Michael Jackson and Prince are two legends in the history of modern music who will always be remembered. And you might also be aware of the intense rivalry between them, if not, we’ll be taking you down the memory lane. Once upon a time, their rivalry was talk of the Tinseltown and the two singers used to occasionally go extreme with their feuds by even getting physical.
Michael Jackson and Prince had different trajectories when it came to music. The Purple Rain singer was quick with releasing music whereas the king of Pop took his own time with dance moves, instrumental production and everything else.
Despite the trajectories, both the pop singers were equally popular and were the biggest competitors in the industry.
It was in 1988 when MJ was working on his autobiography ‘Moonwalker’ and the buzz around the movie was really high and that’s when he openly talked about his rivalry with Prince.
In an interview, Jackson called the Purple Rain singer ‘one of the rudest people I have ever met’ and ‘mean and nasty to my family’. “I have proven myself since I was real little. It’s not fair. He feels like I’m his opponent…I hope he changes because boy, he’s gonna get hurt. He’s the type that might commit suicide or something…I don’t like to be compared to Prince,” MJ said.
There have been many incidents where the rivalry was quite evident but here are the best three:
It was 1983 when Michael Jackson was at the top of his game with the release of ‘Thriller’ and not to forget, Prince was doing equally fine in the business; thanks to his hits like ‘1999’ and ‘Little Red Corvette’ and that’s when the rivalry began.
During one of the James Brown’s concert (who is knows as the king of funk music), he invites MJ on the stage to sing and dance and as requested, king of pop comes on the stage and show his extravagant moves and woo the audiences.
Michael then whispered something Brown’s ears and according to artist Quincy Jones, he said, “Call Prince up — I dare him to follow me.” Brown didn’t understand at first and after the third attempt, the Payback singer announced on the mic that someone named Prince will be joining us on the stage.
Seizing the opportunity, Prince hopped on the stage and gave his best performance in his signature style by taking off the jacket. The incident didn’t go well with Jackson and was heard saying, “He made a fool of himself. He was a joke…People were running and screaming. I was so embarrassed. It was all on video.”
The second one is an unconfirmed rumour but a quite famous one. Although producer Quincy Jones swore to GQ that this was true. Prince was so embarrassed by what happened during James Brown’s concert that he was waiting outside the venue in his limo to run over Michael Jackson. At least, this is what MJ thought at that moment.
However, this wasn’t clear wherever Prince did this or not but regarding MJ’s interpretation of the incident, Jones said, “He knew. Michael knows s**t. He was there. He said that was his intention.”
And the third one goes in 2006 when everyone thought that the rivalry between MJ and Prince was over. Black Eyes Peas lead singer Will.i.am told Rolling Stone editor, Steve Knopper a very intriguing story about what happened between them in 2006 and here’s what the editor has to say:
“When Prince was doing his Vegas residency around late 2006, Michael was living in Vegas. Will was a guest artist at the Prince residency, but he was also friends with Michael. So Will arranged it for Michael to be a guest in the audience at Prince’s show. No one knew it really, but Prince knew it.
There was a point during the show where Prince was playing bass and he came out into the audience with this giant bass—he knew where Michael was sitting—and he walked right up to Michael and started playing bass in Michael’s face. Like aggressive slap bass.
The next morning, Will went over to Michael’s house for breakfast, and they’re talking about Prince and the show. And then Michael goes, “Will, why do you think Prince was playing bass in my face?”
Michael was outraged. And then started going on. “Prince has always been a meanie. He’s just a big meanie. He’s always been not nice to me. Everybody says Prince is this great legendary Renaissance man and I’m just a song-and-dance man, but I wrote “Billie Jean” and I wrote “We Are the World” and I’m a songwriter too.’”
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