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Brewton native recalls meeting ‘King of Pop’

By By Kerry Whipple Bean
The man who would become the world’s most recognizable pop star and one of Brewton’s own most recognizable music talents met backstage nearly 30 years ago — and sang to each other.
That is the memory that stands out most for the Oak Ridge Boys’ William Lee Golden, a Brewton native, in the wake of Michael Jackson’s untimely death Thursday. Golden met Jackson when he was still singing with his brothers in the Jackson 5, not long before the singer’s solo career exploded in the 1980s.
Jackson died at age 50 after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital in cardiac arrest.
Famous first for his singing a string of hits with his brothers, Jackson went on to become one of the most loved — and commercially successful — pop stars, but also one of the most controversial. He was acquitted of charges of child molestation in 2003, but the stigma of the charges and his own bizarre behavior over the years never left him.
Jackson’s death, though, reminded many — including Golden — of his early success and huge talent.
Golden said he recognized that, while all of the brothers were talented, Michael had something special.
Golden told a Nashville news station Thursday that he and Jackson had some time to chat backstage about a mutual idol.
As Jackson’s popularity rocketed when he became a solo act, Golden watched along with the rest of the world.