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Jackson 5 fan’s dream comes true

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Fantastic five: Clinark Dill, centre, with Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito Jackson in Hyde Park, London. Mr Dill is a musician and a lifelong fan of the Jackson 5

Clinark Dill still remembers the day he got his first Jackson 5 album.

It was 1971 and he was five years old.

He never thought he’d get the chance to chat with the famous brothers 44 years later.

“I got to meet them earlier this month when they performed in the Proms in the Park Concert in Hyde Park, London,” he said. “I arranged it ahead of time with their public relations manager.

“Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie were really nice men.”

Mr Dill left Bermuda for England in 2005 to pursue a music career. He’s based in London and performs in festivals all over the United Kingdom and Europe with reggae production team Mafia & Fluxy.

He said The Jacksons and Bob Marley inspired him to become a singer.

“My first Jackson 5 album was ABC,” he said. “The whole neighbourhood was playing it. We used to hold neighbourhood singing contests and I would frequently win. People said I sounded just like Michael.”

Mr Dill spent 20 minutes with the Jacksons. He gave them an album he made in 2010, A Tribute to Michael Jackson — A Legend and a Warrior. The late entertainer was his idol.

“They were touched to receive the tribute album,” he said. “We had a laugh about the old Jackson 5 cartoon. They also signed the CD cover of my album, Clinark The Reggae Torch.”

Mr Dill said June 25, 2009, the day Michael Jackson died, was a dark day for him.

“I was at home and one of my DJ friends called me up and said, ‘Have you heard about your big brother?’ I said, ‘What big brother?’ He said, ‘Michael Jackson! Turn on the TV!’”

Mr Dill refused to accept what he was hearing — and then Jermaine Jackson made an official announcement.

“It was unbelievable,” he said.

Only five days earlier he’d released a cover of his favourite song, I’ll Be There — a Jackson 5 classic.

Mr Dill released his first album Clinark Live in Holland with Poor Man Friend Band, a year after he moved to the UK.

“I went to England in 2004 to record some songs,” he said. “I liked it so much, I moved there. I can almost make a career out of it out here. I just need a big break.”

In the meantime he runs a retail business through his website.

“Meeting the Jacksons was inspiring,” he said. “They encouraged me to keep on pushing with the music and they wished me good luck.

“They said you just never know what will happen in the future. I would love to perform at a concert opening for them one day. That would definitely be a dream come true.”

Warm words: Marlon Jackson, left, meets Clinark Dill with Jermaine, Tito and Jackie in the background
Members of The Jacksons signed Clinark Dill's CD, Clinark The Reggae Torch.(Photograph supplied)