It just so happens that today the “Invincible” album was certified double platinum in 2002.
It was a coincidence that just last night I watched the “Invincible” signing event in at the Virgin Megastore in New York just weeks after 9/11. Michael wanted to show the support and once again, give what he could – himself – to the people of New York, the people who had been through so much during this horrible moment in history. He wanted to lift them up and perhaps give them hope, something he always did for his fans when they needed him.
There were 500 fans in line and many times through the event, the coordinators would say “Michael we have only gone through 64 people, we have 500 in line, stop being so nice, I’ll be the bad guy”. That was MJ, talking, shaking hands when asked and asking fans that were in tears if they were “okay”. You could see he was tired and had a bad cold, but he sat for hours signing more than 500 CD covers as well as personal pictures etc.
What amazed me about this event was that he was there for so long, my understanding is longer than 2 hours, the most time spent by an artist signing CD’s and how he treated the fans that were waiting. There were a few that pulled on my heart-strings, one young man who was a large man, you could see it was difficult for him to walk, let alone stand for 2 hours in line and while Michael was signing CD cover after CD cover he looked about this man and smiled at him, shook his hand and said, “hey, how are you, what’s your name?” Michael signed the CD specifically to him and the young man thanked him and walked away. Michael kept signing for the next fan, but kept looking up to see the man walk away. He turned his head and whispered to Frank Cascio who was sitting behind him, “that makes me cry”. I feel it meant that this man waited in line for 2 hours to see him and it showed me how Michael appreciated it. It showed me how much the fans and what they did for him meant to Michael. I was also taken by the number of men who were weeping and just wanted to shake his hand, I don’t know of any other celebrity that have that kind of draw and emotional pull with their fans.
I urge everyone to watch the signing event and see the little things that MJ did; the child dressed up like Michael to a tee and see the look on his face as well as the appreciation he showed the mother for making the outfit; the girl who asked Michael to marry him and he put the ring on; the girl who had a belly button ring and he wanted to know how it was done, and if it hurt, and the girl who had the beautiful jacket with a picture of MJ on the back which he adored and wanted one for himself. He interacted with as many fans as he could, I really think he would have talked to each and every one of his fans had the coordinators not pushed him to keep him on a timeline.
This event to me, epitomized what Michael was like to his fans, and how they interacted with him. They loved him and he reciprocated ALWAYS.
You can watch part 1 of 8 parts beginning here