Few hours ago, I reached out to Jeffrey Daniel to confirm the news going round some media platforms in Nigeria that he converted to Islam.
The joyous news was confirmed to me by the 66 year old music veteran. This is a man that swept us off our feet in the 1980’s with his iconic “backslide”, borrowed from “The Lockers” and taken to a new level by Michael Jackso
Jeffrey Daniel first caught the eyes of the world in the 70’s popular stage dance in “Soul Train” with his dance partner, the beautiful Jody Watley.
Jeffrey Daniel alongside Jodey Watley and Howard Hewett formed the world-famous soul funk group known as Shalamar.
The group performed great songs that became instant hit around the world including “A night to remember” “Friends” “Make that move” “Second time around” “There it is” “I can make you feel good” etc. selling millions of Albums and several tours around the world.
It is said that after watching Jeffrey performed his dances on Soul Train in the 1970s, Michael Jackson became an instant fan and eventually hired Jeffrey as co-choreographer for his songs “BAD” and “SMOOTH CRIMINAL” in the 1980s, besides borrowing his backslide style and making it as one of his iconic dance moves loved by the fans.
Jeffrey was eventually convinced by Micheal Jackson to go back to the United States as consultant of the MJJ Productions, as he had then taken a residence in Japan where he learned to speak and write the Japanese language and some Cantonese.
It wasn’t only Micheal Jackson that Jeffrey had worked with but other famous personalities like Babyface, LL Cool J. Paul McCartney, Vanessa Williams etc.
Jeffrey Daniel had also become something of a style icon with his ever changing hair styles and unique dress sense.
He was often seen back then on the London club scene with the likes of Bananarama, Wham and Culture Club. He also appeared in Paul McCartney’s movie “Give My Regards To Broad Street”.
In 1985 Jeffrey Daniels hosted 620 Soul Train, a British version of Soul Train produced with the blessings of Don Cornelius, the great baritone voice Anchor of the original Soul Train in the 70s.
Recently JEFFREY Daniel spent most of his time here in Nigeria since his relocation and was blessed last year with a bouncing baby with his Nigerian wife at his advanced age. He had joined Nigerian Idol as a judge in 2010 where he participated in three seasons.
Jeffrey Daniel has converted to Islam in a mosque in Maitama Abuja today, therefore I am calling on our Muslim brethren to join hands in welcoming this great icon that has left an indelible mark in the music industry and humanity.