‘MJ will be my new name,’ wrote the King of Pop as he reinvented himself at 21 years old. ‘No more Michael Jackson.’
“I should be a new, incredible actor/singer/dancer that will shock the world,” Jackson wrote at 21. “I will do no interviews. I will be magic.”
The note, scribbled in his handwriting on the back of a tour itinerary and tucked away in a secret warehouse full of Jackson’s belongings, details the legendary singer’s dreams and wishes for his career while he was still just 21 years old.
Michael Jackson, 13, was the youngest member of the singing group Jackson Five.
“MJ will be my new name,” he wrote. “No more Michael Jackson. I want a whole new character, a whole new look. I should be a tottally [sic]different person. People should never think of me as the kid who sang “ABC,” [or]”I Want You Back.”
Many close to the “Thriller” singer knew him to be meticulous and detailed when it came to his music. According to these words in 1979, preserved by archivist Karen Langford, Jackson thought well in advance about the level of success he wanted.
MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES
In his manifesto Jackson wrote about wanting to leave the Jackson 5 days behind.
“I should be a new, incredible actor/singer/dancer that will shock the world,” he wrote. “I will do no interviews. I will be magic. I will be a perfectionist, a researcher, a trainer, a masterer [sic]. I will be better than every great actor roped into one.”
His goals were spot on. In the same year he released his first major album, “Off the Wall,” which catapulted his solo career. Jackson went on to become arguably the biggest entertainer in history.
In 1979, the same year he wrote the manifesto, Jackson’s career soared with the release of his first solo effort “Off the Wall.”
Even his shocking death in 2009 happened in the middle of preparations for his fourth sold-out world tour, a come-back effort titled “This Is It.”