EXCLUSIVE

Top Michael Jackson Tribute Artist Sees No Backlash Amid ‘Leaving Neverland,’ Defends Singer’s Legacy

The #1 Michael Jackson impersonator in the world is seeing zero negative impact on his bookings since the airing of HBO‘s, “Leaving Neverland,” and the tribute artist believes it’s because the documentary’s two accusers just aren’t credible.

The Blast spoke with Navi, a Trinidadian-born MJ impersonator, who works primarily in the U.K. Navi is world-renowned, and portrayed the King of Pop in the 2017 biopic, “Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland.”

Navi says he has suffered no cancellations on booked events after the airing of the Wade Robson and James Safechuck doc, and on the day we spoke revealed he actually received 4 separate inquiries for new gigs.

The entertainer usually books gigs 1-year in advance, and said that the only reaction about the documentary so far was from a wedding party who called to verify he was still going to perform.

Courtesy of Navi

He admits the response is “surprising,” considering his work as an MJ impersonator did see a setback in 1993 and 2005, when Jackson publicly dealt with sexual abuse accusations and charges.

Navi says he expected “panic” this time around, but believes the allegations made in the documentary are “very weak,” considering what has been said about MJ in the past.

He also thinks Robson and Safechuck aren’t credible, considering their legal history with the Jackson estate and allegations of financial motivation. Navi says “Leaving Neverland” is a very “one-sided documentary,” and leaves the impression that Robson is “broke and desperate for money.”

Courtesy of Navi

The impersonator, aside from being an obvious MJ fan, has strong feelings about “convicting a man that’s not here to defend himself,” and thinks that Jackson went through the legal process when he was alive and found not guilty, so he should be allowed to rest peacefully in death. These same feelings have been voiced by other celebrities, such as T.I.

Navi also performs with MJ’s former guitarist, Jennifer Batten, and says the two play around 150 gigs per year. Immediately after the airing of the documentary they experienced an increase in sales across the board, and strongly believes the true fans of MJ’s music will stay supportive.

As we reported, HBO was sued over “Leaving Neverland,” by the estate of Michael Jackson, who claims the network breached a longstanding contract with the late star.

Getty