Sun, Sep 06, 2009
Boy, 9, is S'pore's "Little Michael Jackson"

If you happen to be at the ground floor of Pearl Centre in Chinatown, you may see a boy performing some of Michael Jackson's signature dance moves.

Possibly the youngest Michael Jackson impersonator in Singapore, Zainkhan dances at Pearl Centre on weekdays, at times attracting up to a hundred people.

Zainkhan told Shin Min Daily that his mother is a Michael Jackson fan and he grew up listening to his songs. He started learning Jackson's dance moves by himself at five years old.

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When Jackson passed away in June this year, his mother encouraged him to work harder on his Jackson act.

He practises at Pearl Centre because that is where his mother works - at the Pearl Centre food court Muslim food stall.

The primary three student is a hard worker. On weekdays, he practises from 2.30pm to 3.30pm at Pearl Centre after school, and for another hour at home.

On weekends, he can practise for a whole day - from 9.30am to 7pm; he says that passion keeps him going.

Not doing it for money

When he practises at Pearl Centre, he says there is normally a crowd of 30 to 40 and some will give him money. He says he is not doing this for money and will usually reject them.

But in some of the dance sequences, he throws his hat on the floor, and people just put money in it. The most he has collected in a day is only about $12.

Zainkhan owns three Michael Jackson outfits which were tailored specially for him, including a black sequinned jacket, a red jacket, and a gold suit. They cost them about $600.

He knows about 20 Michael Jackson songs and is most proficient at the moon walk.

Is there a move he has yet to master? Yes, he says that he can't do Jackson's 45 degree angle lean and thinks that it could be a stage effect.

Photos: Shin Min Daily

Runner-up at Jackson contest

Zainkhan was the youngest competitor in Orchard Central's "Remember the Time" Michael Jackson impersonation competition on August 29.

The first time he has entered a competition, he impressed with Jackson's "Billie Jean" and walked away with the second prize.

He told Shin Min that he wants to be "Michael Jackson number two" when he grows up.

His mother says studies come first for now, but she will let him decide whether he wants a career in show business when he grows older.

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