I come out of self-imposed vacation blogging exile to say that Berry Gordy has it all wrong.
Michael Jackson was not the greatest entertainer the world has ever known.
That honor goes to Sammy Davis, Jr.
Entertaining was Sammy's passion.
He danced, sang, played drums and trumpet, did impressions and was an actor on stage, in films and on television. He stayed in the public eye doing all of those things from the time he was very young until the year before his death at the age of 65. On occasions when he felt like he hadn't completely won over a crowd he'd continue to perform for hours, if necessary, to do so.
Michael Jackson was a great entertainer, and not on the same level as Sammy. Michael stopped performing quite some time ago and seemed to try to avoid it even when he committed to perform.
A great entertainer? Yes.
The greatest the world has ever known?