Fred Astaire thought Michael Jackson was the greatest dancer

Interested to hear of this quote from Fred Astaire on seeiing Michael Jackson dance;

“Oh, God! That boy moves in a very exceptional way. That’s the greatest dancer of the century”.


“I didn’t want to leave this world without knowing who my descendant was. Thank you Michael!”

Fred Astaire (1899 –1987) – dancer

Michael Jackson dedicated his 1988 autobiogaraphy Moonwalk to Fred Astaire.

Michael Jackson & Fred Astaire 1979

Michael Jackson & Fred Astaire 1979


20 responses to “Fred Astaire thought Michael Jackson was the greatest dancer

  1. Michael Jackson made some well-sold disco-albums, but his dancing was just shaking shoulders, touching his privat parts, twirl like soul singers like James Brown did before him. Fred Astaire was a gentleman, who liked to compliment lesser gods. But in 2010
    What’s left is that Michael
    Fred Astaire was an original creative dancer, invented new steps. Michael Jackson just run around on stage, touched his crouch, shook his shoulders, sang like a girl. His twirl was James Brown’s twirl, he didn’t invent the moonwalk, that was done by street artist in the 60’s. He was a great showman, among other greater artists.

    • F. Austerlitz- Have you seen Michael Jackson dance in his ‘Beat It’ and ‘Thriller’ videos? Have you seen the Motown 25th Anniversary special where he performed ‘Billie Jean’ for the first time? Have you seen any of his tour footage? Sure, MJ has certain trademark dance moves as you’ve noted. . . but no one can touch his execution, creativity and dedication to the world of dance. He was self-taught, also. No formal dance training other than watching/mimicing others. But hey. . YOU don’t have to agree with the late and great FRED ASTAIRE, but I do!

    • WOW, shocking!!!!

      You don’t have to agree with Fred Astere but saying that Michael just ran around the stage is such a hateful comment. Did you watch Thriller the greatest video ever and the most famous dance moves in recent history. We see it in movies, wedding etc….all over the planet. Oh and let’s not forget that singers and performers( men and women) such as Usher, Beyonce, Genuine, Neyo, Chris Brown, Nsync and now Justin Timberlake … I could go on and on- all have been influenced by the genius that was Mike. Just watch them dance you’ll see. So I think your comments are so unfounded. *rolls eyes*

      RIP my sweet angel!

    • listen michael jackson is my idol just like many others if you are going to hate on him take it somewhere else. cause i dont want to hear it see it nothing. michael jackson is an orginal king of pop singer and dancer. he learned some moves just like the R&B singer now is doing and i dont hear you’ll talking bout them.

  2. If Astaire said so it was it. Even James Brown passed the tourch (cape) to Michael Jackson. Watch the 3rd Annual BET Awards. Or when he sang, Sammy Davis Jr. Almost broke down im tears. Watch Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th birthday celebration. Can’t knock MJ when he’s looked up to by his idols. Sammy Davis JR. Even sang “Bad” live.

  3. The people that wronged him should appolagaize to the world. MAY HE REST AND DANCE IN

  4. I think Michael is often a totally mesmerizing dancer. I’m not at all surprised by the idea that Fred Astaire would enjoy watching him.

    Could the original poster give us the source and the dates of the quotes credited to Fred Astaire so that we can verify them?

  5. For those interested, critic Armond White is hosting a special presentation on the music videos of Michael Jackson. Specifically, it deals with Michael’s innovations in the music video genre.

    It takes place in New York City over at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center at the end of August. Here’s the link.

    Armond White made a similar presentation in January of 2008.

    You can check out a clip on YouTube. In the search function, type in ‘Armond White on Michael Jackson’s Legacy’ or Google it.

    Wow Jones

  6. For All time
    For all time his voice will shine,
    for he touched our hearts,
    made memories for you and mine.
    We had him as Maya said, for a time
    he changed our lives.
    He said: “We are the world, we are the
    children”, it’s up to us to make each day
    He rests now in God’s loving hands in
    Heaven now another Angel born.
    For all time his gifts will shine, his words
    will be in your heart and in mine.
    Michael, thank you for you taught us all
    how to live together. Barriers you broke
    for it doesn’t matter if your black or white.
    We are all God’s children made whole by
    Jesus Christ.
    For all time you taught us well, and now in
    Eternity your Love will forever dwell!

  7. What a hateful comment, that in your opinion Michael would just run across the stage.
    Why would Astaire say he was a great dancer. No one paid Astaire to say that or Sammy Davis or James Brown. They saw the dancing genius in Michael and they paid homage to him.
    You on the other hand have issues with your hateful self, what was your name……. ” F. Austerlitz”.

  8. Pingback: Stanley Cavell meets Michael Jackson « Amir Khan’s Blog

  9. sorry guys, I was snorting meth while posting my comment about MJ. I’m a jackass and never had a proper education. I’m on a complete denial and can’t accept the truth that Michael Jackson was and will be the greatest entertainer of all time.

  10. Thank you F. Austerlitz, now go get your shinebox and kiss my converse.

  11. Thursday, October 15, 2009 — by Wow Jones

    New Book Asserts That Pop Star Michael Jackson was “more than an entertainer.”

    NY Press Film Critic (and current New York Film Critics Circle Chairman) Armond White has published a new book on Pop Star MICHAEL JACKSON entitled KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles.

    The book is a collection of essays/reviews/capsules/reflections by critic Armond White. They chronicle the creations of Michael Jackson and note the context of related works by others. Written throughout his quarter-century as a critic (including a twelve year stretch as the Arts Editor of the Black-owned New York City weekly newspaper THE CITY SUN), the writing focuses on the work Michael Jackson produced AFTER the record-breaking commercial success of the Thriller album as represented by the songs and music videos created and associated with the Bad, Dangerous, HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I and Blood On The Dance Floor albums. Throughout, Armond White examines the impact of Michael Jackson as a cultural phenomenon, aesthetic/music force and dance icon/show-biz influence.

    During the outpouring of public grieving in the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s passing earlier this year, Armond White noticed that the “Standard media demeaning of a black male icon was no longer acceptable. Michael Jackson’s art roused deep affection…Not just Black Americans but people around the world felt the same way—protective and loving.”

    In KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles, Armond White notes, “Michael Jackson’s importance wasn’t showbiz as usual, it moved through the ongoing issues of race, class, sex, spirituality and aesthetics.” To that end, topics written about include (but are not limited to):

    -the universal primal family tensions, competitiveness, pressures and drama that drove the Jackson family (and helped influence/shape Michael Jackson)

    -the continuous innovations by Michael Jackson of the taken-for-granted music video form, his Hollywood influences and Michael Jackson’s impact not only on the record industry but pop culture itself

    -the showbiz secret behind the change in Michael’s appearance that was announced by the release of the Bad album

    -the American shame Michael Jackson addressed (and transcends) with the Black Or White song/music video

    -the cultural exchange dramatized by and emotional seduction of the song/music video, Remember The Time

    -the psychological conflict suggested by the song/music video In The Closet

    -Michael Jackson’s connection to Black culture (and his innovative musical/aesthetic breakthrough) demonstrated in the music video/song Jam

    -the groundbreaking characterization of Jackson patriarch Joe Jackson by actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs in the TV movie The Jacksons: An American Legend

    -the practiced vengeance of the media witchhunt displayed during the controversy generated by the song “They Don’t Care About Us”

    While many people point to the albums, Off The Wall and Thriller as creative peaks for Michael Jackson’s solo career, Armond White insists that while those albums are splendid, you CANNOT stop there, paying attention to his post-Thriller work is crucial to understanding Michael Jackson’s development as an artist. In fact, throughout the book, critic Armond White makes the case for Michael Jackson being an artist, not “just” an entertainer. As for Michael Jackson’s work after Thriller being perceived as flawed or troubled or problematic, Armond White writes, “Michael Jackson’s pleasureable pop art pushed the culture forward—challenging it—as he also challenged himself…Michael Jackson’s art was never meant to be controversial or difficult, and I tried to show in these essays that it wasn’t—if one received it with open eyes, ears and heart.”

    KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles measures 5 ½ inches by 8 ½, inches, is 130 pages long and costs $13.00 ($10.00 + $3.00 Shipping And Handling).

    For more information (including ordering instructions) on the book KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles, please visit the blog:

  12. Frankly, when Fred Astaire himself has assessed Michael’s abilities and given them an overwhelming ‘hell, yeah!’ It really doesn’t matter what anyone else chooses to think about it afterward.

    The people that have the skills, experience and authority to make that judgement have, the people who have paid their dues, and put in the years honing their craft have made their judgement, the people who have considerably more credibility that Johnny Who? off the internet, have stated their opinon.

    So anybody else can say what they like.


  13. Hello! I think what FRED ASTAIRE says about someone’s dancing trumps what ANYONE ELSE would have to say!!

    Michael you ROCK ! May you rock the stars and angels forever

  14. Harland McTavish

    Michael Jackson was every bit as good a dancer as Astaire, they were just from different times.

    Astaire didn’t create all of his own moves, he worked with collaborators, just like Michael did.

    Michael had a distinct look to his dancing, mainly because he was self taught. He often broke a lot of rules, such as spinning on both feet instead of one…yet still getting more spins than usually possible. He was an innovator in every sense of the word.

  15. Honestly I find Fred Astaire boring as hell in the modern day. I’m sure what he was doing back then may have been captivating, but for that period I find many less heralded tap dancers much more riveting and intricate. Obviously, Fred was on the big screen and his routines often followed the plot of the movie.

    If you YouTube any of James Brown’s & Michael Jackson’s dance routines….there is no doubt they are timeless. The energy, soul, MUSIC, and total ambiance is truly mind boggling.

  16. Haha who do we think knows more about dance? F. Austerlitz or Fred Astaire. Its ridiculus he thinks his opinion, which is so utterly hateful, is worth sharing.

    Michael Jackson combined modern and classic dance. From street to tap to ballet.. even indian and tribal dancing. So to say he just ran around on stage shows what small minds some of these Michael Jackson haters have.

    Just youtube some of his tap dancing performances as a youngster. Breathtaking!!!

    Michael Jackson was and will always be the greatest!!! End of!!! Take peace from the fact that the haters are dumb, offensive and no nothing about what they like to preach…!!!


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