Drfunkenberry.com
27Jun
2009
92

Prince & Michael Jackson Were Friends?

Prince & Michael Jackson.  Photo: MSN.Com
Prince & Michael Jackson.  Photo: MSN.Com

Prince & Michael Jackson. Photo: MSN.Com

Prince and Michael Jackson were friendly rivals?  Seriously? According to former band members of the Purple One, it's true.

A report in the Startribune, Bobby Z., Prince's drummer for the Revolution, remembers watching the 1984 Grammys with Prince as Michael Jackson swept the Grammys.

"We were watching rough cuts of [the movie] 'Purple Rain,' and we knew that's where Prince wanted to be the next year," Z said Thursday.

Michael Jackson even showed up to 2 Purple Rain shows backstage.  Although Michael Jackson did want to work with Prince a few years later, Prince declined due to lyrical differences.

Michael Bland insisted they got along fine.  "They'd shoot hoops at Paisley Park," Prince's studio/home in Chanhassen. "We used to get packages from MJJ Productions [with] footage of Sly Stone performing in Europe. Prince would pop it in the VCR, and we'd watch it."

Prince even defended Michael at a press conference in 2000 where he said something along the lines of "we don't really know what is going on with him and maybe we need to chill on that." (I can't find the original transcript so paraphrasing people.)

Personally speaking, I did see Michael Jackson attend one of Prince's shows at 3121 Las Vegas in 2006 with Wil I Am of the Black Eyed Peas and Chris Tucker. Michael did not make the after show as planned where he was to be seated with Michael Jordan.

Recently, Prince has been performing Michael Jackson songs in his sets, "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" and recently "Dancing Machine" by the Jackson 5

It's nice to know my favorite artist Prince had an interesting connection with Michael that many of us did not know, beating him in hoops I am sure. -Dr.FB

Comments (92)
  1. I loves me some Prince as a matter a fact i was having a discussion on whos a better dancer mj or prince alot of ppl would say MJ but i stick with Prince cuz if u look at some of those clips when homeboi was dancing in those HEELS doing spits and breakdancin and kicking that mic perfectly i was like dannnnng on Prince NOW MJ can dance too now im not going to front but PRINCE DANCES IN HEELS MAN Beyonce can hardly dance in Heels.. But IM SOOOOOO HAPPY TO KNOW THAT MY TOO LIGHT SKINNED BRUTHAS LOL GOT ALONG I wonder if Prince will be at the funeral…sigh RIP MICHAEL I HOPE U got it together before u left…

  2. If anything kept them apart professionally it was probably the ‘King of Pop’ moniker; Prince would not want to be seen as MJ-lite but that is how he would seem if he opened a show for Michael Jackson. If I was in the music business and had a time machine I would go back to the 80s and talk them both into touring with Queen as The Royals of Rock, Pop and Funk.

  3. I recently heard a Lenny Kravitz interview where he described his first time meeting Michael Jackson. He said that Prince took him to MJ’s hotel suite in NYC and the three of them hang out and had dinner.
    MJ, Prince, and Lenny Kravitz at the same dinner table? Cool!

  4. Quote from prince “my voice is getting higher and i aint never had my nose done” look out! all the purple hippies bang your head on the 1!

  5. Thank you Dr FB for sharing this story. It’s really great to know that they were friends or acquaintances and I had always figured that they admired each others work. I always wished that they had worked together cause that would have been nothing short of amazing. When Prince dies, music in my eyes will be dead. It’s halfway there now with Michael’s passing. God bless both of them for having changed the game of music and the way we hear music today.

  6. What’s interesting about this discussion is that many don’t realize that Prince and MJ were friends. Their ‘rivalry’ was media contrived. They often went to the same places and both were admirers of each other, and others in the music industry.

    If anyone were to ever question their friendship, I would like to point out their performance at the House of Blues. James Brown (the Godfather of Soul), was performing a set at the HofB, and when his set was over, he announced that MJ was there and MJ came on the set and ripped it. After MJ ripped it, he announced that Prince was also there, and Prince came on the set and ripped it. All 3 superstars laughed and joked and turned the HofB out in a way that had never been done before…or after. Can you imagine paying to see James Brown and seeing Mj and Prince as a add on? It’s like dying and waking up in Musical Heaven. That night the world witnessed arguably the 3 most influential and dominant performers in the History of Music. Those are the types of things that ‘friends’ do.

  7. I think at times like these it can make one review their life.And I am sure that Prince has some fond memories that he can look back on with Michael.One of my favs is when he was on stage with James Brown & Michael Jackson an amazing moment!I could see where Prince & Michael would have a respect for one another and possibly be friends.They both put alot of quality and effort into everything they did!I of course would have loved to see them collab …2 of my top favs 2gether. :)
    May Michael rest in peace.God bless him

  8. RE: 2000 Press Conference

    “Can I just say something? I’ve never really spoken publicly about Michael, but we should all just kind of ‘chill’, because he may know something none of us really know. Just like… well.. lets wait and see. Lets wait it out, you know, just wait it out. You never know, right? You just never know. Ultimately, we all gotta come back home, so lets just make a home for everybody.”

  9. One celebrity who had one lucky tie to the both of them is Nicole Ritchie. Michael Jackson is her godfather (he and Quincy Jones), and she came around Prince and his shows quite often when she would spend time with her biological aunt and father…Sheila E. and Pete Escovedo. Nicole talked about all the lavish gifts she received from both Prince and Michael. WOW, that’s one lucky girl! :-)

  10. Hey MJ4Life, did you see the interview Prince did with Chris Rock where he said, as a man, he couldn’t do BAD with MJ because he didn’t like the opening line…”Your Butt Is Mine.” He said and I quote, “The opening line is ‘Your Butt Is Mine.’ I don’t know if I was supposed to sing it to him or if he was supposed to sing it to him, but I damn sure was going wasn’t going to sing it.” It’s not even so much what he said, but it was how he said it that had me dying laughing. I’m so mad they took it off youtube.

  11. Michael will be missed. It breaks my heart to know we lost a legend who gave so much to the music industry. His spirit will live on in his music. Prince and Michael, two artists who shared their gift of music with the rest of the world, and it is obvious they respected one another. I thought it was a beautiful thing when Prince performed some MJ songs during his tour with Tamar, and also performed MJ songs during his 3121 Vegas gigs.
    Rest in Peace MJ, you will be missed, but your spirit will always live on in your music.

    CH

  12. Thanks Doc. No doubt the rivalry was always all in fun. I don’t think either would hate on the other because there was too much talent on both sides to be admired both ways.

    Missing Mike more each day…

    D

  13. Another reason they probably got along was they had a religious connection through the JW’s.

  14. Prince didn’t want to do Bad because the first part of the song say’s “Your butt is mine” and he didn’t want any part of that. I believe I saw that during a Prince/Chris Rock interview.

    Anyway, Thank you for this story. Michael Jackson was a huge part of my life. He was a genius, a legend, and a humanitarian. I will miss him so much.

    If I’m this sad and depressed over Michael I’m going to have to take bereavement day’s off from work when Prince dies.

  15. I actually think Prince playing MJ songs in his set now is a clue that he did finally work with MJ. Hence MJ & Will I am attending a 3121 Vegas show. At the time they were working on MJ’s new Cd.

    That had 2 b the day b4 I attended the show. Becuz I heard some of thestaff saying MJ was there the night b4. Think about it.

  16. It makes me smile to think that they understood each other enough to be associates. I don’t know about working together live~Prince is much too smooth for that & Mike wouldn’t have been able to compete lyrically & musically. I still like Michael and pray for all those who knew & loved him. I pray that he will rest in peace and love himself in a way I do not think that he ever truly did in life, which is something that I suspect Prince has no trouble with~Love4OneAnother & Love4Self R one in the same.

  17. “Michael Jackson – Bad” was originally supposed to be a duet with Prince and MJ (if you don’t believe me, get the Special Edition Bad CD and listen to Q talking about it on the bonus tracks) but Prince turned it down because he “felt it was a hit without him” on the track. So yes, they were friends.

  18. Nice story Doc — thanks for putting it on the site — I am a huge fan of both Prince & Michael Jackson. It’s nice to know that they were friendly rivals. I would have loved for the two of them to work together LIVE

  19. They were two sides of the same coin. Same culture, same genius. One pushed the other to be great and to dig to find that “sound.” One has departed to the next level of destination. Love to all those that were connected and called Michael their “friend.”

  20. When he was younger of course, NOT the age of his testimony. :)

  21. Around the time macaulay culkin testified in Mike’s trail, he did an interview and mentioned how Prince and Mike (together) shut down FAO Schwarz and purchased him gifts.

  22. Thank u for honoring michael dr funkenberry not like cnn etc I’m glad prince was cool with mj I mean prince is my baby sweet also I can remember when I was 14 I had prince and mj all over my wall so thanks again and to mj I love u rip

  23. prince is truly a musical genius and tireless entertainer/performer… michael jackson “was” a great entertainer. LONG LIVE PRINCE ROGERS NELSON!!!

  24. … and let’s not forget the other lyric…. “You got to be a Prince before you’re King anyway..”

  25. 2 Whomever it may concern, u must come 2 ur senses, there are no KINGS on this earth, ONLY PRINCE’S……a grea quote from my man, P, and if they were friends, that’s cool!


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