Coco Lee fondly recalls meeting Jacko and family and touring Neverland
with Andrew Sun. Additional reporting by Clara Mak and Vivian Chen.
Although tributes abound for the King of Pop, few people had the opportunity to meet Michael Jackson. Even fewer had a chance to dine with him and visit his Neverland ranch. However, Coco Lee did.
'It was in 2003,' the singer recalled. 'My neighbour happened to be a very good friend of Michael and he asked me if I was interested in visiting Neverland. That was the first time I really met Michael Jackson outside of a performance. He was gentle, sweet, very soft-spoken and down to earth, but what really struck me was that he was very childlike.
'I remember my friend said something about girls and boobs, but in a more rough way, and Michael was like, 'You said that word, oh my God!' and covered his ears like a little boy.'
As a Sony label-mate, Lee also had a chance to dine with the Gloved One and his children.
'Once we had dinner in Miami. The kids were very playful. They sat next to me and kept playing with my mobile phone. They also took pictures of Michael with my phone, which I would never have done, but Michael let them do what they wanted.'
As a tribute, Lee will sing some of Jackson's hits at her Walt Disney Concert Hall show next month in Los Angeles. She will be the first Asian artist to perform there.
'He really influenced me. As a performer, I paid attention because his shows were just so amazing. He had so much energy! I still don't believe he is dead.'