Thursday, July 9, 2009

Live with MJackson, Thailand

Live with the King of Pop

Ngoc Linh and a Thai child singer in front of a poster for Michael Jackson’s Dangerous World Tour Bangkok, in Thailand.
Ngoc Linh will never forget the time she performed with Michael Jackson.

As a 13-year-old girl, singer Ngoc Linh won a Pepsi-sponsored singing contest to become one of five Vietnamese teens sent to Thailand for a chance to perform with the King of Pop on his 1993 Dangerous World Tour in Bangkok.

After 16 consecutive Asian sellouts, the performance in Bangkok was “Thailand’s most hysterical show business moment,” according to the Bangkok Post. The paper also described the event as “the most spectacular, noisiest and artistic pop show ever seen in Thailand, as Jackson and troupe moon-walked, danced and sang the crowd into a frenzy.”

Linh arrived in Thailand before the show and participated in cultural exchange programs with 20 other children from Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. The first time she saw Jackson, he was driving by and waving to the kids from a Tuk -Tuk (motorized rickshaw).

“It was just a few seconds, but that made us very happy,” said Linh.

Linh was chosen that day as one of only four kids who would perform alongside Jackson on stage. She and a Thai child were scheduled to perform the first night.

In the evening, Linh and the other kids introduced themselves at a press conference.

“I was extremely nervous... I felt happy and proud when they asked me many interesting questions and showed me an affection.”

Jackson then asked to meet Linh. They shook hands and he asked her about Vietnam and her feelings about the coming show.

“It was awesome!” said Linh.

But she also said she regrets not keeping a photo of the meeting, though she stayed up all that night thinking about her encounter with the “King.”

The big night

On the night of the show, Linh was incredibly anxious as she watched Jackson’s performance.

He opened the show by “flying” out on stage from the basement.

“It was amazing,” said Linh.

Jackson then sang 20 songs without a break before announcing the last number, “Heal the World.”

Jackson came backstage and held Linh and the Thai singer’s hands. “Let’s start to sing, ok?” he said.

And with that, the three of them closed the show with one of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs.

‘Magic day out’

Like Linh, Thai policeman Colonel Taveesak Veeravattanayothin also got a fleeting glimpse of the King of Pop as his official security guard during his stay in the Thai capital. The Bangkok Post called the colonel’s interaction with Jackson his “Magic day out.”

The Post recently recounted the colonel’s story and interviewed him about Jackson’s death.

“I was in shock just like everybody else at his sudden death. It’s numbing. It isn’t even sinking in yet, but I think the world has not only lost its greatest entertainer but probably also the nicest person,” Bangkok Post quoted Pol Col Taveesak as saying.

Linh said the star’s death has made her appreciate what she has. “The more I read about him, the more I feel regretful and sorrowful. I am also grateful for... a chance to share my tale with MJ admirers. Jackson will not die, because his images and songs will live in millions of hearts ever.”

No longer a singer, Ngoc Linh is now the personnel manager for fashion brand names like Giordano, Bossini, Snk and Baleno in Vietnam. But she is still remembered as one of the most popular teen singers of her generation.

Linh, also known as one half of a duo with teen star Diem Quyen, officially said farewell to singing in 2004 and became an MC for a Ho Chi Minh City Television’s game show for children. The former teen queen, now 30, lives happily with her husband and three-year-old-daughter.

She said she’ll never forget her time with Michael Jackson.

“I only wish that he can rest in peace and I am pleased to keep the sweet childhood memory of him with me for all my life.”

Reported by Da Ly

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