Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol Beauty Thia Megia Performs "Smile"

Thia Megia performs the Michael Jackson version of "Smile" on American Idol Season 10 Top 13 Show.

In the past, judge Randy Jackson told Thia, "Your tone, when we first heard you, reminded me so much of the late, great Michael Jackson, that I love it." After this moving performance, he again compared Thia to Michael Jackson, saying, "I loved the intro, it was so beautiful, I heard Michael..." Jennifer Lopez was not so complimentary. “The beginning reminded me a little bit of last week. I thought the arrangement was interesting (I don’t think she meant that as a compliment.) Doesn’t matter, you sing like an angel."

Idols were asked to choose a song by their personal 'Idol'. Thia said, "My Idol is Michael Jackson." But she choose a song that was not written by Michael. "Smile" is a song based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, while John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954. In the lyrics, the singer is telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a brighter tomorrow, just as long as they smile. "Smile" has become a popular standard since its original use in Chaplin's film. When producer Ron Fair told Thia the song was written by Charlie Chaplin, not Michael Jackson, it was obvious Thia had never heard of the famous silent film star, referring to him as "Charlie Chapman." The song was originally sung by Nat King Cole in 1954. It was also covered by Cole's daughter, Natalie, on her 1991 album, "Unforgettable... with Love". "Smile" was Micheal Jackson's favorite song, though he never released it commercially. (see below video for more on Michael Jackson and "Smile".)

Singer Michael Jackson recorded the song for his 1995 double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It was planned to be released as the eighth and final single from the album in 1997 but was canceled days before its release date. Only a few copies from the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa (where the record distribution was started previous to the withdrawal) were saved as the other copies were withdrawn. The rarest pressings include the CD maxi single (estimated value over €500) and the single track promo (The promo single CD was going for $1,725.00 Au In February 2011).

The remixes on this release have never been released commercially since, but some can also be found on the "Is It Scary" promotional 12" records from the UK. The "Downtempo Groove Mix" is the rarest mix of this song because it was only released on the maxi. The remix was uncredited, but was actually done by Eddie Arroyo.[2]

Jackson had never performed this song live; an HBO special was once planned with the song being performed, but Jackson collapsed during the concert's rehearsals. During the final concerts of his HIStory World Tour, the song was played at the beginning of each concert in memory of Princess Diana. In Living with Michael Jackson, he mentioned the song while at Neverland Ranch and sang it while he was in Las Vegas.

Around November 2005, a number of bootlegged 12" records appeared on eBay and some record fairs in Germany and The Netherlands. This explains why the 12" presses are the most common, although the original is still considered the most rare. The short version of "Smile" was later re-issued on the deluxe United Kingdom edition of King of Pop in 2008.

Michael Jackson's brother, Jermaine Jackson, sang "Smile" at his memorial service on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, shortly after Michael Jackson's friend Brooke Shields mentioned it had been Jackson's favorite song. He also sang it in an interview with Today at Neverland before the memorial and only days after Michael had passed. During the internationally televised public memorial, Jermaine switched the words "gladness" and "sadness" in the lyrics, possibly in an unintentional flub of the lyrics.

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