BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Showbiz
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Jackson rocks the US vote
Michael Jackson
Jackson performed for 1,400 people in Harlem
Pop star Michael Jackson has given a rare performance to launch a campaign aimed at persuading United States citizens to register to vote.

Bill Clinton
Mr Clinton introduced the singer
The pop superstar shared the stage with former president Bill Clinton and singers Tony Bennett and kd lang at a concert that raised almost $3m (2m) for the Democratic National Committee.

The money would be used for the new Every Vote Counts campaign, the committee said.

Jackson was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

The iconic venue saw Jackson perform there in his youth, as well as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Stevie Wonder.

The 1,400 audience members paid up to $5,000 (3,400) each to see the array of stars, which also included comedian Chris Tucker and actress Cicely Tyson.

Michael Jackson
The concert was one of 30 Every Vote Counts events
Mr Clinton said voting was important, adding that with "conflicts all over the world" they were "trying to build a community in which everybody can respect his or her own race or religion and still be a part of a larger community".

Mr Clinton introduced Jackson as "one of the most remarkable performers in American history" - but he did not accompany him on the saxophone, as some had hoped.

Tony Bennett and kd lang
Tony Bennett and kd lang also performed
The concert was one of 30 events that launched the Every Vote Counts campaign six months before elections in November.

Hip-hop record executive Russell Simmons said encouraging people to register to vote was "one of the most American things we can do".

"I think it is important that we get young people, black people, poor people, all the ones that are disenfranchised or that are not being spoken to by politics today," he said.

See also:

26 Oct 01 | Reviews
Invincible dents Jackson's crown
26 Oct 01 | Reviews
Michael Jackson: Your views
08 Sep 01 | Music
Jackson reunion show dazzles
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Jackson's life in the spotlight
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
A life in pictures: Michael Jackson
21 Feb 00 | Americas
Bradley and Gore get tough in Harlem
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Showbiz stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Showbiz stories