For the past three years, Mayer Hawthorne has been the new look of pop music, dipping back to the old sounds of Motown and funk. For us, though, he is a testament to the continuing legacy of great music coming from Michigan.
Thanks to social media and talent competition shows like Super Star, Star Academy and now, Arabs' Got Talent, many young Palestinians are getting prime time exposure and introducing the Arab world to their voices and their art.
Governmental cultural diplomacy can sometimes come off as forced or out-of-touch, but K-pop is an authentic reflection and spectacle of youth culture that is impressively close to the pulse of the "global cool."
It was Conrad Murray's defense lawyer who reminded jurors that "this is not a reality show, it's reality." Unfortunately, no one in Michael Jackson's sad, strange and shockingly friendless life, seemed to know the difference.
My lesson for young people is to be willing to go out of your comfort zone and explore new territory. I never thought that at age 71 I would be creating a "crowd-sourced" music video with digital cameras that can blast images around the world in minutes. But I am.
Pop dominance has assured a lot of things for the Jamaica native -- among them -- random acts of awkwardness. When asked if he sings and dances literally to the beat of his own drum, the singer admitted wholeheartedly -- yes: "It's kind of whack."