Michael Jackson had a mouthful to say about his chief competitor Prince long before both pop stars died. As reported by the Daily Mail, Jackson thought Prince would die before his time. Not only did Michael complain about Prince as a “mean, nasty and rude” person, but Jackson also had things to say about his own brothers and sisters. It seems odd then that Michael would name his own sons Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II and Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson, Jr.
The new report seems to confirm a rivalry between Prince and Jackson — one that was already imagined by fans of both men for years on end. When both Michael and Prince were in their respective heydays, literally at the forefront of music in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and beyond, there was a running contest between the two stars among their fans. Folks would often ask one another who they liked better — Prince or Jackson.
Now secret recordings that captured Jackson’s comments more than 30 years ago about Prince are coming to light. Those thoughts were recorded in preparation for an autobiography by Michael. Jackson apparently used part of his time to complain about Prince’s success as a musician, with Michael’s comments seemingly tinged with jealousy towards Prince.
Jackson focused on being a star since he was a young boy, while complaining that Prince’s success came a little bit later in life for him– even though Prince was only 19 when he burst on the music scene in a big way.
“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.”
Michael feared Prince might commit suicide. The recordings were made in 1988, but now — in 2016 — is when some of their full contents are being printed. In those comments by Jackson, Michael said that he didn’t like being compared to Prince.
“I don’t like to be compared to Prince at all. He was so rude, one of rudest people I have ever met. Prince is very competitive. He has been very mean and nasty to my family.”
Michael also turned to Prince’s actions at a James Brown tribute concert from 1983, which can be seen in the below video from YouTube. The event occurred in Los Angeles and the portion of the concert to which Michael refers can be seen at the end of the video, when Prince leaves the stage and grabs what Prince thinks is a real lamppost. Instead, the fake lamppost topples over slowly as people catch it. Watching the video of the incident makes it seem not as bad as Jackson made it out to be.
“He made a fool of himself. He was a joke. People were running and screaming. I was so embarrassed. It was all on video.”
Meanwhile, Jackson also said that Prince seemed starstruck when he first met Jackson, but that adulation changed when Prince became as big of a star as Michael was.
Jackson didn’t just talk badly about Prince. Michael also had choice observations about his brothers and sisters. Jackson called Janet a tomboy and LaToya one who had weird behavior. According to Michael, Jackson thought Randy was hardheaded, deemed Jackie a negative person, and called Jermaine a talented man who lacked self-confidence.
Michael called his dad Joe emotionless.
Prince famously said no to appearing in Jackson’s video for the song “Bad,” because Prince didn’t want Michael to sing to him the words that he sang to Wesley Snipes in the video.
“Your butt is mine.”
[Photo by Jim Ruymen/AP Images]