Michael Jackson ‘upset’ Mick Jagger during collaboration – ‘How did he become a star?’

Mick Jagger pays tribute to Charlie Watts at Rolling Stones show

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Michael Jackson duetted with numerous legendary musicians including Paul McCartney, Freddie Mercury, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and so many more. However, one of his earlier collaborations came with the Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. The two were excited to get in the studio together, but the results left both of them upset.

It was for the track State of Shock with The Jacksons in 1984, whom MJ was still singing for in 1984 despite the fact his solo career had already achieved meteoric success. It actually turned out to be one of the last songs he worked on with his childhood group before fully going out alone.

MJ didn’t need to work with any other singers, but frequently did so to massive success. That was true for State of Shock, which hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100 list. 

Jagger featured on the single as the sixth member of The Jacksons and despite acknowledging what the song meant to him, he revealed a frustrating recording session.

In an interview with the New York Times, the musician said: “He had the two of us practice scales for two hours and then we recorded the vocals in two takes. When he sent the finished track to me later I was kind of disappointed in the production and the mix.”

Regardless of his reservations on the song, he did stress, “I think he’s a really good singer,” but MJ himself was similarly annoyed.

According to Christopher Anderson in the book Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger, the author revealed that MJ even called Jagger’s talents into question.

The author wrote: “As for the collaboration itself, neither star was impressed with the other. Jackson accused Jagger of singing off-key (‘How did he ever get to be a star’).”

The collaboration nearly didn’t get off the ground to begin with as Jagger was initially reluctant to feature on the track. He told MJ: “You’ve got your family. You don’t need me.” Eventually, he was convinced to take part, even though it was originally a duet with Freddie Mercury.

Even though he respected the legendary musician for his art, he reportedly labelled him as “very lightweight – like froth on beer.”

Today, State of Shock remains Jagger’s highest-charting track away from the Rolling Stones.

However, it was the first and last time the two singers worked together, but he did perform it in 1985 with Tina Turner during Live Aid.



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