Michael Jackson lives on in Chennai, India.
Residents and music fans in the southern Indian city unveiled a 10-foot stone statue of the King of Pop Thursday ahead of the seventh anniversary of his death in June. It weighs more than 7,000 pounds and took a team of six people 45 days to sculpt, BBC News reported. The figure is made of a single piece of black granite, breaking the national record for the largest statue carved from one rock.
The granite Jackson is posed in one of his famous dance moves — specifically, his stance from the music video for “Beat It.” The team that created it told BBC News members watched the video repeatedly to make the sculpture accurate.
— T S Sudhir (@Iamtssudhir) April 8, 2016
The idea came from Chandrasekaran, who runs the company RC Golden Granites in Chennai. The 47-year-old Jackson enthusiast donated the statue, worth $25,000, to Vels University, mykollywood.com reported. Prabhu Deva, an actor known as “the Indian Michael Jackson” for his similar dance style, helped debut the figure this week.
Deva told the Deccan Chronicle Jackson has been his muse for decades. “In 1999, when Michael Jackson came to Mumbai, I was called from Chennai and I immediately took the first flight there,” he said. “His organizers asked me to go to his hotel room. It was one of the biggest moments of my life — I was speechless when I finally met my inspiration. There was high security around him, but they were nice enough to tell him about me. I went to shake his hand, and he in turn, hugged me. I was stunned and speechless.”
The Chennai Jackson won’t be alone in India for long. Mother’s Wax Museum in Kolkata announced in March it planned to remodel and reopen with a wax figure of Jackson later this year.
— Madras Cinema (@madrascinema) April 7, 2016
Jackson died in 2009 at age 50 in California after going into cardiac arrest. But his legacy continues: His album “Thriller” surpassed 30 million sales in December, CBS reported.