Arts & Entertainment

Music producer remembers Michael Jackson as a performer who could really sell a song

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People who guided Michael Jackson’s career recalled him as a performer gifted beyond his years.

During the memorial at Staples Center, Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. described the way the 10-year-old entertainer sang what had been a hit for Smokey Robinson, “Who’s Loving You”:

Berry Gordy: "He sang it with the sadness and passion of a man who had been living the blues and heartbreak his whole life. And as great as Smokey sang it, I thought Michael was better, you know. I, I went to Smokey and I said, 'Hey man, I think he got you on that one'. Smokey said, 'Me too.'"

Friends and fans at the event watched footage of the young Michael Jackson and his four brothers performing the song on the old Ed Sullivan Show. Broadcast and cable news channels carried live coverage of today’s memorial for the entertainer, who was 50 years old when he died late last month.