Michael Jacksonâs BAD Album Re-Released On 25th Anniversary<br />

Siedah Garrett and Michael Jackson

Seven is considered a divine number. Perhaps that’s why it was Michael Jackson’s favorite number. It’s fitting that Jackson’s BAD album was his seventh studio album, a project which ultimately solidified his megastar power in the ’80s. This would also be the album to feature the tune “Man in the Mirror,” one of the few songs Jackson didn’t write himself. This would also be the album to feature his first ever duet, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” The warm ballad is performed with Siedah Garrett, who also penned “Man in the Mirror.”

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the album BAD and Jackson’s musical genius is being commemorated with BAD 25, a special edition reissue featuring three CDs, two collectible booklets and an authorized DVD of a concert from the BAD Tour. Spike Lee is producing and directing a BAD 25 documentary that is tentatively slated to debut in November on ABC. EBONY recently spoke with Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Garrett about making studio magic with the King of Pop.

EBONY: You were instrumental in being a part of this historic album. What kinds of thoughts are going through your mind its re-release?

SIEDAH GARRETT: Oh my God. Probably just be remembering our gang on tour. You know, me watching him do his thing on stage and then learning of his humanitarian efforts the next day in the newspaper in whatever country we were in. I’ll just be remembering my time with him and the process of recording that record. I’m sure I’ll go back and check my journal and refresh myself with my thoughts and feelings at the time.

EBONY: How soon after the album was released did the tour take place?

SIEDAH GARRETT: We toured a couple years after the album came out. I was on the Dangerous Tour. It was the tour that followed the BAD Tour. I was rehearsed for [the BAD Tour] for literally a week before I decided that I wanted to make my own record. The duet [“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”] was out and I knew “Man in the Mirror” was forthcoming. So, I backed out of the BAD Tour and enter Sheryl Crow, who replaced me.

EBONY: “Man in the Mirror” is such a passionate and powerful song. I would have sworn that Michael wrote it himself. How did the song come about? I understand that he actually changed some lyrics and wanted some things done differently. Is this true?

[WATCH] Siedah Garrett - "Keep On Lovin' You"

"Keep On Lovin' You," is a tribute to my friend and mentor Michael Jackson and answer to our #1 world wide duet, " I Just Can't Stop Loving You." When Michael and I recorded and performed our duet together, it always felt as if he were singing it just for me. I wanted to

SIEDAH GARRETT: Well, he did not change any lyrics. What happened was I was a songwriter on Quincy Jones’ publishing company, Qwest, for two and a half years before I gave him the song for Michael. He had a meeting with the songwriters. I think there were about six of us on the West Coast and we all had a meeting at his house where he sort of gave us an outline of what he wanted. To finish this BAD album [Jones] needed one more song to round out the album. I took notes and then I then took my notes to my writing partner Glen Ballard. It was like a Wednesday afternoon where we sat down to start writing. Glen asked me to give him details from the notes. I gave him the parameters and he said, “Let’s just see what we come up with.” He gets up. He goes over to his keyboard. He turns on the keyboard and he starts playing this chord progression for the song.

EBONY: I love the song’s title, “Man in the Mirror.” How did that come about and what was Quincy’s initial response?

SIEDAH GARRETT: Two years earlier, I’m in a songwriting session with my dear friend John Beasley. We’re writing and his phone rings. Instead of letting the machine pick it up, he answers the phone and begins this conversation. “Oh, I’m not doing nothing. I’m just hanging out, you know.” I’m flipping through my lyric book thinking to myself, “No, he didn’t say he wasn’t doing nothing. No, he didn’t say he’s just hanging out.” I’m thinking to myself that we’re writing here. Then I hear him say, “The man? What man? Oh, the ‘Man in the Mirror.’” I wrote down the phrase the man in the mirror. Two years later, I tell him what he said. He gets up and turns on the keyboard and starts playing this chord progression. I was flipping through my lyric book again. The phrase man in the mirror just popped out at me. At that point, I could not write fast enough. Like, I couldn’t get it all out quickly enough. I mean, it was just like a mad rush just trickled down the idea and literally 10 or 15 minutes we had the first verse and the first chorus of “Man in the Mirror.” Glen said, “Okay,