July 6th, 2009
09:14 PM ET

Michael Jackson impersonator on his next step

Rolando Chretien said he feels like a part of him has died.

mj impersonator

The native of French Guyana has been impersonating Michael Jackson for the past 20 years and Monday he stood outside the gates of the late singer's rented Holmby Hills mansion reflecting on the icon's life and death.

"It was like my brother was gone when I heard on the radio that he had died," Chretien said. "Now it is strange because so many people want to take pictures and talk to me."

Fans rushed over to him and he flashed the peace sign at the countless tour buses driving by.

Chretien removed his black fedora out of respect as he walked by the many flowers, signs and gifts admirers left at a makeshift memorial. A film crew working on a documentary about Chretien's life hovered nearby and his manager, Ben Cerceau, said the response has been overwhelming.

"In Santa Barbara, a few thousand people surrounded him and we had to escape to get him out of there," Cerceau said."It's been crazy."

People are fascinated by the impersonator, partly because of their fascination with the star, Cerceau said.

"There was something mysterious about Michael Jackson," Cerceau said. "He was a real star."

And now that he is gone, Chretien said he plans to continue his legacy of thrilling fans and performing.

"I must go on from here with the work," he said, before climbing into a limousine and leaving.

–Lisa Respers France, CNN.com writer


soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. lyvia

    rolando est super commme michael je l'adore et il est cool

    August 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Deborah Chery

    Michael should be still alive in my heart, in our heart, especially in Rolando's heart. Because I know how many he was important for him. Michael was a genuis. I hope he will inspire as well as young people as older in order to be more concientious about the hard life reality. We love you MJ and all you did should be carrefully considered by the next generations. As you said , " heal the world" !!! I luv' U

    Deborah C, Martinique (FWI), 22 years old

    July 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Khalia Robertson

    I am only 12 years old, yet Michael has changed my life. I wanted to meet him when i grew up but that opportunity is no more. I remember dreaming about going on the rides with him at Neverland, but i guess i have to keep dreaming. The media has put Mike through so much trials and sufferings in life, and i just hope and pray that they will let him be at death. I wanted to sing with him but that is not an option anymore and I just wish that I had the chance to sing at his Memorial Service. Michael you are and will ALWAYS be my inspiration and role model. I wish that you will R.I.P. Lots of love go out to the family and children. Even though Prince and Paris are close to my age, I have no idea how they are feeling. I wish you all the best Mike. Love Khalia

    July 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Khalia Robertson

    I am only 12 years old, yet Michael has changed my life. I wanted to meet him when i grew up but that opportunity is no more. I remember dreaming about going on the rides with him at Neverland, but i guess i have to keep dreaming. The media has put Mike through so much trials and sufferings in life, and i just hope and pray that they will let him be at death. I wanted to sing at with him but that is not an option and I just wish that I had the chance to sing at his Memorial Service. Michael you are and will ALWAYS be my inspiration and role model. I wish that you will R.I.P. Lots of love go out to the family and children. Even though Prince and Paris are close to my age, I have no idea how they are feeling. I wish you all the best Mike. Love Khalia

    July 7, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kyristal

    that is so crazy but fascinating. and he has his own limo and manager. real crazy bt there goes to show how admirable MJ was

    July 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Arlene J. Goodwin

    I love you Mike. RIP.

    Arlene and family.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gabi

    Since Michael death I'm watching CNN every night to gather the most possible information about the king of pop.
    I grew up with his music and I remember the days when Thriller came out. Me and my friends were scared of the monsters in the video.

    Michael has delighted not only my generation with his great voice and dance. It is stunning that he did inspire people of all ages, across the globe.
    He'll always be remembered – his legend is alive! May he rest in peace.

    Gabi from Switzerland

    July 7, 2009 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. mike Posey

    I was born in 1946, very well recall the "Jackson 5", Motown, I was a teenager, going to high school....I watched Michael Jackson grow up before my eyes. Fact is stranger then hero-worship. Michael Jackson put the word, "eccentric" on the map. The guy was all of that.

    Far as his propensity for young boys, and his change from really cute Black kid to whatever it was he was when he died, "eccentric" definitely described this man. The jury said "not guilty", so I gotta believe he was "not guilty". But he was certainly involved in some pretty "odd" behavior over his lifetime. His music was incredible, his private life was quantum leaps above incredible. He made and spent hundreds of MILLIONS, even BILLIONS of dollars, ended up in debt to the tune of 400 million bucks? He married a fairly unattractive woman, had two "biological" children with her, then went the surrogate route once? Then he cuts the mother out of his will? The fight over all his "assets" will consume the news for months. All in all Michael Jackson was a complicated, at best, downright wierd guy, who seemed to revel in his own little fantasy world. I guess when you are adored by millions, and sell BILLIONS of dollars in records you can be that way and get away with it...Me, I'm just a plain old guy who has lived for well over 6 decades, seen all kinds of strange things. This death has consumed the media for weeks. It will consume it for more weeks. In the time since Jackson died, Billie Mays, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and several other well-known people have died too. Not much has been said about them. Poor Farrah Fawcett had the bad timing to die the SAME DAY as Michael Jackson. She barely got a word on any newscast...Billie Mays who was in our homes on TV on every station on the dial selling things from mops to detergent died, and hardly a blip on the radar screen? I remember Billie Mays ALOT more then Michael Jackson. He got me to buy all kinds of stuff over the phone. I still use Oxy-Clean. I pulled out my "Thriller" albumn the other day for the first time in 25 years. I guess it's a matter of degrees, dying? I hope I die on a day when NO ONE else dies, so people will NOTICE my passing? This is my hope. And I'm not a celebrity. To me it's incredible the hoopla, Reverend Sharpton? This guy manages to get involved in every single thing that draws attention. There he is extolling Michael Jackson, yet he certainly doesn't condone child molesting I don't think. Talk about a self-promoter. Jackson surrounded himself with people who managed to "ignore" his little pecadillos, like sleeping with pre-pubescent boys, and only looked at his "musical genius". Fact is we ought to look at the WHOLE package. The people who call him a "pedophile", and a "scumbag" are just as right as the people who call him a "pop icon". He was certainly both.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Abiodun

    As for me,michael jackson was my image from my childhood.I love him,his music,and most his performance on stage.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Elizabeth Sedillo

    Michael Jackson was the Elvis of my generation. There will never be another artist as great as he was. His music has great memories of my teenage years times that I will never forget. I will always remember and listen to his music and I have passed it on to my children. RIP Michael you will be missed but never forgotten.

    Elizabeth Sedillo
    Albuquerque, NM

    July 7, 2009 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. obscureselym

    Maybe they can "pass the plate" tomorrow during the services and take up a collection to help pay for the City of Los Angeles for Funeral coverage costs. Especially since so many "Stars" will be in attendance for the funeral.

    July 7, 2009 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. Vusala

    SELF-TALK: What do people mean when they say, “ I cannot believe Michael Jackson is dead?!?” Do we consciously reject the possibility of MJ dying, or are we so fetishized by MJ that we see in him nothing but a commodity that does not have a soul that cannot die?

    I don’t think it is either of the above. More than anything, MJ left behind such an undying artistic legacy that when we hear of Michael Jackson’s death we subconsciously have a latent association of his work dying as well. This is more shocking and fearsome to people than that of the idea of Michael Jackson’s physical death.

    Dear M.J. fan if you concentrate on his music and let it leave in your soul and sing in your heart, you will solve the mind-bending conundrum of separating MJ physical death from your irrational fear-Michael Jackson is Physically Dead, Not his Music or Legacy!!!!

    Vusala M. Bentley!

    July 6, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |

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