Pastor Vincent Spann is a recurring New Times character. You may know him for his exploits in military style drug rehab, or for his idea to house the underbridge sex offenders in a warehouse. But you probably don't know of his singing ability or history in Miami's amateur talent circuit.
News of Michael Jackson's death sent Crossfade on a mission for Spann's reaction. Check the video for Spann's acapella rendition of "I Want You Back" performed in the Pastor's new Liberty City headquarters and read on to see what he had to say about dance moves, dreams of stardom, and the Fabulous 5.
"Back in 67' or 68', I can't remember the exact year, I was the lead singer for the Fabulous 5. We were the top amateur group in Miami. I was about 11 or 12 and I was one of the best young singers in Miami. If I would have just had a manager I could have been as big as Michael Jackson. I was just as talented as he was, when I used to dance, and I can still dance to this day, people used to just stop and watch, I'm not saying this to be boastful, but I was just as good as Michael, of course it never came to be.
I used to sing at the Jet-Away, The Continental, The D Club, I was singing in these clubs when I was 12. The Fabulous 5 were becoming so known that we were supposed to open for the Jackson 5, but three of our band members got drunk and so that was the end of that. I thought that would have been the doorway to propel me into a singing career.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Back then everybody had a singing group and was trying to make it or be discovered and record. I had all the skills to be a pro, but it didn't go my way.
After the Fabulous 5, I sang with The Masters, the song that made us famous or that we were known for was "I Want You Back." Every song Michael Jackson sang, I sung. If we were to have performed together I would have done something just to show I'm as good as he is. We're the same age, I'm 51.
Michael Jackson is a legend, one of the greatest entertainers to ever live. When you're a true original people copy you. His music will live forever.
The groups today are not the same. Michael Jackson, The Temptations, James Brown, singers today are nowhere near the talent of yesterday. Rappers make millions of dollars just for talking, in Michael Jackson's day they couldn't have made it, because they can't sing. He's a pioneer."