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Unearthed Recordings Find Michael Jackson Confirming Rivalry With Prince

Ralph Bristout

 // Jun 27, 2016

Laura Levine // Laura Levine/Corbis

The long-rumored rivalry between Prince and Michael Jackson defies rivalries in the history books. Their respective rise to the spotlight occurred at similar moments in the early ‘80s (Off the Wall, Prince) and their paths to trailblazing pop icons also paralleled (Thriller, Purple Rain). So with all that said, it was no surprise that the two pop stars were often pitted against each other in the media. In fact, there’s been several documentations about this rivalry, from oral histories to in-book features.

So now it should come as no surprise that after a weekend that saw both stars celebrated — Saturday (June 25) marking seven years since MJ’s passing and Sunday night’s (June 26) BET Awards honoring of Prince — that the chatter about the icons’ competitiveness once again hit news circuits. In Arriving via unearthed recordings made during the writing of MJ’s 1988 autobiography "Moonwalker," which were contents from a confidential conversation, MJ’s comments about the Purple Rain star confirms the long-speculated rivalry.

"I have proven myself since I was real little. It’s not fair. He feels like I’m his opponent," Jackson told the interviewer in the conversation that has since been shared by Daily Mirror. "I hope he changes because boy, he’s gonna get hurt. He’s the type that might commit suicide or something."

MJ also added that Prince was "one of the rudest people I have ever met," and claimed the singer had been "mean and nasty to my family." The conversation also steered back to the rare 1983 performance that saw Jackson and Prince joining James Brown at a show, in which Jackson recalled Prince "made a fool himself."

"He was a joke," he added. "People were running and screaming. I was so embarrassed. It was all on video."

It’s a tough stance from the King of Pop, but considering the brewing rivalry these two shared, it’s no surprise.

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