Jackson Was Planning Indian Comeback With Rahman Unity Anthem
Oscar-winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE composer A.R. RAHMAN was commissioned to create a unity anthem for Michael Jackson after his Academy Award success in February (09).
That, and the fact Jackson was reading poetry by India’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore during the last days of his life, seems to suggest the King of Pop was developing a special bond with the sub-continent and Tagore's Hinduism.
One insider close to Rahman tells WENN, "A.R. Rahman met Michael Jackson after the Oscars in Los Angeles and Michael asked him to compose a unity anthem for him.
"Michael's planned new album would have had a huge Indian feel to it - Michael was reportedly working with Adnan Sami, a Bollywood musician, on an album, which was to include Indian musical instruments like the sarangi, tabla, and dholak."
Meanwhile, Rahman has paid tribute to the late King of Pop, calling Jackson "one of the greatest musicians of our time," and adding, "I am yet to find an artist with that energy, perfection and vision."
He tells newspaper The Hindu, "He loved India and the people of the country... He asked me to compose a unity anthem on the lines of We are the World for him. I nodded in awe."
"It took me time to believe that he is no more."
The unity anthem wasn't the first time the pair has worked together - they collaborated on a track titled Ekam Satyam.
WENN's source suggests Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson encouraged the King of Pop to explore Indian music: "Jermaine's wife Halima reportedly lived in Chandigarh in India for some time."
And music wasn't Jackson's only links to India in the last years of his life - he was secretly studying Hinduism.
Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, cannot confirm or deny Jackson was planning to become a Hindu - but he was taking the religion very seriously.
Zed tells WENN, "Michael reportedly learned how to meditate and he was vegetarian. When he was presented statues of Hindu deities Ganesha and Nataraja, Michael knew who they were. He was also very anxious to meet Mother Teresa before her death. He had had a great interest in all things India for some time.
"When Michael left India after a concert there in 1996, he reportedly wrote on the pillow he slept on in the hotel suite: 'India, all my life I have longed to see your face. I met you and your people and fell in love with you. Now my heart is filled with sorrow and despair for I have to leave, but I promise I shall return to love you and caress you again. Your kindness has overwhelmed me, your spiritual awareness has moved me, and your children have truly touched my heart. They are the face of God. I truly love and adore you India. Forever, continue to love, heal and educate the children, the future shines on them. You are my special love, India. Forever, may God always bless you.'"