All I Really Wanted Was a Dad

“Through the grace of God, I have been fortunate to have achieved many of my artistic and professional aspirations realized early in my lifetime. But these, friends are accomplishments, and accomplishments alone are not synonymous with who I am. Indeed, the cheery five-year-old who belted out Rockin’ Robin and Ben to adoring crowds was not indicative of the boy behind the smile. . . I am the product of a lack of a childhood. . . when I was young I wanted more than anything else to be a typical little boy. I wanted to build tree houses, have water balloon fights, and play hide and seek with my friends. . . There was no respite from my professional life. . .

“My father was a managerial genius and my brothers and I owe our professional success, in no small measure, to the forceful way that he pushed us. He trained me as a showman and under his guidance I couldn’t miss a step. But what I really wanted was a Dad. I wanted a father who showed me love. And my father never did that.”

-Michael Jackson, speech at the Oxford Union, March 6, 2001


  • Richie

    I’m no superstar, but I can relate to how Michael Jackson felt regarding his dad. But now I have a Heavenly Father who is teaching me what it is to be loved unconditionally. And it is sweeter than anything else I’ve ever tasted. I hope that the grace that Jackson spoke of was the grace that shines forth from the face of Christ.

  • Jan D.

    Michael Jackson’s statement is so heart-breaking, yet very telling. The role of an earthly father DOES matter in the life of a child, and his influence truly does affect the emotions, self-esteem, and character of his child.

    I trust that fathers everywhere (future dads as well) will take note of Michael’s statement, look at Michael’s life, and realize the impact a father can have on their child’s success and failures. Yes, Joe Jackson was the key to the Jackson’s success, but his methodology in getting them there came at a terrible price.

    PS. Richie, your post is a wonderful testimony of the healing power of our Heavenly Father.

  • Kate Johnson

    Yes, and Michael spent the rest of his life trying to reclaim the childhood he never had and always wanted. Another lesson for us all. Kind a makes ya’ wonder if that is why we have so many grown ups who act more like children… a generation of fatherless who need a Father.

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