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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 29 October 2009

From 1974 to 1983, photographer Todd Gray was allowed near complete access to a young Michael Jackson. As his personal photographer during these years, Gray was able to capture the rising star both on and off stage.

The new collection of photographs, "Michael Jackson: Before He Was King" shows the late King of Pop before he was inundated with absolute stardom. It shows Jackson as he tours with his brothers on what would eventually propel the entertainer to worldwide stardom. There's also a certain comfort Gray had when taking the pictures – catching Jackson as he napped; catching a pre-performance talk with Coretta Scott King in 1981; or feeding his pet deer at his home in Encino.

Gray has shot a number of Jackson's magazine covers, documented many of his performances, including the video shoot for "Beat It." Gray is now a professor of art and photography at Cal State University in Long Beach.

Michael Jackson: Before He Was King is a hardcover from Chronicle Books, ISBN 978-0-8118-7506-6. It will be $29.95 in stores, but only $19.77 from Amazon.com  click here

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