“People think I was born in top hat and tails” – Fred Astaire, born on this day in 1899.

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“I could only repeat what has been said and written about Fred Astaire’s perfectionism and enormous, one-of-a-kind artistry. What I can reflect on is the inspiration he afforded me personally, being privileged as I was to see him work his magic. Nobody could duplicate his ability, but what I never stop trying to emulate is his total discipline, his absolute dedication to every aspect of his art. He rehearsed, rehearsed, and researched some more, until he got it just the way he wanted it. It was Fred Astaire’s work ethic that few people ever discussed and even few could ever hope to equal.” – Michael Jackson.

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