re-recorded it with new lyrics honoring many of the great artists who have passed on, including Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke and Teddy Pendergrass, to name a few.
Take a listen.