From unassuming English bloke to the King of Pop: 'When I'm on stage, I AM Michael Jackson'

By admin
10 June 2016

It's hard to believe these two images are of the exact same person, but with a ton of make-up and some clever contouring, Robin Parsons manages to bring the legendary Michael Jackson back to life, so to speak.

Robin is a Michael Jackson impersonator,performer from the UK, currently on tour with his Forever Jackson show at The Joburg Theatre Complex until June 19.

Robin’s introduction into Michael Jackson impersonations dates back to his late teens when he took up an interest in dancing.

Speaking on , he explains how he had an interest in dance in general: “I couldn't afford dance classes growing up so I started copying Michael Jackson in the way he moved. I'm a perfectionist in what I do, so after learning the basics I started focusing on MJ’s mannerisms,” he says.

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Since then, Robin has spent the past 17 years of his career creating and building his MJ persona. “This is my full time career whereby I do anything between 140 to 160 shows in a year all over the world.”

Exactly how much work goes into looking like the late King of Pop? “When I'm performing I require up to 3 hours just getting the make-up correct. Often times venues that have booked me find me a burden because I need so much more time.”

He also dedicates a portion of his time searching for exact replicas of Jackson’s signature jackets. “We have a wonderful lady back in the UK who adapts all my costumes to get them as close to the real thing as possible,” he says.

Read more: ‘He was the king of my heart’: Paris Jackson gets beautiful tattoo tribute to late father Michael

Emulating one of the most renowned performers in history does come with its pressures according to Robin.

“Everyone has a performer who they idolise for whom that performer is ‘perfection.’ For me, Michael Jackson was perfection and there is such a huge amount of responsibility in portraying him properly.”

Jackson, having begun his singing career at the age of 5, is also credited for his impressive vocal range. “I was a singer before doing cover songs in pubs and clubs and such. I spend a lot of time improving Michael’s speaking and singing voices as well as his mannerisms. It’s tough work,” says Robin.

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He lists Man in the Mirror and Earth Song as some of the most difficult to sing. “Both songs have really high notes towards the end and I find myself thinking, ‘What was he thinking making those notes so high?’” Robin asks.

He promises a concert experience complete with audience interaction as well as special effects. “My personal opinion as well as the opinion of other people who have seen my show is that it is the closest live show to a Michael Jackson show there’s ever been” Robin says.

* Forever Jackson runs at The Joburg Theatre until June 19. Go to for ticket info.

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