The Beatles definitely had "it." They pulverized the industry. They rocked the entire world. And today, there are bands still out there trying to emulate what the did. Bands like Coldplay and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Elvis is the king of "it." People did their hair like him. Dressed like him. Talked like him. Even though he's been gone for more than 25 years, they still adore him.
These people ruled the planet. They were bigger than the presidents of countries. They represent the pinnacle of "itness." We ended up producing "I Don't Wanna Cry" on Mariah's first album, Mariah Carey, which has hits that are now world famous, including "Vision of Love." The album went multi-platinum. "I Don't Wanna Cry" became a hit song. Mariah shot to stardom, as we knew she would. When we heard her demo that day, we knew that everyone would want to be a part of what she was doing musically.
Her talent has taken her to the top. To me, Mariah, Whitney and Celine are the big three. The best. I refer to them so much on American Idol and elsewhere because I've had the pleasure of working with these superstars, who are among the biggest selling artists of all time.
They have each sold more than 100 million albums, an achievement that tops other huge stars who have "it," including Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, All-American Rejects, Limp Bizkit, 50 Cent and Eminem, to name a few.
The "it" comes naturally
But yo, you have to remember this. Most people who have "it" are born with it. Michael Jackson was born with a God-given gift. When he made his debut in the Jackson Five, he commanded attention. There's no way that an eight-year-old kid from Gary, Indiana, was going to become that famous, that fast, without innate talent.
Prince has a God-given gift. The same with Celine and Elton John. And Elvis-oh my God, what a gift. A true, unbelievable entertainer. He mesmerized a nation with his style, dancing and sound. Fans loved Elvis because they'd never heard anything like him. He was dope. He had his own form of dance-his own hip-shaking, hip swiveling movements that people just could not believe. He had a persona. A distinct look, like the old soul singers. I'm sure Chuck Berry had a huge influence on him. And he was dangerous. He sang rock and roll, which at the time people called the devil's music. It was forbidden, which drew people to him all the more. Like the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Motown, Michael Jackson and Jimi Hendrix, to name a few, Elvis was able to start a movement. If you want to be a star, you need millions of people following you, like they did. Dude, that's hard to do.
You know the saying "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Well, it's true in my family. Zoe, my youngest daughter, loves music with her heart and soul. She's a natural performer and is always putting on shows for the family. I guess she's kind of a ham, like her dad. My son, Jordon, loves playing the drums. But I think he loves skateboarding and break dancing more right now. He is the kid with the 'fro riding a skateboard like Tony Hawk. My oldest daughter, Taylor, also loves music. I remember standing in the kitchen about eleven years ago making hot chocolate for Taylor, who was three at the time. She was sitting in her high chair waiting for me when a Brandy song came on MTV.
When the song ended, she started humming it in the song's exact rhythm and key with an almost perfect pitch.
"Whoa," I thought.
I whipped my head around to look at her.