Today is the one year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, and for this week's episode of PRI's Studio360, I produced a piece on Judith Hill — the half-Japanese, half-black singer from Pasadena who was supposed to sing alongside Jackson on his This Is It tour. You may remember her from the memorial concert and the movie.
I flew to LA last month and spent a couple of hours at Judith's family home to do this interview. Her parents are Michiko and Pee Wee Hill, two LA funk musicians who have worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Chester Thompson, and Bob Dylan. When I visited, they were in their studio at the back of the house recording tracks for Chaka Khan with Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden. Judith and I chatted for a couple hours and played with her dog, and she sang me a few tunes from Jackson's and her own repertoire. It was really fun, and really touching to hear the story of Jackson's death first hand from someone who had been so close to him. You can listen to the segment below, on the Studio360 podcast, via your local NPR radio station, or at the Studio360 web site.