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Black or White? Michael Jackson and the Idea of Crossover

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Abstract:

Michael Jackson has been referred to as a crossover artist for more than forty years, but what does this mean? The term “crossover” usually describes how an artist's appeal transcends an audience associated with one type of music to include another, with some reference often made to the role of musical and visual factors in this process. After a discussion of some of the assumptions frequently attached to the concept of crossover, I analyze several of Michael Jackson's biggest crossover hits both for how textual elements address multiple constituencies and for how these texts project a vision of racial relations and identity.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2011.616301

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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