Could Michael Jackson read?
June 28, 2016 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I have a very strong memory of reading an article about Michael Jackson that suggested he may have been functionally illiterate. The article argued that he never went to school, and that neither his dad nor his brothers never made sure that he was meeting his tutors. Are you aware of any references that support this contention?

I would like to find the original article -- it was a long profile, and it included details like Quincy Jones going to discos to watch people dance, then producing Michael's songs in a way that would perfectly fit their movements. I feel like I read it on the Internet, but before longform was a thing or was called longform. Maybe 10 years ago? Failing finding that article, I'd like to find some reference to the possibility that Michael Jackson may have been illiterate. I've googled but cannot find any reference to this.
posted by OrangeDisk to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The "Jackson can't read" tidbit I remember referenced not being able to read music.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:24 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I went looking for thinks like '...did not sign his own contracts' to find an angle, but only found references to musical illiteracy as well. It does seem like something Quincy might mention. (musical illiteracy.)
posted by quinndexter at 9:27 PM on June 28, 2016

So, this LA Weekly article references Michael Jackson's love of reading:

"And there were places that he liked to sit, and you could see the books with his bookmarks in it, with notes and everything in it where he liked to sit and read. And I can tell you from talking to him that he had a very - especially for someone who was self-taught, as it were, and had his own reading list - he was very well-read."
posted by superlibby at 10:48 PM on June 28, 2016 [11 favorites]

Michael Jackson's childhood tutor was named Rose Fine. You may be able to Google her name and find some info about his education, since Michael did discuss her in interviews. In short, though, he wasn't illiterate.
posted by girlmightlive at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2016

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