Michael Jackson heartbreak: How star was brutally snubbed by Prince over ‘Bad’ recording

Jackson and Prince were born in the same year and their music came to define the era for creating a new type of sound. Unsurprisingly, they were then regularly compared and critics believe the pair were trying to outdo one another with each single. Australian publication, Boss Hunting, examined the pair’s rivalry back in 2018.

Writer Garry Lu explained: “There was definitely a bit of ‘there can only be one’/’this town’s too small for the two of us’ dynamic between the King of Pop and The Purple One.

“‘Bad’ was initially to be a duet between Michael Jackson and Prince.

“And what an epic showdown it would have been.”

He continued: “That was reportedly until Prince learned of the first line to be lobbed from MJ’s corner: ‘Your b*** is mine’.”

Mr Lu explained: “Obviously this wasn’t going to fly with The Purple One [Prince].

“Prince also declined Michael’s invitation for ‘We are The World.”

Bad went on to sell more than two million copies one week after its release in the US.

Jackson’s invitation for a duet came several years after Prince experienced a particularly embarrassing on-stage performance for a James Brown tribute concert in 1983.

Jackson was invited on stage first, and having won the crowds approval for his performance, he supposedly then asked Brown to invite Prince on stage too, to “try follow up”.

Yet, in the middle of his performance Prince fell off the stage and into the crowd after leaning against a prop lamp post, prompting great embarrassment for the singer.

The Mirror later obtained tapes recorded for Jackson’s 1988 biography, ‘Moonwalker, where he mocked Prince’s fall.

Jackson said: “He made a fool of himself.

He was a joke. People were running and screaming. I was so embarrassed. It was all on video.”

Producer Quincy Jones also later claimed that Prince attempted to run Jackson over after the humiliating event.

During the same taped conversation, Jackson revealed his own thoughts of the rivalry between him and Prince.

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He explained: “I don’t like to be compared to Prince at all.

“I have proven myself since I was real little. It’s not fair.”

He added: “He feels like I’m his opponent. I hope he changes because boy, he’s gonna get hurt.”

The popstar even claimed that Prince was “mean and nasty” to his family.

Yet, a 2016 memoir by producer LA Reid claimed that one of Jackson’s favourite pastimes was laughing at videos of Prince “falling as flat as he could”.

He added that Jackson was “cold as ice” too.

Still, music critic Steven Hyden explained in his 2016 book, ‘Your Favourite Band is Killing Me’ a different point of view.

He said: “I think they did motivate each other.

“They were both such outsized personalities and for both of them playing into the rivalry was good PR.”

Jackson died in 2009 while Prince died in 2016.

Both are still considered to have produced music which redefined the boundaries of the pop genre.

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