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Jackson, once king of pop, converts to Islam?

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 21, 2008 | 3:16 pm

Photo: SEC Guru

It all appears to be rumor right now, but the celebrity tabloids are reporting that Michael Jackson—yes, that Michael Jackson—has converted to Islam and changed his name to Mikaeel.

The former king of pop is certainly known for his physical transformations, but a spiritual conversion? The Sun reports:

The source said: “They began talking to him about their beliefs, and how they thought they had become better people after they converted. Michael soon began warming to the idea.

“An Imam was summoned from the mosque and Michael went through the shahada, which is the Muslim declaration of belief.” Mikaeel is the name of one of Allah’s angels.

“Jacko rejected an alternative name, Mustafa — meaning “the chosen one”.

Brit singer Yousef Islam, 60 — who was called Cat Stevens until he famously converted — turned up to help Jacko celebrate.

It was his pals David Wharnsby — a Canadian songwriter — and producer Phillip Bubal who counselled Jacko.

The pair’s new names are Dawud Wharnsby Ali and Idris Phillips.

Jacko now prays to Mecca after the ceremony at the Hollywood Hills home of Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro, 51, who composed music on the singer’s Thriller album.

Inmates performing “Thriller” is after the jump:

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