Michael Jackson, the late King of Pop who captured our hearts with awesome music and unique dance moves, among other legacies, nurtured lots of humble, visionary and weird fantasies as a child and adult.
The American singer, songwriter and dancer wanted to be immortalized on film, according to a diary he left behind, but that’s a tip of the iceberg.
Image: Michael Jackson
At the age of 39, MJ felt the fame he achieved through music wasn’t resounding enough, and in his quest to trail the footsteps of his movie idols: Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Chaplin Michelangelo Disney, the Indiana-born legend wished to appear on the silver screen.
Jackson’s ambition was to become the first multi-billionaire entertainer-actor-director, and resilience brought him close to his numerous dreams before the cold hands of death snatched him away.
“If I don’t concentrate (on) film, no immortalization,” the 50-year-old (as at the time of his death) wrote in his diary, which was confirmed by the New York Post.
The Dirty Diana singer made reference to Fred, Gene and Chaplin, saying “these men Demanded Perfection Innovation always. [sic]”
Jackson is regarded as one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and he was a best-selling music artist in the same year he died. His contributions to music, dance and fashion are priceless.
His 1982 album Thriller, which included music videos such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” broke racial barriers and transformed the medium into some sort of art and promotional tool. The popularity of his videos single-handedly shot the television channel MTV to limelight.
Mention must be made of Michael’s desire to purchase Marvel Comics so he could play Spider-Man. The Jackson 5 star was a huge fan of the action series and wanted to prove his love for the web-slinging hero in many other ways – not just by playing him in a movie.
Admittedly, grabbing the role of Spider-Man was very hard for MJ. He tried on several occasions but failed. So, his best bait was to buy Marvel Comics (in partnership with renowned comic writer Stan Lee) to enable him call the shots.
The late music icon reportedly conversed with Lee on his intentions to get the film rights to Spider-Man. He wanted the comic writer to represent him in official business discussions with Marvel but, unfortunately, both were yet to discuss in details before MJ died.
Furthermore, in the memory of another equally good musician Prince Rogers Nelson, who is famed for his 1984 hit “Purple Rain,” Michael Jackson wanted a duet with the star but failed for a reason you probably know. Till death did them part, they were not the best of friends, having started on the wrong foot in their long-awaited collaboration that could have left them a larger footprint on the sands of time.
Image shows Prince Rogers Nelson and Michael Jackson
Apart from seeing themselves as rivals, Prince allegedly held “bigger grudges” because MJ was sticking it up his face at every chance, stepping on his toes, and proving he was better.
The bitter rivalry continued until 2006, when Prince walked up to Jackson during a concert and played his bass right in Jackson’s face, an action that aggravated Michael, who never had good reviews of the Minnesota-born legend.
Prince died on 21 April, 2016 while MJ’s passing was announced on 25 August, 2009. Both men were married twice in their lifetime, won several music awards, donated to charity, had wide range of vocals, and started music at a very young age.
Michael never liked people comparing him with Prince, who he thought was rude, mean, and nasty, but notwithstanding their differences, both stars knew they could break further grounds with a duet, and they never stopped trying – not once or twice.
Media reports confirm Prince turned down the first attempt, and Jackson turned down the second, but in 1987, when MJ was close to recording his song “Bad,” his 7th album, he wanted a collaboration with Prince so badly that a request was sent.
Surprisingly, Prince turned him down and “mockingly” rerecorded the song before sending it back to Jackson.
Some years passed before Prince revealed his reasons for refusing a duet with Jackson. In his statement, the music icon who died of accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, said he rejected a collaboration on “Bad” because the song starts with “Your butt is mine.”
Prince said he didn’t want to hear MJ singing that line to him, adding that he wasn’t ready to sing it to Jackson, either.
Later in their lives, Prince got a contract to produce a soundtrack for an upcoming Batman film so he reached out to Michael Jackson for a duet, but Jackson rejected the offer because he wanted to concentrate on his music concert.