Michael Jackson impersonator, 13, says idols spirit takes over me

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A Leicestershire lad has become a star in his hometown following a series of Michael Jackson impersonations in the city centre.

Messiah Unsudmi, 13, has become a popular hit with locals with ‘toe stands’ and moonwalks a common part of the act.

His performance has earned him opportunities further afield, playing young Michael in the West End production of Thriller, entering competitions and touring around the world with the cast of the musical,LeicestershireLivereports.

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Kicking off his act when he was just three, he can usually be spotted with his mum in tow.

Speaking to LeaicestershireLive he said: “Michael has been my idol forever and he really inspired me to dance and sing. I watched all his videos and just started copying his moves – I taught myself everything I know.

“My sister was busking in town at the Clock Tower and I asked her if I could join her. A few days later I started busking in town in front of people. That is how my journey to dancing in the city centre began.

Before his time as a busker, he took part in the popular musical about Jackson.

Messiah said: “Being a part of the Thriller tour was a fantastic experience for me and a real honour to perform as MJ.

“It is quite rare in the UK to have a job like that, especially at my age. To be known as perhaps one of the first kids in Leicester to do MJ impersonations so publicly and on such a wide scale makes me feel privileged – but I'm proud to be able to perform in my city nearly every day.”

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But of all the hits the King of Pop produced, one tune stands out above the rest for the talented teen: Smooth Criminal.

“I just love the lyrics, his voice and what goes on in the song – It's so cool. The music video definitely stands out the most to me out of all of them.

"Watching his concerts and videos, and seeing him wear unique, bright and colourful costumes, is just so interesting to look at, and it has really inspired me to be comfortable with what I wear in public. Wearing a single glove is so cool and such an iconic statement.”

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Messiah says he draws strength and confidence to perform from his hero.

“Seeing him perform in front of thousands of people made me realise that if he can do it, then so can. The spirit of Michael Jackson is upon me when I perform, and I just don't really fear,” he added.

Surprisingly though, it’s dancing in front of his pals, rather than people he’s never met, that gives him butterflies. Regardless, he’s got big plans and intents to follow through with them.

“In 10 years' time, I will see myself on TV shows, on the radio, on stage having my own Michael Jackson-inspired show and performing with The Jackson 5 is my real goal. I just want to make people happy with what I do.”

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