The absolute “Royal House” of 1980’s pop music was Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. The prince, the queen, and the king of pop, as it were. But while Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop, he didn’t have much love for his “lesser subjects.” Despite famously being Madonna’s Oscar date back in 1991, the two weren’t exactly tight, and later Michael Jackson allegedly named one of the snakes in his Neverland zoo “Madonna.” In an interview once, he also referred to her as a “nasty witch.” As it turns out, he thought even less of Prince.
In recently discovered audio from the interviews for Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker autobiography, which was obtained by the Daily Mirror, Michael said what he really thought of his #1 rival, saying:
“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 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. 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.”
It’s been known for years that the two were rivals, and there have been many anecdotes of “MJ vs Prince” over the years, as Consequence of Sound pointed out. One time the two played a game of ping-pong, which apparently ended with Jackson walking out of the room and Prince gloating, “Did you see that? He played like Helen Keller.” Then there’s the time MJ tried to get Prince to duet with him on “Bad”, but Prince wasn’t having any of it. Prince is said to have mockingly re-recorded the song and sent it back to Michael. And there’s a lot more where that came from.
Still, Prince had to have admired Michael somewhat; he’s played “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” in several concerts, and when Prince covers your song, you know that means there is some respect there. Maybe Michael just had a really thin skin. No pun intended.
What do you think of this legendary rivalry? Let us know what you think down below in the comments.
Featured image: Warner Bros.